When I first decided to become a Notary Signing Agent, I had to look all over the interwebs for the correct information on which steps to take and it was a daunting task. No one seemed to list the process in one place. After 5-6 sites, I was able to figure it out, but unless someone tells you where to go, the information isn’t easy to find.
A great resource is the National Notary Association. They can tell you how to become a Notary Signing Agent and Notary Public for your state. But part of their goal is to sell you a training package, and that can be a turnoff to people just looking for information. So below I’m going to share with you the steps required to become a Notary Public in New York State. No sales pitch involved.
If you are not in New York, don’t worry, I’m going to show you where to find the information for your state as well.
Now, let’s begin…
Becoming a Notary Signing Agent Starts Here...
You must get commissioned as a Notary Public before you get certified as a Notary Signing Agent. This is a separate process, but is generally simple and inexpensive. Completing this first step will allow you to begin working immediately notarizing documents.
Where Do You Go to Become a Notary Public?
The New York State Department of State Licensing Services is the office that commissions, i.e., (licenses) Notaries Public. All commissions are signed by the Secretary of State.
If you are not in NY, you can find the list of Secretary of State offices here.
Who is eligible to become a Notary Public?
Must be at least 18 years old
Legal residents of New York state
Cannot be a convicted felon
What training is required to become a Notary Public?
For most states, it’s relatively easy to become a Notary Public. Eleven states (California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania) currently require training to be commissioned. Gratefully, NY is not one of them.
Even so, understanding notary laws is an integral part of being a successful notary, therefore notary law training is highly recommended. For NY, you can find the study material here: Notary Public License Law
Take the Exam and Submit Your Application
Once you have a solid understanding of notary law for your state, you can schedule your exam for $15. Updated exam information can be found here. On the day of your test, you’ll need a government issued ID and whatever form of payment you choose: check/money order, or use this form to use a credit card.
Three to four weeks after the exam, you will receive notice of your pass or fail status. If you passed, you should complete this application, which requires you to take the oath of office in front of a notary, attach a copy of the pass notification, and return both with the $60 fee to the Department of State.
In four to six weeks, you will receive your notary identification card from the Division of Licensing Services.
And that’s it. You are officially a Notary Public.
To make it official, order your Notary Public stamps here. (This is where I ordered mine.)
Now, on to part 2.