Who can be a notary and how do you become one? (2023)

Becoming a Notary Public is a great way to add to your resume or generate an additional income stream. As a notary, you can act as an impartial witness to the signing of documents and confirm their authenticity. Who can be a notary varies from state to state, but in general, notary applicants must be 18 years of age with no criminal record and must live in the same state where they are notaries. Some states allow residents of neighboring states to become notaries, and some states (but not all) require that you be literate in English. Find out more here about who can be a notary and whether this career will work for you.

What is a notary public?

The state government appoints a notary public to act as an impartial witness when signing important documents. Notaries are normally appointed by the Secretary of State, but this may vary in some states. Notaries are "ministerial" officials, meaning they are expected to follow written rules without exercising significant personal discretion.

What does a notary do?

The role of a notary is to prevent fraud and act as a fraud deterrent. The role of a notary is to confirm the true identity of the signers, their willingness to sign without coercion or intimidation, and their knowledge of the content of the document or transaction.

As a notary, you can be summoned to witness the signing of property deeds, wills, delivery of documentsfinancial power of attorney,statements, contracts, marriage certificates and other legal documents. In these roles, you must maintain a detailed record of all activities related to notaries.

Who can be a notary public?

Notaries are commissioned and regulated by the states, usually through the secretary of state's office or by the county clerk or some other government agency. Adults with no criminal record can apply to become a notary public. Most states require notaries to be at least 18 years old. Some states require notary applicants to be citizens, while others allow applicants from neighboring states. State laws vary as to whether you must speak English and whether you can notarize documents in other languages.

In Arizona, for example, the signatory can only sign a document in a language that the notary understands. Likewise, the notary must write and complete the certificate using letters, signs and a language that he can read, write and understand.

(Video) HOW TO BECOME A NOTARY | Notary Public Training | EXTRA INCOME IDEAS!

Why should you consider becoming a notary public?

Becoming a Notary Public is a great way to boost your career, create an additional income stream, or enhance your resume. Here are five benefits of becoming a notary public:

  1. Job opportunities

Notaries are in high demand for real estate transactions, wills, powers of attorney, and official business documents. This allows for a constant stream of job opportunities.

  1. Increase your value to employers

Having an in-house notary can reduce costs for your employer and ensure they can quickly notarize business documents, making you a valuable asset. You can also request a higher salary for this additional service.

  1. additional income

You can work as an independent contractor to be a notary public, which means you can add an additional income stream while you work on other jobs. In some careers, you can offer more services to clients by becoming a notary public. For example, if you are a real estate agent, becoming a notary helps close deals and can provide you with additional income.

  1. instant payments

When you work as a notary, you get paid immediately after offering services. This allows for increased cash flow throughout the month.

  1. Help people

As a notary, you will be able to serve your community and clients by deterring fraud and avoiding inaccurate documentation. You may also have the opportunity to give back to the community by offering notary services to those who cannot afford them at a reduced cost.

  1. Set your own hours

When you work as a notary, you can set your own hours. He can only work on Saturdays, or choose to work only in the morning. He can build a schedule around his other work and personal obligations and gain more freedom in life.

(Video) How to become a Remote Online Notary | Beginners Guide | Make Money Online & From Home 2022

What are the limitations of being a notary public?

While being a notary can be a rewarding career or side hustle, it is not without a few points to consider. Below are some of the limitations of being a notary public:

  1. You must meet state requirements.

This may include age and educational requirements. You must also submit an application, a state application fee, and pass a state exam. Fees associated with training and state application requirements range from $100 to $200.

  1. Background Check

You must be fingerprinted and undergo a background check. He will not be able to work as a notary in most states if he has a criminal record. If he doesn't want to be fingerprinted, of course he can't apply. He also has to pay for fingerprinting, which can cost anywhere from $10 to $30 or more.

  1. unstable income

If you work as a notary in a full-time career, your source of income may vary. There are high and low times for, for example, property closings. If you work in a small town or are still setting up your business, your income may be low until you build a solid customer base.

