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How to Become a Notary in the State of Washington

by American Association of Notaries
By following our step-by-step guide below, you'll be on your way to becoming a Washington notary.

To become a Washington notary, a notary applicant must:

1. Be 18 years of age or older
2. Be able to read and write in English
3. Reside in Washington State or be an Idaho or Oregon resident who is employed or doing business regularly in Washington State

If you meet the above qualifications you can apply to become a Washington notary by:

1. Carefully reading the laws, rules, and duties of a notary public in and for the State of Washington available on the Washington State's Department of Licensing website
2. Printing out a notary application from the Washington State's Department of Licensing website
3. Completing Section A and B of the notary application
4. Having three endorsers complete Section C of the notary application
5. Completing Section D of the notary application in the presence of a notary public
6. Having the notary public notarize Section D of the notary application
7. Purchasing a four-year, $10,000 Washington surety bond
8. Mailing the complete notary application, a copy of your $10,000 Washington surety bond, and $30.00 application fee to the Notary Public Program Department of Licensing
9. Waiting for your Washington Notary Public Commission Certificate in the mail


How can I start the Washington notary application process to become a Washington notary?

To become a Washington notary, please follow the instructions listed on the previous section on "How to become a Washington notary". Click here for more information on how to become a Washington notary, and read our Washington law section. More information can found at the Washington Secretary of State's website.

How do I renew my Washington notary commission?

Renewing your Washington notary commission requires you to take the same steps as applying for a Washington notary commission for the first time, but you don't need to complete Section C or D on the notary application. A new application should be started before the notary commission's expiration date to ensure uninterrupted authority.

When can I renew my Washington notary commission?

You can renew your Washington notary commission within 120 days before your commission expiration date.

How much does it cost to become a Washington notary?

To become a Washington notary, you must purchase a four-year, $10,000 Washington surety bond. The cost of the $10,000 surety bond varies from company to company. The Washington State Department of Licensing doesn't regulate how much a bonding company can charge for the surety bond. To have your notary public application processed, you will need to pay a $30.00 application fee. After you receive your Washington Notary Public Commission Certificate, you will need a Washington notary stamp or notary embossing seal (prices vary depending the notary items you select). As of July 1, 2018, all Washington notaries will be required to keep a notary record book (journal) to describe each notarial act they perform. Please visit http://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-stamps/washington/ for notary stamps, notary record books, and other notary supplies.

How long does it take to become a Washington notary public?

The time it takes to complete a notary application and secure a surety bond varies from applicant to applicant. After you mail the correctly completed notary application, a copy of your surety bond, and a $30.00 processing fee to the Notary Public Program Department of Licensing, it takes at least thirty days for you to receive your Washington Notary Public Commission Certificate by mail.

How long does a Washington notary commission last?

A Washington notary term is four years. To verify when your term begins and ends, you'll have to look at the effective and expiration dates on the Washington Notary Public Commission Certificate that was issued to you when your notary application was approved. To continue performing notarial acts as a Washington notary after your current expiration date,you'll have to renew your commission before your notary term expires. Please click here to renew your commission.

Do I need to purchase a Washington notary stamp? What notary supplies do I need when I become a Washington notary?

When becoming a Washington notary, to perform notarial acts in the State of Washington, you need at a minimum a Washington notary stamp or a notary embossing seal. A notary record book, sometimes called a journal, will be required as of July 1, 2018. A Washington notary stamp or notary embossing seal must meet the following minimum requirements:

1. Include the words "Notary Public" and "State of Washington"
2. Include the notary's name and commission expiration date
3. Use letters and numbers on the impression that are a minimum of eight-point type, permanently affixed, and not preprinted
4. Be a minimum 1 5/8" in diameter fora round shaped impression
5. Be a minimum 1" wide and 1 5/8" long for a rectangular shaped impression
6. Not include the Washington State Seal
7. Make impressions using permanent ink

How do I order a Washington notary stamp and record book?

Please go to http://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-stamps/washington/ to order your Washington notary supplies. All our notary stamps and notary supplies come with a life-time replacement guarantee, are made in-house, and are shipped in one business day.

Do I need send you my Washington notary commission certificate?

Yes. The State of Washington requires all vendors to keep a copy of the notary's commission certificate before processing an order for a notary stamp or notary seal embosser.

How can I train to become a Washington notary?

The Washington State's Department of Licensing website http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/notary/nresources.html has a list of places you can take a notary education course and a webpage about how to perform notary acts.

Click here to learn more about how to become a Washington notary.
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Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information and ideas for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary educations, and securing their notary supplies but makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained . Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.
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