Provides useful information related to a variety of interesting topics.

How to Become a Certified Notary

Published by Nanni on Saturday, August 04, 2012

Photo credit by Lester Public Library

After Claudia moved to Virginia, she enrolled her children in the local public schools, and then set out to find a job. With 10 years of hospital legal administrative experience behind her, she thought it would be easy to land a position in any of several large hospitals or a dozen local law firms.

However, every job description that sounded promising required that she be a notary public. After some research, she was surprised at how long it would take her to become one.

A certified notary – or notary public – in the United States is an individual who serves the public as a witness when it’s necessary to sign or execute documents in front of a neutral witness. A notary receives his or her appointment from the state government.

The requirements for becoming a notary vary significantly from state to state. However, in most cases, since the individual is a state officer, functioning as a notary outside the state that made the appointment is unlawful unless the two states have set up reciprocity.

Notaries in the U.S. generally possess no legal authority. Some professions – most commonly court reporters, bank personnel and some attorneys – require an individual to also serve as a notary public. In that capacity, the most common responsibilities include taking acknowledgments of oaths.

While the requirements to become a certified notary vary so much among the states, certain applicant instructions are common to almost all jurisdictions as follows.

1. Be at least 18 and a legitimate of the state making the notary appointment.

2. Obtain the appropriate application package for the notary commission. The correct application materials should be available from the applicable state government. They are also available from the National Notary Association (NAA), which charges a fee.

3. Check the NAA web site for fee requirements. You might have to pay a filing fee. In most states, you’ll also be required to post a bond. You should also look up your jurisdiction’s requirements regarding fingerprinting and written exams for notaries.

4. Attend training for notary applicants. You might find such a workshop at a local college or hotel. Some courts hold them periodically. The training typically covers the law, ethics and special situations.

5. Submit the application after carefully reviewing the instructions and completing any mandatory tests.

6. Take the oath of office. This occurs in front of a notary public once the state has approved your application. In some states, you must do this before a local court.

7. If the state requires any bond, be sure to pay it within the required timeframe. Visit a licensed insurance broker to file the required paperwork and get the bond.

8. Obtain a notary seal after taking the notary oath. Many states require an official seal on all notarized documents.

9. If the state permits charging notary fees, distribute business cards to local businesses. While notary fees are subject to Federal and state income tax, they’re exempt from self-employment taxes.

It is important to keep track of the expiration of your term of office because reappointment is required at the end of it. When completing any part of a notary application, it’s essential to write your name exactly the way you plan to sign it when notarizing documents.

In Florida, Maine, South Carolina and West Feliciana Parish of Louisiana, notaries have the authority to perform civil marriages. Some jurisdictions also have electronic notaries and special application requirements for them.

Related Posts by Categories

  1. 0 comments: Responses to “ How to Become a Certified Notary ”

About Totorus

In this blog, I publish informative contents, featuring tips, guides and commentary on a variety of interesting topics. I hope that you will enjoy your visit to this blog, and share it with your friends and family.

Subscribe in a reader.
Creative Commons License
totorus article by Totorus is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.