Wondering about How to Become a Notary?
To find out more about the guidelines in your state on how to become a notary, start by visiting your Secretary of State’s website. All Notary commissions, regardless of the state, are issued by and overseen by the Secretary Of State. Once your application is approved and you complete all the state requirements to become a Notary, the next step will be to purchase your bond and E&O insurance. You can learn more about bond and E&O insurance in our blog post Bonded Insurance vs Errors & Omissions Insurance-Do you need to carry it?
What Should I Major in to Become a Notary Public?
There is currently no college degree or background required to become a Notary. Exact requirements vary from state to state, but an excerpt taken from howtobecome.com states that “Prospective notaries must apply for a commission by meeting their state’s requirements, which may include:
Age: Most states require notaries to be at least 18 years old. This is the legal age of the majority in most nations and therefore considered the minimum age for such a responsibility. The reasoning behind this requirement is simple: Notaries must have a certain level of maturity to effectively perform the duties of a notary. This includes taking responsibility for their actions, understanding the documents they are notarizing, and being able to act with professionalism even in difficult situations.
Education: Some states require notaries to complete a training course. The courses vary from state to state and can range from four hours up to 16 hours. They are designed to teach the student about the duties and responsibilities of being a notary public as well as other important topics such as proper notarization techniques, how to identify documents, and how to handle conflicts.
Examination: Some states require notaries to pass an examination.” Some states require that the notary public pass an examination. This exam is usually administered by an agency or organization approved by the state.
Once you’ve determined your status in becoming a notary public, sites like Notary.net have training resources by state that you can reference. Here you’ll find everything from guides and tutorials on what is required of you as a notary public, to information about different kinds of notarial acts and instructions on recording notarial acts. Understanding each state’s laws is essential, as they may vary in terms of the types of documents a notary public can witness or certify. Notary.net provides clear and comprehensive information to help you carry out your duties and remain compliant with your local regulations.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Notary?
Depending on your state’s requirements and how fast you complete each step will determine how long it will take to become a notary public. If your state requires training and testing, those will also be factors in the timeline. You will also need to purchase a surety bond to cover your notary term (typically two-five years). Once you’ve submitted your application, it can take 4-6 weeks to receive a status update.
Becoming a notary is an important step for individuals who plan to serve their community as an official public servant. It allows them to certify legal documents and perform other duties within the scope of their authority. With the proper training and preparation, anyone can become a notary in a few weeks.
How Much Money Can I Make as a Notary?
How much money you make as a notary public will depend on your fees and how often you’re available for signings. For example, if you charge $150 per signing and do five signings per week, you could make $750/week or $39,800 per year.
As a notary public, it is important to find the right balance between charging enough for your services and providing competitive rates so you can remain in demand. Depending on where you live, there may be competition among notaries that could affect how much money you make.
The more flexible and available you are, the more likely it is that you will find clients who are willing to pay your fees. An understanding of the local market and being proactive in networking could go a long way toward getting more business.
In addition, offering additional services such as loan signing for lenders or mobile notary services can help increase your earnings.
Not bad for a side hustle, right? You might find that the demand for signings fluctuates depending on your clients’ needs.
It’s a good idea to join a community like NotaryJane.com to find prospective clients in your area. The benefit of having a list of clients near you means that you’ll have more control of your schedule and never a shortage of signings to choose from.
Learning how to become a notary takes a bit of time, but if you’re serious about adding an extra income stream and increasing your finances, becoming a notary public has been a game-changer for many individuals. We see success stories a lot over at NotaryJane.com, so if your mission for this new year is to increase your overall income and create the work-life balance that you’ve been dreaming of, this might be the perfect path for you.
In Part Two of How to Become a Notary, we talk about the process of becoming a notary in New York and California and talk more about what skills are needed to become a notary public in those states and in general. If you’re serious about making a change in your career and want more information on what it’s like being a notary, or you want to feel confident in building this new venture, take a look at our other articles.
We offer a list of resources and information to set you up for a successful notary business at notaryjane.com/blog/. Learn more about how to become a notary, what your income tax process should look like, how to market your notary business and even how to deal with difficult clients, plus many more helpful tools and techniques.