Illinois Laws Regarding the Notarization of Promissory Notes

By Don E. Peavy, Sr.

In the State of Illinois, like most states, a promissory note is a negotiable instrument that represents the promise of someone to pay a certain amount of money on a certain date. This instrument must be in writing and signed by the person making the promise to pay. In addition, any interest and other terms must be stated clearly in the promissory note.

Applicable Law

The State of Illinois has enacted the Uniform Commercial Code to govern transactions such as the making of promissory notes. This Code appears at 810 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5 Uniform Commercial Code.

Notarization Not Required

The Uniform Commercial Code of the State of Illinois does not require promissory notes to be notarized. In fact, Section 3-110(b) of the Uniform Commercial Code provides for the signing of promissory notes by automated means, such as a check-writing machine. This provision makes it clear that such notes do not have to be notarized.

Rationale

One of the main purposes of the Uniform Commercial Code is to provide for the unrestricted flow of commerce. Were the law to require the notarization of promissory notes, then such a requirement would be contrary to the meaning and purpose of the law.

Clarification

Although the maker of the promissory note is required to sign the note, the person to whom the note is made payable is not required to sign the note. Interestingly, a promissory note does not have to be made payable to a particular person. It can be made payable to "Bearer."

About the Author

Don E. Peavy, Sr. teaches philosophy, ethics and religion at the University of Phoenix, Dallas Campus. His published works include “Disaster Among the Heavens," “What Must I Do? Bridging the Gap Between Being and Doing" and “Play It Where It Lies: How to Win at the Game of Life." Peavy holds a Master of Divinity, as well as a Juris Doctor.