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IL Administrative Rules 2023 (Commissioning)


State: Illinois

Effective: June 05, 2023

This part 1 new law update on the state of Illinois’s 2023 Notary and Electronic Notary administrative rules deals with commissioning changes.

Adds Sections and 176.10, 176.11, 176.100, 176.110, 176.120, 176.130, 176.300, 176.310, 16.320, 176.330, 176.340, 176.350, and 176.205 to Title 14, Subtitle A, Chapter I, Part 176 of the Illinois Administrative Code.



  1. Defines “act,” “biometric data,” “biometric information,” “’Notary public’ or ‘Notary,’” “personal information,” “physical location,” “secretary,” and “X.509.”
  2. For purposes of the course and examination requirements, defines, “certification” and “provider.”

Notary and Electronic Notary Appointments

  1. Requires every applicant for an initial appointment or reappointment as a Notary Public to present satisfactory evidence of the applicant’s identity.
  2. Provides that an applicant must be a resident of Illinois before applying for a Notary or Electronic Notary commission, unless applying for a nonresident application or appointment pursuant to 5 ILCS 312/2-101 and Section 176.130. 
  3. Requires a Notary or Electronic Notary to maintain residency in Illinois during the term of the appointment and to immediately resign the commission if residency in Illinois ends.
  4. Provides that a current Notary or Electronic Notary may apply for reappointment 60 days before the expiration of an existing commission. 
  5. Clarifies that to avoid any gaps between Notary or Electronic Notary commissions, applications for reappointment should be filed at least 30 days before the expiration of the commission under which the Notary or Electronic Notary is acting.
  6. Clarifies that the date of the new commission will be the date immediately after the expiration date of the current commission.
  7. Authorizes an applicant to request the cancellation of an appointment and the cancellation will become effective upon receipt by the Secretary of State of the notice requesting cancellation.
  8. Provides that the term of a Notary or Electronic Notary commission begins on the date of commissioning by the Secretary of State and not the date the bond was obtained. 
  9. Clarifies that an Electronic Notary commission will have the same term of commission as the Notary’s traditional commission. 

Notary Course of Study and Examination

  1. Beginning January 1, 2024, requires applicants seeking a commission as either as a Notary or an Electronic Notary to successfully complete a course of study and acquire a passing score on the examination, as required by 5 ILCS 312/2-101.5.
  2. Provides that an applicant will have 2 years from the date of the examination to apply for a Notary or Electronic Notary commission. 
  3. Provides that upon successful completion of the course and examination and issuance of the commission, the certificate or other proof of successful completion of the course of study and examination will remain valid for the duration of the Notary's 4-year commission.
  4. Provides that the Secretary of State may authorize the provision of a course of study for the mandatory training of Notaries and Electronic Notaries public by qualified third parties.
  5. Clarifies that to be accepted by the Secretary of State, the course of study must be taught by a provider or instructor certified by the Secretary.

Notary and Electronic Notary Applications

  1. Requires applicants for a Notary or Electronic Notary commission to indicate at the time of application whether the applicant will perform only traditional in-person notarizations or remote notarizations.
  2. Clarifies that any Notary appointed to a commission shall have the authority to conduct remote notarizations.
  3. Provides an application form for nonresident applicants to apply for a commission.
  4. Provides that an application for an Electronic Notary commission must include the following information: (a) The Notary’s commission number assigned to the person by the Secretary of State, unless the applicant is applying for both commissions at the same time; (b) The names of all electronic notarization system providers that the applicant intends to use to perform electronic notarial acts; (c) A copy of the electronic signature of the person that is an exact representation of the handwritten signature of the person already on file or currently being filed with the Secretary of State and in a format that can be read and be compared for authentication purposes without additional software; (d) A statement certifying that the applicant will comply with the standards set forth by Section 176.835 relating to identity proofing and credential analysis, use a third-party provider who has been certified to act as an electronic notarization system provider in Illinois by the Secretary, and upon request by the Secretary, promptly provide any necessary instructions or techniques supplied by a provider that will allow the Electronic Notary’s digital certificate and electronic seal to be read and authenticated; (e) disclosure of all disciplinary actions, convictions, or administrative actions taken against the applicant, (f) a certificate or other proof of successful completion of the required course of study; and (g) a statement certifying that the person will comply with the applicable provisions of the Notary Public Act, including Article VI-A.
  5. Prohibits a person from performing an electronic notarial act unless (a) the Secretary has approved the applicant’s application for an Electronic Notary commission, and (b) the Secretary has approved the registration of the proposed electronic notarization system provider.
  6. Provides that if an application for appointment as a Notary or Electronic Notary is incomplete, the Secretary of State will retain the application for at least 1 year from the date of receipt of the application, and if the applicant does not complete the application within this time frame, the Secretary of State may deny the application and mail a notice of denial to the applicant.
  7. Requires an Electronic Notary to notify the Secretary of State, on a form designated by the Secretary, if the Electronic Notary elects to add any other Electronic Notary system provider. 
  8. Provides that if an applicant for an Electronic Notary commission satisfies all the requirements for the commission, the Secretary of State shall approve the commission, update the Secretary’s processing system with the new commission record, and notify the applicant.
  9. Provides that the Secretary of State will notify an applicant who does not satisfy all the requirements for an Electronic Notary commission that the application has been refused.
  10. Clarifies that an Electronic Notary commission becomes effective at the time it is entered into the Secretary of State’s processing system.

