From Citizen to Notary: How to Become a Public Official

From Citizen to Notary: How to Become a Public Official

Are you interested in becoming a notary public? Being a notary public can be a rewarding and fulfilling career, allowing you to serve your community and help individuals with important legal documents. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to become a notary public, from the initial requirements to the necessary training and certification. Keep reading to learn more about the process of transitioning from a citizen to a notary public.

Education and Training Requirements

Becoming a notary public requires meeting specific education and training requirements. Here are the steps you need to take to become a public official:

Obtain a High School Diploma or GED

The first step in becoming a notary public is to obtain a high school diploma or GED. This basic educational requirement is essential for demonstrating your ability to understand and fulfill the responsibilities of a notary public.

Complete a Notary Training Program

After obtaining a high school diploma or GED, the next step is to complete a notary training program. These programs provide essential knowledge and skills necessary to perform the duties of a notary public effectively. Notary training programs cover topics such as notary laws, ethics, and best practices.

Pass the Notary Exam

Once you have completed a notary training program, you will need to pass a notary exam. The exam tests your knowledge of notary laws and procedures, as well as your understanding of the responsibilities of a notary public. Passing the exam is a crucial step towards becoming a licensed notary public.

Obtain a Notary Commission

Becoming a notary public involves obtaining a notary commission from the state in which you reside. This commission grants you the authority to perform notarial acts within that state.

Submit an Application

The first step in obtaining a notary commission is to submit an application to the appropriate state agency. This application will typically require you to provide personal information, such as your name, address, and contact information. You may also be required to undergo a background check to ensure you meet the qualifications to become a notary public.

Pay the Application Fee

In addition to submitting an application, you will also need to pay an application fee. This fee covers the cost of processing your application and is typically non-refundable. The amount of the fee will vary depending on the state in which you are applying for a notary commission.

Receive the Notary Commission

Once your application has been approved and your fee has been paid, you will receive your notary commission. This document will include important information, such as your official name, commission number, and the date on which your commission expires. With your notary commission in hand, you will be ready to begin performing notarial acts in your state.

Understand Notary Responsibilities

Becoming a notary public entails taking on a set of important responsibilities. Notaries are appointed by the state government to act as impartial witnesses in the signing of important documents. It is crucial for notaries to understand and uphold their duties with integrity and accuracy.

Verify Signer Identity

One of the key roles of a notary public is to verify the identity of the signer of a document. This is done to ensure that the person signing the document is who they claim to be. Notaries typically require signers to present a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, before notarizing a document.

Administer Oaths and Affirmations

Notaries also have the authority to administer oaths and affirmations. This involves asking the signer to swear or affirm that the information in the document is true and accurate. Notaries must ensure that signers understand the significance of taking an oath or affirmation and that they are willing to comply with the legal requirements.

Maintain Proper Notary Records

Lastly, notaries are responsible for maintaining proper notary records. This includes keeping a log of all notarized documents, including the date, type of document, signer information, and any fees collected. Proper record-keeping is essential for accountability and compliance with state regulations.

Overall, becoming a notary public is a significant responsibility that requires attention to detail, integrity, and adherence to legal requirements. By understanding and fulfilling these responsibilities, notaries play a crucial role in protecting the integrity of important documents and transactions.


Becoming a notary public is a prestigious and rewarding career path that offers individuals the opportunity to serve their community and uphold the law. By following the necessary steps outlined in this article, from obtaining the required education and training to passing the state exam, aspiring notaries can achieve their goal of becoming a public official. With dedication, hard work, and a commitment to ethical practices, anyone can successfully transition from a citizen to a notary and make a positive impact in the legal field.