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How to Become a Notary Public in Florida

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 a $7,500 surety bond from an approved bonding agency.
  3. Take an approved education course. The Department of State's free course is available online.
  4. Complete the 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.

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In This Guide: Florida Notary Process | FL Notary Requirements | General Notary Public Information

More Details About the Florida Notary Process

Here, you'll find more information about the Notary Public application process.

How much does it cost to apply for an FL Notary commission?

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

How long does it take to become a Notary?

It can take two to four weeks to become commissioned as a Notary Public depending on your availability and the time the Department of State needs to process your application.

How long does a Florida Notary commission last?

Florida's Notary commission term is four years.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Florida

Wondering if you qualify to become a Notary in the Sunshine State? Check out the requirements below.

Who can become an FL Notary?

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

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a legal resident of Florida
  • Not be a convicted felon unless you have had your civil rights restored

Is training required to become an FL Notary?

Yes. All first-time applicants for a Florida Notary Public commission must complete a three-hour course offered by the state or by a vendor with a training program approved by the Executive Office of the Governor. The NNA offers 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 a Notary exam in Florida?

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

What kind of Notary supplies are required?

Florida Notaries are required to use an inked rubber stamp seal as the official Notary seal for all notarial acts. An embosser to be used in addition to the seal and a journal are optional. The seal must include the following information:

  • Your name as it appears on your commission
  • The words "Notary Public - State of Florida"
  • Your commission number
  • Your commission expiration date

Although not required by law, the Florida Governor's Office strongly recommends using a journal of notarial acts to record every notarization you perform.

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.

To protect you as a Notary, you may want to get an errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy. This policy is optional for traditional Notaries and can limit your financial exposure if you make a mistake on a notarized document resulting in financial damage to the signer.

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General Notary Public Information

Below has more information about being a Notary Public in Florida.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Department of State, located in Tallahassee, FL, 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.

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.

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.

Where will I be able to notarize?

Florida Notaries may perform notarizations anywhere within the state.

Who can I notarize for?

You can notarize for any member of the public who makes a reasonable request and meets all requirements for notarization, such as personally appearing before you and providing satisfactory proof of identity. You're prohibited from notarizing your own signature or that of your spouse, son, daughter, mother or father. With that said, it is acceptable to solemnize a marriage for your mother, father, son or daughter since you're not notarizing their signature.

How much can FL Notaries charge per notarial act?

In Florida, Notaries may not charge more than $10 per notarization except as provided in F.S. 117.045 (marriages) or 117.275 (online notarizations).

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 or 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.

What are 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)

How do I renew my Florida Notary commission?

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.

What do I need to know about remote online notarization in Florida?

As of January 1, 2020, Florida Notaries can apply to perform remote online notarizations for signers located anywhere. Notaries authorized to perform RONs must be physically located in the state at the time of notarization. Once you have your traditional Notary Public commission, you can follow the steps in this guide to become an FL remote Notary.

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

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