  1. Legal responsability

An error as a notary can lead to a lawsuit. Even if you operate through an LLC or corporation to limit personal liability, a lawsuit can be costly and time consuming for your business. To avoid lawsuits, pay close attention to detail, follow all the notarization steps, and record the details in a notary book.

  1. additional costs

In addition to training and registration fees, you will need to pay for registration of a legal entity, such as an LLC, for your business, as well as website maintenance, office supplies,set up a USPS mailbox, and possibly additional training. The costs are minimal if you earn a regular income as a notary, but you must include them in your operating costs.

How do you become a notary public?

The procedures to become a notary public vary from state to state, but these are the general steps:

(Video) How to Become a Notary Public in Your State - It's Easy

  1. Make sure you meet your state's requirements
  2. Complete and submit a notary application
  3. Pay the state application fee
  4. Completed approved notary training
  5. Pass a state-approved notary exam (if required)
  6. Get fingerprinted and pass a background check
  7. Obtain your certificate of commission and/or certificate of sworn qualification
  8. Get your security deposit (if required)
  9. Submit your commission and bond documents with the local notary regulatory officer
  10. Shop for supplies like a notary stamp and a journal
  11. Open an LLC or other legal entity for your business;Get LLC Name Ideas Here.
  12. Get E&O insurance

And with that, you are ready to start working as a notary!

What are the certification or license requirements?

To become a notary, you must have the appropriate state accredited commission certificate and oath qualification certificate. He must also have a state license to work as a notary public. In addition, he must meet all the requirements specified by the state, including age, residency, and no criminal record.

What disqualifies you from being a notary public?

You are disqualified from being a notary if you are under 18 years of age or have a criminal record. Being arrested or convicted of any crime may result in the denial of your notary application. You will also be disqualified in many states if you cannot read and write English.

Resources as a notary

Now it is clear that there is a large part of the population that can be a notary. It builds your CV, increases your value to employers and can create a new source of income. It's also relatively quick and cheap to get started.

If you're excited about the opportunity but want to avoid having to deal with setting up a legal structure or regular bookkeeping for a private business, Doola can help. Get the resources to manage and develop your notary business, includingbest accounting software.

Frequent questions

How long does it take to become a notary public?

The length of time it takes to become a notary can vary from state to state, but is usually not very long. Typical total training time, including final application, is four to six weeks.

How much does it cost to become a notary public?

The cost of becoming a notary varies from state to state. Training costs range from $100-$200. INMichiganfor example, it only costs $10 to file your bond with the county clerk and $10 for the Department of State processing fee.

Is a notary a lawyer?

A notarial commission is not a lawyer. Under state law, notary public advertising services must post a statement that they are not attorneys. In New Jersey, for example, they must say: "I am not an attorney licensed to practice law and cannot provide legal advice on immigration or other legal matters or accept fees for legal advice."

(Video) 5 Tips To Know Before Becoming A Notary Loan Signing Agent | 1 Year Reflection


What are the requirements to become a notary in Georgia? ›

How do I become a notary?
  • Complete a notary application and bring it to the Clerk of Superior Court in your county of residence (note the neighboring-state resident provision).
  • Pay the application fee and take the oath of office.
  • The clerk's office issues a notary certificate of appointment.

What type of notary makes the most money? ›

Notaries who work directly with escrow officers, title agents, lenders, and real estate agents will make more than those who work for loan signing service providers.

How do you become a notary in VA? ›

To be eligible to apply for a Virginia Notary Public Commission, you must be:
  1. At least eighteen years old.
  2. A legal resident of the United States.
  3. Able to read and write the English language.
  4. A resident of Virginia or regularly employed in the state and perform notary services in connection with their employment.*

How do I become a notary in AZ? ›

How do I become an Arizona notary public? You may submit an original signed notary application, an original signed and notarized bond, and the $43 application and bond filing fee.

