It’s a time to start fresh and make changes — and for many Notaries, it’s time to prepare to renew commissions. But sometimes mistakes and misunderstanding can lead to a new commission being delayed, or even putting a hold on performing notarial acts. Take our quiz and test your understanding of the commission renewal process. ANSWERS: 1. If your old commission expires before you receive your renewal: A. You can perform acknowledgments, but not administer verbal oaths or affirmations B. You can administer verbal oaths or affirmations, but not acknowledgments C. You can perform any notarial act that does not require affixing a seal on a document D. You cannot perform any notarial acts until you receive your new commission Answer: D. If there is a gap between the time your previous commission expires and your renewed commission starts, you cannot notarize documents lawfully during that time period. That’s why it’s important to always start the renewal process early to avoid having to delay notarizing until your renewed commission arrives. 2. If I have a current Notary commission, and I move to a different state: A. I can notarize documents until the commission expires, but only in my home state B. I must resign my old commission and apply for a new one in my new state C. I apply for a new commission in my new state, but can use the previous commission until it expires D. I must request a transfer of my previous commission to the new state Answer: B. If you move to a new state, you must resign your previous commission and apply for a new one in your new state. Note that some states require a minimum period of residency before applying for a Notary commission, so a waiting period may be required before you can resume duties as a Notary Public. States do not permit the transfer of a current commission between one state and another, though some states do permit Notary commissions for individuals who work within the state, but live in a bordering state. 3. When renewing your commission you should start the renewal process: A. 24 hours before your previous commission expires B. One week before your previous commission expires C. It depends what state you are commissioned in D. After your commission expires Answer: C. It’s a bad idea to wait until the last minute or wait until your old commission expires to start the renewal process. The amount of time required for renewal varies from state to state—some states will not accept renewal applications earlier than 30 days prior to your commission expiration date, while California takes approximately six months to process renewals. To avoid a gap in your commission, be sure to allow enough time to have your application processed and take any necessary tests, classes or other required steps for your state. David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.