Notary Bulletin

Avoid Commission Renewal Delays By Starting Process Early

Between increased red tape and cutbacks affecting the efficiency of state agencies across the nation, it takes a lot more time and effort to renew your Notary commission than it used to.

In order to avoid a lapse in your Notary commission that may disrupt your work, its always a good idea to begin the renewal process well before your commission expires. In some states this could mean starting the process a month or less before the expiration dates, but for others, it may mean starting many months ahead of time.

California Notaries, for example, are being urged by Secretary of State Debra Bowen to begin the renewal process at least six months before their current commissions expire. The long lead-time is tied to the states stringent background screenings, which include taking a photograph and fingerprints. Additionally, several states facing budget crises, work furloughs and other fiscal issues are taking longer to review and process commission renewal paperwork.

In California, it typically takes about a month to process a Notary application from the date of the state-approved examination. Processing time also depends on the backlog of background checks by the California Department of Justice and the FBI. If there are errors or additional information is needed, processing time can be increased substantially, which could result in an inconvenient gap in your commission. The commission renewal process in all states can be complicated, and the NNA is expert in how the process works, how long it takes and what requirements, forms and supplies Notaries must have to get through the process in all 50 states and several U.S. territories.

For expert assistance in renewing your commission and meeting all state requirements and deadlines, visit us here.

To check the renewal time for your jurisdiction, contact your Notary-regulating authority. California Notaries can contact the Secretary of States office at (916) 653-3595.

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions.

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