Appointment Fee

  1. Clarifies that a commission will not be issued unless the appointment fee required by 5 ILCS 312/2-103 has been paid in full.
  2. Provides that if any method of payment submitted by an applicant to the Secretary of State is returned to the Secretary or otherwise dishonored upon presentation of payment because the applicant has insufficient money or credit, or because the person stopped payment on the method of payment, the Secretary may immediately and without a hearing deny to commission the applicant as a Notary or Electronic Notary or immediately revoke the applicant’s commission if the commission has already been granted. 
  3. Provides that an applicant, Notary or Electronic Notary whose commission is denied or revoked because of dishonored funds or because the applicant, Notary, or Electronic Notary stopped payment, must resubmit an application for commission as a Notary or Electronic Notary.

Commission Number

  1. Provides that the Secretary of State will assign a unique commission number to each original commission certificate. 
  2. Requires the commission number, which will be used to identify the Notary whose name appears on the commission certificate, must remain assigned to the Notary throughout the period of the appointment and be included on each duplicate or amended commission certificate issued to the Notary by the Secretary of State.
  3. Clarifies that when a Notary applies for a subsequent period of appointment, a new number will be assigned.
  4. Provides that a Notary that is also commissioned as an Electronic Notary will have the same commission number for both commissions.

Oath of Office and Bond

  1. Clarifies that both Notaries and Electronic Notaries must file an oath of office with the Secretary of State.
  2. Requires the legal name on the applicant’s oath of office to exactly match the applicant’s driver’s license or state identification card and the name on the Notary application.
  3. Clarifies that unless proven otherwise, the name on the oath shall consist of the applicant’s first personal name (first name), additional name or names, if applicable, and surname (family or last name).
  4. Clarifies that a copy of the Notary’s $5,000 bond, Electronic Notary’s $25,000 bond, or a combined bond of $30,000 must be filed with the Secretary of State.
  5. Clarifies that the bond shall contain, on its face, the oath of office for the Notary or Electronic Notary. 
  6. Requires an applicant to endorse the oath on the face of the bond, immediately below the oath, by signing the applicant’s name under which the person has applied to be commissioned as a Notary or Electronic Notary and exactly as it appears on the Notary or Electronic Notary application form filed with the Secretary of State.
  7. Clarifies that in making a claim against a $30,000 combined bond, a claimant will only be entitled to either a maximum of $5,000 of the bond if the notarization at question was a traditional, in-person, physical notarization or a maximum of $25,000 if the notarization was electronic or remote.

The 2023 adoption of Notary administrative rules in Illinois is the largest rule adoption for Notaries to date. Due to its size and scope, we will be issuing seven individual new law updates to summarize its important provisions. Links to the other six new law updates will be added to the bottom of this Analysis when they become available.

This part 1 new law update highlights the changes to Illinois law pertaining to Notary and Electronic Notary commissions. A qualification for both a Notary and Electronic Notary commission is the successful completion of a course of study and passing of an examination. A later new law update will provide the rules that govern providers of education courses and examinations.

Read the adopted administrative rules (see page 8656).

Below are links to the other new law updates on the 2023 Illinois administrative rules.