SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Secretary of State’s Office announced that Illinoisans will now be able to notarize documents electronically, rather than in-person.

The “E-Notary” system will allow both customers and notaries to quickly notarize and electronically sign documents from the comfort of their home or office. People can also attach both the notarial certificate and notary seal to a document.

Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias said the change is part of an ongoing effort to modernize his office’s procedures.

“Enabling commissioned notaries to work virtually makes the process faster and more secure for individuals and businesses alike,” he said.

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Three years ago, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to allow electronic notarization. Now, Illinois joins 47 other states that allow E-Notaries.

The state had previously allowed remote notarization so long as the notaries, signers, and witnesses were all located in Illinois. Someone could also sign the document remotely via video conferencing, though the notary had to physically sign the document and apply the notary seal in ink. All of these steps under E-Notary can be applied electronically, and the notary is now the only party that must be located in Illinois.

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The notary will require that customers have a device that allows video conferencing and a valid form of identification. They will also ensure completion of the provided document and verify that the name on it matches the customer’s ID.

The notary will then confirm the identity of the customer by examining their ID. Lastly, the customer will provide an electronic signature, and the Notary Public will complete the notarial certificate and affix their seal.

Service fees vary by provider. However, it must be no more than $5 for any notarial act and $25 for any electronic notarial act. All Notaries Public must provide receipts and keep records of the fees they charge.

Customers can visit ilsos.gov/notarysearch to find a notary who offers electronic notarization.