Notary Public Information
The purpose of notarization is to prevent fraud and forgery. A Notary Public acts as an official and unbiased witness to the identity of the person who comes before the notary for a specific purpose.
The Index Department of the Illinois Secretary of State appoints and commissions a Notary Public. In addition, they are the controlling authority for specialty notarization, Certificates of Authority, Certificates of Incumbency and Apostilles.
Notaries are appointed for a term of four years. An applicant for an appointment must:
- be a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence;
- be a resident of the State of Illinois for at least 30 days;
- be at least 18 years of age;
- be able to read and write the English language;
- have not been convicted of a felony;
- have not had a notary commission revoked during the past 10 years.
An applicant must complete the Notary Public Application from the Secretary of State and obtain a notary bond valued at $5,000 from a bonding or surety company. The filing fee is $10.00 and the check or money order is made payable to the Secretary of State.
What happens once your commission is approved?
The County Clerk’s Office will contact you upon their receipt of your commission from the Secretary of State. You will be required to submit a specimen of your signature and the required filing fee.
- $5.00 fee in person
- $10.00 fee by mail
If the applicant fails to record his or her appointment with the county clerk within 60 days, the county clerk will return the commission to the Secretary of State and the commission will be cancelled. No refund will be issued.
All checks made payable to the Will County Clerk.
Notary Public Seal
Every notary public must obtain and use a rubber stamp seal. The seal must include the notary public’s name exactly as the notary was commissioned and the date the notary’s commission expires. For more information regarding the notary seal and other general information, an Illinois Notary Public Handbook is available from the Secretary of State.
Certificate of Authority
Courts or public officials may require that a "Certificate of Authority" be attached to a document that has been notarized. This certificate confirms that the individual was an appointed and commissioned notary public for the State of Illinois on the date of notarization.
Such certificates can be issued by the Will County Clerk if the commission was recorded here and the fee is $2.00 per document.
Application for Authentication or Apostille
The Secretary of State’s Index Department is authorized to certify and process documents for foreign use. Certifying Official Documents for Foreign Use brochure describes the types of certificates available and explains the certification process.
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