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Illinois residents can now easily access electronic notary services

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Subscribers were told earlier today about this change. Press release…

Illinois residents will no longer need to have documents notarized in person under a new Electronic Notary system administered by Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias’ office.

Electronic Notarization, or “E-Notary,” will radically change the way people use notary services, Giannoulias predicted. Without leaving the home or office, an individual or business can have their documents notarized and signed electronically within minutes.

“In keeping with our ongoing effort to modernize the Secretary of State’s office, E-Notary serves as a game-changer for Illinoisans by now providing a convenient way to notarize documents without leaving their home or office,” Giannoulias said. “Enabling certified notaries to work virtually makes the process faster and more secure for individuals and
businesses alike.”

E-Notary allows both the customer and notary to sign with an electronic signature and to electronically attach both the notarial certificate and notary seal to a document. In 2021, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to allow the Secretary of State to implement electronic notarization.

Upon taking office last year, Giannoulias made it a priority to gain state approval of administrative rules, create a new application reflecting the E-Notary requirements, review and approve E-Notary technology platform providers, and train staff to process the new E-Notary applications.

Illinois now joins 47 other states that allow electronic notaries to operate. Although, Illinois had allowed remote online notarization, it required all parties (the notaries, signers and witnesses) to be located in Illinois. With Electronic Notarization, only the notary is required to be present in Illinois. The other parties may be located outside the state.

Additionally, while someone could sign the document remotely by audio-video communication with remote online notarization, the notary had to sign the notarized paper document and apply the notary seal in ink. With E-Notary, the document, signing and seal are all electronically applied, dramatically reducing the time it takes to notarize a document.

To find a notary who offers electronic notarization, customers can visit ilsos.gov/notarysearch. Customers will need a computer, phone or other device that supports audio-video communication and a valid form of identification to complete the notarization electronically.

When getting a document notarized, the Notary Public or Electronic Notary will:

    • Require the customer to personally appear before them via an audio-video
    communication platform during the notarization.
    • Check over the document to ensure it is complete and verify the name on the
    document matches the customer’s ID.
    • Confirm the identity of the customer by examining their ID.
    • Once steps 1 through 3 are done, the customer will be permitted to sign the
    document electronically.
    • The Notary Public will then complete the notarial certificate and affix their seal.

The office has already received over 200 applications from existing Notaries Public applying to be E-Notaries.

Fees for services vary by provider but are capped by state law at $5 for any notarial act and $25 for any electronic notarial act. All Notaries Public are required to provide receipts and keep records of the fees they charged for services provided.

Thoughts?

       

17 Comments
  1. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 10:04 am:

    Kudos.

    The end of in-person banking has made getting documents notarized in person a particular hassle, especially for working families and people with mobility issues.

    People can make purchases online for thousands of dollars, and Amazon or Home Depot know it is you. Government needs to keep up with the private sector and the tech when it comes to customer service.

    I’d just like to see the electronic notary fee reduced to something more reasonable, like $10.


  2. - cover - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 10:09 am:

    Hopefully Secretary Giannoulias and his staff reviewed the processes used by the other states to inform their implementation of e-notary in Illinois. Sometimes being late to the game can be useful.


  3. - West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 10:22 am:

    E-Notary, DMV. What’s with this guy and his letters?


  4. - that’s bettor - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 10:28 am:

    That’ll help during petition season for non-partisan candidates that don’t normally have access to a notary paid for by the party apparatus. Could get pricey for them though.


  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 10:44 am:

    ===What’s with this guy===

    Look, if you prefer living with 1st Century technology, fine. But, c’mon.


  6. - ElTacoBandito - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 10:58 am:

    No wet ink notarizations? How will we prevent fraud going forward? /s

    Long time coming.


  7. - West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 11:24 am:

    Rich - No problem with technology, just his use of letters, including the much discussed DMV. And if he was in the 1st Century he’d probably call the Currus Adnotatione Department (Chariot Registration Department) as CAD. (Tough get that through automiscorrect.)


  8. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 11:27 am:

    Best part is f being a Notary used to be that big heavy seal you got to squeeze onto the document. Then they want to a cheap stamp and now electronic? All down hill. Now I have to go yell at some kids and get them off my yard


  9. - West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 11:29 am:

    “Tough to get” Guess I shouldn’t have insulted automiscorrect.


  10. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 11:38 am:

    Be careful using data to prove your point: One of the reasons seniors have the lowest rate of crashes is because we test them all before they can drive. If we eliminate the test the data may show something different.

    Can we test this in one region or something?


  11. - RNUG - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 11:43 am:

    Couple of observations.

    1) My local bank still does in person notary services free for account holders. Just used them last week for a State Treasurers form that required it; simple walk in, sign, stamp, walk out.

    2) Over the past 4 years or so I’ve used e signature platforms for multiple different real estate transactions. Plus multiple tax return filings. No problems; everybody accepted that. With the safeguards this has, it appears more secure that all those transactions.

    I will note that the State Treasurer’s Office allowed an e signature for small amounts, but they wanted real paper for any claims over $5,000.


  12. - JoanP - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 11:47 am:

    Seems reasonable to me.


  13. - The Magnificent Purple Walnut - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:02 pm:

    Our local library also offers free notary services. As mentioned by Thomas Paine, the ability to use this online is a major help for people with disabilities and those that assist them. Long overdue.


  14. - thisjustinagain - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:10 pm:

    Well, it is 2023 and all. So as long as no huge notorial fraud happens, why not? For those that prefer or need a “wet ink” notarization, some municipalities offer it to residents, as do some libraries, banks, credit unions, currency exchanges, etc.


  15. - snowman61 - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 1:18 pm:

    This is great and I hope the IT behind it is up to date. I just recently had the experience of doing a title and registration change on line due to the death of my spouse. I thought I did it right until I showed up at the Sec of State office. Did it all wrong, had the wrong amount owed and had to redo the paper work. The clerk, who by the way was great, said the system needs to be upgraded as she routinely has to redo the on line documents as on line. Did save me money as I originally had to owe $318 but instead only paid $169. Now, what would have happen if I mailed the forms in with payment as that was an option instead of going to the sec of State office? The state needs to invest in the IT as this is also what I heard when dealing with TRS and IMRF.


  16. - Give Us Barabbas - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 2:16 pm:

    I get my notarization done at the UPS store or kinko/fedex, it’s easy.


  17. - ??? - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 3:56 pm:

    I tried searching for a notary public using the link in the post, but it didn’t work. I think this is the link: https://apps.ilsos.gov/notarysearch/


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