Your Guide to Becoming a Notary Public and Notary Exams

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Become a Notary: Washington State Information

Becoming a notary can be an important and exciting option for many people. Notaries perform many important civic duties and are representatives of their states and counties who ensure the validity of important documents and transactions. Many people find that becoming a notary is a fulfilling and worthwhile career or part time job. Each and every state has different laws for becoming a notary. Learn about your state's specific process to become a notary including notary eligibility and step by step instructions.


Becoming a Notary in Washington and Washington's Notary Exam Requirements

Become a Notary in Washington

In the state of Washington you will be commissioned and approved to be a public notary for the entire state which means you can operate in all cities and counties. The process will be conducted and reviewed by the office of the Director of Licensing. Like in all states, you will have to meet certain requirements to become a notary public in accordance with the law, as well as submit an application and pay applicable fees.

Washington Notary Requirements

In order to become a notary in the state of Washington, you must meet the following requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Be a resident in the state of Washington or work in Washington and live in a bordering state
  • Be able to read, write, and speak English

Washington Notary Term Length

A notary in the state of Washington is appointed for a period of four years. If you wish to continue to be a notary in the state of Washington after four years, you must renew your notary appointment.

Washington Notary Education Requirements

In the state of Washington, you are not required by law to take a notary education course, although this is highly recommended to ensure you are operating within the law and completely understand the criteria and liability of your role. You are financially liable for all the documents that you authorize which means it is incredibly important that you fully understand the ins and outs of your role, as well as all the legal requirements.

Washington Notary Exam

In the state of Washington you are not required by law to pass a notary exam to become an official state notary. However it is recommended that you take a practice notary exam to ensure you fully understand your role and are ready to perform the official duties of a public notary.

Washington Notary Bond Requirement

In the state of Washington you are required by law to submit a $10,000 bond which ensures that you are conducting your notary business in full accordance with the law.

Washington Notary Application Process

  • Step 1:

    Before submitting an application to become a notary in the state of Washington, you must first obtain a $10,000 surety bond that will be submitted with your notary application.
  • Step 2:

    Complete the application form for becoming a Washington notary public. You can download the form on the website of the Director of Licensing.
  • Step 3:

    Submit the application form and a copy of your $10,000 surety bond to the office of the Secretary of State. The normal cost for submitting a notary application in Washington is $21.00.
    Notaries Public Unit
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 9048
    Olympia, WA 98507-9048
  • Step 4:

    If your application is approved, you will receive a letter with your official Washington Notary Commission packet. Make sure to follow all directions carefully.
  • Step 5:

    Purchase the necessary notary equipment for conducting business as a Washington notary public. You will need to purchase a Washington notary rubber stamp seal or embossing notary seal. It is also recommended that you purchase a notary journal.
  • Step 6:

    Start your career as a Washington notary public. You may consider the following books to help create a flourishing business in your community. They offer great advice for marketing your business and finding ongoing clients in your community.
  • Step 7:

    Consider purchasing Errors and Omissions Insurance. Most notaries consider this as an essential to running a successful notary business. Errors and Omissions Insurance protects you, up to the limit of your insurance, from any mistakes you may make as a notary that result in legal actions. This is different than a bond because a bond protects the public; whereas Errors and Omissions Insurance protects you.