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How to Become a Remote Online Notary in Illinois

After January 1, 2024, Illinois Notaries may apply to perform electronic notarizations. Find out how you can become an IL Electronic Notary below:

  1. Hold a traditional Notary Public commission.
  2. Complete the state-required training and pass the exam.
  3. Contract with state-approved technology system(s).
  4. Take your oath of office.
  5. Buy a $25,000 surety bond.
  6. Submit the application form with your oath, course completion certificate, and copies of your electronic seal and signature.
  7. Follow any other steps required by the Secretary of State.

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

Requirements to be an Electronic 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?

Effective January 1, 2024, anyone applying for an online commission in Illinois is required to take a 3-hour Notary Training Course and pass a 50-question Notary Exam. You'll have three chances to score of 85% or higher. If you miss the mark on your third try, you've failed the final test.

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

Electronic online Notaries need a computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet connection to get started. You'll also need to buy your electronic seal, electronic journal and digital certificate containing your electronic signature. An Electronic Notary seal must look identical to a traditional Notary seal. Your digital certificate must conform to the X.509 standards and be compatible with your chosen vendor.

The Illinois Secretary of State does not endorse and has not formally approved any third-party vendors. The following platforms meet current state requirements: BlueNotary, Clear Sign, DocVerify, eNotaryLog, Pavaso and SIGNiX.

It's important to note that remote notarization is currently allowed using audio-video technology and paper documents. When electronic notarization takes effect January 1, 2024, the technology connecting signers with Notaries must have identity verification components in addition to the real-time audio-video connection.

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 Notarization in Illinois

Remote notarizations involve paper documents in Illinois. Keep reading to learn more.

Does Illinois allow remote notarization?

Yes, Senate Bill 2664 covering electronic and remote notarization along with subsequent rules are enacted. However, the new Electronic Notary commission process and requirements have staggered effective dates.

It's important to note that remote notarization is currently allowed using audio-video technology and paper documents. When electronic notarization takes effect January 1, 2024, the technology connecting signers with Notaries must have identity verification components in addition to the real-time audio-video connection.

How does remote notarization work in Illinois?

In Illinois, remote notarizations are done on paper documents, more commonly known as Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (RIN). The signer logs onto a platform to communicate with a Notary in real-time. The signer can be in any location, but the Notary must be physically present within the State at the time of the act.

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, stamps and signs the certificate. The notarization is complete when the Notary records a journal entry of the transaction.

After January 1, 2024, approved Illinois Electrnic Notaries must use approved audio-visual technology systems that are capable of credential analysis and dynamic knowledge-based authentication (KBA) assessments.

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 take far less time than traditional notarizations involving paper documents. The entire session from meeting the signer to when the Notary signs and seals the document can happen in a matter of minutes.

What's the difference between electronic and remote notarizations?

In Illinois, electronic notarizations involve paper documents and in-person appearance. Remote notarizations involve paper documents and personal appearance online.

Additional RIN FAQs

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

How much does it cost to become an IL Electronic Notary?

Becoming an electronic 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. A computer, webcam, microphone and secure internet access are necessary. You'll need to pay application fees and any sign-up fees to get started with a technology provider. You'll need to buy Notary supplies like your seal and journal. Maintaning your surety bond and recommended E&O policy, adds to your overall costs, too. 

How much can IL remote Notaries charge for their services?

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

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

It will likely take between eight to 10 weeks to become a remote Notary in Illinois with the majority of that time spent on getting your traditional Notary Public commission.

You'll spend one day choosing and getting set up with a RIN 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 RIN services grow my IL Notary business?

Yes, providing remote 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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Last updated: June 22, 2023 

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