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How to Become a Notary Public in Florida

If you're interested in becoming a Notary Public in Florida this practical guide answers many common questions about the process. Learn about a Notary's duties and find out how you can become a commissioned Notary. Once you are ready to become a Florida notary or renew your Florida commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

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

Florida Notary Process
Requirements to be a Notary in Florida
General Notary Public Information

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Florida Notary Process

Florida residents who are interested in becoming a Notary Public must complete the following steps:

  1. Make sure you meet the requirements to become a Notary (see below).
  2. Get your surety bond from an approved bonding agency.
  3. Take an approved education course. The Department of State’s free course is available online.
  4. Fill out the entire application. Avoid errors using our application wizard. A person who has known you for more than a year must complete the Affidavit of Character section.
  5. Non-U.S. Citizens will need to get a recorded Application of Domicile form from the county clerk’s office.
  6. Make sure you are able and willing to swear or affirm the oath of office on the application.
  7. Sign the surety bond form.
  8. Follow the directions of your bonding agency to submit your application documents and fee.
  9. Order your Notary seal. You may choose to order from your bonding agency or another approved provider.
  10. Once your application is approved by the Department of State, you will receive your commission certificate from your bonding agency.

How long does a Florida Notary commission last?

Florida’s Notary commission term is four (4) years.

How much does it cost to apply for a Notary commission?

The state application fee is $39. Prices for additional requirements such as education, surety bonds and Notary seals vary depending on the provider you choose.

Common reasons the state of Florida rejects or delays Notary applications

  • Signature and printed name do not match
  • The “race” field is not completed
  • Driver’s license information must contain 12 digits
  • If a business address is referenced, it must include the company name
  • The bond form or the signature on the form is missing
  • Date of birth does not match state records
  • Previous commission number does not match (renewing Notaries only)

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Requirements to be a Notary in Florida

 

Who can become a Notary?

You may become a Notary in Florida if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are at least 18 years of age.
  • You are a legal resident of Florida.
  • You are not a convicted felon, unless you have had your civil rights restored.

Is training required to become a Notary?

Yes. All first-time applicants for a Florida Notary Public commission must complete a three-hour course offered by the state or a vendor with a training program approved by the Executive Office of the Governor. We offer an interactive online course that satisfies the state's requirement and several books to help you get started.

The course must be completed within one year prior to applying for a Notary commission. You will receive a completion certificate that you need to submit with your application form.

Notaries renewing their commissions are not required to take an educational course.

Do I need to take an exam?

No, you are not required to pass an exam to qualify for a Florida Notary commission.

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

A surety bond is a promise to pay anyone harmed if you fail to honestly, diligently and faithfully discharge your responsibilities as a Notary. A surety bond is not the same as insurance because it doesn’t protect you as a Notary. It protects the public. Florida law requires you to get a $7,500 bond from a surety company authorized to do business in Florida.

What kind of supplies will I need?

You need a rubber stamp that uses photographically reproducible black ink. The stamp is your official Notary seal. You’ll use it when you notarize signatures on a document. Although not required by law, the Florida Governor’s Office strongly recommends using a journal of notarial acts to record every notarization you perform.

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General Notary Public Information

 

Which state government office handles Notaries?

In Florida, the Department of State receives Notary applications from bonding agencies, issues commissions and keeps records on Notaries. However, Notaries are appointed by the Governor. The Executive Office of the Governor also provides instructional information and has the authority to suspend a Notary for misconduct.

Once my current commission expires, will I be automatically reappointed?

No, you must meet the requirements and reapply. The only difference is that you aren’t required to take an educational course if you are renewing your commission.

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

Yes, you may become a Notary if you submit a recorded Affidavit of Domicile from the county clerk of the county in which you reside.

If I live in another state but work in Florida, may I become a Florida Notary?

No, you must be a legal resident of Florida to become a Florida Notary.

What should I do if I get married or legally change my name?

Within 60 days, you must contact the bonding agency that handled your application to get a rider for your bond and to request an amended commission from the Department of State. A $25 fee payable by check or money order to the Department of State is also required. You may continue to notarize documents using your old name for 60 days or until you receive your amended commission.

What should I do if I move, take a new job or my personal information changes?

You must notify the Department of State in writing of any change in your business address, home telephone number, home address, business telephone number, or criminal record within 60 days of the change.

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