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.