Getting certified as a notary carries many appreciable benefits. It may help you qualify for a particular job, or you can charge for your services independently. Here are some things to know about becoming a notary.

Why Notaries Are Used

Notaries serve as witnesses to the signing of certain documents. It may be necessary to notarize legal documents such as loan agreements, trust documents, and affidavits.

Steps to Becoming a Notary

Each state has different requirements for becoming a notary. Usually, people must be a legal resident of the state in which they are applying, but there are some states that accept applications from people who reside in neighboring states. There is an application fee, and a background check may be involved. It may also be necessary to complete a training course, but they can typically be completed rather quickly.


Notarizing Documents

In order to notarize a document, notarizes will need to include information about their credentials which may include a license number. Many states require the use of a stamp or a seal that creates a unique physical impression on the document. Notaries may use a notary stamp and seal package that is consistent with their state’s requirements, or they may choose to use one for convenience and security even if a stamp and seal is not required.

Recording Notarizations

Notaries should keep track of all of the documents that they have notarized. It’s possible that they may be requested to verify a notarization for legal purposes.


Notary certifications expire after a certain period of time which varies by state. Before a credential expires, a notary should file for an extension of their certification, which may entail paying a small fee or posting a bond.

If you’re considering becoming a notary, learn about your state’s requirements and the easiest way to complete the application process.