Do you have to take a class to be a notary in Georgia? ›

Notary Training: Georgia does not require mandatory training; however, a free web-based training course is highly recommended. This course explains Georgia notary law, and presents basic notary procedures. Click HERE to access the training course. The course is not required in order to receive a commission.

Do you have to take an exam to become a notary in Georgia? ›

Do I need to take an exam? No, passing an exam is not required to become a Notary in Georgia. The state does offer an optional Notary Public Final Exam for $10 if you choose to take their online training course.

How much do most notaries charge? ›

You may need to hire a notary to witness a signature on a legal document, such as a will, real estate document, power of attorney or contract. This service is usually affordable. Most notaries charge by either the document or signature, at a rate of anywhere from $1 to $20.

What state pays notaries most? ›

Highest paying cities for Notary Publics near United States
  • New York, NY. $17.96 per hour. 5 salaries reported.
  • Riverside, CA. $17.09 per hour. 19 salaries reported.
  • Austin, TX. $16.96 per hour. 7 salaries reported.
  • Los Angeles, CA. $15.90 per hour. 19 salaries reported.
  • Mercer Island, WA. $15.00 per hour. ...
  • Show more nearby cities.
5 days ago

Can you make money as a notary in GA? ›

As of May 16, 2023, the average annual pay for a Mobile Notary in Georgia is $58,750 a year.

How much does it cost to become a notary in VA? ›

What is the fee to become a notary/renew my commission? The application fee to become or renew a notary commission is $45 (non-refundable). The fee may be paid online by credit card at the time the application is created or it can paid by check or money order and mailed to our office with the notarized application.

How do I start a mobile notary in Virginia? ›

To become an electronic Notary, or eNotary, you must first hold an existing commission as a Virginia Notary Public and get an electronic Notary seal prior to applying. You must complete the eNotary Application and pay the $45 fee online. You'll receive an email confirmation if your application is approved.

How much does it cost to be a notary in WV? ›

How much does it cost to become a Notary in WV? There is a $52 fee to apply for a Notary Public commission in West Virginia. If you're a government Notary, the application fee is waived. Additional costs for Notary tools and education courses vary depending on vendors.

What is the hardest state to become a notary? ›

California has some of the strictest application requirements for Notaries in the U.S. — involving a required training course and background check — and the mandatory exam is among the most challenging in any state.

What disqualifies you from being a notary in Arizona? ›

Be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States. Not have a conviction for a felony unless civil rights have been restored, or a conviction of a lesser offense involving moral turpitude or of a nature that is incompatible with the duties of a notary public.

How much do part time notaries make in AZ? ›

Mobile Notary Signing Agent Salary in Arizona
Annual SalaryHourly Wage
Top Earners$171,845$83
75th Percentile$171,845$83
25th Percentile$34,466$17

How much can you charge as a mobile notary in GA? ›

The authorized fee is $2.00 for each notarial act.

How much is the notary exam in Georgia? ›

The fee for a notary commission is $51. Payment may be made by cash, checks, credit/debit or money order. New notary applicants must submit proof of residency with one of the following documents: A valid Georgia's Driver's license with current Fulton County address.

Can I notarize for family in Georgia? ›

Anywhere in the state of Georgia. Who can I notarize for? As a notary/signing agent, you can notarize for any member of the public who makes a sensible request and meets all the requirements for notarization. It is recommended, as a guiding principle, to avoid notarizing any documents for family members.

How long does it take to become a notary signing agent in Georgia? ›

You can get your notary through the Georgia Clerk of Superior Court in about ten days, sometimes less. The turnaround is very quick compared to other states. Then, all you have to do is take the oath of office before a notary public. You can become a loan signing agent in Georgia in about two weeks.

How do I become a remote notary in Georgia? ›

The general steps to become an online Notary may include:
  1. Meeting your state's qualifications to become a traditional Notary.
  2. Applying or registering to perform virtual notarizations.
  3. Paying the state's application fees.
  4. Completing any RON-specific testing or training courses required by your state.

