A notary public is an important part of a document signing process. They are required to identify the person signing the document, ensure the person knows what the document contains and determine if the person is willing to place their signature on the document. Many forms require a notarization to prevent fraudulent activity. Notaries work in many industries, including banking, law and real estate. The following is the process for how to become a notary public.


A notary public needs to be at least 18 years old with no criminal background. While only required in some states, a notary training course is an excellent way to learn everything you need to know about being a notary public. Courses teach about who you’re allowed to notarize for, how to obtain proper supplies, such as where to get a notary stamp, and what types of documents you’re able to notarize. You will also learn about how to charge for notarization, where to apply to become a notary and what to do if a document is in a foreign language.


Each state has an application that needs to be filled out along with a fee to process it. After you file your application, it takes a couple days to a couple weeks to have your official notary commission in hand.

Notary Bonds

A notary bond is a type of insurance required in most states and protects the public from damage caused by a notary. Another type of insurance notaries obtain is errors and emissions insurance to protect the notary if they make a mistake during a notarization process.

Notary Seal or Stamp

Once you have been accepted as a notary public, the most important thing you need is your notary stamp or seal. Depending on what state you’re certified in, you will need either a stamp or an embossing seal. Stamps are made with rubber and use ink to place the notary public’s name, state of commission and the expiration date of their commission. A notary embosser leaves a raised imprint in the paper with the notary public’s information. You must follow the guidelines for your state on how to notarize documents properly and with what tool.

Renew Commission

To renew your notary commission you must typically follow the same process you did to become a notary. You need to fill out an application, complete training if required and purchase a new stamp or seal.

Becoming a notary can be a useful addition to your resume. Following your state’s guidelines will ensure you’re completely legal when you start notarizing documents.