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How to Become a Notary Public in Louisiana

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

  1. Make sure you meet all of Louisiana’s eligibility requirements (see below).
  2. Complete the Application to Qualify on the Secretary of State’s website and pay the $35 application fee.
  3. Register for the Notary Exam Pre-Assessment. The LSU Center for Assessment and Evaluation will send log-in instructions via email.
  4. Once your pre-assessment score is in, you will be able to register for the state exam.
  5. Register for the state Notary exam at least 45 days in advance. All of the previous steps must be completed no less than 30 days prior to your exam date.
  6. Consider buying the Fundamentals of Louisiana Law and Practice study guide from the Secretary of State (optional). The cost is $100.
  7. Pass the state-required exam.
  8. Execute two Oath of Office forms. One original oath form and your bond or E&O must be filed with your parish's clerk of court. The Louisiana Secretary of State gets the second oath form along with your official signature page, original or certified true copy of bond or E&O signed by the parish clerk of court.
  9. Buy your Notary seal and journal (optional, but strongly recommended).
  10. Get E&O insurance to limit your financial exposure, if you do not already have a policy (optional, but strongly recommended).
  11. Take continuing education and consult Notary experts if you believe you need additional training or guidance (optional, but strongly recommended).

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In This Guide: Louisiana Notary Process | LA Notary Requirements | General Notary Public Information

More Details About the Louisiana Notary Process

Here, we cover how much a Notary Public commission costs and more.

How much does it cost?

The state application fee is $35, Notary Exam Pre-Assessment costs $30 and Notary Public Exam registration costs $100. To find the list of fees charged by the Louisiana Secretary of State, click here. The cost of your $10,000 bond or E&O will vary based on the vendor you choose.

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?

The processing time can be lengthy due to the various deadlines and processing times. The Application to Qualify and Notary Exam Pre-Assessment registration and scoring can take up to one week, each. Additionally, you must register for your Notary exam 45 days before taking the exam. The Notary exam is given only twice a year on the first Saturday in June and December.

How long does a Notary commission in Louisiana last?

In Louisiana, Notaries are commissioned for life pursuant to Attorney General Opinion 1940-42.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Louisiana

Wondering if you have what it takes to become a Notary in the Pelican State? Read on below.

Who can become a Notary?

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

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a resident citizen or alien of the state
  • Be a registered voter in the parish in which you’re applying
  • Be able to read, write and speak English
  • Have received a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Have no felony convictions unless they have been pardoned

What kind of training will I need?

Training is not required for Louisiana Notaries but is state-recommended.

Do I need to take an exam?

Yes, passing an exam is required to become a Notary in Louisiana unless you are an attorney. After your Application to Qualify has been approved, you can register for your exam online through the Secretary of State’s website.

What kind of supplies will I need?

A Notary seal is not required by the state, but the following information must be typed, printed or stamped on every notarized document:

  • Your name as it appears on your commission
  • Your Notary identification number, or state bar number if you are a licensed attorney
  • The words “Notary Public”

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.

A Notary journal is not required, but recommended, to keep a record of your notarizations performed. 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?

Yes, a five-year $10,000 surety bond or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance is required for Louisiana Notaries. Many choose E&O policies, as it can protect you from any legal expenses whereas a bond only protects the public. While Louisiana Notary commissions are lifetime terms, you must file your bond or E&O with the state every five years.

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General Notary Public Information

Below are answers to the most common questions about being an LA Notary.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Office of the Secretary of State, located in Baton Rouge, LA, issues Notary Public commissions.

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

The Secretary of State’s office does have a study guide for the exam, which can be purchased online. You can also find several reputable Notary Public training providers with a quick online search. 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 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?

If you're not an attorney, you will be able to notarize anywhere in your parish. Notaries who are also attorneys have statewide jurisdiction.

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. Louisiana 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 LA Notaries charge per notarization?

Louisiana Notaries can charge a reasonable fee per notarial act. While the Secretary of State does not set a maximum fee for notarizations, it’s a best practice to inform signers of your fees prior to a transaction to prevent potential conflicts.

What should I do if I move or change my name?

You must notify the Secretary of State of any address or name changes. For an address change, you can either update your address online or mail or fax the new address to the Notary Division. If you move to another parish, you must change your commission to that parish even if you move to a parish within a reciprocal group. To do so, you’ll need to complete another Application to Qualify with the $35 fee and file two Oaths of Office forms and Official Signature page with the SOS and parish clerk of court. An original or certified copy of a surety bond or insurance policy in the amount of $10,000 is also required.

If you change your name, you must execute another oath with your new name, change the name on your bond or E&O policy, and submit an Official Signature page with a name change affidavit and $35 fee.

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 Louisiana Notary?

While Louisiana Notaries are commissioned for life, they are required to submit proof of a five-year $10,000 bond or E&O insurance every five years to the Secretary of State. After getting your bond or insurance renewed, have it approved by your parish clerk. Submit the original or certified true copy of the bond or E&O signed by the parish clerk of court to the Louisiana Secretary of State. Pay their $20 filing fee.

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

Louisiana does not allow remote online notarization (RON). However, there are 24 states that have passed permanent remote online notarization laws. To learn more about RONs, check out this guide on what remote notarization is and what you need to know.

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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