Hindered by budget shortfalls and limited resources, states continue to experience backlogs of commission renewals, causing delays for Notaries trying to keep their commissions current. To ensure prompt renewal, it’s best to start the process as early as your state allows and make use of the NNA resources available to you. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen recently posted a message that due to the closure of regional offices and other cuts, Notaries in the Golden State can expect lengthier turnaround times to have commission applications and renewals processed for the time being. Notaries in New York and Nevada also are reporting delays in commission renewals due to work furloughs and budget restraints. If Notaries don’t allow sufficient extra time for their commission renewals to be processed, they run the risk of not receiving the renewal until after their old commission expires — which leaves a gap in time when the Notary will be unable to perform his or her duties, negatively impacting the Notary’s work. If you have submitted your renewal application in a timely manner and followed up with your state’s notary regulating office but have not had any response, work your way up the ladder to the supervisor of the division or even the secretary of state. Be thoughtful and considerate in your communications, but stress the importance of your responsibilities as a Notary and the impact of a delay in renewing your commission. To ensure this doesn’t happen, the NNA recommends the following steps: Start your renewal process as early as possible. States set different minimum timeframe for Notaries to file a renewal application — for example, California allows Notaries to start the process a year before a commission expires, while Texas accepts renewal applications no earlier than 90 days before expiration. To avoid delays, it is best to complete and submit your renewal application as early as your state law permits. Keep track of when your commission expires. It’s important to stay abreast of when your commission expires, so you can allow enough time to renew in a timely manner. If you lose track and start the renewal process too late, your old commission may expire before your renewal is completed, leaving you unable to perform notarizations for a time. The NNA offers services to remind and assist Notaries in processing and renewing commissions in a timely manner. If you would like help with applying or renewing commission, click here for more information.