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Tips For Renewing Your Notary Commission

seal-certificate-resized.jpgEvery 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.

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 who fail to submit their renewal before the current commission expires are required to take the same mandatory exam required for first-time Notaries.

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 are a NNA member and 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:

Renew As A Notary




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