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Notary Bulletin

Tips For Renewing Your Notary Commission

seal-certificate-resized.jpgUpdated 12-28-20. Every state has different rules for renewing a Notary commission. But no matter what state you are commissioned in, when renewing you always want it to go smoothly and avoid any gaps between your old commission and your new one that would leave you unable to notarize. Here are some tips to help you.

1. Confirm When You Can Renew Your Notary Commission

The first step should always be to confirm when you can start the renewal process. How long it takes to process a Notary commission varies depending on the state you are commissioned in, so you need to be careful about when you submit your application. Too late, and your new commission won’t arrive until after your old one expires — which means you won’t be able to notarize until your new one arrives.

But some states don’t accept a renewal application if it’s submitted too early. For example, Montana Notaries cannot apply for reappointment more than 30 days before their current commission expires. Colorado, Idaho and Texas permit Notaries to start the renewal process up to 90 days before a commission expires. Wyoming instructs its Notaries to begin the renewal process 2-6 weeks before their commissions expire, while California and Florida recommend beginning the reappointment process at least 6 months prior to expiration.

Because many state agencies have been forced to close their offices due to COVID-19, if you are required to file Notary commission application paperwork with a state or county office, you should call that office or check the agency's website for current information on COVID-19 closures and/or processing delays. 

2. Complete Any Required Notary Training Or Testing

Some states require renewing Notaries to take an exam or additional training. If your state requires a course or exam, be sure to schedule time to complete them before your current commission expires. Pennsylvania requires Notaries to take a 3-hour continuing education course within 6 months prior to reappointment. Hawaii Notaries must pass a written, closed-book exam with at least an 80 percent score. California and Colorado require both a course and exam for renewing Notaries. Notaries renewing in Montana must pass an exam no more than 6 months before submitting the application for a commission.

Be aware that COVID-19 has impacted training and testing in many states. For example, due to indoor gathering restrictions in California, available 2021 dates for California Notary testing are filling up quickly, and California Notary applicants should try to schedule their test date as soon as possible. 

3. Double-Check That Your Notary Renewal Information Is Correct

The name and signature you use when notarizing should always match the name that appears on your Notary commission and your Notary bond, if your state requires one. When you complete a Notary commission renewal application, double-check that your information is complete and that there are no typos or inconsistencies with how you wish to sign your name when notarizing. For example, if you wish to notarize using the name “Jane Louise Doe” be sure that you write the full name on the renewal application and not “Jane L. Doe.”

4. The NNA Can Help You Renew Your Notary Commission

If you need assistance renewing your commission, you can contact our Customer Care team by phone at 1-800-876-6827 or by email at

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

Additional Resources:

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09 Mar 2020

I am from Pennsylvania where can I get my continuing education to renew my notary.

National Notary Association

12 Mar 2020

Hello. A list of approved education providers, including the NNA, is available here: If you wish to take your continuing education through the NNA, you can contact us at or through our website at

ernestina kepner

09 Mar 2020

I live in Las Vegas Nevada when can I renew my license and do I have to take it to court and register it like before.

National Notary Association

12 Mar 2020

Hello. If you need assistance renewing your Notary commission, you can contact the NNA's Customer Care team by calling 1-800-876-6827.

Halima m. Salim

11 Mar 2020

Request notary test for IndianadR


11 Mar 2020

My commission expires 4/15/20. I will be taking the class and exam 4/8/20. Will I run into any issues?

National Notary Association

12 Mar 2020

Hello. Depending on what state you are commissioned in, there may be a possibility that you will not receive your new commission until after your current one expires. If so, you will have to wait until you receive your new commission to resume notarizing. If you are renewing your commission through the NNA, you can contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 to request additional information.


01 Jul 2020

Hi my commission expired back in 2007, I am currently completing the application to return to work, how should I proceed with getting bonded and turning in my application?

National Notary Association

02 Jul 2020

Hello. If you need assistance with your Notary application, please contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827.

Pilar C Lara

11 Sep 2020

my stamp is expired how much is to renew my stamp.

National Notary Association

15 Sep 2020

Hello. If you'd like to order a new stamp through the NNA, you can contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 and one of our representatives can assist you.

