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Illinois notaries and Coronavirus Changes

Updated on
May 8, 2020
Article written by
Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty

Normally, getting a document notarized in Illinois means you’ve had your identity confirmed and a document notarized in front of a Notary Public. The notary’s job is to examine your identification, make sure you are who you say you are in reference to the document being notarized, and then stamp your document. There will typically be a fee involved. Most law offices have attorneys who are certified notary publics. 

On March 26, 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Executive Order 2020-14. The order recognizes the need for notaries to assist Illinois residents with their personal and financial affairs. It also points out that in-person meetings are against CDC guidelines. In order to ease this tension, and allow notaries to continue to work, Gov. Pritzker has issued rules for allowing the remote witnessing and notarization of documents.

During the duration of the governor’s disaster proclamation, remote witnessing and notarization via two-way audio-video communication are permissible if:

1. The two-way technology allows for direct, contemporaneous interaction between the signer and the witness;

2. The communication must be recorded and preserved by the signer or its representative for at least three years;

3. The signer and the witness must both attest, in the audio-video communication, that they are located in the state of Illinois;

4. The signer must state out loud which document is being signed;

5. The witness must view each page of the document;

6. The act of signing must be captured sufficiently up close to allow the witness to observe;

7. The signer must send a legible copy of the document via fax or electronic means to the witness no later than a day after the document is signed;

8. The witness must then sign the sent copy as a witness and return it to the signer within 24 hours of receipt; and

9. The witness may sign the original signed document as if it was witnessed in person so long as the witness receives the original document and the electronically witnessed copy within 30 days of the signing date.

Also, nearly all documents, notwithstanding any law to the contrary and absent any express prohibition in the document concerning signing in counterparts, will be allowed to be signed in counterparts by the witnesses and signatory.

Our firm has notaries on staff who can assist you with this vital service. Hopefully, this practice will remain in place once the executive order expires. In the meantime, we can assist clients throughout the state with their document notarization and witnessing needs.

Illinois notaries and Coronavirus Changes
Author

Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty

Kevin O’Flaherty is a graduate of the University of Iowa and Chicago-Kent College of Law. He has experience in litigation, estate planning, bankruptcy, real estate, and comprehensive business representation.

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