Becoming A Notary Public

At some point in their lives, most people need documents notarized.  The idea is to have a person review government identification to ensure the person signing a document matches the person on the identification.  Notaries provide identity verification services and review official documents like deeds, contracts and affidavits.

Their services are necessary to prevent the forgery of important documents.  You can find notaries at some banks, business supply stores, and law firms.  Other options will be mentioned toward the end of the article.


As a notary public, you must meet state requirements to become licensed to sign and certify documents. This process typically includes taking an education program and passing an exam; some states also require background checks and insurance policies.  Many of the requirements can all be accomplished online.

Notaries play an invaluable role in our legal system and work tirelessly to prevent fraud and document forgery. While their work may seem simple enough, their documentation often serves as evidence in court hearings as proof that signers are who they claim they are; as a result, it is vital that notaries strictly abide by all regulations for this role.

To become a notary in your state, start by studying its laws and identifying its requirements. Each state treats notaries differently, so before beginning your application, make sure you read up on how your state treats notaries, as well as any legal requirements and code of conduct.

Before applying for a commission as a New York Notary Public, you must pass the New York Notary Public Exam. The cost is $15 and takes around an hour; it covers notary license law as well as general terms and duties of notaries public. The majority of your study should include a reputable third-party training course prior to taking your exam. These courses may include training and practice exam questions.

On completing your exam, you will receive an examination pass slip. Next, complete and take an Oath of Office before filling out a New York Notary Public Application and submitting an Exemplar document as part of this application process.

As soon as you are appointed a notary public, you must purchase stamps and supplies for your office. Notary Rotary has an extensive selection of embossed notary seals as well as other essentials – something many companies who utilize notaries require as part of their contract terms. In addition, carrying errors and omissions insurance is highly recommended by many employers who employ notaries. This may be a madate in some states.


Becoming a notary public can be an interesting career option for anyone interested in helping people sign important documents. Notaries provide flexible work hours and multiple income opportunities, making this profession ideal for entrepreneurs who seek flexibility with work hours. Starting up this profession requires knowledge of state laws, educational requirements and training – once passed the required exam they can start making money as notaries publics.

Notaries are public officials who serve as witnesses when it comes to legal documents that must be notarized, thus helping deter fraud and providing reliable documentation that can be used across many applications. Notaries can be useful to many different companies and individuals for different reasons: title companies facilitate real estate transactions, while attorneys may execute wills and trusts.

Notaries must abide by state regulations regardless of the document they notarize, including adhering to any rules for notarization and collecting proper identification from signers before notarizing their signature under an official seal. Notaries are also responsible for keeping track of every notarization they perform and should never accept bribes or rewards for providing services.

Notaries public must include the venue of their acts when notarizing documents such as acknowledgments and jurats to affidavits as required by section ASS 137 of the Executive Law. Furthermore, an official seal with their state and county information on all documents notarized is mandatory for performing notarial services.

Becoming a notary public requires passing your state’s exam and meeting all other prerequisites. Most states offer exams online or in person, with some states permitting electronic application submission while others requiring paper forms with all pertinent details. A notary may perform remote or electronic notarizations but still must pass their test to become official; additionally they must meet other requirements, including living within that particular state and being primarily employed within it.


Once you’ve met all the state requirements and passed any background or fingerprint checks necessary, it’s time to take the notary public exam. The test typically covers state license law as a foundation to help you understand what will be expected from you as a notary public. Many states offer training courses prior to taking their notary exam; those are an excellent way of ensuring you possess enough knowledge for success on exam day.

The New York notary exam is a one-hour multiple choice test based on the Notary Public Law document, and administered under closed book conditions with at least seventy percent correct answers needed to pass.

As soon as you pass the exam, the Division of Licensing Services will send a test pass slip in the mail. In order to become a notary in New York, this slip must be presented along with a completed state application and $60 filing fee; additionally, an oath of office notarization and seal/journal must also be provided so you can record every notarial act performed.

Becoming a notary can take several weeks, depending on your state’s processing time and requirements. There are just too many variables to list in this article.


Notaries provide services that require payments of a nominal fee in return for their time and efforts. Fees vary by state and may be included as part of the total transaction cost like purchasing a house. Knowing ahead of time what services may cost can help plan finances more accurately and prevent any surprises.

The cost of notarization should be less if the notary is a person on site.  The fees would obviously be more if someone has to travel to a location.

Some notaries also charge travel fees in cases of inclement weather or other circumstances that make travel more challenging or costly, such as rush appointments, places with security concerns or off-the-beaten-path locations.

Notary Public Trends

Previously, any business that handles important documents would have a notary on staff. Obviously this would depend on the size of the organization. With the gig economy and emerging technology, a notary can operate outside of traditional roles.

Some notaries are exclusively mobile. They usually have a car and are willing to drive to any location within their operating radius as soon as you call. This service will require a higher fee. However, the advantage is getting a licensed person on demand. This could be beneficial if several signees are present in a location at one time. Another use may be for the elderly or those with physical limitations. The service comes to them, they do not have to arrange transport with their mobility challenges.

Some notaries are working online or remotely. Imagine having a notary service operating like a call center. You have access at any time, you just need an internet connection. While some may be wary of this type of service, it does work with the right training and technology.

This service requires all participants to connect to a live two way videoconference session. You will have to scan or take a picture of your government ID, and upload to the service provider. The notary will verify your ID, and will need a good view of you on camera. The camera angle and lighting may be important during this process.

Another way to verify someone is using their credit history. The notary obtains some of your credit history to ask questions that only you will know, not someone trying to impersonate you. This method may vary by state, depending on current state statutes.


Operating as a notary public is a serious undertaking because of the responsibility and duty to adhere to policies and ethics. The job is not meant for just anyone.

Disclaimer: You must abide by any policies in your state. These may include a business license, professional license, and specific insurance coverage. This article is not capable of listing all requirements for all states and jurisdictions.

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