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Basic Notary Public Information

How Do You Become a Notary Public?

The process for becoming a Notary Public is relatively simple, but slightly different for each state. For most states you need to:
  • File an application
  • Pay a small fee
  • Complete some training
  • Pass a test
  • Take an oath
The test required by most states is similar to the type of multiple choice test you take to get a driverís license. The test is intended to ensure that you understand the responsibilities and limitations of your Notary commission. Some states require you to take a training course. In addition, most states require you to file your fingerprints. Convicted felons cannot become Notaries.

Unless your state happens to be one of the few that only require you to take an oath to become a Notary, here is a more detailed description of the entire process for most states:
  • Read the instructions for becoming a Notary in your state.
  • Choose a class or online training to learn the Notary laws and how to actually notarize documents and administer oaths/affirmations.
  • Take the state exam if required. This is sometimes given as part of, and at the end of the training class.
  • Receive your test results and commission, usually by mail.
  • Have fingerprints filed if required.
  • Order your seal (Notary stamp), bond, journal and thumbprinter.
  • Get sworn in.
  • Get to work!
If your state requires state-approved training, make sure you take a state-approved course. Many websites and community services, such as Adult Ed, offer classes to help you learn your Notary duties that are not endorsed by the state. These are unofficial and helpful, but they won't qualify you if you need documented, state-approved training.

Since requirements can differ between states, and changes in Notary law can occur as well, the individual state requirements and instructions can be found on the page titled: How to Become a Notary in Your State.

Next - What Does it Cost to Become a Notary Public?

notary loan signing agent training and certification
      Notary Loan Signing Agent
      Comprehensive Certification Course
      & Reference Manual

      212 pages, including a final exam
PLEASE NOTE: You don't have to be a Notary Public to train for this career and become certified, so you can start training immediately. However, you do need to become a Notary Public before you can actually perform notarized loan signings. Becoming a Notary Public for your state is independent of this course. Also, most states allow loan signing agents to assist in closing loans, but not all of them do. Before you order this course, be sure to check and see if your state allows loan signing agents to assist in closing loans. Go to the state links for instructions on how to become a Notary Public in your state.

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