Jennifer Bandy

23 Sep 2020

I’m renewing my notary commission i currently expire 4/22/21. I’m taking a Notary class on 10/10/20 I’m 6 months a few days before my 6 month mark. Is it ok to renew alittle over 6 months before my current common expires? Also I’m a Notary in contra costa county, is it ok to take my class to Ree in Sacramento county?

National Notary Association

05 Oct 2020

Hello. You may start your renewal a little over 6 months before your commission expires, and it's OK to take your class in the other county.

Denise Caruso

20 Nov 2020

I have received my bci background back. How long are they good for, my notary expires February 23,2021? How early can I renew in Ohio?

National Notary Association

04 Dec 2020

Ohio Notary commissions for nonattorneys must be renewed every 5 years. Ohio Notaries may apply for a new commission 3 months prior to the expiration of the current commission. In order to renew, a Notary must electronically submit to the Secretary of State: (a) a new Ohio criminal records check that is not more than 6 months old or a federal background check issued by the U.S. Department of Justice that is not more than 6 months old; (b) evidence of successful completion of at least 1 hour of continuing education provided by an authorized education provider; and (c) an application fee of $15 (OAR 111-6-1-3[C]).

04 Jan 2021

I have tried to contact NNA by phone and has been on hold for 15 minutes or more every time. I need to talk to someone to clarify/ correct my renewal application on line.

National Notary Association

05 Jan 2021

Hello. We've forwarded your information to our Customer Care team and asked them to contact you to assist you with your issue.


04 Jan 2021

My commission expires September 14, 2021. I am already receiving an NA notifications via mail that I should review my commission. Is it too early to start renewal process or am I OK to wait six months before it expires?.

National Notary Association

06 Jan 2021

Hello. We apologize, but we do not have access to your customer information here on the blog. Can you tell us what state you are commissioned in, please?

Silvia Anaya

12 Jan 2021

My commission will expires on March. I’m too late to renew it? How can I extend it?

National Notary Association

13 Jan 2021

Hi Silvia. If you applied for your commission through the NNA, please email our Customer Care team at and they can provide you with assistance. Otherwise, please let us know what state you are commissioned in and we can provide you with information here.

24 Jan 2021

I renewed from this email and disregard anything else need to renew for Florida. Is this correct?

National Notary Association

26 Jan 2021

Hello. We apologize, but we're not clear what you meant in your comment by "renewed from this email." If you need assistance renewing your Florida Notary commisison, you can find more information here:

Heidi Bunch

24 Feb 2021

My commission expired in October of 2020. I let it expire because I did not utilize it much. I now have a desire to start again. I live in California and didn't turn in my seal. Can I renew using the same seal information or do I need to start again from the beginning?

National Notary Association

25 Feb 2021

Hello. No, you may not use the old seal if you decide to apply for a new commission. The old seal must be destroyed or otherwise rendered unusable.

Laverda Jones

06 Mar 2021

Hi I was once a notary in early 2000, what would would I need to do to re-establish my commission.

National Notary Association

08 Mar 2021

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you wish to apply in?


21 Apr 2021

Hello, I am commissioned in California, my commission expires on 05/15/2021, and I want to renew, I know I should have done it 6 months ago, but, I was insecure and I decided to continue. My question is if I should start as the first time because I am already late to renew or should I reapply as a new applicant?

National Notary Association

26 Apr 2021

Hello. If you do not take your exam and submit your application before your current commission expires you will need to submit a new application and retake the six-hour course.


23 May 2021

I renewed my notary, taken my test and passed. I am now just waiting for the documents to show up in the mail from the state, However my current notary expired and tomorrow will be 30 days. Do I need to return my journal even though it seems that my renewal has been excepted?

National Notary Association

28 May 2021

Hello. To help us answer your question can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Pam Axson

05 Jul 2021

My Notary expires 3/31/2023 I didn’t get the test done in time so they said I have to start the process over again. Can I not renew, or do I have to wait until 3/312023 to get a new notary?

National Notary Association

06 Jul 2021

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are applying for a commission in?

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