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How to Become a Notary Public in Nebraska

Applicants can become a Notary Public in Nebraska by completing the following steps:

  1. Make sure you meet all of your state's qualifications (see below).
  2. Request a written take-home test from the Secretary of State.
  3. Upon receiving the written exam, you'll need to take and pass it.
  4. Receive a letter with your test results. If you pass, complete the Initial Application for Notary Commission and get it notarized.
  5. Buy your $15,000 surety bond.
  6. Submit your application, proof of your surety bond, $30 commission fee and U.S. Citizenship Attestation Form to the Notary Division of the Secretary of State's office in Lincoln, NE.
  7. Once your application is processed, the Secretary of State will issue your Notary commission certificate by mail.
  8. Take your commission certificate to a vendor to buy your Notary ink stamp seal.
  9. Buy a Notary journal and get E&O insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).
  10. Take continuing education or consult Notary experts for guidance (optional, but strongly recommended).

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In This Guide: Nebraska Notary Process | NE Notary Requirements | General Notary Public Information

More Details About the Nebraska Notary Process

Here, we cover the cost and length of a Notary Public commission in Nebraska.

How much does it cost?

There is a $30 fee to apply for a Nebraska Notary Public commission. Additional costs for Notary tools and education courses vary depending on vendors.

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 Secretary of State's office estimates approximately 10-14 days to process a Notary commission application.

How long does a Nebraska Notary commission last?

The term of a Nebraska Notary commission is four years.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Nebraska

Wondering if you qualify for a Notary commission in the Cornhusker State? Read on below.

Who can become a Notary?

A Notary Public applicant in Nebraska must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 19 years old
  • Be a resident of Nebraska, or a resident of a state bordering Nebraska who can present evidence of a Nebraska workplace
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving fraud or dishonesty within the previous five years prior to application

What kind of training will I need?

A training course is not required to apply for a Nebraska Notary commission.

Do I need to take an exam?

Yes, you will need to take and pass the Notary Public Examination on the duties and obligations of a Notary. A score of 85% or higher is required to pass.

You have three attempts to pass the exam. If you don't pass it, you'll have to wait 30 days before retaking it. After three attempts, you will no longer be qualified to become a Notary in Nebraska.

What kind of supplies will I need?

Nebraska Notaries must use an ink stamp seal for all notarial acts. The seal must contain the following information:

  • The words "State of Nebraska"
  • The words "General Notary" or "General Notarial"
  • Your name as it appears on your commission
  • Your commission expiration date

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.

While not required by law, the state recommends that Notaries maintain a record of all notarial acts in a journal. 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.

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.

What is a surety bond and do I need one?

Nebraska Notaries are required to purchase a $15,000 surety bond to protect signers against financial damages resulting from the Notary's negligence or misconduct. A surety bond is a financial guarantee that the Notary will fulfill their obligations to notarize in compliance with state laws. This Notary bond specifically protects the public and not the Notary. Any damages paid from the bond go to cover any signer's losses and must be paid back to the surety company by you.

Notaries can insure themselves against possible legal costs or damages by purchasing a separate, optional errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy. Though not required by law, an E&O policy covers a Notary’s legal fees and damages up to the amount of the policy.

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General Notary Public Information

We answer the most common questions about Nebraska Notaries below.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Nebraska Office of the Secretary of State, Business Services Division, Notary Section, located in Lincoln, NE, issues Notary Public commissions.

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

Yes. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to become a Nebraska Notary Public. You must, however, meet all other application requirements.

Can I become a Nebraska Notary if I don't live in the state?

Yes. Out-of-state applicants must follow the steps to become a Nebraska Notary and must also submit an Evidence of Employment in Nebraska Form.

Where will I be able to notarize?

A Nebraska Notary can perform notarial acts anywhere within the state's borders.

Who can I notarize for?

Any member of the public, as long as the request meets all statutory requirements for notarization. You may not notarize a document signed by you, your parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, spouse, brothers, sisters, in-laws, step relatives or half relatives. You're prohibited from notarizing a document in which you have a financial or beneficial interest other than receipt of the ordinary notarial fee or are named as a party to the transaction.

What fees can Nebraska Notaries charge per notarization?

Nebraska Notaries can charge from $1 to $5 per notarization, depending on the act. An additional fee for travel can be charged, but it must be based on the rate established by the Department of Administrative Services.

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

You must notify the Secretary of State of an address change. To do this, complete the Notary Public Request to Change Record within 45 days of moving.

While not required, you may notify the Secretary of your new name by completing the Change of Signature or Name Application Form for a Notary Public — unless you change your name within 30 days of your commission expiration date. In that case, you may use your old name until the end of your term. However, you must include your new name in your renewal application. The fee to change the name on a commission is $30.

What is the process to renew my Notary Public commission?

In the 30 days prior to your commission expiration date, you must submit a renewal application, renew your $15,000 surety bond, pay the state's $30 renewal fee and submit your U.S. Citizenship Attestation Form. Non-residents also need to submit an Evidence of Employment in Nebraska Form. Once your renewal is approved and your new commission certificate is issued, present your certificate to a vendor to purchase a new seal.

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

Nebraska is the 22nd state to enact remote online notarizations. As of July 1, 2020, Notaries with an active traditional commission can register to become remote Notaries. This guide outlines the registration process step-by-step.

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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