If you would like general information about the Notary world, read this! There are many things to know about the Notary world from how to become a Notary, how to find one, and the particular types of jobs and Notary acts Notaries do (or commit.) We will try to elaborate on all of this information below.
Become a Notary Public
To become a Notary Public requires contacting your state’s Notary division. Most states have rules for who can become a Notary.
No felons allowed!
You generally have to be free of felony convictions or of convictions of crimes that involve moral turpitude such as fraud.
You should be a legal resident of the state you want to be commissioned in as a general rule, although some states allow residents of neighboring states who work in state.
No citizenship requirements
You generally do not need to be a US citizen, although you should be able to read, write and speak English well.
You need to be 18 or older in most if not all states.
State Notary Divisions Contact Info
What do Notaries do?
Notaries can perform a short variety of Notarial acts which can differ from state to state. These acts include performing Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, Proofs, and some states allow Copy Certification of Powers of Attorneys or other documents, Witnessing, Safety Deposit Openings, Protests for non-payment of bills and more. Let’s focus on understanding the more universal acts first.
Acknowledgments — A Notary Public may notarize an Acknowledged signature which is a signature that a signer acknowledged signing. This involves the signer presenting a signed document to the notary, signing the Notary’s journal, and presenting current government issued photo ID to the Notary. The rules may differ from state to state, but this is a general description. Read more…
Jurats — A Notary Public may execute a Jurat which would involve the signer or Affiant (one who swears under Oath or signs an Affidavit) to sign and swear to the document in the presence of the Notary Public. Read more…
Oaths — Notaries can administer (supervise) Oaths as well. Oaths are by definition part of the Jurat procedure for Oaths on documents. But, Oaths can also be done for remote court attendance for Florida Courts by Notaries and Oaths on oral statements. Read more…
Affirmations — Affirmations are similar to Oaths. Affirmations are also formal statements made under the legal penalty of perjury, but do not use the traditional verb “swear” or the term “under God.” In an Affirmation you affirm on your honor rather than to a higher power. Read more…
Proofs of Execution — Proofs are an unusual Notary act that cannot generally be done for important documents. But, the signer can sign in front of a subscribing witness (a person who sees them sign) and then the witness can appear before the Notary and have the Notary fill out a certificate indicating the same. Read more..
Q. How long is a Notary term?
A. The term for Notary Public is generally from 3 to 10 years and is up to the state. Louisiana commissions Notaries for life.
How long is a Notary term? — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4606
Q. What is a Notary’s jurisdiction?
A. Normally, a Notary can notarize in any county of the state(s) they are commissioned in. Louisiana commissions either statewide or to their home parishes plus reciprocal parishes. There are a few exceptions nationally to this rule, and military Notaries have a very different type of jurisdiction that you can look up.
Q. Can a Notary get in trouble?
A. Notaries who break the law, make errors filling out forms, or don’t keep a journal can get in big trouble with the law, and even be treated like a suspect in identity fraud if they don’t leave a good paper trail. Notaries who cause damages to parties by upholding the law can get in trouble too if they don’t clearly explain the reason why they cannot offer services.
Q. What do I need to be notarized?
A. As a general rule, a current government issued Photo-ID, and a statement or document to be notarized is all you need.
Q. How much does a Notary cost?
A. Notary fees are set by the states and Notaries can run anywhere from 25 cents to $15. You can look up Notary fees on state notary division websites. I believe that all states except North Carolina keep their information open to the public.
How much can a notary charge — http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=how-much-can-a-notary-charge
Q. How much does a Mobile Notary cost?
A. Some states have rules for how much a person can charge for travel fee. But, generally rates run from $25 to $60 for mobile fees plus the cost of the actual notarization.
Q. Can a notary notarize in a jail?
A. Yes, but you need to make sure the inmate can be identified in a way acceptable to the state where he/she is incarcerated.
Jail Notary Jobs from A to Z — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=151
Additional Helpful Links
Notary Public 101
How to become a successful Mobile Notary from scratch
Signing Agent Best Practices: 63 Points
Notary Vocbulary in our Glossary