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Answers to questions about Illinois’ ‘Notarial Record’ program

Illinois Seal

The NNA Hotline has received a number of calls recently about a pilot program in Illinois requiring Notaries in the state to complete a “Notarial Record” when notarizing certain Cook County real estate documents. This guide will help Notaries in the Prairie State comply with this unusual requirement.

Why is this program in place?

The pilot program was started to address real property deed fraud in Cook County, Illinois and the requirements are in effect through June 30, 2018.

What does the program require Illinois Notaries to do?

Under the pilot program, when notarizing any document of conveyance transferring title to residential real property located in Cook County, the Notary must complete a special Notarial Record of the act.

This requirement applies to all Illinois Notaries who notarize a document of conveyance transferring title to residential property in Cook County, even if they live or notarize the document elsewhere in the state. Notaries are not required to create a Notarial Record for a document of conveyance transferring title to residential real property in any other Illinois county or for any other type of notarization.

What is a “Document of Conveyance” and how do I spot one?

A “Document of Conveyance” is a written instrument that transfers or purports to transfer title effecting a change of ownership to Residential Real Property. Most warranty and quitclaim deeds are included, but the law specifically exempts the following types of deeds:

  • Court-ordered conveyances
  • Judicial sale deeds
  • Deeds transferring ownership to a trust where the beneficiary is also the grantor
  • Deeds from grantors to themselves that are intended to change the type of tenancy by which they own the property
  • Deeds from a grantor to the grantor and another natural person intended to establish a tenancy by which the grantor and other person own the property
  • Deeds in lieu of foreclosure, and
  • Deeds transferring ownership to a revocable or irrevocable grantor trust where the beneficiary includes the grantor.

Is a “Notarial Record” the same as a standard journal entry?

No. A “Notarial Record” in Illinois is different from a standard journal entry in one important respect. Whereas an Illinois Notary retains possession of the journal, the Notary must file the Notarial Record in one of two places.

  • If the Notary is working for or acting as an agent for a title insurance company or agent, a financial institution or attorney, the Notary files the Notarial Record with the Notary’s employer or principal.
  • Otherwise, the Notary must deliver the Notarial Record to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

What information must be included in the “Notarial Record”?

1. The date of the notarial act

2. The title, type or a description of the document of conveyance

3. The property index number (PIN) used to identify the property

4. The street address of the property that is the subject of the document of conveyance

5. The signature, printed name and residential street address of each signer

6. A description of the satisfactory evidence reviewed by the Notary to verify the identity of each signer.

7. The signer’s right thumbprint, or, if unavailable, the print of one of the signer’s other fingers and a note which finger was used. If a signer cannot provide a print, an explanation of the physical condition preventing giving a print must be included in the record.

8. A certification by the signer which states, “The undersigned grantor hereby certifies that the real property identified in this Notarial Record is Residential Real Property as defined in the Illinois Notary Public Act”.

9. The fee charged for the notarial act.

10. The Notary’s home or business phone number, residence street address, commission expiration date, correct legal name of the Notary’s employer or principal, and the business street address of the Notary’s employer or principal.

What can I charge for notarizing a conveyance document that falls under the Cook County pilot program?

An Illinois Notary may charge up to $25 for any notarial act under the pilot program.

NNA members with additional questions about the Cook County pilot program can contact the NNA Hotline for assistance.

David Thun is the Assistant Managing Editor with the National Notary Association.


Add your comment

L. A. Rust

26 Jan 2015

If a document of conveyance for residential property located in Cook County, Illinois, is executed in California and notarized by a California commissioned Notary Public, is the California Notary Public required to complete the Cook County Notarial Record?

National Notary Association

30 Jan 2015

Hello, No, the Cook County Notarial Record is only required for Notaries commissioned in Illinois.


09 Feb 2015

My state (IL), NOT my commissioned county (Champaign County), but IL starts things in the Chicago area and then they spread throughout the state. I expect that I will be asked to do this same thing locally some time in the near future. This is worth more than $25.00 bc an error on this filing will cost you much more than that.

Sandra Guerrero

17 Mar 2015

IF The property is located in illinois, and you live in CA. This pertains to Notary's in Illinois (Cook County.


15 Mar 2016

Does the same Illinois notary who notarized the conveyance have to notarize the notarial record? Also, it says in the statute that the notary (if not part of a title company etc.) has to deliver it to the Recorder of Deeds office. Can this be via mail or can the grantee take it when they are recording the deed? Trying to do a quitclaim deed without the use of a real estate attorney or a title company. Thanks!

National Notary Association

15 Mar 2016

Hello. Yes, the same Notary who notarizes the document must make the notarial record. When making the record, the Notary writes down required information about notarizing the conveyance in the record as required by the pilot program--the 'record' itself is not notarized. We suggest contacting the recorder's office to ask if they will accept delivery via mail or in person.


02 Dec 2017

I am trying to get a Warranty Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure notarized for a timeshare in Florida. Is any Illinois notary allowed to sign this document? If not where do I need to go to get this notarized? Thank you.

National Notary Association

04 Dec 2017

Hello. You would need to contact the agency in Florida that will receive the notarized document and ask them if they will accept a notarization performed by an Illinois Notary. Please be aware that if the agency will accept this option, the signer would have to appear before the Notary in person within the borders of Illinois and the notarization must meet all requirements of Illinois state law.


14 Sep 2018

Can I get a Notary in Il if my records is sealed?

National Notary Association

14 Sep 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but we did not understand your question. Could you please clarify what you mean by 'records are sealed?'

Viktoriya Boychuk

05 Jun 2019

Well,is very confusing. I create aTODI.Where I can notarize for a fee$25 my TODI.Please give me the location or may be website.Thanks

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