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How To Become A Notary Public In Arizona

If you are interested in becoming a Notary Public in Arizona, this practical guide will answer many common questions. Learn about notarial duties, and find out how you can become a commissioned Notary. Once you are ready to begin the process of becoming a Arizona notary or renewing your Arizona commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

Arizona Notary Process

Requirements to be a Notary in Arizona

General Notary Public Information


BECOME a Notary

Arizona Notary Process

What is the process to become a Notary Public?

You must submit these three items together:

  1. Original signed Notary Application
  2. Original notarized Notary Bond
  3. $43 filing fee

The Secretary of State's office reserves the right to request additional documentation or frees required for processing.

  • If you are mailing in an expedited application, noticeably write “EXPEDITE” on your envelope so that your application is processed promptly.
  • You may renew a commission up to two months before your term expires. If you are unsure of when your commission ends, look at your stamp or check our online search feature.
  • Upon receipt of your commission certificate, the state recommends that you review your name, county of residence and commission dates to ensure your stamp is made accurately.
  • Any application requiring further review, i.e. felony conviction, professional license action or past Notary complaint, cannot be expedited. If the expedited fee is included, it will either be returned or refunded.
  • Copies of the Notary bond can be requested with the Public Record Request Form (PDF) for $3.10. A Notary application is not available for public inspection or duplication, and can only be released by order of a subpoena.

If you have any questions, please call 602-542-6187 or 1-800-458-5842.

How long does an Arizona Notary commission last?

The term of an Arizona Notary commission is four years.

How long does it take?

The Arizona Department of State recommends allowing three to four weeks for the processing of a Notary Public commission application; however, for expedited service of one to two business days, an additional $25 will be charged.

May I become a Arizona Notary if I am not a U.S. citizen?

Yes. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to become an Arizona Notary Public. You must, however, be a legal resident of the state and meet all other application requirements.

What kind of training will I need?

The state does not require training prior to obtaining a Notary commission.

Do I need to take an exam?

There is no state-proctored exam required in Arizona.

What kind of supplies will I need?

Arizona Notaries must use a rubber stamp ink seal for all notarial acts. An embosser may be used as a secondary impression but cannot serve as the Notary’s only seal. You must also post your fee schedule in a specific format and in a conspicuous location.

Supplies are sold by most vendors in packages, which can sometimes provide savings. However, not all vendor packages are created equal – they can vary greatly in terms of quality and content. If you are a new Notary or renewing your commission, the types and quantity of notarizations can require different tools of the trade. For example, if you are a mobile or retail Notary, an ID checking guide is recommended because you are constantly dealing with different people, as opposed to someone who notarizes in the same setting for the same group of people day after day.

Though no longer required by law, every Arizona Notary may keep a permanently bound journal of his or her notarial acts containing numbered pages. When purchasing a journal, there are features to which you must pay close attention. A journal with tamper-proof sewn construction allows Notaries to identify missing pages in their journals, which becomes extremely helpful if you’re ever named in a lawsuit. Simple notebooks or glue-bound journals are not acceptable in Arizona.

When shopping for seal stamps, quality and durability can vary greatly among vendors. Stamps should not bleed during or after use, as this can cause county officials to reject documents due to smudging. A second seal can help you avoid downtime if your seal is ever misplaced, and an embosser can help add an additional layer of fraud prevention security.

How much does it cost?

There is a $43 fee to apply for a Notary Public commission. Additional costs for bonds, Notary tools and education courses vary depending on vendors. There may be county fees for filing your bond, signature and commission.

The cost of commissioning can differ depending on whether you are a new or renewing Notary. Supply package prices vary among vendors. New Notaries may need more “how-to” assistance than experienced Notaries. Books, training and live expert assistance are often must-haves for most new Notaries.

Some vendors may package items with additional fees – processing fees for example. Training can be included in package prices for new Notaries, although the quality of education can vary. Some providers offer their own Notary courses while others do not have the on-staff expertise to develop and support educational content. Several vendors offer Notaries live question and answer support, and others are not able to offer such assistance.

What is a surety bond and why do I need one?

Arizona Notaries are required to purchase a $5,000 surety bond from an authorized company to protect signers against financial damages resulting from the Notary’s negligence or misconduct. A surety bond is a financial guarantee that the Notary will fulfill his or her obligations to notarize in compliance with state laws. This Notary bond specifically protects the public, not the Notary. Any damages paid from the bond go to cover any signer’s losses and must be paid back to the surety company by you.

Notaries can insure themselves against possible legal costs or damages by purchasing a separate, optional errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy. Though not required by law, an E&O policy covers a Notary’s legal fees and damages up to the amount of the policy.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Arizona

Who can become a Notary?

A Notary Public applicant in Arizona must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Must be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States
  • Be a legal resident of Arizona for income tax purposes, claiming a residence in the state as his or her primary residence on state and federal tax returns
  • A person convicted of a felony may not be able to become a Notary Public in Arizona unless a pardon restores his or her civil and political rights

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General Notary Public Information

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Arizona Office of the Secretary of State, Notary Section, located in Phoenix, Arizona, holds all records of Notaries Public and records are available to be viewed by the general public.

What is the process to renew my commission as a Arizona Notary?

  • Be sure you continue to meet the qualifications to become a Notary.
  • Re-Applications should be submitted no earlier than two months prior to commission expiration.
  • Follow the same steps as the new Notary application process.

Where will I be able to notarize?

An Arizona Notary can perform notarial acts anywhere within the state’s borders.

Who can I notarize for?

Any member of the public, as long as the request meets all statutory requirements for notarization.

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