Becoming a New York notary public is rewarding and will enrich your resume. Banks, real estate offices, and many other businesses use notaries regularly.
Meet the state’s eligibility requirements and take the one-hour Notary exam. Receive a “pass slip” in the mail. Submit your state application, including your oath of office, to the Department of State alongside a $60 filing fee.
Passing the Exam is the First Step
The first step in becoming a notary in New York is passing the state exam. The exam is one of the most important steps to take in becoming a notary because it is the only way that the state can tell whether you understand the notary law enough to be able to perform notarial acts in accordance with the state’s rules and regulations.
The state notary exam is a one-hour test you must pass with at least 70% of the questions correctly answered. Upon completion of the exam, you will receive a “pass slip” that you must submit with your application to the Department of State. You can find a list of available exams and their schedules on the Department of State’s website.
If you fail the exam, you must retake it within two weeks of your failed attempt. After six months, individuals discharged from the Armed Forces or notary applicants whose names have changed due to marriage can retake the exam.
Before taking the N.Y. notary exam, you must meet the state’s eligibility requirements and complete a notary training course approved by the state. The course includes lectures, practice, and the New York Notary Public License Law. The law is the most important part of studying for the exam because it will help you understand the topics covered on the exam.
In addition to the required course materials, you must prepare by reading and reviewing your study guide. Make sure that you have studied thoroughly before the day of your exam. You can also download the free notary exam practice quiz for additional review. The practice quiz contains three sample questions that you can use to prepare for the real exam. It is best to take the practice quiz several times before your exam date to get a feel for how challenging the exam will be. In addition to the practice quiz, you can purchase a full notary exam preparation package to ensure you have everything you need to pass the N.Y. notary exam.
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Take the Oath of Office
Before you begin notarizing, you must swear an oath of office. You will solemnly promise to uphold the laws and regulations of your new office and perform your duties honestly and with integrity. Typically, you will take the oath in a public ceremony, and a notary public or another authorized person will witness the administration of the oath.
Before taking the oath of office, you must ensure that you meet the requirements for becoming a notary public in New York State. These include a notary exam ($15 fee), an application, and a Jurat and Writing Sample.
The notary exam is a 40-question, multiple-choice test. It takes about one hour to complete and is based on the New York Notary Public License Law. A score of 70% or 28 correct is required in becoming a notary in New York. The exam includes a few narrative questions with true/false options. It is recommended that you study the exam material before taking the test. Students that take the online N.Y. Notary course often report finishing their exam in 15-20 minutes!
Once you pass the exam, upload the “pass slip” when completing the online notary application. The application requires you to sign the Jurat and Writing Sample in your handwriting. Notarize the Writing Sample and have a notary or authorized person administer an oath for the Jurat.
After submitting your application and documents to the Department of State, they will issue a commission in your name on the notary card for the specified period. If your name changes during your commission, inform the Secretary of State within five days. Include a $10 name change fee and acceptable proof (e.g., court order, divorce decree, marriage certificate, driver’s license, non-driver ID, passport, or immigration document). You will need to renew your commission every four years. The renewal process is similar to the initial commission.
Apply for your Commission
Once you’ve passed the exam and taken your oath, it’s time to apply for your commission. You’ll need to complete a state application (including your oath) and submit it to the Department of State, along with a $60 fee. The secretary of state is the appointing authority for public notaries in New York. The application must be notarized.
You’ll also need to submit an exemplar. This notarized signature is used to verify your identity when you perform electronic notarizations. Your exemplar should include your seal and electronic certification service provider’s information. You can upload it during the online application process.
To commission, you must be a natural-born or naturalized U.S. citizen at least 18 years old and be a New York state resident or work for a business there. Moreover, you must not have a felony or disqualifying crime conviction in this or any other state or territory. You must also pass the one-hour Notary Public Examination. Testing centers throughout the state offer exams every week. We encourage applicants to apply early because seating is limited.
Upon passing the exam, you’ll be notified of your results. If you pass, send your original pass slip, completed application, and a $60 check payable to the Department of State to the Secretary of State.
Once approved, the Secretary of State will issue your identification card, valid for four years. To renew your commission before expiration, apply at the County Clerk’s Office. The renewal process usually takes a few months.
Please note that the address on your application may be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Law. To avoid releasing your home address, use a business address. If you change your name during your commission, submit a Notary Public Name Change Form to the Department of State before applying at the County Clerk’s Office.
Receive your Commission
After you pass your notary exam, you are officially a commissioned Notary Public in the State of New York. You can now practice law and execute notarial acts throughout the state, provided you satisfy all the requirements. Those requirements include passing an examination, sending in an application, and paying a fee. If you allow your commission to lapse, you must take the exam again and apply for a new commission.
The first thing you need to do after passing your notary exam is have your oath of office taken by a Notary Public. The notary course you took will teach you exactly how to do this. Then, submit your application to the Department of State with a check or money order for $60. You will also need to send in a Jurat and Writing Sample. Then, wait for your application to be processed.
You can expect to hear back from the Department of State within a few weeks. Your application will be approved or denied. You will receive your identification card from the Department of State if approved. The notary I.D. card is valid for four years and must be presented to clients when performing a notarial act.
If you change your name during the term of your notary commission, you must notify the Secretary of State of New York of the change. You must provide acceptable proof of the change, including a court order, divorce decree, marriage certificate, driver’s license or non-driver’s I.D. card, valid passport, or immigration documents. A $10 fee must be paid with the name change form.
It is also a good idea to purchase Errors and Omissions insurance. While it is not required by law, this policy will cover you if a client files a claim for damages resulting from your mistake.