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IL Administrative Rules 2023 (Complaints and Administrative Hearings)


State: Illinois

Effective: June 05, 2023

This part 6 new law update on the 2023 administrative rules adopted by the Illinois Secretary of State provides rules for complaints against Notaries and administrative law proceedings.
Adds Sections 176.970, 176.980, 176.990, 176.1000, 176.1005, 176.1010, 176.1020, 176.1030, 176.1040, 176.1050, 176.1060, 176.1070, 176.1080, 176.1090, and 176.1095 to Title 14, Subtitle A, Chapter I, Part 176 of the Illinois Administrative Code.


  1. For purposes of the administrative judicative process rules, defines “act,” “contested case,” “continue a hearing,” “Department of Administrative Hearings,” “Director,” “formal hearing,” “hearing officer,” “order of default,” “party,” “person,” “petitioner,” “respondent,” “Secretary,” and “withdrawal from a hearing.”

Notary Public Complaints

  1. Authorizes any person to file a complaint in writing with the Secretary of State alleging that a Notary has violated one or more of the provisions of the Notary Public Act or any provision of Part 176.
  2. Provides the information, as specified, that should be included in a complaint.
  3. Provides that a complaint may be filed in person or by mail to the Illinois Secretary of State, Index Department at 111 E. Monroe St., Springfield, IL 62756, or by electronic mail (
  4. Provides that upon receipt of the complaint, the Secretary will notify the Notary who is the subject of the complaint in writing by regular mail to the address of the Notary on file with the Secretary of State. 
  5. Provides that the notice of complaint to the Notary will include: (a) A statement of the statutory provision which the Notary is alleged to have violated; (b) An explanation of the disciplinary actions that may be taken against the Notary; (c) Instructions for the Notary to respond to the complaint by regular mail or by email; and (d) A statement that the Notary must respond to the complaint within 10 days after receiving the notice.
  6. Provides that if, after receiving the response from the Notary, the Secretary of State determines that further action is not warranted, the Secretary will notify the Notary of that decision.
  7. Provides that either after receiving the response from the Notary or if no response is received, the Secretary of State may further investigate the complaint of alleged misconduct against the Notary by considering the totality of the offense, facts, and circumstances of the individual case.
  8. Provides that factors, as specified, that the Secretary of State will consider in evaluating an allegation of notarial misconduct to determine if action should be taken.
  9. Provides that if the Secretary of State determines that a crime may have been committed, the Secretary will refer the allegations to law enforcement for further investigation or prosecution.

Revocation, Suspension, and Reprimand

  1. Provides that a Notary’s or an Electronic Notary’s commission may be revoked for any of the foregoing acts or omissions: (a) The Notary demonstrates the Notary lacks the honesty, integrity, competence, or reliability to act as a Notary; or (b) The Notary fails to maintain a residence or place of employment in Illinois.
  2. Provides that a Notary’s or an Electronic Notary’s commission may be suspended for any actions contrary to the Notary Public Act, other laws of the State of Illinois, and Part 176.
  3. Provides that the Secretary of State may deliver a written official warning to cease misconduct, misfeasance, or malfeasance to any Notary or Electronic Notary whose actions are determined to violate Part 176, the Notary Public Act, or other laws of the State of Illinois.
  4. Provides that before suspending or revoking a Notary's or an Electronic Notary’s commission, the Secretary of State must inform the Notary or Electronic Notary of the basis for the suspension or revocation and that the suspension or revocation takes effect on a particular date unless a request for an administrative hearing is filed with the Secretary of State under 5 ILCS 312/7-108(j) and Section 176.990 before that date.
  5. Clarifies that resignation or expiration of a commission does not terminate or preclude an inquiry into the Notary’s or Electronic Notary’s conduct by the Secretary of State.
  6. Provides that whether a finding against a Notary or Electronic Notary would have been grounds for revocation will be made a matter of public record.
  7. Provides that Appeals should be addressed to the Secretary of State Department of Administrative Hearings and comply with Subpart K (see below).

