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Frequently Asked Questions: How to Become a Notary and Notary Exams
When you are thinking about and starting the process of becoming a notary public, it is likely that you will have many questions about the notary requirements, notary classes, notary exams, notary bonds, and more. The questions below represent the most common questions for people who are thinking about how to become a notary public.
A notary or notary public is an official public servant who is appointed by the Governor of the state, the Lieutenant Governor or the Secretary of State in most states. The most common duties and responsibilities of a notary public is to witness the signature of official document and to give oaths. In many states, a notary public also makes official copies of state records like birth or death certificates. It is important to know that the responsibilities and duties of a notary public differ from state to state.
A notary signing agent is a specific type of notary who is trained and certified to facilitate mortgage closings. This goes beyond the scope of a normal notary public and to become a notary signing agent you will need specialized training and meet specific state requirements.
A mobile notary public is a notary who is willing to travel to oversee the signing of documents or give oaths. Essentially, if you are a mobile notary public it simply means that you will travel to your clients and they do not have to come to you. Because this makes the process of getting a document notarized easier for your clients, many notary publics add this additional service and title to increase business. The requirements for a mobile notary are the same and you can find your specific state notary public requirement.
The requirements to become a notary public differ from state to state. For most states, you must be at least 18 years old and be a resident of the state to become a notary public. In some states, you can become a notary public if you work in the state and live in a bordering state. In most states, you can not become a notary if you have been convicted of a crime or had a notary commission revoked in the last five years. You can learn about your specific state notary public requirements.
In almost all states, you can renew your notary commission. In many states, you will have to resubmit a notary application, pay the fee, and wait for your renewed notary appointment. In some states, this process is expedited for renewing notaries.
In most states you will need an official notary embossing seal or rubber stamp seal to perform notarial duties. In many states you will also need a notary journal as well as a surety bond to protect the public if any mistakes are committed. You can find out what specific notary supplies you need. You can purchase notary supplies or notary equipment.
You can find a notary public in many places including your local phonebook or through online directories.
Every state has its own notary requirements and in many states you will have to pass a notary exam or notary test. To prepare for a notary exam or notary test it is recommended that you take a notary education course or use self study materials before the notary exam. You can also read the state's notary handbook. Even if you do not have to take a notary exam or notary test in your state, you should consider taking a practice test to ensure you are ready to perform you notary public duties. You can learn whether your state requires a notary exam.
Every state has its own notary requirements and in many states you will have to take a notary education course or notary class. These are normally offered through the state or state approved notary education course or notary class vendors. They may be available online or for home study. Even if you do not have to take notary education course or notary class in your state, you should consider taking a notary education course or notary class to ensure you are ready to perform you notary public duties. Learn whether your state requires a notary education course or notary class.
Depending on your state you may need to obtain a surety bond. A surety bond is meant to protect the public in case a mistake in made in the notarization of a document. The bond requirements to become a notary public range from $500-$15,000 and not all states require a surety bond to act as a notary public. Learn about the specific bond requirements in your state to become a notary.
A surety bond is meant to protect those who use the services of a notary public. Essentially, it protects the public if the notary makes a mistake, error, or omission. In many states, you are required by law to get a surety bond to practice as a notary public. Learn if your state requires a surety bond.
Errors and Omissions Insurance protects you, up to the limit of your insurance, from any mistakes, errors, or omissions you may make as a notary that result in legal actions. This is different than a bond because a bond protects the public; where as Errors and Omissions Insurance protects you as a notary public. It is highly recommended that you purchase Errors and Omission insurance and it is relatively inexpensive. Learn how to purchase Errors and Omission.
The two main reasons that documents are notarized are to deter fraud as well as ensure that the documents were executed correctly. A notary public checks to ensure that the parties are actually who they say they are by verifying identities and makes sure that everyone is entering into the agreement by their own free will and in the proper manner.
Depending on your state's notary prices chart. Learn about your state's Notary Fees.
In most states you must be at least 18 years old to become a notary public and perform duties as a notary public. Learn about the specific age requirements in your state to become a notary.
In most states you must either be a resident of the state or work in the state and live in a bordering or adjacent state to become a notary public. Learn about the specific resident requirements in your state to become a notary.
In most states you do not have to be an attorney to become a notary public. If you are an attorney, you will not have to take the notary exam or notary class if you are an attorney. Learn if you must be an attorney to become a notary in your state.
In most states you are not eligible to become a notary if you have been convicted of a felony. In some states you may be eligible depending on when the crime occurred and what type of crime occurred. Learn your specific requirements to become a notary.
In some states you have to be a US citizen to become a notary public, but in many states you only have to hold legal residence. Learn about the specific citizenship requirements in your state to become a notary.
Many states require that you are able to read, write, and speak English to become a notary. However not all states require this to become a notary public. Learn if your state has English language requirements.
The fees for becoming a notary range from state to state but every state charges some fee for submitting a notary public application and becoming a notary. This notary public application fee ranges from $5.00 to $120.00.
In most states you will need a notary embossing seal or a rubber stamp seal to act as a notary. In some states, you must show proof of having this before being sworn into office as a notary public. Even if your state does not require this, it is recommended. Many people will not want to use your services as a notary public with a notary state embossing seal or rubber stamp seal. Learn about your specific state requirement.
Some states require that all notaries keep detailed records of their notary public actions in a notary journal. Whether or not your state requires a notary public journal, it is recommended for all notaries that you can account for all of your notarial actions.