Notaries or Notary Public are certified state agents (or qualified and experienced lawyers) appointed by the central or state government who, recommended by the court under the country’s Notary Act. They administer oaths to people and identify and validate legal documents, such as affidavits, contract documents, by signing the document with a seal and signature. They may charge an official fee that is prescribed in the Notaries Act.
When a Notary certifies a document, the government need not have to question the individual’s authenticity or intention. The government rests assured that the signer is competent and well-versed with the legal procedure.
How to Become a Notary Public
You can apply for Notary Public Service if you have a background in bank and administration. This blog will be a walking guide on how to become a Notary Public and the things needed for notary public certification.
What Includes in Notary Public Service
While the job role of a Notary Public differs from state to state, many people in America choose to become Notary so they can work as an independent contractor and have their own Notary Signing Business. However, around 4.4 million working professionals have obtained the Notary Public license as a value-added skill to boost their resume.
A Notary Public Course will give you additional income opportunities in the government sector. Since the Notary office in the U.S. territory has a commendable history, the notary public certification will add credibility to your career. This is also because you will be serving the state or the region, and not any employer. It is, in short, a very respectful and honorable career.
While each state has its provision and procedures for Notary Public Exam and Licensure, the guide provided here is generic.
Who Can Become a Notary Public?
No particular educational qualification or degree is needed to become a Notary. Whoever clears the examination can obtain the license to practice Notary Public service. However, you will have a better stand-in preparing for the certification examination, if you have a qualification in criminal justice, paralegal studies, or political science.
You will also need to be active in organizational skills, interpersonal and communication skills, knowledge, typing skills, have essential computer operation, attention for details, and an ability to conduct a thorough background check for this career.
Furthermore, it would be best if you had a clean chit with no criminal history to serve the country.
How Much and How Long Does It Take to Become a Notary
The cost to become a Notary Public varies depending on the state legislature, state’s cost of living, application fee, the training program, background testing, and value of your bond. However, the price starts at USD 500.
P.S.: In most states, it is mandatory to have a surety bond. The amount of the relationship varies, however. Typically, it will cost you anywhere between $5000 and $25000. The bond is for consumer protection, which will help you repay or compensate a person, lest you cause him/her any damage during your official function.
The state government or the county clerk commissions and regulates Notaries, which is handled in the state’s Secretary of State’s Office. If your state requirements are minimal, you may take 4 weeks to become a Notary. However, if you have to go through training, take the examination, and fulfill additional requirements, it may take another 3 or 4 weeks to be certified.
Steps to Become a Notary Public
If you follow these steps to get yourself commissioned, your job prospects will enhance in many fields, including legal, healthcare, education, banking, finance, and real estate.
Step 1: File Application
Visit your state’s Secretary of State’s office or official website and lookup for the application details. You may have to include an oath or post a bond along with the application or complete a Notary Training course before applying.
Make sure your name and signature match with required Notarize documents.
Step 2: Attend Public Notary Course Training
Complete the required training that is mandated by your state. The training covers legal requirements, practice, and official duties of Notaries. The training will help you become aware of the laws that govern your responsibilities and help you prepare for the certification examination. There are online classes, which you can study part-time, during weekends, so that it doesn’t disrupt your regular job. However, many states require applicants to attend full-time, in-person training. Make sure you prepare for it ahead of time.
Step 3: Complete the Notary Public Examination
Depending upon your state’s requirements, you can take the examination online, computer-based, or in person. If you clear the exam, the state will provide you the Notary Commission Certification(1) after receiving which you have to file for an oath of office.
Step 4: Get Your Notary Public Materials
Once you receive the certification, purchase the books, journals, and other materials needed to record official acts. It would be best if you also bought a Notary Public seal from a state-authorized vendor. You may have to carry your certificate along to purchase the materials from authorized vendors.
Before you pay for the seal, verify the authenticity of the seal, such as the information printed, your name, spelling, I.D. number, etc. You must also ensure that the journals you buy cannot be torn.
Step 5: File an Oath
You must appear at the SOS or Clerk’s office in person within the provided timeframe, along with your surety bond, and take the Notary Public Oath.
Once the state files the oath, you start performing official functions for the state.
While Notaries are crucial, their need is increasing in the USA due to excessive change in lifestyle patterns and immigration of people from one place to another on a considerable scale. So, if you are thinking of becoming one, we definitely suggest that you go for it. If not anything, the newly acquired ability will, for sure, lead to career advancements.