Illinois Notaries need to be commissioned and provide Illinois Notary Bonds. Learn how to instantly purchase these license bonds online in minutes. Also, find out more about what they guarantee and what Illinois Notaries should know about claims and Errors and Omissions Insurance.
In Illinois, there are two classes of Notary. These include a Notary and an Electronic Notary. The definition of a Notary, or Notary Public is:
“An individual commissioned to perform notarial acts.”
Notarial Acts are defined by Illinois as:
“An act, whether performed with respect to a tangible or electronic record, that a notary public, a remote notary public, or an electronic notary public may perform under the laws of this State. “Notary act” includes taking an acknowledgment, administering an oath, or affirmation, taking a verification on oath, or affirmation, witnessing or attesting a signature, certifying, or attesting a copy, and noting a protest of a negotiable instrument.”
An Electronic Notary in Illinois is:
“A person commissioned by the Secretary of State to perform electronic notarial acts.”
The state defines an Electronic Notarial Act as:
“An act that an electronic notary public of this State is authorized to perform. The term includes: 1) taking an acknowledgment; 2) administering an oath or affirmation; 3) executing a jurat; 4) certifying a true and correct copy; and 5) performing such other duties as may be prescribed by a specific statute.”
Illinois commissions Resident Notaries for a period of four (4) years.
Illinois may appoint notaries outside the state of Illinois. However, applicants must be a resident of a state that borders Illinois. These non-resident commissions are only for a period of one (1) year. You can learn more about the Illinois non-resident notary requirements here.
Every Illinois Notary needs an Illinois Notary Bond whether they perform standard notary services or electronic notary services. Both resident and non-resident Illinois notaries need notary bonds. The amount of the bond depends on which notarial services are performed.
The amount of an Illinois Notary Bond depends on if an Illinois Notary is doing Notary Acts, Electronic Notary Acts or both. Those Illinois Notaries doing on Notarial Acts are required to post a notary bond in the amount of $5,000.
An Illinois Notary providing services remotely, electronically, or by audio-visual communication must provide an Illinois Notary Bond in the amount of $25,000.
An Illinois Notary that performs both Notarial services in person and via electronic means will need both a $5,000 notary bond and a $25,000 notary bond. These bonds can be combined into a single $30,000 Illinois Notary Bond.
The amount of the Illinois Notary Bond for non-resident agents is the same as the amounts for resident agents. The difference is that these bonds are written for the one-year commission.
An Illinois Notary Bond guarantees that the notary will perform notary acts according to their duties and the rules and laws of the state of Illinois. Should a party suffer harm due to the Notary’s breach of duty or negligence while acting in their capacity as an Illinois Notary, a claim could be made against the bond. According to the state of Illinois, the most common mistakes made by notaries are:
The Illinois notary is the principal on the bond. The notary pays a bond premium to a third party surety bond company and provides them with indemnity. In return, the surety bond company provides a financial guarantee to the State of Illinois (called the obligee) that the notary will uphold their duties and abide by the law. If a claim is made against the bond, the surety bond company will investigate. If they pay the claim, the surety bond company can come back to the notary for reimbursement. Notaries should understand that these bonds are not insurance.
Illinois Notary Bonds are easily obtained online. Illinois Notaries that provide in person, electronic or both services can purchase these bonds online without a credit check.
Illinois Notary Bonds are inexpensive. The $5,000 Illinois Notary Bond usually costs about $20 for resident notaries. This price covers the entire four-year term. Non-resident notaries can expect to pay more. They may pay $25 – $30 for this bond, but it will only cover the one-year term.
Electronic Notaries can expect to pay $50 – $100 for the $25,000 notary bond. This covers the four-year terms. Non-resident electronic notaries can also expect to pay $50 – $100, but this will only cover the 1-year term.
Combination traditional and electronic notaries will pay similar prices to the electronic notary bonds above.
Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance protects a notary from lawsuits that may arise from their negligence or breach of duty. While a notary bond provides some compensation to an injured party, it may not be enough to cover their damages. The party could bring litigation against the notary. Notary E&O insurance can help protect the notary. Often, this insurance provides valuable legal defense coverage. This coverage is also generally very inexpensive. Notaries should take note that many of these Notary E&O policies exclude acts of fraud and malicious acts, however.
Illinois Notary Bonds are required for all notaries performing notarial acts within the state. Fortunately, these notary bonds are inexpensive and can be purchased online in a matter of minutes. Illinois Notaries can view many common questions about surety bonds by visiting our FAQ page. Additionally, notaries may need other Illinois license bonds that can also be purchased online on the Illinois Surety Bond page. Those interested in learning more about Illinois Notary Law or becoming an Illinois Notary Public can find the complete Illinois Notary Public Handbook here.
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