How to Become a Notary & Start Your Own Notary Business

Cody Cromwell
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Step 1: Confirm Your State’s Requirements

Before you embark on your notary career, you need to know if your state requires that you have a notary commission to start and operate a notary business. When you start your notary business, you will need to obtain a notary commission when you first open the business, and then renew your commission annually. It takes a budget to obtain a commission and operate a notary business and it doesn’t have to be huge. You can make just as much money notarying as you can signing autographs.

First, check your state to see if it requires you to obtain a notary commission to start and operate a notary business. If your state requires you to become a

Notary to start and operate a notary business, then you will need to obtain a notary commission from that state to provide your clients with a reliable service.

Step 2: Determining Equipment and Supplies

Next, determine what equipment and supplies you need to run your notary business. If you have a business, using your current equipment and supplies is the best way to reduce your start-up costs. Since you will probably be using your existing printer, scanner, fax machine, and stapler; this will help eliminate some of your initial big ticket costs.

Step 2: Complete Your Education and Training

Once you decide to become a notary, you can start taking the steps to get licensed and start your notary business. The first thing is to find out which state requires a notary to be a licensed third-party authenticator.

If you’re not sure whether the state you live in requires a license, there are two things you can do. If you live in a state that requires a notary to be a licensed authenticator (a phrase that sounds intimidating to notaries, but is actually just someone who verifies documents), the state’s department of education will have information on that. Otherwise, you can call the state agency that regulates notaries. You might also want to call the state where you plan to practice to ask what the specific requirements are for becoming a notary there.

Even if your state does not require you to be licensed as an authenticator, some states may require you to take additional training or pass an exam.

Take, for example, the state where I live, California. California has no specific training requirement for becoming a notary, but there are several courses, steps, or requirements that must be completed to become a certified California Notary.

How Long Will Training Take

In Utah, the average training time is 5 months.

Training programs generally consist of classroom instruction, praxis, and field experience, and may also include an internship.

The final exam usually consists of 75 to 100 questions.

Achieving your certificate and notarizing is as simple as notarizing your own documents. You don’t have to be a licensed attorney or licensed CPA, or have any specific real estate qualifications to become a notary as long as you meet the requirements of the state in which you wish to practice.

Some states require you to attend an orientation and/or continuing education program, but regardless of whether your state requires the training, you can always take the training to become a better and more professional notary public.

Anyone who was born in the United States and has an SSN can qualify to become a notary public. You must be able to make a notarial oath and you also must have two years–experience or 1,000 hours of experience performing notarial services in order to qualify.

You must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. Citizen, a resident of the state, a resident of the United States, or a permanent resident.

What Does Notary Training Cost?

Step 3: Get a Surety Bond if Required

What Does a Surety Bond Cost?

Step 4: File Notary Paperwork to Be Official

As soon as you file your application with the Department of Labor, you will want to send copies (and where applicable, filing fees) to the Office of the Secretary of State as well as the Financial Institutions Division. Send the copies to the following in alphabetical order:

  • Office of the Secretary of State
  • Notary Division

101 N. Myers, 2nd Floor

Tallahassee, FL 32399.

Florida Department of Insurance

You will complete the appropriate sections and sign the notary application. You will pay the appropriate filing fees to the Department of State at this time.

In addition to completing your application, you will also need to submit the following types of notary proof during your notary training:

  • Bond payment authorization
  • Proof of bonding
  • 3 references

In addition, you will need to know about your responsibilities as a notary public as well as the reporting requirements, as we go through them in this post.

Step 5: Buy Your Notary Supplies

Once you have your notary stamp, seal, cardboard notary stamp, ink pad, pen, and notary forms, you need to buy some supplies to go along with them. There are several items you may want to purchase including ink, pens, paper, envelopes, ribbons, and plastic sleeves. To help you stay organized and save money, we’ve included some of the best products to use.


Using the same notary stamp you purchased for your stamping seal, you have the ability to make free notarizations. This means you can stamp your registration or signature with the seal and ink provided for FREE.

If you have a stamp made by a stamp manufacturer other than BVG, you can buy your own ink pad and load it on the device. Otherwise, you will need to purchase a compatible ink. You can also get ink refills so you’re not wasting money on brand new ink.

For the newbie notary public, we suggest sticking with a reputable stamp manufacturer. This ensures you will receive the correct ink for your stamp. There may be a few blank spaces on the code, but they should be removable so you can fill them in with the right ink.

Step 6: Advertising Your Services

The Bottom Line

Notary certifications can be a hard and expensive process. However, the rewards are great.

By becoming a notary, you can help people receive documents quickly and in person, often saving towns and counties money and time.

You can also choose the notary business that works the best with your particular personality.

Notary certification is one of the few professions where you can get free ebooks and free training. By taking advantage of these resources, you’ll get all the tools and information you need to find success and an excellent notary business.