IL House Bill 1013 Notary Law Update: IL House Bill 1013State: IllinoisSummary:HB 1013 authorizes the Illinois Secretary of State to refuse to attach an apostille to a notarized document in cases where sovereign citizens seek to abuse the legitimate use of apostilles. The bill provides grounds for which the Secretary of State may refuse to issue an apostille or a certification. Since sovereign citizens often attempt to remove an apostille from one document and use it with another, the bill establishes penalties for tampering with an apostille on a document. Signed: June 05, 2013Effective: July 01, 2013Chapter: Public Act No. 170Affects:Adds section 5.20 to title 15, chapter 305 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes Changes: Provides that a request for an apostille or a certification shall be submitted on the form prescribed by the Secretary of State and must be accompanied by the lawful fee. Authorizes the Secretary to refuse to issue an apostille or certification if: (a) the document has not been certified by the appropriate authority, if applicable; (b) the document has not been properly notarized in accordance with the Illinois Notary Public Act, if applicable; (c) the document submitted to the Secretary is not an original document; (d) the document is intended for use in the United States or in a country not party to the Hague Legalization Convention, if applicable; (e) the document makes a claim regarding or purports to affect citizenship, immunity, allegiance to a government or jurisdiction, sovereignty, or any similar or related matter; or (f) the Secretary has reasonable cause to believe the document may be used to accomplish any fraudulent, criminal, or unlawful purpose. Provides that a person may not remove an apostille, certification, any part of the apostille or certification, or the “great seal of the State of Illinois” from any document to which the Secretary has affixed it, and doing so shall render the apostille or certification invalid. Gives the Secretary the power and authority reasonably necessary to administer this Section efficiently, to perform the duties imposed by this Section, and to adopt rules relating to those duties, in accordance with the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act. Provides that a person commits tampering with a certification by a public official, a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and Class 4 felony for each subsequent offense, when he or she knowingly, without lawful authority, and with the intent to defraud any individual, entity, public officer, or governmental unit, uses a certification or part of a certification by a public official, including but not limited to an apostille, the “great seal of the State of Illinois”, or other similar certification, in connection with any document he or she knows or reasonably should know is not the original document for which the public official originally issued the certification. Analysis:Illinois becomes the most recent state to enact legislation curbing the use of apostilles on notarized documents by sovereign citizens and those seeking to perpetrate frauds. Sovereign citizens are individuals who believe that they are immune from U.S. or state laws. Essentially, they are a law unto themselves. These individuals seek to have notarized documents certified by the Notary commissioning officials with apostilles to lend credence or authority to their claims. HB 1013 authorizes the Secretary of State to refuse to issue an apostille for a number of reasons. Most importantly, if the document makes a claim or purports to support the presenter’s “sovereignty” as an individual, and is intended for use within the United States. Technically under the Hague Apostille Convention, an apostille is only authorized to be issued on documents that will be used outside of the United States, but sovereign citizens routinely use their documents to evade legitimate debt obligations and harass public officials within the United States. Since sovereign citizens often attempt to remove an apostille from one document and use it with another, the bill establishes penalties for tampering with an apostille on a document. Read the bill text.