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Guidance

IL Guidance on Remote Online Notarization (2020)

Notary Law Update: IL Guidance on Remote Online Notarization (2020)

State: Illinois

Summary:

The Illinois Secretary of State has issued guidance for temporarily performing remote notarial acts under the Illinois Governor's Executive Order 2020-14.

Signed:  March 26, 2020

Effective:  March 26, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

All Illinois Notaries Public.

Changes:
  1. Defines “audio-video communication”, “commissioned”, “communication technology”, “electronic”, “in the presence of” or “appear before”, “law”, “notarial act”, “notary”, “principal”, “remote notarial act”, “remote notarization”, “remote presentation” and “Secretary”.
  2. Directs each Notary to review the Illinois Notary Public Act, 5 ILCS 312, and the Illinois Notary Public Handbook befre performing any remote notarizations and clarifies that the terms of the Act and all requirements and prohibitions in it remain in full force and effect during the emergency. 
  3. Requires both the Notary and the customer to be physically present in Illinois at the time the remote notarization is performed.
  4. Requires the remote notarial act to be done by two-way, real-time audio-video communication that allows for direct interaction between the Notary and the customer.
  5. Requires the audio-video connection to be of quality resolution in order for the Notary to properly examine the identification credentials offered by the customer.
  6. Requires the audio-video communication to be retained by the Notary for a period of not less than three years. 
  7. Requires the customer to show the Notary each and every page of the document the customer is signing and to initial each page, in turn, to ensure that the notarized document is complete.
  8. Allows all transactions performed by remote notarization to be replicated by the Notary if required by any other state law, local or county ordinance, or by the customer, and clarifies that the replicated signature on the original document signed by the customer shall be dated with the date of the remote notarial transaction.
  9. Clarifies that Executive Order 2020-14 does not prohibit Illinois Notaries from utilizing the electronic or remote notarization platforms that meet industry standards and each of the requirements provided by the Governor’s Executive Order.
  10. Clarifies that Notaries all documents notarized during the emergency using a remote notarization platform should be considered acceptable by industries requiring notarizations. 
  11. Clarifies that a Notary is not required to perform a remote notarial transaction, or perform a transaction when the Notary is not satisfied by the identification credentials offered by the customer or has any reason to believe that there is fraud, duress or coercion against the customer. 
  12. Provides that any document remotely notarized during the term of Executive Order 2020-14 shall be deemed valid and treated as if the document had been notarized via an in-person transaction. 
  13. Provides that a paper or tangible copy of an electronic document that a Notary has certified to be a true and correct copy satisfies requirements of law that the signatures and attestations contained in the document are original and authentic.
  14. Clarifies that the Secretary of State retains the authority and jurisdiction to investigate any allegations of notarial misconduct and shall continue to refer any substantiated allegations to the proper law enforcement authorities throughout the State of Illinois.
Analysis:

The Illinois Secretary of State has issued temporary guidance for performing remote notarial acts in Illinois. The guidance follows Governor Pritzker's Executive Order 20-14 that paved the way for it. Both the Notary and signer must be located in Illinois for the remote act and use real-time, audio-video technology to appear before each other. The signer must show the Notary all pages of the document and initial each page. The guidance does not require a Notary to perform a remote act and allows them to use a dedicated remote online notarization platform if they desire.

Read the guidance.

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