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How To Become A Notary Public In Louisiana

If you are interested in becoming a Notary Public in Louisiana, this practical guide will answer many common questions. Learn about notarial duties, and find out how you can become a commissioned Notary. Once you are ready to begin the process of becoming a Louisiana notary or renewing your Louisiana commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

Louisiana Notary Process| Requirements to be a Notary in LA | General Notary Public Information

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Louisiana Notary Process

What is the process to become a Notary Public?

  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.
  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 $90.
  7. Pass the state required exam.
  8. Execute two oath of office forms. One original oath form and your E&O or bond 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, and the state's filing fee — click here to verify.
  9. Buy your Notary seal and journal.
  10. Consider purchasing E&O insurance to limit your financial exposure, if you do not already have a policy.
  11. Continuing education and Notary experts are always available if you believe you need additional training or guidance.

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.

How much does it cost?

The state application fee is dependent on the type of appointment for which you are applying. To find the list of fees charged by the Louisiana Secretary of State, click here. The cost of your E&O or bond 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.

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 not required by the state, but one would imprint information required by law. Every notarization is required to have your name as it appears on your commission and Notary identification number, or state bar number if you are a licensed attorney. You may also include “Notary Public” in your seal.

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. For example, if you are a mobile or retail Notary, an ID checking guide is recommended because you are constantly dealing with different people, as opposed to someone who notarizes in the same setting for the same group of people day after day.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

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

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Requirements to be a Notary in Louisiana

Who can become a Notary?

There are basic qualifications for a person to become a Notary in Louisiana. Applicants must be 18 years old, reside in the state and be a U.S. citizen or legal resident of the U.S. You must also be a registered voter in the parish in which you apply. You must also be able to read, write, and speak English. Applicants are also required to have a high school education, or equivalent, and no felony convictions unless pardoned.

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General Notary Public Information

Louisiana does not require training, but 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.

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.

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.

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 $10,000/five-year 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 bond or E&O signed by the parish clerk of court to the Louisiana Secretary of State. Pay their $20 filing fee.

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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.

Are you ready to get started?

Get everything you need with a full Louisiana Notary Supply Package.