Notary Public Exam and Other Notary Requirements

notary exam

Notary Public Exam and Other Notary Requirements

A notary public serves individuals and organizations where someone must witness the signature on a document. A notary’s job is to certify original signatures and on those original signatures, the notary places his official seal with a notary stamp. A notary may also administer an oath that is required when taking an office or position. There are many lucrative career opportunities for a qualified notary public after you have taken and passed a notary public exam.


Each state has its own qualifications to become a notary public. Some of these requirements include: a minimum age of 18, read and write English fluently, be a U. S. citizen, and no convictions of a felony. You may also have to take and pass an examination, depending on your state, and also submit your fingerprints. You can check with your state’s secretary of state to verify the requirements. In 25-30 states, you will need to be bonded. Again, each state has different requirements on bonding. You will pay a premium for the coverage for the duration of your commission.


There are approved online classes for notary training if your state requires this for licensing purposes. Most notary courses will cover things like your state’s procedures and notary statutes and what the role of the notary is in public duties. Ethics are a big part of this training since a notary is certifying that things are true.

Once you have completed your test and submitted the required application and have your commission processed, the time when you can begin practicing as a notary will vary from state to state. It can be anywhere from a few days to a few months.

Career Opportunities

Lucrative career opportunities abound for notaries with the possibility of opening up your own office providing notary services to individuals. People need notaries for many different things such as the buying/selling of a vehicle, loan documents, and even permission slips from a school.

If you are fortunate enough, you can partner with a mortgage company and be present to notarize signatures at loan closings (some states require specialized training to serve as a notary for loan closings). Another opportunity is at car dealerships where notaries handle titles for transfer of ownership, buying and selling automobiles.

When you become a notary, you will have a seal. It is generally inexpensive, $25-$30 to purchase. In nearly half of all U.S. states, you must keep a journal record of your work, and for most states, this journal must be bound and the documents contained arranged in sequential order. If you feel this will be something difficult for you to maintain, there are companies that create these types of journals for you that you can purchase for $50 or less.

Fees for Services

Many states have a notary fee schedule and for the ones that do, you can go by this to determine the prices you will charge for your services. In additional to the regular notary fee, you may also wish to provide additional services that generate more income such as copies of paperwork or other clerical work. Any fees should be disclosed to a client before any documents are notarized or other services performed. You’ll also need to provide each client with an invoice for the services and fees charged.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a notary can be a rewarding and lucrative career. There are more than 4 million notaries in the United States according to the National Notary Association. The ever increasing need for notaries means a built-in longevity to the job. The fact that you can work for yourself is probably the most appealing and rewarding aspect of the job!