Bill Text: IL HB2176 | 2019-2020 | 101st General Assembly | Enrolled


Bill Title: Amends the Illinois Notary Public Act. Modifies the required disavowal of legal representation notice. Provides that the failure of a notary public to follow specified notice requirements shall result in a fine of $1,500 (currently, $1,000) for each written violation. Provides that a second (rather than third) violation shall result in permanent revocation of the commission of notary public (currently, a second violation results in suspension of notary authorization). Provides that prior to rendering notary public services to a person seeking such services, a notary public shall, in addition to any written or electronic notice, also give a verbal disavowal of legal representation that is substantially the same as the statement required for written and electronic advertisements of notary services. Provides that upon providing the verbal disavowal of legal representation, the person seeking notary services shall be provided with an acknowledgment form reciting the disavowal of legal representation, and be required to sign such form acknowledging that he or she has been advised and understands that the notary public is not a licensed attorney and is not otherwise authorized to provide legal advice or services. Provides that the acknowledgment form shall be prescribed by the Secretary of State and be made available in English and in the non-English language in which notary services were solicited.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 10-0)

Status: (Enrolled) 2019-05-29 - Passed Both Houses [HB2176 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2019-HB2176-Enrolled.html



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1 AN ACT concerning government.
2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4 Section 5. The Illinois Notary Public Act is amended by
5changing Section 3-103 as follows:
6 (5 ILCS 312/3-103) (from Ch. 102, par. 203-103)
7 Sec. 3-103. Notice.
8 (a) Every notary public who is not an attorney or an
9accredited immigration representative who advertises the
10services of a notary public in a language other than English,
11whether by radio, television, signs, pamphlets, newspapers,
12electronic communications, or other written communication,
13with the exception of a single desk plaque, shall include in
14the document, advertisement, stationery, letterhead, business
15card, or other comparable written or electronic material the
16following: notice in English and the language in which the
17written or electronic communication appears. This notice shall
18be of a conspicuous size, if in writing or electronic
19communication, and shall state: "I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY LICENSED
20TO PRACTICE LAW IN ILLINOIS. I AM NOT ALLOWED TO DRAFT LEGAL
21DOCUMENTS OR RECORDS, NOR MAY I AND MAY NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE
22ON ANY MATTER, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, MATTERS OF
23IMMIGRATION, OR ACCEPT OR CHARGE FEES FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF

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1THOSE ACTIVITIES LEGAL ADVICE". If such advertisement is by
2radio or television, the statement may be modified but must
3include substantially the same message.
4 A notary public shall not, in any document, advertisement,
5stationery, letterhead, business card, electronic
6communication, or other comparable written material describing
7the role of the notary public, literally translate from English
8into another language terms or titles including, but not
9limited to, notary public, notary, licensed, attorney, lawyer,
10or any other term that implies the person is an attorney. To
11illustrate, the word "notario" is prohibited under this
12provision.
13 Failure to follow the procedures in this Section shall
14result in a fine of $1,500 $1,000 for each written violation.
15The second violation shall result in suspension of notary
16authorization. The second third violation shall result in
17permanent revocation of the commission of notary public.
18Violations shall not preempt or preclude additional
19appropriate civil or criminal penalties.
20 (b) All notaries public required to comply with the
21provisions of subsection (a) shall prominently post at their
22place of business as recorded with the Secretary of State
23pursuant to Section 2-102 of this Act a schedule of fees
24established by law which a notary public may charge. The fee
25schedule shall be written in English and in the non-English
26language in which notary services were solicited and shall

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1contain the disavowal of legal representation required above in
2subsection (a), unless such notice of disavowal is already
3prominently posted.
4 (c) No notary public, agency or any other person who is not
5an attorney shall represent, hold themselves out or advertise
6that they are experts on immigration matters or provide any
7other assistance that requires legal analysis, legal judgment,
8or interpretation of the law unless they are a designated
9entity as defined pursuant to Section 245a.1 of Part 245a of
10the Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR 245a.1) or an entity
11accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals.
12 (c-5) In addition to the notice required under subsection
13(a), every notary public who is subject to subsection (a)
14shall, prior to rendering notary services, provide any person
15seeking notary services with a written acknowledgment that
16substantially states, in English and the language used in the
17advertisement for notary services the following: "I AM NOT AN
18ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN ILLINOIS. I AM NOT ALLOWED
19TO DRAFT LEGAL DOCUMENTS OR RECORDS, NOR MAY I GIVE LEGAL
20ADVICE ON ANY MATTER OR ACCEPT OR CHARGE FEES FOR THE
21PERFORMANCE OF THOSE ACTIVITIES". The Office of the Secretary
22of State shall translate this acknowledgement into Spanish and
23any other language the Secretary of State may deem necessary to
24achieve the requirements of this subsection (c-5), and shall
25make the translations available on the website of the Secretary
26of State. This acknowledgment shall be signed by the recipient

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1of notary services before notary services are rendered, and the
2notary shall retain copies of all signed acknowledgments
3throughout their present commission and for 2 years thereafter.
4Notaries shall provide recipients of notary services with a
5copy of their signed acknowledgment at the time services are
6rendered. This provision shall not apply to notary services
7related to documents prepared or produced in accordance with
8the Illinois Election Code.
9 (d) Any person who aids, abets or otherwise induces another
10person to give false information concerning immigration status
11shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense
12and a Class 3 felony for a second or subsequent offense
13committed within 5 years of a previous conviction for the same
14offense.
15 Any notary public who violates the provisions of this
16Section shall be guilty of official misconduct and subject to
17fine or imprisonment.
18 Nothing in this Section shall preclude any consumer of
19notary public services from pursuing other civil remedies
20available under the law.
21 (e) No notary public who is not an attorney or an
22accredited representative shall accept payment in exchange for
23providing legal advice or any other assistance that requires
24legal analysis, legal judgment, or interpretation of the law.
25 (f) Violation of subsection (e) is a business offense
26punishable by a fine of 3 times the amount received for

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1services, or $1,001 minimum, and restitution of the amount paid
2to the consumer. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to
3preempt nor preclude additional appropriate civil remedies or
4criminal charges available under law.
5 (g) If a notary public of this State is convicted of 2 or
6more business offenses involving a violation of this Act within
7a 12-month period while commissioned, or of 3 or more business
8offenses involving a violation of this Act within a 5-year
9period regardless of being commissioned, the Secretary shall
10automatically revoke the notary public commission of that
11person on the date that the person's most recent business
12offense conviction is entered as a final judgment.
13(Source: P.A. 100-81, eff. 1-1-18.)
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