Notaries are appointed by the Secretary of State for a term of four years. An applicant for appointment must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence
  • Be a resident of the State of Illinois for at least 30 days
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be able to read and write the English language
  • Have not been convicted of a felony
  • Have not had a notary commission revoked during the past 10 years (Section 2-102)

Application Process

An applicant must complete the application form provided by the Secretary of State, which includes the oath of office. He or she must also obtain from a bonding or surety company a $5,000 notary bond. The application and bond are then forwarded to the Secretary of State along with the $10 filing fee. If the Secretary of State approves the application, a commission will be issued.


The commission will be mailed to the County Clerk of the county in which the applicant resides. The appointment is not complete until the commission is recorded with the County Clerk. The recording with the County Clerk may be done in person or by mail. The County Clerk will notify the applicant of the procedure. (Section 2-106)


When the applicant has recorded his or her appointment with the County Clerk and has received the commission, the appointment is complete. The notary must then obtain an official seal and can perform notarial acts anywhere in the State of Illinois, as long as he or she continues to reside in the county in which he or she was commissioned.


Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, it is not intended as a substitute for the law or for the opinions and decisions of the courts.