The requirements of how to become a Notary depends on which state you are currently in. You need to be at least 18 years of age and shouldn’t have any record of misdemeanor involving dishonesty or a felony conviction.
How to become a notary?; you should be trustworthy in the first place because the work involves witnessing and verifying signatures on different types of legal documents and other notarial acts.
10 Steps on How to Become a Notary :
- You should be an official resident of the state where you want to be a notary. Although, some states accept applications from neighboring states.
- Make sure to meet all the criteria set by your state on becoming a notary or how to become a notary. Visit the National Notary Association (NNA) for the different eligibility requirements.
- Get an application form from your state’s office in-charge of notary, usually from the Department of State, or visit the website of your state’s notary division to check if they offer a downloadable application form.
- Pay the required fees. Check NNA’s website for your state’s fee and bond requirements.
- Attend notary classes, workshops, and trainings. You should also read books about basic law and notaries.
- After taking the required exams, mail in your application form or you can also file online if your state’s website offers one. Make sure to follow the instructions given.
- The state will then notify you if you have been approved to become a notary.
- Take your oath before a notary public.
- If required, make sure to pay the bond within the time frame given by the state. To help you with the bonds and other final paperwork, look for a licensed insurance broker.
- Get your official notary seal. Some states also require you to have an inked rubber stamps.
You are now ready to give notaries to lawyers and companies needing your services.
- On the application form, make sure to double check your name because that is going to be the exact name you are going to use as a notary. Any changes afterward are not allowed.
- If you’re a notary in places like South Carolina, Maine, Louisiana, and Florida, you are allowed to carry out civil marriages. Check all the functions or responsibilities given to you by your state.
- As a notary public, your term in office depends on the state. If you’d like to extend as a notary, you can be reappointed by applying again as a notary public.
- Your notary fee is subject to federal and state income taxes. Although you are exempted from self-employment taxes.
What to Avoid as a Notary:
- Acting carelessly as a notary. Completely understand and follow the responsibilities given to you by the state. Problems that can cause liabilities should be avoided at all cost.
- Committing felony charges. Any criminal or civil offense will strip you out of your job as a notary and you can never apply again.
- Immorality and dishonesty. Betraying the trust of the people can lead to disqualification or suspension as a notary public.
Resources to Help you on How to Become a Notary:
- How-To Tutorials – a list of answers to common questions about daily notary routines, which includes administering an oath or affirmation, correcting a certificate, fixing a bad seal impression, and notarizing a will.
- Recommended Best Practices – a list of guidelines for a notary public to follow.
- Notary Publications – a list of books and other reference materials to help you understand all there is to know about notary.
- Notary Supplies – a list of professional tools needed in effectively performing your duties as a notary.
Recommended Notary Websites:
- National Notary Association – the NNA has been in the industry since 1957 and is one of the leading authority in notary in the United States. They are a non-profit organization helping the country’s 4.8 million notaries. You can use their website to find information on how to become a notary in each of the states.
- American Society of Notaries – the ASN is also a non-profit group founded in 1965. They provide education, technical support, and supplies for notaries in America.
Finally, if you have successfully passed all the required steps on how to become a notary, your last move then is to market yourself. You can give away business cards, create a website, advertise in social networks, or better yet, you can list yourself here in FindNotary for free so that people can find your notary services easily.