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Become a Notary: Pennsylvania 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.
Become a Notary in Pennsylvania
In the state of Pennsylvania 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 Secretary of State. 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.
Pennsylvania Notary Requirements
In order to become a notary in the state of Pennsylvania, you must meet the following requirements:
- At least 18 years of age
- Resident of Pennsylvania or employed in the state
- Never convicted of a felony or lesser offense that disqualifies you as a notary public within the last five years
Pennsylvania Notary Term Length
A notary in the state of Pennsylvania is appointed for a period of four years. If you wish to continue to be a notary in the state of Pennsylvania after four years, you must renew your notary appointment.
Pennsylvania Notary Education Requirements
In the state of Pennsylvania, you are required by law to take a notary education course either through the state or an authorized notary course provider. When you submit your application, you will have to submit proof that you have taken the necessary course.
Pennsylvania Notary Exam
In the state of Pennsylvania 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.
Pennsylvania Notary Bond Requirements
In the state of Pennsylvania 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.
Pennsylvania Notary Application Process
Step 1:Find a state approved Pennsylvania notary education course and complete the 6 hour class either online or in person. Find a list of approved Pennsylvania notary education providers.
Step 2:Complete the application form for becoming a Pennsylvania notary public. You can download the form on the website of the Secretary of State. As part of the application, you will have to submit proof that you completed a Pennsylvania notary education course.
Step 3:Submit the application form and all necessary requirements to the office of the Secretary of State. The normal cost for submitting a notary application in Pennsylvania is $40.00. You can mail your completed application and materials to:
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - Department of State
Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation
Division of Commissions, Legislation and Notaries
210 North Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Step 4:If you are approved to become a notary, you will receive a Pennsylvania Notary Appointment packet. Make sure to follow the directions very carefully.
Step 5:Purchase the necessary notary equipment for conducting business as a Pennsylvania notary public. All of these must be filed with the state per the directions in the Pennsylvania Notary Commission packet. This includes:
1. A notary bond of $10,000
2. An official notary public seal from an authorized vendor
3. A notary public journal
Step 6:Start your career as a Pennsylvania 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.