How long is a notarized document valid in Georgia? ›

The notarization of any document does not expire itself. This means there is no such rule that states that a specific notary stamp expires and will not be acceptable after a certain date.

Where are notaries most needed? ›

Administrative Office
  • Real Estate Agencies - Many real estate agencies need a notary for deeds and titles.
  • Banks - A lot of banks offer notary services to their customers. ...
  • Lending Institutions - Some lending institutions hire notaries to notarize loan paperwork.
Dec 15, 2015

Who needs a notary the most? ›

Legal documents like wills, trusts, affidavits, and more all require notarization. Law firms that work on real estate transactions or estate planning will also need notary services for property documents like deeds.

How much do mobile notaries charge in Los Angeles? ›

The base travel fee for a Mobile Notary in Los Angeles during normal business hours is $50. In addition, each notarized signature is a fixed fee of $15 with every 6th signature free. If you require a notary during peak traffic or after hours, the travel fee is increased between $10 and $500 depending on the hour.

How much can a mobile notary charge in NY? ›

How much can a notary charge for remote notarization? An Electronic Notary may charge up to $25.00 per electronic notarial act performed. The fee may be charged for each notarial act performed during one electronic session.

How much does a loan signing agent make in Texas? ›

Loan Signing Agent Salary in Texas
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$155,659$12,971
75th Percentile$155,219$12,934
25th Percentile$37,375$3,114

How much does a remote notary earn in Georgia? ›

$26,843 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $80,529 is the 75th percentile.

What is the most a notary can charge in Georgia? ›

Each attendance on any person to make proof as a notary public -- $2.00. Every other certificate -- $2.00. It is not lawful to charge more than $4.00 for each service performed.

How to make money from home? ›

23 Easy Ways to Make Money From Home
  1. Rent out rooms in your home. ...
  2. Be a housesitter. ...
  3. Become an online tutor. ...
  4. Rent out your car. ...
  5. Start a freelance business. ...
  6. Pet sitting at your home. ...
  7. Monetize social media and streaming accounts. ...
  8. Sell web domain names.

Do you need a notary bond in Virginia? ›

None Required. It is strongly recommended by the Secretary of Commonwealth and Notary Service and Bonding Agency, Inc. that each Virginia notary public record and maintain every notarial act in a notary journal. A filing fee of $45 is required for new and renewal notary applications.

How much does a public notary make in Virginia? ›

$28,203 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $101,143 is the 90th percentile.

Does Virginia allow online notary? ›

Is online notarization legal in Virginia? Yes. Notaries who are commissioned to practice online can perform Remote Online Notarization (RON) services in Virginia. Virginia became the first state to legalize Remote Online Notarization (RON) law in 2013 under House Bill 2318/ Senate Bill 827.

How much does a mobile notary make in VA? ›

$34,524 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $172,138 is the 75th percentile. Salaries above this are outliers.

How much can a mobile notary charge in Virginia? ›

A notary is not required to charge a fee for his or her services, but if a fee is charged, it cannot be more than $5.00 for each notarial act. A Virginia notary may notarize a document to be filed and used outside of Virginia if it is signed and notarized in Virginia.

How do I become a remote online notary in Virginia? ›

If you are not currently a commissioned notary in Virginia, please complete the application found on the Secretary of Commonwealth's notary website. Once you have received your commission certificate from the circuit court, you can apply to become an electronic notary.

What can a Virginia notary notarize? ›

Virginia notaries may notarize powers of attorney and wills. Virginia notaries are not authorized to certify true copies of birth, death, or marriage certificates. Only the Division of Vital Records/Statistics may perform such a certification.

