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What you need to know about new Illinois Notary training and testing

Illinois flag with 'New Illinois Notary Laws' tag

Beginning January 1, 2024, all applicants for an Illinois Notary or Electronic Notary commission will be required to complete a mandatory training course and pass an exam. The course must be offered by a provider that has satisfied the most rigorous training certification standards of any state to date. Here’s what you need to know about the new training and examination requirements.

Overview of the Illinois Notary course and exam rules

2021 Senate Bill 2664 authorized the Illinois Secretary of State to require Notary Public and Electronic Notary Public commission applicants to take a course of study and pass an examination on notarization and electronic notarization. Earlier this year, the Secretary adopted administrative rules requiring applicants to take a course and pass an exam. The rules also spelled out the requirements for the course and exam and certification of course providers.

Individuals applying for a new or renewed Notary and Electronic Notary commission on or after January 1, 2024, must take a 3-hour course and pass a test. The course may be taken in-person in a classroom or online. The online course can be synchronous (student and instructor are engaged online at the same time) or asynchronous (learner takes a course on demand). The course must be taught by a provider or instructor certified by the Secretary.

Course providers administer the examination at the conclusion of the course. The final exam consists of 50 true/false or multiple-choice questions, or a combination of both. A passing grade is 85%. The exam may be taken 3 times before the student is deemed to have failed the course. While a student is not required to repeat the course after a failing score, they may review the course before retaking each successive exam.

Upon passing the examination, applicants have 2 years from the date of the exam to apply for a commission.

Rigorous requirements for providers of the course and exam

The administrative rules for provider certification prescribe rigorous regulations for the course and examination. Following are some of these rules:

  • Providers must have a procedure for verifying the identity of the student before the course and, if the course is taken online, for the duration of the course. Online course providers must use web video proctoring, screen monitoring, dynamic knowledge-based authentication questions asked at specified intervals, or any method or combination of methods of identity verification that reasonably establishes the identity of the student and the student’s presence during the course.
  • Providers must verify student participation during the course by incorporating a built-in timer that ensures students complete 180 minutes of instructional time and prevents the student from advancing through the course without reading the material.
  • At least 1 course validation question must be asked after each multimedia clip that exceeds 1 minute.
  • Providers must create a bank of 100 examination questions for the final exam.

Course providers also must satisfy stringent requirements to be certified by the Secretary of State. A provider must obtain a $50,000 surety bond for the protection of students’ contractual rights. Contracts between providers and students must comply with the specific requirements outlined in the administrative rules. The provider must provide a toll-free customer service hotline that is answered at a minimum between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. A provider must supply the Secretary of State with a detailed description of each position involved in every facet of the course and examination and provide staffing changes to the Secretary within 5 business days.

There are also strict rules for the protection of students’ consumer information. Providers must prevent unauthorized access to consumer information. Providers are prohibited from disclosing or selling any consumer information or requesting Social Security numbers of students except for the purpose of utilizing a third party to provide dynamic knowledge-based authentication questions during the course.

Commenting on these rigorous provider requirements, Steven Bastian, NNA Vice President of Product Management said, “The Illinois course provider certification requirements are like none other in any state that requires mandatory Notary education.”

Bastian noted the NNA was the first provider approved by the Secretary of State this Fall. “A student who takes the NNA’s Illinois mandatory education course,” Bastian added, “can be assured that the NNA has complied with all certification requirements and that our course satisfies all the requirements of the Illinois rules as well.”

The NNA’s Illinois mandatory education course is available now at

Bill Anderson is Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Notary Association

View All: Laws & Regulations


Add your comment

Susan J. Barucca

27 Nov 2023

How long does an applicant have to wait should he/she fail the exam after 3 tries before taking the class and/or test again? Do they anticipate longer wait times for the issuance and approval of an Illinois Notary Public Application after January 1, 2024, rules go into effect by the Illinois Secretary of State? Do you know approximately when the in-person testing locations will be made available to the public? Thank you very much for your responses to these questions.

