How to Become a Notary Public
Some companies may find it very handy to have a public notary on staff. If your company deals with a lot of official forms, documents, paperwork, etc, than you have likely needed to have something notarized. For those of you who deal with a lot of this type of paperwork, you may wish to have an employee become a notary.
What is a Notary Public?
A Notary Public is a public officer or a state officer appointed and commissioned to perform certain functions or notarial acts. A Notary acts as an impartial witness in the execution of documents, helping to deter fraud and promote the integrity of document transactions.
General Requirements to be a Notary Public:
- 18 years of age or older.
- US citizen*.
- Resident of the state you are applying to be a notary in.
- Able to speak and read English.
- You CANNOT have been convicted of a felony or have a professional license revoked.
Where can you find the specific state requirements to be a Notary?
You can find individual state to state requirements at http://www.asnnotary.org/?form=stateinfo
Approximate costs associated with Notary Public application process:
- $50.00 – Notary Public commercial surety bond cost approximately
- $20.00 – Notary ink stamp or embossing seal
- $15.00 – Notary Logbook
- $30.00 – Application fee
- $50.00 to $200.00 – Classes (this may or may not be required)
How do you become a notary public?
The general steps for becoming a notary include; obtaining a surety bond and stamp and then applying to the applicable state for your Notary Public Appointment. Some states may require you to take a Notary Public class in addition to the other steps. In most states the entire process takes approximately one month or less to complete. You will not be allowed to practice as a Notary Public until you receive your state certification.
Where can you find out Notary duties for your state?
All states allow notaries to perform oaths, acknowledgments and affirmations. There are different Notary laws for each state. To find out more about duties a Notary in your state can perform go to http://www.asnotary.org/?form=stateinfo. All notaries should carefully read their state laws, code and information by their state Notary Administrator’ Office.
*In 1984, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of a resident alien whose application to become a notary in Texas had been denied on grounds of non-citizenship. Bernal v. Fainter, 467 U.S. 216, 104 S. Ct. 2312, 81 L. Ed. 2d 175 (1984). Some states still list citizenship as a requirement and some don’t.