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How To Become A Notary Public In Ohio

If you are interested in becoming a Notary Public in Ohio, this practical guide will answer many common questions. Learn about notarial duties, and find out how you can become a commissioned Notary. Once you are ready to begin the process of becoming a Ohio notary or renewing your Ohio commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

Ohio Notary Process

Requirements to be a Notary in Ohio

General Information


BECOME a Notary

Ohio Notary Process

How to become a Notary in Ohio

  1. Make sure you meet all qualifications under Ohio state law.
  2. Contact the county in which you reside for information regarding the application process. Certain training and/or exam requirements may apply.
  3. Once you have submitted your application, order your state-required seal, journal and other supplies.
  4. One you receive your commission form the Secretary of State, record your commission at the Clerk of Courts office in your county.  
  5. Purchase errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).
  6. If you determine you need additional training, seek out continuing education or consult Notary experts for guidance.

How long does a Ohio Notary commission last?

The Notary commission lasts five years, except for attorneys licensed to practice law in Ohio.

How long does it take to become a Notary?

The timing can vary. Some counties require applicants to take an exam, which may only be offered during certain days of the month.

How much does it cost?

The application fees vary by county. Once you have received your commission certificate, you will need to record your commission at the Clerk of Courts in your county, and fees may also apply. The cost of the seal and other supplies will vary based upon the vendor chosen.

Once my current commission expires, will I be automatically reappointed?

No, you must meet the requirements and reapply for a new commission.

Is training or an exam required to become a Notary in Ohio?

Some Ohio counties require an exam and/or training. Contact the county in which you reside for further information.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

A surety bond is not required in Ohio. Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance is optional. This insurance helps protect the Notary — if you make an unintentional mistake or a false claim is filed against you, an E&O policy will cover your legal fees and awarded damages up to the coverage you select.

What kind of supplies will I need?

In Ohio, your seal can be either a rubber stamp or an embosser. The seal must include the Notary’s name, the words “Notary Public” or “Notarial Seal” and “State of Ohio.”

When shopping for seals, quality and durability can vary greatly among vendors. Ask if the seals carry a lifetime guarantee. In particular, stamps should not bleed during or after use, as this can cause county officials to reject documents due to smudging. If you choose to purchase an embosser, you will also need to purchase an embosser inker to satisfy the requirement that the impression is able to be photocopied.

A second seal can help you avoid downtime if your seal is ever misplaced.

In Ohio, You must keep a journal to record a copy of every certificate of protest and copy of note. The journal can protect you if a notarization performed is ever questioned, and should be kept in a safe, locked area.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Ohio

Who can become a Ohio Notary?

To qualify to become a Notary in Ohio, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a resident of Ohio, or;
  • Be a non-resident attorney who practices law in Ohio and whose principal place of business or practice is in Ohio;
  • Applicants must also be of good moral character and not have a felony conviction

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General Notary Public Information

Which state government office handles Notaries?

In Ohio, the Notary Commission Clerk maintains records of all Notaries registered in Ohio, but each county has their own application and approval process.

What should I do if I move or change my name?

You must inform the Ohio Secretary of the State of any name or address changes by filling out an Application for Amendment of Notary Public Information. The application can be mailed or submitted in-person. There is no charge for an address change; a $2.00 fee applies for a change of name.

Where will I be able to notarize

Ohio Notaries can practice throughout the state.

Who can I notarize for?

You can notarize for any member of the public who makes a reasonable request and meets all requirements for notarization such as personally appearing before you and providing satisfactory proof of identity. You cannot notarize your own signature or perform a notarization if you have a conflict of interest.

How to renew your Notary commission in Ohio

The renewal process in Ohio varies by county. Contact your local county to get information about the application and approval process.

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