Illinois Notary Public Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $45 for a four-year term
- Bond Amount: $10,000
- Who Needs it: All notaries public operating in Illinois
- Purpose: To ensure the public receives compensation for financial harm if the notary fails to properly perform their duties
- Who Regulates Notaries Public in Illinois: The Illinois Secretary of State
Illinois Statute 2-101 requires all notaries operating in the state to be commissioned by the Secretary of State before providing notarial services. The Illinois legislature enacted this requirement to ensure that notaries engage in ethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the appointment requirement, notaries public must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond to be eligible for a commission.
What is the Purpose of the Illinois Notary Public Bond?
Illinois requires notaries public to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a commission. The bond protects the public from financial harm if the notary fails to comply with the regulations outlined in Illinois Statute 2-105. Specifically, the bond protects the public if the notary signs any documents for persons committing fraud or does not actually witness the signatures on documents being notarized. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the notary violates the terms of their commission.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain an Illinois Notary Public Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining an Illinois Notary Public bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “Notary” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Gain access now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone at (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
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Is a Credit Check Required for the Illinois Notary Public Bond?
No, a credit check is not required for the Illinois Notary Public bond. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same low rate is offered to all notaries in the state regardless of their credit history.
How Much Does the Illinois Notary Public Bond Cost?
The Illinois Notary Public bond costs just $45 for a four-year term. BondExchange also offers monthly pay-as-you-go options for these bonds.
Who is Required to Purchase the Illinois Notary Bond?
Illinois requires notaries to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining their commission. To paraphrase Illinois Statute 6-101, a notary public is a public official authorized to provide the following services:
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Take verifications upon oaths and affirmations
- Witness or attest to signatures
Electronic notarizations and/or remote notarizations are not allowed in Illinois.
BondExchange now offers monthly pay-as-you-go subscriptions for surety bonds. Your customers are able to purchase their bonds on a monthly basis and cancel them anytime. Learn more here.
How Do Notaries Apply for a Commission in Illinois?
Notaries public in Illinois must navigate several steps to obtain a commission. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the Illinois Secretary of State’s website or the Notary Public Handbook for details on the process.
Commission Term: All Illinois Notary Public Commissions are valid for four years from the date of issuance.
Step 1 – Meet the Qualifications
To be eligible to apply for a notary public commission, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
- Be able to read and write English
- Have not been convicted of a felony
- Have not had a notary commission revoked in the last 10 years
- One of the following:
- Be a resident of Illinois for at least 30 days
- Be employed in the state and reside in Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana or Wisconsin for at least 30 days
Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Notaries public must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond.
Step 3 – Complete the Application
Notaries public must submit a completed application to the Secretary of State Index Department at the following address:
111 East Monroe
Springfield, IL 62756
Out-of-state applicants will need to submit a different application form that can be found here. Notaries must complete the application in its entirety, get it notarized, and submit the following items:
- Surety bond
- Oath of office
- $15 application fee
- Legible photocopy of driver’s license or state ID
Notaries must take their oath of office with an active notary public. The Secretary of State will forward the notary’s commission to the clerk of the county in which the notary resides or works upon approval.
Step 4 – File with the County Clerk
After the application is approved, the county clerk will notify the notary to appear in person or request the commission through mail. Notaries must pay a filing fee, record their commission certificate with the county clerk, and obtain their notarial seal before providing any notarial services.
How Do Illinois Notaries Public Renew Their Commissions?
Notaries must apply for a new commission before their existing one expires, as there is no specific renewal process. Notaries are encouraged to renew their commissions at least six months before the expiration date to avoid a lapse in commissions. The Secretary of State will also send a renewal notice approximately 60 days before the current commission expires. All Illinois Notary Public Commissions are valid for four years from the date of issuance.
What are the Insurance Requirements for Notaries Public in Illinois?
Illinois does not require notaries to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a commission. Notaries public must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond.
How Do Illinois Notaries File Their Bonds?
Notaries publics should file their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, with the Secretary of State’s Index Department at the following address:
111 East Monroe
Springfield, IL 62756
The bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the applicant. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
What Can Illinois Notaries Do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims on their bonds, notaries public in Illinois must adhere to all state regulations, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
- Do not leave any notary supplies (seal and journal) in a place where they can be easily stolen
- Do not perform notary services for entities/individuals who are engaged in acts of fraud
- Ensure that the signers of documents are who they say they are and are not misrepresenting themselves
- Witness the signatures of all documents being notarized
- Record all transactions in a notary journal
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Notaries in Illinois?
BondExchange offers free notary E&O insurance with the surety bond purchase for notaries in Illinois. Unlike a surety bond, E&O insurance protects the notary rather than the public.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Illinois Notary Customers?
Illinois conveniently provides a public database of commissioned notaries operating in the state. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.
What Other States Require Notary Bonds?
29 states and the District of Columbia require notaries to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a commission. Insurance agents should utilize our Main Notary Bond Page for a detailed analysis of the Notary Bond requirements nationwide.