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What State Laws Apply To An Out-Of-State Notary Commission?

NNA Hotline Tip logo

I am commissioned as a Notary in Wisconsin, where I work, but I live in the state of Illinois. Which state’s Notary laws do I need to follow when I notarize documents, since I only notarize when I am at work? — M. K., Racine, WI

You would need to follow the laws, rules and regulations for the state of Wisconsin since that’s where you would be performing notarizations and is the state which issued your commission.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. – The Editors

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call (888) 876-0827, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

Related Articles:

FAQ: Can I Notarize Documents In Other States or Countries?

Handling Requests To Notarize Out-Of-State Documents


View All: Hotline Tips


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02 Apr 2015

per the question asked - can a person be notarized in two states?

National Notary Association

02 Apr 2015

Hello Alicia. The answer varies depending on the state. Some jurisdictions allow out-of-state residents to apply for Notary commissions. Often the applicant must work or have a place of business in the state issuing the Notary commission in order to apply. However, other states only issue commissions to residents.


17 Feb 2021

if I live in Indiana but work in Illinois, can I notarize in both states? Can I get separate commissions, one for each state?

National Notary Association

25 Feb 2021

Hello. Yes, you may apply for commissions in both Illinois and Indiana provided you meet all requirements for both states. Residents of states bordering Illinois may be commissioned as Illinois Notaries for a one-year term if they have had a place of work or business in the state for at least 30 days preceding their application, but only if the laws of the bordering state in which they reside permit Illinois residents to become Notaries in that state (5 ILCS 312/2-101). Indiana offers such reciprocation. Nonresident applicants to become Illinois Notaries must use a special nonresident application, and the Notary bond submitted with the application must be for one year, coinciding with the nonresident’s one-year term of office. Nonresidents granted an Illinois commission are commissioned in the Illinois county in which they are employed.


08 Mar 2022

I am currently employed and reside in Cook County, Illinois. I may be moving to Indiana in the near future. Would I still be able to maintain my Illinois commission to notarize documents for my Illinois employer?

National Notary Association

11 Mar 2022

Hello. “When any notary public legally changes his or her name or moves from the county in which he or she was commissioned or, if the notary public is a resident of a state bordering Illinois, no longer maintains a principal place of work or principal place of business in the same county in Illinois in which he or she was commissioned, the commission ceases to be in effect and should be returned to the Secretary of State. These individuals who desire to again become a notary public must file a new application, bond, and oath with the Secretary of State” (5 ILCS 312/4-101).


14 Jun 2023

I am commissioned in IL. but I’m close to IN., what do I have to do to be able to notarize documents in IN. as well?

National Notary Association

14 Jun 2023

Hello. You would need to apply for an Indiana Notary commission. For more information, please see here:


20 Nov 2023

I am in the military and stationed at Greatlakes Navy Base for 3 years now. I am a resident of Texas, but I want to become a notary in Illinois. Do I need to give up my Texas residency to be a commission notary in IL? Thanks for your time. Trish

National Notary Association

30 Nov 2023

Hello. An applicant for appointment as an Illinois Notary must (5 ILCS 312/2-102[d] through [i]): (a) Be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident; (b) Be an Illinois resident for at least 30 days or a resident of a qualifying bordering state who has been employed in Illinois for at least 30 days; (c) Provide his or her date of birth; (d) Be able to read and write English; (e) Have not been convicted of a felony; and (f) Have never had a Notary commission revoked or suspended in the past 10 years.

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