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How to Become a Remote Online Notary in Illinois

Starting on January 1, 2022, Illinois Notaries may apply to perform remote online notarization (RON). Find out how you can become an IL remote Notary below:

  1. Hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public.
  2. Contract with a RON provider that meets state requirements.
  3. Complete the state-required training and pass the exam.
  4. Register with the Secretary of State and include the device you'll be using to perform RONs.

In This Guide: Illinois RON Requirements | About RON in Illinois | Additional FAQs

Requirements to be a Remote Notary in Illinois

Before you can apply to perform remote notarizations, you must first meet Illinois' requirement of holding a traditional Notary Public commission. Notaries must be a citizen of or lawful permanent resident in the U.S.; be a resident of the state of Illinois, or employed in the state and reside in a qualifying border state, for 30 days; provide your date of birth; and be proficient in English.

Applicants must not be convicted of a felony nor have had a previous Notary commission revoked or suspended in the last 10 years.

Does Illinois require training or an exam to work as an online Notary?

Yes, Illinois requires Notaries to complete a course on electronic notarization and pass an exam.

What tools and technology do I need to perform online notarizations?

Remote online Notaries must have a computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet connection. They must contract with a RON technology provider that meets state requirements. The Illinois Secretary of State does not endorse any third-party vendors, but the following do meet state requirements: DocVerify, eNotaryLog, Nexsys Technologies, Pavaso and SIGNiX.

You'll also need to buy your electronic seal, electronic journal and digital certificate containing your electronic signature. All of these items must be compliant with your chosen RON vendor.

Do I need a second surety bond?

Yes, remote Notaries must buy a $25,000 bond to perform notarizations involving digital documents. This bond amount is in addition to the $5,000 bond required to perform traditional notarial acts. A single bond totaling $30,000 to cover both types of notarizations may suffice.

Is an errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy required?

An E&O insurance policy is not required but is strongly recommended. This type of policy protects you as the Notary when unintentional mistakes occur during a notarization. Being insured can save you from costly legal fees.

About Remote Online Notarization (RON) in Illinois

Remote notarizations may involve paper or digital documents. Keep reading to learn more.

Does Illinois allow remote online notarization?

Yes, Senate Bill 2664 was enacted and takes effect on January 1, 2022. Under the new law, Illinois Notaries can notarize for signers in any location, but the Notaries themselves must be physically present within the state at the time of the act.

How do remote online notarizations work in Illinois?

In Illinois, remote online notarizations involve digital documents and electronic signatures. The signer logs onto a RON platform and must prove their identity by remote presentation of an ID, credential analysis and dynamic knowledge-based authentication (KBA) assessment. Alternatively, the Notary may use personal knowledge to verify the signer's identity.

The Notary asks the signer if they understand and are willing to sign the document. Then, the Notary checks the document for blanks, completes the notarial wording, attaches an electronic stamp and attaches a digital certificate containing their electronic signature.

The notarization is complete when the Notary records a journal entry and saves an audio-video recording of the transaction.

Which notarial acts can be performed remotely in Illinois?

IL Notaries can perform the following notarizations online:

  • Taking an acknowledgment
  • Administering an oath or affirmation
  • Executing a jurat
  • Certifying a copy of a document

How long do remote notarizations take vs. traditional notarizations?

Remote notarizations involving digital documents take far less time than traditional notarizations involving paper documents. The entire session from the signer logging onto a RON platform to when the Notary attaches their digital certificate can take only a few minutes.

What's the difference between electronic notarizations vs. remote online notarizations?

Electronic notarizations involve electronic documents and digital signatures and can be notarized either in person or remotely. Remote online notarizations involve electronic documents and digital signatures as well but are exclusively performed remotely via a dedicated RON platform.

Additional RON FAQs

Still have questions about RON in the Prairie State? We've got you covered.

How much does it cost to become an IL remote online Notary?

Becoming a remote Notary in Illinois can cost below $100 up to a couple of hundred dollars, depending on the companies you choose to work with among other factors. The cost of an electronic Notary Public commission is $25, which takes effect on July 1, 2022. You'll also need to pay any sign-up fees to get started with a RON technology provider as well as the cost of your digital Notary supplies like your eSeal and digital certificate.

If you have a surety bond and/or recommended E&O policy, the cost to maintain those policies will also add to your initial costs. A computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet access are additional expenses if you don't already have these items.

How much can IL remote Notaries charge for their services?

The Secretary of State sets $25 as the maximum fee per remote online notarization.

How long does it take to become a remote Notary in Illinois?

It can take between eight to 10 weeks to become a remote online Notary in Illinois with the majority of that time spent on getting your traditional Notary Public commission. The process is relatively quick once your commission is active.

You'll spend one day choosing and getting set up with a RON technology provider, up to a week taking the state-required training and passing the exam, and one day registering with the SOS.

How long will my remote Notary authorization last?

Your authorization to perform remote notarizations runs concurrently with your traditional Notary Public commission. After the term of your commission ends, you'll need to renew it before performing remote notarial acts again.

Will RON services grow my IL Notary business?

Yes, providing remote online notarizations can only boost your business. You have access to signers in all locations, and with the added bonus of not having to commute, you can perform more notarizations in a shorter amount of time.

If you're interested in taking your business further, consider becoming a Notary Signing Agent (NSA). Getting NSA certified demonstrates you've been trained in complex signings and have passed a current background screening, making you eligible for more jobs.

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