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How To Become A Notary Public In Arkansas

If you are interested in becoming a Notary Public in Arkansas, 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 Arkansas notary or renewing your Arkansas commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

Arkansas Notary Process | Requirements to be a Notary in Arkansas | General Notary Public Information

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Arkansas Notary Process

What is the process to become a Notary Public?

If you would like to become an Arkansas Notary, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Make sure you meet all of your state’s requirements (see below).
  2. Pass the online exam.
  3. Complete an application. The form includes an affidavit that you need to sign and have notarized.
  4. Get your $7,500 surety bond.
  5. Send the application, a copy of your bond and the $20 fee to the Secretary of State’s office.
  6. Buy your Notary seal.
  7. Consider getting a Notary journal and E&O insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).
  8. If you want additional training, seek out continuing education or consult Notary experts for guidance.

How much does it cost?

There is a $20 fee to apply for a Notary Public commission. Additional costs for Notary tools and education courses vary depending on vendors.

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.

How long does an Arkansas Notary commission last?

The term of an Arkansas Notary commission is 10 years.

What kind of training will I need?

A training course is not required.

Do I need to take an exam?

Yes. Passing the state-required exam is a requirement for all Notary applicants.

What kind of supplies will I need?

Arkansas Notaries must have an official seal of office, which may be in the form of an ink stamp or embosser.

Though not required, state officials recommend that Arkansas Notaries keep a record of all notarial acts in an official journal.

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.

When purchasing a journal, there are a few important features to which you must pay close attention. A journal with numbered pages and 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.

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.

What is a surety bond and do I need one?

Arkansas Notaries are required to purchase a $7,500/10-year surety bond 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 Arkansas 

Who can become a Notary?

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

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien
  • Must be a legal resident of Arkansas or a resident of a bordering state employed in Arkansas
  • Must be able to read and write the English language
  • Must not have had a Notary commission revoked in the past 10 years
  • Must never have been convicted of a felony

As of July 25, 2019, nonresident spouses of U.S. military service members employed or operating a business in Arkansas may apply for an Arkansas Notary commission. These applicants must provide certain U.S. Department of Defense papers as part of the application.

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General Notary Public Information

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Arkansas Office of the Secretary of State, Business and Commercial Services Division, located in Little Rock.

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

Yes, but you must be a permanent resident alien and meet all other state requirements.

Can anyone help me become a Notary?

Yes. Several companies offer Notary training, supplies, insurance and assistance with the entire application process. Also, the Secretary of State’s website has the application with submission details, if you want to get the process started on your own.

Where will I be able to notarize?

An Arkansas 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.

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

Renewal process is the same as the application process above. The earliest you can begin the renewal process is 60 days before your current commission expires.

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If you're not quite ready yet, we have additional resources where you can learn what a Notary is, what they do and why you should become a commissioned Notary.

Are you ready to get started?

Get everything you need with a full Arkansas Notary Supply Package.