Your Guide to Becoming a Notary Public and Notary Exams

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Notary Certification

What is Notary Certification?

Notary Certification

Anyone considering becoming a notary public is undoubtedly wondering about notary certification and exactly what the notary certification process looks like. The good part is that it is usually a relative easy process to get your notary certification, but it will differ for each and every state. The state government, usually the Secretary of State or County Clerk's office, determine the notary certification process and manages applications. Learn more about notary certification in your state.

Who is Eligible for Notary Certification?

In general, the eligibility requirements for notary certification are not extremely rigorous and most people find that they are eligible to become a notary public. Normally states require that someone who wants to complete notary certification meet the following criteria:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Resides in the state in which they want to be a notary public or own a business in the state in which they want to become a notary public
  • Are a United States citizen or legal resident
  • Have never been convicted of a felony
  • Have not been rejected from a notary public position in the past 10 years
  • Some states: Pass a notary exam
  • Some states: Pass a notary class
  • Some States: Submit 1-3 character references

What Does the Notary Certification Process Look Like?

Most states follow a relatively similar process to get notary certification and begin working as a notary public. First you normally need to download a notary application or contact the Secretary of State for a notary application. The notary application will generally list each specific step you need to take to become a notary in the state. Once you have the notary application, you will need to complete it in full and pay an application fee. If your state requires you take a course or pass a notary exam, this normally needs to be completed prior to mailing in the application. The same is true if you need to submit letters of recommendation. They will need to be collected prior to submitting your application.

Once you submit your application for notary certification, it will normally take between 4-8 weeks to be processed by the state or county. If your notary certification application is accepted, you will be mailed further instructions for completing the process. Normally this will involve taking an oath of office, purchasing notary supplies, and submitting your notary certification or license to the local business office.

After completing your notary certification, it is important to begin to promote your notarial services around your community to build business. Think about making business cards, brochures, or a website to promote your business. Contact local businesses who often need notary services and build relationships with them. In the notary business, many people build up their clientele through word of mouth and local contacts. Make sure to tell family and friends and any local business owners you know. Also consider offering mobile notarial services. Mobile notaries will travel to their clients and this is normally a service that businesses desire. You can charge businesses for this extra service as well to increase your revenue.