How do I get a document notarized?

A Guide to Getting Legal Documents Notarized in Cook County, Illinois

In Illinois, getting a document notarized means you’ve signed the document in front of a Notary Public, and the notary has confirmed your identity. The notary examines your photo identification, matches it to your face and the name on the document. If all three match, the notary will stamp the document with a notary stamp and sign their name.

How does it work?

  1. Bring the unsigned document and your photo identification to the notary
  2. Sign the document in the notary’s presence
  3. Show the notary your photo identification
  4. Pay the notary fee (usually $1)
  5. The notary signs and stamps your document

Where can I find a Notary Public?

In Cook County, Illinois, most banks, law offices and Currency Exchange stores have notary publics on duty. You should call ahead to confirm when the notary will be  available.

How much does it cost?

Currency Exchanges charge $1 for each signature notarized. Some banks and law firms will do it for free. Call ahead to find out. By law, a notary cannot charge more than $1 to simply notarize each signature.

Notaries can charge more for immigration application and real estate transactions (see section 3-104 of the Illinois Notary Public Act).

What kind of photo identification do I need?

You should bring a government-issued photo identification that contains your signature. The best forms of id are:

  • Illinois Driver’s License
  • Illinois State Identification Card
  • U.S. Passport

Can my own lawyer notarize my document?

Yes, but I don’t recommended it. For $1 you can get a document notarized by a third-party who has no vested interest in your case. It’s a small price to pay for impartiality.