5 Steps to Becoming a Notary Public in Your State

Notary Public in Your State

Becoming a notary public can be a great way to supplement your income. Many banks, law offices, and other businesses hire notaries to witness the signatures on documents and verify their authenticity.

However, becoming a notary public can be a complex process. The qualifications vary from state to state.

Know Your State’s Requirements

Notaries public are government officials who serve the public as impartial witnesses to essential documents and signatures. They are appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, or other governing authority.

They have a specialized educational program and must pass an exam. They also need a license to practice in their state.

Getting your commission to be a notary public can be a great resume booster for any job hunt, and it’s an easy process! You can get certified anywhere in New York State or take a hotel training seminar and online recorded classes.

Complete Your Application

When you’re ready to apply to become a notary public, follow the instructions provided by your state. These include completing your application, paying the filing fee, receiving training from an approved education vendor, and passing a state-administered exam.

Additionally, you’ll have to go through the fingerprinting and background check procedures. Although they differ from state to state, these steps are typically necessary before getting your commission certificate and bond.

You may also need to complete additional schoolwork before becoming a notary public. These courses will help you understand the role of a notary public and the different types of documents you can notarize.

Pay the Fee

In most states, a fee is associated with becoming a notary public. Depending on the state, this may cost several hundred dollars or as little as one hundred dollars.

You may pay these fees by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa using a credit card authorization form. DO NOT send cash in the mail.

Many states also require a notary stamp or seal. These can be bought online or at office supply stores. They are used when you sign documents as a notary public and usually have your name on them.

Take Your Oath

Most states require notaries to take an oath of office. This oath of office is an important legal document and will protect you from the many challenges you’ll face as a notary public.

A good notary should know how to administer oaths and affirmations in the most effective manner possible. It can be done verbally or formally.

The wording of an oath may vary from state to state, but the most common type of oath is a simple promise to God or a higher power. An affirmation is a more detailed statement on the signer’s honor without referencing God. Recording these notarial acts in your journal is always a good idea. Depending on your state, you may also need to verify the identity of your oath-taker using acceptable proof of identification.

Get Your Commission

Once you’ve completed your application and passed the exam, the Secretary of State will issue your commission. It will arrive in the mail, typically 2 – 3 months after taking your fingerprints.

You may also receive a packet that contains an official commission certificate, oath filing forms, and instructions. Be sure to follow these instructions closely.

Then, you must purchase your supplies and file a notary bond with the County Clerk’s office. If you do not buy and file these items within 30 days of receiving your commission, you will forfeit your commission and must reapply for a new one.

In addition, most notary training courses provide you with a proof of completion certificate after you complete the course. Depending on the course provider, this certificate might automatically be delivered to your email account, or you might have to wait for it to arrive.

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