How do I become a notary loan signing agent in WV? ›

To become a West Virginia Notary:
  1. Read Notary Public Law.
  2. Complete application form N-1 and/or N-2.
  3. Receive commission letter.
  4. Pay $52 fee.
  5. Review the Notary Handbook.
Nov 24, 2022

How much does it cost to renew a notary in WV? ›

The filing fee is $52. The office of the Secretary of State will send you a commission letter and stamp card once your application has been approved and processed. The commission letter will provide the exact information you need to have included on your seal, including your new commission expiration date.

Are notaries lawyers in the US? ›

In the United States, a lay notary may not offer legal advice or prepare documents – except in Louisiana and Puerto Rico – and in most cases cannot recommend how a person should sign a document or what type of notarization is necessary.

How many questions are on the MD notary exam? ›

The Exam has 45 multiple choice questions that are weighted;

some questions have a greater value than others.

Is the NC notary test open book? ›

Is the notary exam open book in NC? Examinations are regularly scheduled throughout the state and are closed book exams.

How much does a mobile notary charge in Arizona? ›

Arizona State Regulated Fees: $10.00 per notarial act (stamp). Mileage fees at $0.625/mile round trip.

Can a felon become a notary in AZ? ›

To become an Arizona Notary Public, you must meet the following requirements: You must be an Arizona resident; You must be at least 18 years old; You must not have been convicted of a felony unless your civil rights have been restored.

How much does a notary cost in Arizona? ›

Reminder: Per notary rules, notary fees shall be from "no charge up to a maximum of $10 per notarial act." This includes electronic and remote online notary fees.

How much does a loan signing agent make in Arizona? ›

Loan Signing Agent Salary in Arizona
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$171,845$14,320
75th Percentile$171,359$14,279
25th Percentile$41,262$3,438

What disqualifies you from being a notary in Georgia? ›

Drugs, possession for sale and sale. Embezzlement. Escape without force. Failure to comply with a court order.

How much can you charge as a notary in Georgia? ›


Each attendance on any person to make proof as a notary public -- $2.00. Every other certificate -- $2.00. It is not lawful to charge more than $4.00 for each service performed.

How much does a notary public make in Georgia? ›

$22,563 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers.

Can I make money as a notary signing agent in Georgia? ›

As of May 13, 2023, the average annual pay for a Mobile Notary Signing Agent in Atlanta is $96,387 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $46.34 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,853/week or $8,032/month.

How much can you charge as a mobile notary in Georgia? ›

The authorized fee is $2.00 for each notarial act.

Can you notarize online in Georgia? ›

Yes, an online notarization is valid and enforceable in Georgia because of interstate recognition. Even though Georgia does not have a remote online notarization (RON) law, Georgia recognizes notarizations that are properly performed by notaries of other states.

How much do loan signing agents make in Georgia? ›

Loan Signing Agent Salary in Georgia
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$137,716$11,476
75th Percentile$137,327$11,443
25th Percentile$33,067$2,755

Is GA an attorney state for notary? ›

Georgia: Georgia Notaries may notarize documents related to a conveyance of real property ONLY under the direct supervision of an attorney.


1. Can You Be a Notary in Multiple States?
2. Notarizing Documents: Frequently Asked Questions!
(Rate One Financial, Inc.)
3. Start A Notary Business in 2023 With My 7 Step Plan
(Notary 2 Notary)
4. How to Become a Notary in MS - NSA Blueprint
(Jon Snedeker)
5. How to Become a Notary in MA - NSA Blueprint
(Jon Snedeker)
6. How To Become A Texas Notary Public / steps, supplies & work from home opportunity! 😁🙌
(Life With Adi)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Melvina Ondricka

Last Updated: 08/19/2023

Views: 5910

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Melvina Ondricka

Birthday: 2000-12-23

Address: Suite 382 139 Shaniqua Locks, Paulaborough, UT 90498

Phone: +636383657021

Job: Dynamic Government Specialist

Hobby: Kite flying, Watching movies, Knitting, Model building, Reading, Wood carving, Paintball

Introduction: My name is Melvina Ondricka, I am a helpful, fancy, friendly, innocent, outstanding, courageous, thoughtful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.