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How to Become a Notary Public in Georgia

Georgia residents can become a Notary Public by taking the following steps:

  1. Make sure you meet all of Georgia's eligibility requirements (see below).
  2. Complete the application online, if your county allows it. If not, bring it to the Clerk of Superior Court in your county of residence or employment.
  3. Pay the filing fee of $37 and take your oath of office.
  4. The clerk's office issues your Notary certificate of appointment.
  5. Buy your Notary seal.
  6. Get E&O insurance to limit your financial exposure (optional, but strongly recommended).
  7. Take continuing education or consult Notary experts if you want additional training or guidance (optional, but strongly recommended).

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In This Guide: Georgia Notary Process | GA Notary Requirements | General Notary Public Information

More Details About the Georgia Notary Process

For information on the cost and length of a GA Notary Public commission, read on below.

How much does it cost?

The application filing fee payable to the superior court clerk is $37. The cost of your seal will vary based on the vendor you choose.

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 it take?

For new Notaries, you are required to take your application to the Clerk of Superior Court in person, where they issue your commission certificate while you are there. Some counties allow for a mail-in renewal, but the processing time would depend on that particular office.

How long does a Georgia Notary commission last?

The term of a Georgia Notary Public commission is four years.

Requirements to be a Notary in Georgia

Learn how you can qualify to become a Notary in the Peach State.

Who can become a Notary?

There are basic qualifications for a person to become a Notary in Georgia. Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a legal resident of the Georgia county in which you apply, or be a resident of a state bordering Georgia who is employed or carrying out a business or profession in the county in which you apply
  • Be a citizen or legal resident of the U.S.
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Have and provide an operating telephone number

What kind of training will I need?

Training is not required for Georgia Notaries, but the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority does provide a free online course that explains Notary law and basic Notary procedures. You may also request "The Georgia Notary Handbook" through the Notary Handbook Online Order System or fill out the Notary Handbook Mail-In Order Form on the GSCCCA website.

Do I need to take an exam?

No, passing an exam is not required to become a Notary in Georgia. The state does offer an optional Notary Public Final Exam for $10 if you choose to take their online training course.

What about county-specific requirements?

Georgia's Notary Public application process can be a little confusing because it's possible for all 159 counties to set their own additional requirements. While this page addresses state-level information about becoming a Georgia Notary, it's very important that you check your County Clerk's website to make sure you complete all of the steps they require. For example, Clayton, Cobb and Fulton counties include Notary-specific training and passing an exam to earn a commission, while Cherokee County does not.

What kind of supplies will I need?

You'll need a Notary seal for every notarization you perform. The Notary seal may be an inked stamp or an embosser and must contain the following information:

  • Your name as it appears on your commission
  • The words "Notary Public"
  • The word "Georgia" or "GA"
  • The county in which you are commissioned

Your commission expiration date on the seal is optional but strongly recommended by the state, as this is required for some notarizations.

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.

While a Notary journal is not required by law, Georgia considers it a best practice for Notaries to use a Notary record book. 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. Simple notebooks or glue-bound journals simply do not offer the same level of security.

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.

Do I need a surety bond or insurance?

No. A bond is not required for Georgia Notaries, but many choose to purchase optional errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policies to protect themselves from legal expenses. E&O insurance is not a requirement in Georgia.

General Notary Public Information

Below, we answer the most common questions about being a Notary in Georgia.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

Georgia's superior court appoints and commissions Notaries, but the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA) keeps a statewide central database of all Notaries. The GSCCCA is located in Atlanta, GA.

Although Georgia does not require training, where can I get it?

You can find several reputable Notary Public training providers with a quick online search. It's important to note that the GSCCCA does not provide workshops or seminars, nor does it endorse any business that advertises Notary Public training. Since the GSCCCA doesn't have jurisdiction to take action regarding a business that offers Notary training, make sure you thoroughly review any company you plan to work with.

Can anyone help me become a Notary?

Yes. Several companies offer Notary training, supplies, insurance and assistance with the entire application process. Also, the GSCCCA 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?

You will be able to notarize anywhere in the state of Georgia.

Who can I notarize for?

You can notarize for everyone, excluding yourself. You cannot notarize your own signature, nor can you notarize documents you are named in or would benefit from. Georgia law doesn't specifically prohibit notarizing for a spouse or relative or for a spouse's business. If you perform notarizations as part of your employment, your employer may limit the notarizations you perform during your work hours.

How much can Georgia Notaries charge for their services?

Georgia sets the maximum fee Notaries can charge at $2 per notarial act. An additional fee for travel may be charged. If you charge any fees, you must inform signers in advance. A fee schedule written in English must be prominently displayed in your place of work if you advertise your services.

What happens if I move or change my name?

Any changes to your address, phone number or name must be reported to the appointing superior court clerk within 30 days of the change. Complete the Notary Public Contact Information Change Form and submit it to the appointing superior court clerk with a copy to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority.

If you move to a different county, you may use your current commission and stamp until the end of your term. When you renew, you must use your new address on your commission and order a new seal.

For name changes, you must follow the same process as an address change except you must wait for the clerk's confirmation before getting a new seal and performing notarizations under your new name.

How much legal risk will I face?

It depends. Even the most careful and detail-oriented people can make mistakes. As a Notary Public, any unintentional mistake you make or intentional misconduct you engage in could be very costly for everyone involved. Notaries have been sued for financial damages that signers incur, and lawsuits are expensive even if you're innocent. If you are diligent in following the law and keep thorough records, you'll be better prepared if any legal action does come your way.

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

The process to renew your Georgia Notary Public commission is the same as applying for a new Notary commission. You can submit a renewal application no more than 30 days prior to your commission expiration date. You may want to buy a new Notary seal to reflect your updated commission expiration date. You may also choose to get a new record book (journal) if your old one is full.

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

Remote online notarization (RON) is not allowed in Georgia, but it's legal in 47 states. Learn how RONs work and where it's allowed in this article.

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.

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Last updated: Mar 2, 2023

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