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5 States With Tricky Notary Commission Procedures

States with tricky Notary commission procedures

In many states, it only takes an application and a fee to become a Notary — but a few states have more unusual or complicated application requirements. Here’s a guide to 5 of the more challenging states.

CALIFORNIA:
 

California has one of the largest populations of Notaries in the United States, and the state is exceptionally strict in screening new and renewing Notary applicants. To become a California Notary, you must take a six-hour training course and pass a proctored exam. Applicants must also submit a fingerprint, photograph and pass a background check conducted by the state.

How The NNA Can Help You Become A Notary In California:
 

The NNA offers 90-minute Notary exam prep classes in California to help prospective Notaries prepare for the proctored test. The NNA also offers both live Notary training classes that meet California state requirements with the option of taking the proctored test afterwards and an online California Notary training course option. Our Customer Care team can be reached by phone at 1-800-876-USNOTARY or services@nationalnotary.org to assist with scheduling Live Scan fingerprinting and background screenings.

FLORIDA:
 

In Florida Notaries are regulated by two separate agencies: the Governor’s office, which appoints and provides educational information; and the Secretary of State’s office, which issues and maintains records of Notary commissions. To obtain a Notary commission in Florida, an application cannot be sent directly to the state by the prospective Notary. Instead, the application must be submitted both in paper format and electronically through a state-approved “Notary Processor” — the company that provides the applicant’s required $7,500 surety bond. Applicants also must go through a three-hour training course.

How The NNA Can Help You Become A Notary In Florida:
 

Getting through the Florida commissioning process can be challenging due to the state’s special rules. In fact, the rejection rate for Florida Notary applications due to mistakes is one of the highest in the nation. However, the NNA can help you ensure your application is completed properly and accepted. If you choose to apply and purchase your bond and Notary tools through the NNA, the NNA’s online Florida Notary Application Wizard provides an easy way for new Notaries to complete their application and submit it to the state. The Wizard will walk you step-by-step through all the requirements needed to complete and submit your Florida commission application.

GEORGIA:
 

In Georgia, Notaries are commissioned by each county’s clerk of the county superior court instead of by a central state agency. New and renewing applicants can complete an online application form, which must then be printed out and signed by two county residents 18 years of age or older who have known the applicants more than 30 days. The completed form must then be submitted in person at the clerk’s office for final processing. Some counties allow renewing Notaries to submit their application by mail.

How The NNA Can Help You Become A Notary In Georgia:

The NNA has an online page for becoming a Georgia Notary that includes step-by-step instructions for applying for a Georgia Notary commission.

NEW YORK:
 

Every first-time New York Notary applicant must take a proctored, closed-book, one-hour examination, regularly scheduled at different sites around the state. New York Notary examination schedules and locations are updated in January and July of each year and posted on the Department of State’s website. A score of at least 70 percent is required to pass, and an application may only be submitted after passing the exam.

How The NNA Can Help You Become A Notary In New York:
 

The NNA offers a New York Notary Exam Prep Course to help applicants prepare for the state-proctored test and includes a full review of Notary law vocabulary included in the exam.

OHIO:
 

Each county in Ohio sets its own procedures for Notary commission applications. There may be a test or other special requirements depending on the county where a person submits their application.

How The NNA Can Help You Become A Notary In Ohio:
 

To assist new Notary applicants in Ohio, the NNA has an online page with information about becoming an Ohio Notary, including a link to contact information for each county’s Notary agency.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

Related Articles:

Which States Have The Toughest Notary Exams?

Can A Foreign Resident Become A Florida Notary?

Additional Resources:

How To Become A Notary Public

3 Comments

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Thomas Newman

25 Apr 2016

Excellent

rommycz@gmail.com

27 Apr 2016

"To become a California Notary, you must take a six-hour training course and pass a proctored exam. Applicants must also submit a fingerprint, photograph and pass a background check conducted by the state." All this, so you can watch someone sign something and charge them $10? Am I the only one who finds this excessive?

Larry Adams

28 Apr 2016

Would you rather have to depend on Joe Blow, homeless, destitute and a convicted embezzler, to notarize your document? California's requirements do help screen unqualified or ineligible applicants out of the process. I was a California notary for eight years, and did not find the requirements excessive... just somewhat tedious. I would renew my commission again if I had reason to use it regularly.

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