How to Become a Notary

Most people don’t know that becoming a notary public is a relatively easy way to make some extra money on the side. Notaries are official state representatives that supervise the signers of important documents to make sure that they are who they say they are and that everything is in order.

You can become a notary for your state by going through a government process to become licensed. You must be at least 18, legally resident in the state you’re applying for, and without a criminal record. The licensing process differs from state to state, so always check your local guidelines before getting started. 

Training

Some states require that you go through a training course before becoming a licensed notary. Others only recommend that you do. If you want to become a notary in Texas, for example, you do not have to take any courses, but you certainly can. There is a certain cost involved in training, usually around $100.

Exam

Most states don’t make notary applicants pass a test, but there are some that do. Exams may involve fingerprinting and usually take an hour or so. Again, check your state regulations for clarity on exams.

Notary Bond

This is something that many states do require. A notary bond is a bond that you can get from a surety bond company and which protects your customers up to a certain amount. You can also get notary insurance to protect yourself from any liability that may arise from errors in your work. 

Application and Commission

Notary applications or commissions are a universal part of becoming a notary in every state. You have to submit an application to the state and wait for them to authorize you. There are many third-party companies that will help you with your application, and there are even a few states that will not accept an application unless you have that help. Once your application is approved, your license will be issued and you will then be able to buy your supplies and get started!

Once you’re a notary, you can work on your own or through an employer. Your term as a notary will last from between four to ten years, depending on your state. In some states, you can even work as a remote online notary, although certainly not every state allows this. 

As you can see, becoming a notary isn’t too difficult, and it can be a great way to supplement your income. Look into your state regulations, and if you think you have a good chance of being a notary, then give it a try today!

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