When signing necessary paperwork, such as a will, property transaction or power of attorney papers for elderly or disabled family members, you will typically do this with the help of a notary public. In addition, notaries examine your identification papers before you can sign legal documents to ascertain your true identity. Notary publics receive training and come under the purview of each state’s licensing policies for those in the profession. While each state has unique rules concerning the renewal of a notary license, several general aspects occur no matter where you reside in the United States.
Testing and Application
Your state may require that you take training during the periods between renewing your notary license. Studies might include training in notary law, for example. Even if no legal obligation exists for this type of ongoing education, nevertheless, you may want to avail yourself of informative classes on pertinent subjects. The classes will assist you in performing your duties well and conscientiously, as mistakes can have drastic consequences for all parties involved when signing legal documents under your authority come under scrutiny by legal agencies.
After any training and testing, your state will need you to fill out a notary renewal application and pay a fee. These steps help begin the process of notary renewal in your state.
Bond and Commission
Most states mandate securing a bond as part of the notary renewal process. You must purchase a notary surety bond, and this bond helps protect the public if they suffer financial loss due to negligence on the part of notaries performing their duties. This bond does not cover the notary from financial loss but the public. In addition, you will also need other types of insurance, such as errors and omissions insurance, to cover yourself if mistakes occur. Each state has different requirements for amounts and filing the bond, so check with your state’s regulating authority for more details.
Your state may also require that you take an oath to renew your notary license. You promise to carry out the notary duties well in the pledge and obey the state laws. After all of the preceding steps, you should receive your notary commission renewal, which allows you to continue practicing as a notary public.
Seal and Duties
Once receiving their commissions, notaries must purchase their notary public seals, and each state has specific requirements for the stamps or seals. You will also need to buy a journal to record notary transactions. At this point, you can begin or resume your notary duties.
Check with your state’s division for notary publics to gain more specific information on notary commissions and renewals.