How to Become a Notary in NY

Becoming a notary public is a relatively simple process, but there are a few requirements that you’ll need to meet. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to become a New York state notary public. We’ll cover the requirements as well as the application process. After reading this article, you’ll be on your way to becoming a licensed notary public in New York state!

What are the requirements to become a notary public in New York state?

To become a notary public in New York, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a citizen of the United States or a legal permanent resident/permanent resident alien
  • Be of good moral character
  • Reside and/or work in New York state
  • Common school education level
  • Have a clean criminal record, with no convictions in New York or any other state or territory for felonies and/or specified misdemeanors.
  • Pass the state-mandated Notary Public Exam

How do I get my notary license in New York state?

To get your notary public license in New York state, you’ll need to:

  1. Pass the notary public examination and receive your pass slip. However, attorneys from the New York State bar and the Unified Court System court clerks who took a civil service promotional examination are exempted from this requirement.
  2. Submit to the New York Secretary of State a filled-out initial application form, an exam pass slip, and $60 filing fee. (You must swear on and have the oath of office notarized before submitting it in your application).
  3. After the New York Secretary of State Division of Licensing Services approves the application for a notary public, they will issue and forward it to the appropriate county clerk’s office, where either a resident or non-resident notary resides or operates their business. The county clerk maintains notary records. This package includes a new notary public commission, an oath of office, and signature verification from the said notary.
  4. After a successful application process for becoming appointed as a notary, individuals will receive an official identification card in four to six weeks. This ID card carries the notary’s name, address, county, and notary’s commission term details.

How much does it cost to become a notary public in New York?

The costs of becoming a New York state notary public can include costs for:

  • The $60 application fee. This fee is also paid when you renew your notary public commission.
  • The $15 notary public examination fee

According to law, you will not need a notary seal, also called a notary stamp, but it might be required if you want to become a loan signing agent. This should cost between $15 and $25. You will also need a notary public journal. A notary journal costs between $10 and $50.

Is notary training to become a notary in New York?

Notary training is not required to become a New York state notary public. However, it may be beneficial for notaries and those considering becoming a notary to take at least one basic notary training course to learn best practices and stay updated on regulations.

Is an exam required to become a notary in New York?

Yes, an exam is required to become a notary public in New York state. The examination consists of questions about the duties and responsibilities of a notary public in New York.

Can I take the notary exam online in NY?

No, the notary public exam is only available in a paper format. You must take the exam at an approved testing center in New York state. You can find more information about becoming a notary and locating approved testing centers on the website of the New York Secretary of State.

How hard is the notary exam in NY?

The notary public exam is not overly difficult. With proper preparation, most applicants should be able to pass the exam on their first attempt. You must read and study the New York Notary Law to do well on the exam.

How long is the NY notary exam?

The NY Notary exam contains 40 questions.

What is the passing score on the New York notary exam?

The passing score on the New York notary exam is 70%. You will need to answer at least 28 of the 40 questions correctly in order to pass.

How much is the NYS notary exam?

The New York state notary public exam costs $15.

How often do I need to renew my notary commission in New York?

A notary public license in New York is valid for four years. You must renew your notary public license four years after the appointment date. To renew, you must submit a renewal application and fee to the New York Secretary of State.

Do New York state notaries need a notary stamp?

In New York, the use of seals by notaries public isn’t mandatory. However, if it is utilized, the seal should be able to clearly express who the Notary Public is and what authority they have in their jurisdiction. According to the Department of State’s opinion on this matter, all that needs to appear on a Notary’s Seal are their name followed by “Notary Public for The State Of New York.”

Do New York notaries need a notary journal?

Effective January 25th, 2023, all notaries must maintain a journal for ten years, including details of each notarial act performed and the type of identification presented. For electronic notaries, it is necessary that they keep an audio and video record as well as a logbook detailing every electronic notarial act executed.

Does a New York notary need a surety bond?

No, New York notaries are not required to have a surety bond.

Is a notary errors and omissions insurance policy required to become a New York notary?

No, a Notary Errors & Omissions policy is not mandatory to become a New York state notary public. However, it is highly recommended that all notaries obtain such insurance, as it will protect them if any mistakes or errors are made while performing their duties.

How much can a New York notary public charge for performing notarial acts?

A notary public may charge a fee of $2.00 for administering an oath or affirmation or for taking an acknowledgment or proof of execution. If the law does not say otherwise, a notary public cannot charge more than this amount.

How long does it take to get a notary license in New York?

After submitting your notary application, and application fee typically takes four to six weeks for your application to be processed and approved.

Can I perform electronic notarizations in New York?

Yes, New York notaries are allowed to perform remote online notarizations. You must be a commissioned notary public to apply for an electronic notary commission. There is a separate registration process to have the capability to perform electronic notarial acts.  

Please visit the New York Department of State’s website for more information on the requirements for performing electronic notarizations in New York.

How does a NY notary make money?

Notaries in New York can charge a fee of $2.00 for administering an oath or affirmation, as well as taking acknowledgments or proofs of execution. Beyond that, mobile notaries may charge more for their convenience and travel expenses. Notaries can also offer additional services such as loan signings.

How do I become a loan signing agent in NY?

To become a signing agent in New York, you must obtain your notary commission. After completing the application process and receiving your license, you must complete additional training and certification to become a Notary Signing Agent. The state requires attorney involvement for real estate transactions, but many New York notaries become successful signing agents, especially when focussing on closings that originate in other states.

Is there a demand for a notary loan signing agent in New York?

Yes, there is a strong demand for loan signing agents in New York. There are many banks and lending institutions that require the services of trained and certified notary signing agents to facilitate real estate closings and other loan transactions.

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