Have you ever thought about becoming a notary public? Whether you have or not, it’s definitely something to consider if you’re looking for a solid stream of income. Notary publics can make up to $150 an hour, and the best part about it is that you can get certified online and work fully remote. If you are looking for a new career or just a side hustle, keep reading to learn more about what a notary public is, what they do, and the steps to become one in your state.
What is a Notary Public?
First and foremost, what even is a notary public? A notary public is someone who has been appointed by the government to act as an impartial witness to approve and sign important legal documents in order to ensure there is no fraud involved. The official act of signing the documents is called “notarization”, or “notarial acts”. Basically, they are people that are meant to verify that certain legal documents are not fraudulent.
What Does a Notary Do?
The main task of a notary is to verify the identities of the signers who need their official documents notarized. Some notarizations also require that the signer be under oath to swear that the information in the document is true and correct. There are also different types of notaries that deal with different document types. Wills, property deeds, and powers of attorneys are common documents that require a notary public’s approval.
Now that we have a clear understanding of what a notary public is and the daily tasks associated with the job, let’s get into how to become a notary in your state.
Check your State's Requirements
Each state has its own specific requirements for becoming a notary, so it will vary depending on where you live. Make sure you check with your state's Secretary of State or Notary Public Administrator to determine the eligibility criteria. A good place to follow the step by step guide of becoming a notary specific to your state is here.
Complete the Education or Training Requirements
The next step to becoming a notary is to complete the training. Most states require that you complete a training course or educational program before becoming a notary public, and some states also require you to take an exam. There are plenty of courses available online, and many affordable ones that you can choose from. One option is EZ Notary Class, which is an online certification course that is offered for only $79 for a full course.
Complete the Application Process
After you complete your coursework, you will need to fill out an application to become a notary public. Each state has a different application process, so again, double check the requirements for your specific state before applying. The application process typically involves submitting your personal information and providing documentation, such as proof of education, training, or exam results.
Pass a State-Administered Exam
Once you submit your application, you are going to need to take a state-administered exam (if your state requires it). When you go to take the exam, you will need your official state ID or driver’s license, your completed application, a 2 x 2 color passport photo, proof of course completion, a registration confirmation letter, and $40 fee to the testing site.
Obtain a Notary Bond
This is another step that may not be required depending on what state you’re in. A notary bond is a type of insurance that protects the public against any errors or misconduct you may commit as a notary public. If it is required, you will need to purchase a notary bond in the amount required by your state.
Obtain your Official Notary Seal
Most states require notaries to use a specific type of seal or stamp when notarizing documents. You will need to purchase this seal or stamp. You can find these seals and stamps from various online sites, for example this one.
Take the Oath of Office
Once your application is approved, one of the last steps you’ll need to take is to take an oath of office to become a notary public. During the oath, you will be asked to swear to uphold the duties and responsibilities of the office. After this step you are an official notary public!
Renew your Commission
A couple years after becoming a notary (typically around 4), you may be required to renew your commission. Renewing your commission involves completing additional education or training requirements and submitting a renewal application. This is required in order to ensure that you are up to date on all of your requirements as a notary, especially because the role of a notary involves reviewing official government documents.
To conclude, becoming a notary public is definitely worth consideration if you’re looking for a full-time position or wanting to introduce a second stream of income into your life. Notaries get paid well, and can earn $150 an hour depending on the amount of years of experience they have. The best part is that becoming a notary is pretty simple! As long as you follow the step-by-step guide we’ve required, you’ll be on your way to becoming an official notary public.