On January 1, 2012, the Illinois Secretary of State began imposing much stricter requirements on documents that are being submitted to its office for authentication. The state has indicated that it expects to reject hundreds of documents in the next few months based on these changes.
Many authentication requests are submitted with the text in English on one side of the page and with a foreign translation on the other side. When this is done, the translation often omits the names, addresses, etc. of the parties involved. While in the past, the Illinois Secretary of State would accept such documents, it will reject them if ALL of the information, including the party information, is not included in the translation.
In addition, both the English and translated version must be signed and notarized. This was also never the case before. In the past, one signature and one notarization and stamp were sufficient.
All notarizations must be accompanied by the proper form of notary statement. The state will no longer take only a notary signature and stamp. See pages 22-24 of the Illinois Notary Public Handbook to view the acceptable forms of notary acknowledgment in Illinois.
We have asked the Illinois Secretary of State’s office whether documents listing the translation as an exhibit without the names, addresses, etc. would be accepted or whether the exhibit would need to be completed in full, signed and notarized. They did not have an answer at this time, but indicated they would get back to us shortly. Until there is a definitive answer on this, we strongly recommend avoiding this approach with time-sensitive documents.
View a sample of the correct authentication format when translation is involved.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered, or relied upon, as legal advice.