How to Become a Notary

Notary publics are state-appointed public servants who serve as witnesses for document signings to prevent fraud. Although they have other job duties, such as oaths and affirmations, their primary duty is to watch individuals sign legal, business and financial documents. However, you do not need an advanced education or college degree to become a notary.

How to Become a Notary

Purchase Your Tools

Although this is the final step in the notary commission process, you should understand before applying to become a notary that you are responsible for purchasing your notary tools, such as your notary stamps. You will purchase these tools after you receive your commission number because the number will be on the stamps. You will also be required to purchase a journal to keep track of all your notarizations.

You are responsible for securing your notary tools. Therefore, when they are not in use, you should have them locked in a drawer or safe.

State Requirements

Each state has different notary qualifications. For example, some states require fingerprint and background checks, exams and formal training. In addition, some states require that you purchase Errors and Omissions insurance.   

Application Process

Each state has a different notary application process, but every state requires that the prospective notary fill out an application and pay a fee. The state will then review your application and all your other documents and discuss any additional tasks with you.

Receive Your Commission

Your commission will include a certificate from the state with your commission number on it. At this point, you should file your commission and bond paperwork with the office that regulates notaries. Then, you are ready to purchase your supplies and start notarizing documents.

Further Training

You can complete additional training to become a notary signing agent. These agents are often paid higher fees and work with financial institutions. They witness signing of loan documents, such as mortgage loans, and offer courier services.

Becoming a notary is a relatively simple process. If you are interested, contact your local Secretary of State’s office.

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