The active notaries public in Illinois have been appointed and commissioned by the Index Department. In addition are the controlling authority for specialty notarization, Certificates of Authority, Certificates of Incumbency and Apostilles. The purpose of notarization is to prevent fraud and forgery. The notary acts as an official and unbiased witness to the identity of person who comes before the notary for a specific purpose.
Notaries are appointed by the Secretary of State for a four year term. An applicant for an 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, and have not had a notary commission revoked during the past 10 years.
An applicant must complete the application form provided by the Secretary of State and must obtain a notary bond valued at $5,000 from a bonding or surety company. Once approved the commission will be mailed to the county clerk in which the applicant resides. There it must be recorded before the applicant is officially a notary.
The Secretary of State's office is committed to helping prospective adoptive parents in foreign adoptions. The Index Department, by affixing the official "Great Seal" of the State of Illinois legalizes needed documents for use in other countries.
Types of Documents
- Certificate of Authority — Certifies the Illinois notary public. Certificates of Authority be granted by either the county clerk of the county in which the notary public resides, or the Secretary of State, Index Department.
- Certificate of Incumbency — Certifies any Illinois County Clerk, Circuit Clerk, or Local Registrar. Certificates of Incumbency for public officials are granted by the Secretary of State, Index Department.
- Apostille — Certifies any Illinois notary public, County Clerk, Circuit Clerk, or Local Registrar. An Apostille is a certification that is entitled to direct recognition by members of the 1961 Hague Convention.
For a document to receive these forms of certifications it must be a notarized or certified document. Documents should be certified by the official who has custody of the original document, or by the office where the document was officially filed.
- A written request to:
Department of Index
111 E. Monroe
Springfield, Illinois 62756
- The original document(s) to be certified, which have already been signed by a certified public official.
- The identity of the country to which the document is to be sent.
- A $2.00 fee per document made payable to the Secretary of State.
- A self-addressed stamped envelope.
- You may also submit pre-paid and prepared express mail, priority mail, Federal Express, United Parcel Service, or Airborne Express that the submitted documents may be returned in that manner
- Documents may be forwarded to a third party upon request with an addressed envelope.
- Documents may be submitted in person.