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How to Become a Notary Public

Updated on October 5, 2013

Notaries are needed now in every state!

I've been a Notary Public for years. It's one of the best choices I made. Each state commissions Notaries to notarize documents for the public when that document requires notarization. But it isn't always easy to find a Notary Public when you need one. There is always a need for good Notaries in every state. It's something to consider as a career or as an add-on to any career.

What Exactly is a Notary Public and What Do They Do?

What kinds of documents need to be notarized?

A Notary Public is a public servant appointed and commissioned by the state to witness the executing of documents and administer oaths.

"Witness the executing of documents," simply means to witness the signing of a document. To "administer oaths," is to ask the person to swear or affirm to certain information and to witness that the statement was made under oath.

Notarized documents are required in a variety of settings. When real estate changes hands or is used to secure a loan, the Deed of Trust needs notarizing. This might be the most common document calling for a notarization.

Other examples are Powers of Attorney, Grant Deeds, permissions for students to travel with a school group, transfers of investments, insurance papers, etc.

When a notarized oath or statement is required, like one that starts out, "I swear or affirm that I have never been known by any other name. . ." a Notary Public can administer the oath and provide the notarization documenting the event.

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Why You Might Consider Becoming a Notary Public in Your State

Being a Notary is a Valuable Asset to Any Career, or a Career in and of Itself

More and more of today's documents are requiring notarization. Good Notaries are in demand and often hard to find. Becoming a mobile Notary Public is a good home-based business in and of itself.

But what if you aren't ready to leave your current job or are actually looking for work? An employee who is also a Notary Public will have far more value to an employer than one who isn't. Everything else being equal, the person with a Notary commission has a much better chance of rising to the top. All businesses need documents notarized, and having a Notary Public inhouse saves an incredible amount of time, money and inconvenience. You become the one who is called in to the boss' office when contracts are being signed. Soon you're known by all the officers of the company, and your discretion and integrity is spotlighted by virtue of your commission as Notary. It's like giving yourself a promotion.

It's easy to become a Notary in your state. For full and FREE information on how to become a Notary Public in each U.S. state, go to

If you are ready to strike out on your own, Mobile Notaries are needed as well. I've made my living at it for many years. Just ask yourself, if I needed a Notary today, where would I find one? Most of my clients are too busy to take their documents to a Notary, and so they call me to come to their home or office, or to their mom in an assisted living center. . .get the picture? And once they find a Notary who comes to them, they will call you over and over when a notarization is required. They'll also tell their friends.

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How Exactly Does a Notary Perform Their Responsibility?

What are the specific elements of a Proper Notarization?

The Notary is required to verify that the signer is actually who they say they are. This is usually proven with a valid and current Driver's License. They need to log that information into a Notary Journal. They also need the signer to sign their journal and in some cases provide a thumbprint. Other journal entries are for the date and place of signing, type of notarization needed, and description of document to be notarized. Then they need to witness the signing of the document by the signer. The Notary then signs and stamps the Acknowledgement (for witnessing a signature) or Jurat (for an oath) and attaches it to the document. Sometimes the wording for the Acknowledgement or Jurat is already part of the document to be signed.

So the basic steps to a notarization are:

1. Verify identification and log in Journal.

2. Fill in other Journal information.

3. Get a signature and possibly thumbprint.

4. Witness signature of document or oath.

5. Fill out and stamp Notary certificate.

The client now has their notarized document, and the Notary Public has a record of the event in their official journal.

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If you needed something notarized today, where would you go?

Do you personally know a Notary? - Are you a Notary yourself?

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    • profile image

      John 3 years ago

      Hi Dwaye,There's a lot of value with your videos. Great job of lyanig out the core concepts of keyword research. People that need to learn more about these concepts are sure to benefit from this high value lesson!All the best,Jim Jinright

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      Yes I know a Notary. Thanks for the great info on this lens.

    • MyFairLadyah2 profile image

      MyFairLadyah2 5 years ago

      A notary public I am not

      But I've used their services a lot

    • profile image

      huvalbd 7 years ago

      There are two types of notary public. The USA uses one type, the UK another. Unfortunately for me, Americans don't realise that and are forever wanting me to get a document notarised. Because UK notaries are so rare (about 800 for the country), that takes weeks of lead time for the appointment and costs at least 50 to get a single page notarised. (See my lens at if you want to know more.) I wish it could be as easy here as it is in the States!

    • VivianAldana LM profile image

      VivianAldana LM 7 years ago

      I was California Notary Public and Loan Signer for 8 years. It was an awesome experience and the money was very good! Great Lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I was a solicitor in England, and did think of training as a notary, which would have brought in a very handy income on my retirement. However, as EverythingMouse said, the Notary Exams in England are very difficult, and as I was already working in a law partnership about 10 hours a day most of the time, I didn't feel like taking on additional studying.

      Very interesting lens, especially the hints and tips.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Ah this is what a Notary does in USA. Just what I do in Australia. Here I am a Commissioner for Oaths and Justice of the Peace. I'm also a Civil Celebrant. So I will take your affadavit, issue a document for the police, sit on the bench when you're in the Court of of Summary Jurisdiction and then license your marriage. Not necessarily all at once :)

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 9 years ago

      I have a friend who is a notary. I also knew some notaries in the UK. The exam was so difficult there and I think that you had to be a lawyer too. I did think about qualifying in the UK as it was very lucrative!

    • wstrauss73 profile image

      Bill's Pressure Cleaning of Port St Lucie 9 years ago from Port St Lucie, FL

      Hi Nancy,

      Nice 5-Star Lens. Great topic as well! I never thought about being a Notary until now.. then again by the looks of it I'm not so sure I'd remember all of the rules either.. lol

      Bill S. - What It Takes To Be A Lean Fat Burning Machine

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      Please feel free to add your lenses to Notary Public Headquarters.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 9 years ago

      Something to consider. Thanks for the info!

    • TriviaChamp profile image

      TriviaChamp 10 years ago

      Unfortunately I live in Canada but I found the information you presented very interesting. Great niche!

      Wish you all the best!