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Notary Bulletin

2022 brings new requirements, RON for Illinois Notaries

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Starting January 1, 2022, Notaries in Illinois will be required to keep a journal, may register to perform RONs and more. Below, we dive into the changes affecting Notaries under Senate Bill 2664 plus the notarial fee increase coming July 2022.

Commission qualifications

Minor tweaks to the qualifications have been made, and now applicants must "be proficient in English" and not have had a "prior commission revocation or suspension due to a finding or decision by the Secretary of State."

Required journal and itemized receipts

Once a best practice turned requirement, a journal is now required of Illinois Notaries regardless if fees are charged. More than one journal may be used, and a journal can be paper or electronic.

Notaries who charge fees must provide itemized receipts containing the amount charged to signers. Similar to how journals provide a written record of the notarial acts you've performed, itemized receipts serve as important evidence of no wrongdoing should allegations of a prohibited fee be made. The journal you buy may already include receipts, but if not a receipt book is an easy way to keep your records organized. Fees for notarial acts must be listed separately from any other charges.

Remote notarization

Illinois Notaries may now perform remote notarizations of both paper and electronic documents. If you have an active commission you can perform remote ink-signed notarizations (RIN) of paper documents without registering. Notaries interested in offering remote online Notary services for electronic documents must complete a course of study, pass an exam and buy a $25,000 surety bond. The application for a traditional Notary Public commission and Electronic Notary Public commission is separate, but an applicant may apply for both at the same time.

You can find more information on becoming a remote online Notary in Illinois in this guide.

Bond for remote notarial acts

Current Notaries holding a $5,000 surety bond will need to purchase $25,000 in additional bond amount if they intend to perform remote and online notarizations. A single bond amount totaling $30,000 is acceptable.

Required education

Everyone applying or renewing their traditional Notary Public commission must take an online course and pass an exam as part of the registration process. We will update this article when the Secretary of State adopts rules or provides additional guidance on the education and exam requirements. Until then, please refer to our analysis of SB 2664 for any questions you may have.

Required digital Notary supplies

For remote online notarizations, Notaries must use a digital certificate and electronic seal (eSeal). The eSeal must include the following elements:

  • Notary Public's name
  • Commission number
  • Jurisdiction
  • Commission expiration date

Electronic seals must resemble your traditional Notary seal and be immediately perceptible and reproducible.

Increased notarial fees

Notaries can start charging $5 per paper notarization. Remote Notaries may charge up to $25 per electronic notarization. The SOS will allow a reasonable fee to recover any cost of providing a copy of a journal entry or audio-video recording. Remember to provide signers with an itemized receipt every time you charge a fee.

Coming July 1, 2022

The application fee for a traditional Notary Public commission will increase to $15. Notaries wishing to perform remote online notarizations must pay a separate $25 fee as part of the registration process.

Rachel Fraser is the Content Marketing Specialist at the National Notary Association.

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