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How to Become a Notary Public in New Jersey

If you are interested in becoming a Notary Public in New Jersey , 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 New Jersey notary or renewing your New Jersey commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

Requirements to be a Notary in New Jersey
New Jersey Notary Process
What can I do with my New Jersey Commission?
Additional Information

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Requirements to be a Notary in New Jersey

 

Who can become a New Jersey Notary?

A Notary Public applicant in New Jersey must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a resident of New Jersey or a resident of an adjoining state who maintains or is regularly employed in an office in New Jersey
  • Not have been convicted of a crime under the laws of any state or of the United States for an offense involving dishonesty, or a crime of the first or second degree

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New Jersey Notary Process

 

How to become a Notary in New Jersey
  1. Make sure you meet all of your state’s qualifications:
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a resident of New Jersey or a resident of an adjoining state who maintains or is regularly employed in an office in New Jersey
  • Not have been convicted of a crime under the laws of any state or of the United States for an offense involving dishonesty, or a crime of the first or second degree
  1. An application for a Notary commission must be completed online through the state’s website (https://www.njportal.com/DOR/Notary). The application filing fee is $25. 
  2. Upon approval of the application, the Notary Public Unit mails to the applicant a “Commission Certificate” and “Oath Qualification Certificate.”
  3. Within three months of receiving the certificates, the Notary must take them to the clerk of the county in which the Notary resides or is employed.
  4. The county clerk will administer an oath of office to the Notary, collect a filing fee and return the completed “Oath Qualification Certificate” to the state Notary Public Unit.
  5. Purchase your Notary seal and journal (optional products, but strongly recommended).
  6. Purchase errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).
  7. Begin performing notarizations for the public.
  8. If you determine you need additional training, seek out continuing education or consult Notary experts for guidance.
How to renew your Notary commission in New Jersey
  1. Be sure you continue to meet the qualifications to become a Notary.
  2. Review the application process and instructions on the Department of State’s website.
  3. Renewal application forms will be sent to you about three months prior to the commission expiration.  
  4. The renewal process is the same as that for an initial commission.
  5. Purchase your Notary seal and (optional, but strongly recommended).
  6. Purchase errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).
  7. Begin performing notarizations for the public.
  8. If you determine you need additional training, seek out continuing education or consult Notary experts for guidance.
How long does a New Jersey Notary commission last?

The term of a New Jersey Notary commission is five years.

How much does it cost?

There is a $25 fee to apply for a Notary Public commission. Additional costs for Notary tools vary depending on vendors. There are county fees for filing your bond, signature and commission.

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 equipment will I need?

New Jersey Notaries may use a rubber stamp ink seal for all notarial acts for paper documents; however, it is not required by law. You may use an embosser in addition to the rubber stamp seal but use of the embosser is optional as well.

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.

It is strongly recommended that you use a journal of notarial acts to keep record of your notarizations, even though your state doesn’t require it. When purchasing a journal, there are important features to which you must pay close attention. A journal with 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.

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.

What kind of training will I need?

There is no state-required training for New Jersey.

Do I need to take an exam?

There is no state-required exam for New Jersey.

What is a surety bond and do I need one?

A surety bond is not required in New Jersey.

However, 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 either, an E&O policy covers a Notary’s legal fees and damages up to the amount of the policy.

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What Can I Do With My New Jersey Commission?

 

Where will I be able to notarize

A New Jersey Notary can perform notarial acts anywhere within the state’s borders.

Who can I notarize for?

Any member of the public, as long as request meets all statutory requirements for notarization.

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New Jersey Notary Additional Information

 

What is a Notary Public?

A New Jersey Notary is appointed by the Secretary of State to be an impartial witness to the signing of important documents. New Jersey Notaries are authorized to administer several official acts, including oaths and affirmations, depositions and affidavits, acknowledgments and proofs. In addition, Notaries Public are authorized to issue protests.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The New Jersey Department of Treasury, Div. of Revenue & Enterprise Services, Trenton, NJ.

Why become a Notary?

Notaries perform an important role in preventing fraud and ensuring the integrity of transactions by verifying the identity of document signers. It’s common for employees of many businesses that deal with signed document transactions on a regular basis — such as financial institutions, law firms or corporations — to become Notaries. Some entrepreneurs become commissioned Notaries as a part-time or full-time business for themselves, traveling to a signer’s home or place of business to notarize documents for a fee.

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

Yes. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to become a New Jersey Notary Public. You must, however, be a legal resident of the state, or be employed within the state and meet all other application requirements.

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