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Illinoisans can now get documents notarized online

Illinoisans can now get documents notarized online

Secretary of state office continues offering more online services

By ALEX ABBEDUTO  
Capitol News Illinois 
abbeduto@capitolnewsillinois.com 

Illinoisans who need a notary public can now access those services online through a new “E-Notary” portal launched by the secretary of state’s office.

This process is one of the latest initiatives of Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias’ ongoing effort to modernize the office and its services. 

Notaries are state-appointed officials who administer oaths, certify documents and act as witnesses to document singings for things like affidavits and bills of sale.  Until now, notary services could be performed remotely so long as the parties involved were in Illinois and the notary physically signed and sealed the notarized document. 

Now, the process can occur fully online through one of 12 notarization service providers listed on the Illinois secretary of state’s website, ilsos.gov. All parties can now participate remotely and notaries are allowed to use electronic signatures and seals. Individuals using e-notary services must have a valid ID and access to a device supporting audio-video communication. 

The office is also in the process of moving other functions online, including by creating an electronic lien and title system allowing drivers to manage vehicle titles online instead of through the mail. That system is slated for rollout this summer, according to a “modernization report” published by the secretary of state’s office last week.

Illinoisans can already file incorporation and court of claims documents, access business service and lobbyist databases, search for jobs and locate archived records through the office’s updated website.


Alexi Giannoulias

Alexi Giannoulias announces updates to his “Skip-the-Line” program in July 2023. That program moved driver services to either an appointment-based system or online. (Capitol News Illinois phot by Andrew Adams)


The office rolled out “Skip-the-Line” and “Do-it-Online” initiatives last year in an effort to unclog DMV services by extending facility hours and online services and allowing Illinoisans to schedule appointments online. 

Read more: State driver services facilities to require appointments in more than 40 locations | As online DMV services plagued by no-shows, secretary of state launches changes

More than 1.5 million appointments have been scheduled since the “Skip-the-Line” initiative was rolled out last fall, according to the office’s modernization report.

In January, Giannoulias said up to 40 percent of the appointments made through the “Skip-the-Line” program were missed. A secretary of state spokesperson said the no-show rate is now down to 17 percent. The office attributed the decrease to a new text message notification system that lets Illinoisans cancel or reschedule their appointments if needed. 

“While the no-show rate is still higher than we would prefer, we are hopeful that as customers adapt to the new system the number will continue to decrease,” spokesperson Erin Henkel said in a statement.

The state has also opened four senior-only facilities in Bridgeview, Calumet Park, Evanston and Westchester. 

The office is also going to start rolling out kiosks that would allow Illinoisans to renew their licenses, IDs and vehicle registrations at various community institutions, like libraries and grocery stores. 

Giannoulias said they will start with 10 locations – including one on the second floor of the state Capitol – and “hopefully” expand to 150 within a year. 

The report also indicates the office is cross-training over 2,000 DMV staff on all offered services to minimize the number of different people a customer might need to speak to during a visit.

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of print and broadcast outlets statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

 

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Alex Abbeduto

Alex AbbedutoAlex Abbeduto

Alex Abbeduto is a University of Illinois Public Affairs Reporting program intern for Capitol News Illinois for 2024.

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Full biography

Alex Abbeduto is a University of Illinois Public Affairs Reporting program intern for Capitol News Illinois for 2024. Each year, CNI takes at least one intern from the program, working with them to supplement our state government coverage as they earn a master’s degree from UIS.

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