Attorney Representation, Appearances, and Substitution of Parties

  1. Authorizes any party to be represented by (a) an Illinois attorney, (b) a student licensed under Supreme Court Rule 711, c) an attorney licensed in another state, (d) the party themselves, (e) if the party is a corporation, association, limited liability company, or partnership, by legal counsel licensed to practice in the State of Illinois or appearing pro hac vice.
  2. Requires an attorney appearing in a representative capacity to file a written notice of appearance with the Department of Administrative Hearings office where the formal hearing is requested or pending, providing a name, address, email address, website, facsimile number, telephone number, Supreme Court registration number, and identification of the party represented.
  3. Provides rules, as specified, for general and special appearances.
  4. Provides that a hearing officer shall, upon motion, rule on a request for the substitution of parties in cases in which a party has died, resigned, moved, or otherwise succeeded to the interest of a previously named party.

Notice of Hearing, Motions, and Documents

  1. Provides the information, as specified, to be included in a notice of hearing.
  2. Provides rules, as specified, related to the filing fee for the notice of hearing.
  3. Provides rules, as specified, governing motions in a hearing.
  4. Provides rules, as specified, for documents submitted in a hearing.

Formal Hearings, Orders, Notifications, and Time Limits on Obtaining Relief

  1. Provides rules, as specified, for the conducting of hearings in an administrative judicative matter by a hearing officer.
  2. Provides rules, as specified, for (a) depositions and interrogatories, (b) rules of evidence, (c) witnesses and bills of particulars, (d) inspection of documents by the Secretary of State, (e) admissions, (f) right to call witnesses, (g) pre-hearing conference, (h) orders from a pre-hearing conference, (i) oaths, (j) stipulations, (k) official notices, (l) rights of parties, (m) opening and closing statements, (n) exhibits, (o) cross-examination of witnesses, (p) burden of proof, (q) interpreters and the deaf and hard of hearing, (r) report of proceedings and copies of record, (s) motions to continue and withdraw, and leave to submit original documents, and (t) continuations.
  3. Provides that the Department shall prepare a written order for all final determinations, which shall include the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Recommendations of the hearing officer, and the Order of the Secretary of State.
  4. Requires the hearing officer to prepare the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendations to the Secretary of State, and requires the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law to be stated separately.
  5. Clarifies that the Order of the Secretary shall be the decision of the Office of the Secretary of State upon the application for relief.
  6. Requires the Department of Administrative Hearings to notify all parties or their agents personally, by facsimile, regular mail, or electronic transmission, of the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Recommendations, and the Order.
  7. Provides that if the Order is the Order of the Secretary to grant the petitioner relief, then the Department of Administrative Hearings will also provide instructions on the steps the petitioner must take to obtain the relief.
  8. Provides that an Order of Default will be entered against the petitioner or respondent who fails to appear for a hearing at the scheduled time and has failed to request or been granted a continuance under Section 176.1070(u).
  9. Clarifies that orders resulting from formal hearings are final administrative orders within the meaning of the Administrative Review Law [735 ILCS 5/Art. III].

Records of Hearings and Invalidity

  1. Lists the information, as specified, that is to be included in a record of a hearing in a contested case.
  2. Provides that the record will be certified by the hearing officer or the Director of Administrative Hearings upon any complaint for administrative review, and that the Department will prepare an index of the record, with each page of the record numbered in sequence.
  3. Clarifies that if any portion of Subpart K of Part 176 is be held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, that holding shall not affect the remaining portions.

This final part 6 new law update on the Illinois Notary administrative rules covers complaints lodged against Notaries and the administrative judicative process. Most states have provisions similar to these new Illinois rules in their Notary rules or state administrative law statutes. May of the provisions were only summarized. Readers who want to read the detailed provisions may read the specific sections noted above in the “Affects” section.

Read the adopted administrative rules (see page 8656).

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