A notary public is someone who is appointed by a state government to be an impartial witness. When a client signs certain kinds of documents, the notary public witnesses the signature. By performing notarizations, the notary helps to deter fraud.
If you are searching for a good career, becoming a notary public is an excellent choice. The typical notary public in the United States earns $34,813 per year. In most cases, you will only have to complete a short training program before you can take your notary exam.
What Skills Do You Need to Have?
Notary requirements vary from state to state. Most states do not require specific degrees. You will generally be expected to meet the following qualifications.
- You must be 18 years old.
- In order to notarize documents, you must be capable of reading and writing in English.
- You must be a permanent legal resident or citizen of the United States.
- You will generally be expected to live or operate a business in the state.
Other than these specific requirements, you will also be expected to demonstrate the following personal qualities.
1. Honesty and Integrity
The entire purpose of a notary is to prevent fraud and verify the authenticity of each document. If the notary is dishonest, it casts a shadow across the entire system. For you to succeed in this field, you must demonstrate the highest standard of honesty and integrity.
Whether you work as a notary public at a government office or at a bank, your employer is relying on you to show up. People need their important documents certified to complete business transactions and apply for residency permits. If you are consistently late or unavailable, it will reflect poorly upon your employer.
A notary public typically has a lot of autonomy. Because of this, they must be extremely competent. You might be the only notary at your workplace, which means you are the only one who knows how to do your job properly.
What Degree Do You Need to Be a Notary?
In general, you can become a notary as long as you meet your state’s requirements. This may include residency requirements, training programs and tests. While this process can vary between different states, you will generally start by filling out an application and paying a fee. Then, you will take a training course.
After the training course, most states require you to pass an exam. When you have completed this step, you will file your bond and take an oath of office. Finally, you must buy your notary supplies before you can officially begin your first day of work.
- Turn in your application: First, you need to check with your secretary of state to figure out the application process. Most likely, you will need to turn in identifying information, your criminal history and any previous notary commissions. Depending on your state, you may take your oath of office now or after your notary exam.
- Take a training program: In most states, you will need to complete a short training program. These classes are sometimes offered online, but some states may require you to complete your training in person.
- Pass your exam: After your training program is complete, it is time to take your notary exam. You must pass this exam in order to become a notary.
- Buy your notary materials: Finally, you will need to buy your notary materials before you can start working as a notary. You must buy a journal to record all of the official acts you carry out at work. Additionally, you should buy a notary seal from one of your state’s official vendors.
- Get a surety bond: Some states require a surety bond before you can begin working. You may also need to show your surety bond when you take your oath of office.
- Take your oath of office: If you have not already taken your oath of office, you will be expected to do this after you have passed your notary exam. In most states, the oath of office will be administered by the county clerk in your area.
How Long Does Notary Training Last?
Some states do not require any notary training at all. If your state requires a training program or an exam, the entire process can take seven to nine weeks to complete. The process can vary significantly. In Texas, you are given a month to complete a course that is only three hours long. Depending on whether you have worked as a notary before or not, Ohio’s training program will last for one to three hours.
Do You Need Any Licenses or Certifications?
While you do not have to go to college to become a notary public, you will have to meet other requirements. Your state has specific rules about who can become a notary public. In order to be a notary, you must meet all of your state’s rules and get your certification. Afterward, you may have to periodically renew your license.
What Are Your Job Prospects as a Notary?
A notary public will generally spend their time notarizing wills, divorce papers, real estate transfers and other important papers. Many notaries work in administrative and professional positions at private and public organizations. They may also serve as mobile notaries, wedding officiants or paralegals.
How Much Will You Earn as a Notary?
The amount you earn as a notary can vary from state to state. On average, a typical notary in the United States earns $34,813 per year. While notaries in Hawaii earn an average annual salary of $40,977, notaries in Mississippi earn just $28,314 per year. Hourly earnings range between $13.61 and $19.70.
How Do You Find Work as a Notary?
Often, your employer will ask you to become a notary. Many banks, law firms and government agencies will ask their current employees to get certified as a notary. If you are trying to start a business as a mobile notary, you can try posting a profile on notary pages, creating a website or networking with local businesses.