National Notary Association

19 Jan 2024

1. If you fail the test 3 times, you will be required to complete the training course before being able to attempt the exam. 2. At this moment, the state takes up to 6 weeks to process and issue the Notary license. We have not received an update on the processing times. 3. No announcement has been made by the state regarding the in-person training. Currently, we are one of three approved on-line vendors.

Tabatha D Mack

27 Nov 2023

Good morning g, To whom it may concern, I just read the article if should a person applying as a New Notary, and/or if re-newing Notary, beginning 1/1/2024, must take either on-line/in-person in order to become considered as a New Notary. My question is should I take this course as a precaution though my IL State Notary expires on August 2025? I can be reached at the email address above. Thank you Tabatha D Mack

National Notary Association

19 Jan 2024

Hello. The training is not required unless you are becoming a remote notary. If you are keeping the traditional notary, the training will be completed when you renew in 2025. At this moment there are online vendors available. We are one of the approved vendors.


30 Nov 2023

I live in Illinois. I have to renew in 2024 can you give me a list of places I can take the class in person and online? Thanks

National Notary Association

21 Dec 2023

The Illinois Secretary of State has approved Notary Study Course providers listed here:

Kerria Snow

02 Jan 2024

I live in illinois, I applied for my notary Commission in August of 23. Illinois held all of the applications until January 1st. I've already paid the National notary Association for my bond and insurance which was the required 30 or 35,000 at the time. Will I be able to upgrade my package so that I satisfy these new requirements? Illinois is a very cheap and crooked state. They're requiring more money, but the license is only 2 years instead of four. Very disappointing.

National Notary Association

05 Jan 2024

Hello. We're sorry you are encountering this difficult situation. Please contact our Customer Care team at or 1-800-876-6827 and one of our representatives can check the status of your package and assist you with your questions.

Michelle Trocki

02 Feb 2024

Where is the exam conducted in person or online?

National Notary Association

29 Feb 2024

Hi Michelle. Currently, the state of Illinois has approved online vendors to provide the training and exam. In-person vendors have not been posted.


15 Feb 2024

My standard notary expires in June 2024. I only need to renew my standard notary. I am not going to apply for remote online notary. What will be required to renew that?

National Notary Association

16 Feb 2024

Hello. Please see here for more information:

Shawn Hamilton

02 Mar 2024

I currently have my notary license but looking to become a RON, is there a study guide for this test ?

National Notary Association

20 Mar 2024

Hi Shawn. Effective January 1, 2024, anyone applying for an Electronic Notary commission in Illinois is required to take a 3-hour Notary Training Course and pass a 50-question Notary Exam. For more detailed information, please read our “What you need to know about new Illinois Notary training and testing” blog post:

08 Mar 2024

Hello, is the 50 multiple-question exam timed?

National Notary Association

20 Mar 2024

Hello. The exam is not timed. You have three attempts to take the exam and must pass with a score of 85% or higher.

Elizabeth Dillon

08 Mar 2024

My commission expires in May of 2024. I have been Notary for at least 10 years. i do not notary electronically, only in person. Do I still need to take the test to renew. Thank you.

National Notary Association

11 Mar 2024

Hello. Please see here for a list of requirements to renew as an Illinois Notary:


16 Mar 2024

Does an attorney who is renewing their notary have to take the course?

National Notary Association

18 Mar 2024

Hello. Yes, For Notary commission renewals in Illinois, the application process is the same (5 ILCS 312/5-101)

20 Mar 2024

Why am I needing to take a test on electronic and RON notary regulations when I am not doing either? Just a standard notary commission renewal yet I have to learn regulations for a task our office will not be performing?

Teresa Vogelsberg

31 Mar 2024

Upon copying the link provided to another question for the list "The Illinois Secretary of State has approved Notary Study Course providers listed here:", I clicked on the link for Notary Public Illinois ( to me to a warning screen "Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead". I find it odd that a website like this has a warning about my security upon clicking forward. Does anyone know anything about this? Thanks in advance.


05 Apr 2024

Who created the questions for the exam?

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