How To Renew an Illinois Notary Commission
Unfortunately, the Illinois Secretary of State doesn't make notary commission renewal a hands-off experience. Your commission doesn't automatically renew and there's no grace period if it expires. Plus, in July 2022, they just raised the application and renewal fee from $10 to $15.
That said, when you need to renew your Illinois notary commission, they'll at least send you an expiration notification 60 days before your current commission is set to expire (if the correct address is on file).
But because there's no grace period, you can't let your commission expire by even a day if you want to keep working as a notary. That means that whether you get that notification or not, you want to start the renewal process at least two months before the expiration date to account for possibly long application processing time.
To help you navigate this process, we laid out the six steps to renew a notary commission with the Illinois Secretary of State.
#1: Complete your Illinois notary renewal form
First up, it's time for some paperwork. Fortunately, you can start this process online to make it easier. In fact, the state often rejects applications because of hard-to-read handwriting, so we recommend doing it online.
Start your renewal form here. Be ready to fill out:
- Your name
- Your county of residence
- Your home and business address
- Your driver's license or state ID card number
- Your phone number
- Your email
- An attestation that:
- You've lived in Illinois for at least 30 days
- You're a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent alien
- You can read and write English
- You're at least 18
- You haven't had a notary public commission revoked or suspended in the last decade
- You haven't been convicted of a felony
#2: Secure your $5,000 bond
All Illinois notaries public need a $5,000 bond. Essentially, if any issues come up because of anything you've notarized, the affected parties can make a claim against this bond. It's like insurance for the public that you serve.
Since it's a state requirement, we include the bond in your online renewal package! Once you get your bond, you once again need to get it notarized by an Illinois notary in good standing.
You need to get your bond from a surety company doing business inside Illinois. Fortunately, when you purchase your commission renewal package with Notaries.com, we include your bond. This eliminates steps and hassle to make your renewal as easy as possible.
Once you've completed the renewal form, you'll be able to print your application. Sign the bond at the bottom of your application and make sure your home address matches the address on your driver's license.
#3: Take your notarial oath
As you might recall from your first or successive commissions, all Illinois notaries must take an oath. Bring the application you just printed to a current Illinois notary. In their presence, take this oath and sign that notarial oath portion of your application:
“I, (your name here), solemnly affirm, under the penalty of perjury, that the answers to all questions in this application are true, complete, and correct; that I have carefully read the notary law of this State; and that, if appointed and commissioned as a notary public, I will perform faithfully, to the best of my ability, all notarial acts in accordance with the law.”
Have that notary sign their name on the application exactly as it appears on their seal, then stamp your application with their seal. Make sure you can clearly read both their signature and the stamp.
#4: Submit your completed application
At this point, your renewal application and bond should be signed, and you should have a notary seal on the whole thing.
Once all of that is done, mail the original application, along with a photocopy of your valid Illinois driver's license or state ID card, to us:
Notaries.com (formerly Huckleberry Notary Bonding, Inc)
225 E Robinson St #570
Orlando, FL 32801
From there, we'll submit your application to the state on your behalf, including paying the filing fee. This kicks off a waiting process that can take up to 12 weeks as the Secretary of State reviews your application, appoints you as a notary public, and notifies your county clerk. Once all of that is done, keep an eye out for a letter from your county clerk.
#5: Register your signature with the county and get your updated commission certificate
The letter you get from your county clerk gives you two options for getting your signature registered so you can get your notary commission finalized. You can do this in person at the county clerk's office for $5. In that case, you should get your commission from your county clerk once they get your signature.
Alternatively, you can do all of this by mail. You make a request to your county clerk and pay a $10 fee this way. They then mail you your commission.
Note that you can't drag your heels here. The state and county open a 30-day window to get your signature registered. If you take too long, they can cancel your renewal application. You won't get anything refunded, including filing fees and the cost of your bond. So, once you get the letter from the county clerk, either set up an appointment or make your request to register your signature by mail right away.
#6: Gather your notary supplies
These are are some important things you need as a notary:
Of course, you can't notarize anything without your official seal. This rubber stamp needs to have your commission information on it, which means we can't create it until you get that.
Once you get your notary commission certificate, email us a copy so we can make your stamp. It will include all the state-required components, like:
- The words “Official Seal,” “Notary Public,” and “State of Illinois”
- Your name
- Your commission's expiration date
- The serrated or milled border around the properly sized rectangular shape
Note that neither your county nor the Secretary of State notifies us that you've registered your signature. So the only way to start the creation of your seal is to email us a scanned version of your commission certificate.
Technically, state law doesn't require you to keep a logbook or journal. But keeping a record of what you do protects against potential lawsuits. So, it's advisable to have a journal where you can record what you notarize.
While there's no state requirement for you to get insurance, remember that your bond only protects other people, not you. That means that if there's an issue — say you don't properly identify the person or you forget to administer an oath of affirmation — and someone comes after you, you don't have protection without insurance. Fortunately, the type of coverage notaries need — errors and omissions (E&O) insurance — is affordable and easy to get.
Frequently Asked Commission Renewal Questions
How often does a notary have to renew in Illinois?
Your commission requires renewal every four years.
How much does it cost to renew a notary commission in IL?
The Secretary of State charges a $15 fee and you'll need to pay between $5 and $10 to your county clerk. From there, you also need to pay for your bond, your seal, and other essentials.
Fortunately, you can bundle a lot of those costs together when you renew with Notaries.com. All told, you're looking at around $70.
Can I renew online as an Illinois notary?
You can start the process online, although some of it needs to be handled via mail.
What are the surety bond requirements in IL?
All notaries public throughout the state need to have a bond of $5,000.
How much E&O insurance does a notary need in Illinois?
You're not legally required to have coverage, but most notaries benefit from having at least $10,000 of E&O insurance in place.
What is a notary commission expiration?
This is the date your commission expires, which is marked on your seal. Your commission technically expires at midnight of that day.
That date isn't the point at which you should start renewal because it takes a while. Remember, it can take up to 12 weeks for the state to process your application, reissue your appointment, and notify your county. So don't wait until the last minute or you could be left with an expired commission before your new one comes.
Can I renew my IL notary after it expires?
Yes, but you can't continue working past your expiration date. There's no grace period, so if you hit the expiration date without completing your renewal, you must cease all notary work until you get your new commission.
How early can I renew my notary in IL?
The state opens renewal windows six months before expiration. If you try to renew before that, they generally won't accept your application.