How to become an Alabama Notary

Abbreviation: AL  |  22nd State  |  Statehood: December 14, 1817 |
How to become a notary in Alabama:
To become a notary in Alabama, a notary applicant must meet all of the following requirements:
  1. Be 18 years or older
  2. Be a resident of Alabama
  3. Be a resident of the county where appointed
  4. Not have been convicted of a felony that has become final, unless the civil rights have been restored
Qualifications for becoming a notary in Alabama:
The probate judges of each county in Alabama provide applications for appointment or reappointment for a notary public commission. A notary applicant will need to contact the probate judge of the county where he or she will be appointed and commissioned to receive the requirements and instructions regarding the notary public application process. The notary applicant must at least meet the state’s qualifications:
  1. Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
  2. Complete and submit a notary application form to the probate judge of the county where the notary resides and will be appointed and commissioned.
  3. Pay a $10 fee for issuance of a notary public commission.Legally, a probate judge may collect a fee of $10 for this.
  4. Purchase a $25,000 bond, which is required of all Alabama notaries.
  5. File the bond in the county where the applicant is appointed and commissioned.

All fees that are collected for the commissioning of Alabama notaries are at the discretion of the county probate judges where the commissions are granted. The Secretary of State provides a list of the probate judges on their website at http://sos.alabama.gov/city-county-lookup/probate-judges or click here for more information.

 

Can a non-resident become a notary in Alabama?
No. A notary applicant who is not a resident of Alabama does not qualify for an Alabama notary public commission.
 

Is an Alabama notary bond required to become a notary in Alabama?
Yes. An Alabama notary bond in the amount of $25,000 is required for new and renewing notaries public at large. The notary must file his or her bond in the office of the probate judge of the county of residence before the notary assumes notarial duties. To purchase an Alabama notary bond, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com or call (800) 721-2663 or click here.
 

Do I need an Alabama notary errors & omissions insurance?
Optional. Errors and Omission insurance is designed to protect notaries public from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that resulted in financial damages to the public or a document signer. The American Association of Notaries recommends that Alabama notaries purchase an errors and omissions insurance policy for their protection against liability. For additional information, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com or call (800) 721-2663 or click here.
 

How much does it cost to become a notary in Alabama?
To become a notary in Alabama, an applicant is required to pay $10 for the issuance of a notary public commission, the application processing fee, the cost of the required notary stamp and bond, education course if required in the county of residence, and other filing fees associated with the notary commission. The cost of commissioning may fluctuate depending on whether the applicant is a new or renewing notary and in which county the applicant maintains his or her residence.
 

How long is the term of a notary public commission in Alabama?
The term of office of an Alabama notary public is for four years commencing with the date specified in the commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void by resignation, death, revocation, or when the notary public ceases to reside in Alabama.
 

Where can I perform notarial acts?
An Alabama notary has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county at any location in Alabama. Likewise, an Alabama notary public may not perform notarial acts outside this state.
 

Who appoints Alabama notaries public?
Alabama notaries are appointed and commissioned by the probate judges of the various counties. The county probate judges report the name, county, date of issuance, and date of expiration of the commission of each notary public appointed and commissioned to the Alabama Secretary of State.

 

For information on notary appointment, contact the Secretary of State:

 

Alabama Secretary of State
Administrative Services
Notaries Public
P.O. Box 5616
Montgomery, Alabama 36103-5616
(334) 353-2171
http://sos.alabama.gov/administrative-services/notaries-public

 

How to renew your Alabama notary commission:
Alabama notaries may apply before the expiration of their current commission by completing an application for reappointment with the office of the appointing probate judge of the county of residence.
 

Are there any exams or notary course requirements to become or renew your Alabama notary commission?
There is no state-proctored exam required in Alabama. However, at the discretion of an appointing county probate judge, the judge may require that an applicant for appointment and commission take and complete an educational course of study and/or pass an exam before the issuance of a notary public commission.
 

Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Alabama?
Alabama law requires all notaries public to authenticate all official acts with a seal of office, which shall present, by its impression or stamp, the following information:

 

  • Name of notary public
  • The words "Notary Public"
  • The word "Alabama"
  • The words "State at Large"
  •  

    Ink color, shape, and dimensions—are not specified by Alabama statute. Alabama notaries are permitted to use either an embosser or an inked stamp as their official seal to authenticate their notarial acts.

     

    Is a notary journal required in Alabama?
    No. Alabama law does not require an Alabama notary public to record his or her notarial acts in a journal.However, many of the appointing county probate judges in Alabama and the American Association of Notaries recommend that Alabama notaries record their notarial acts in a journal as a protective measure against liability.For Alabama notary supplies, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com or call (800) 721-2663 or click here.

     

    How much can an Alabama notary charge for performing notarial acts?
    Alabama notarial fees are set by statute (COA §36-20-74). The maximum allowable fees that a notary public can charge for notarial acts are listed below:
  • Acknowledgments - $5.00
  • Oaths or affirmations - $5.00
  • Jurats - $5.00
  • Protests - $5.00
  •  

    What notarial acts can an Alabama notary public perform?
    An Alabama notary public is authorized to perform four notarial acts:
  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths or affirmations
  • Protest instruments
  • Exercise other powers that, according to commercial usage or the laws of this state, may belong to notaries public
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    Can I perform electronic notarizations in Alabama?
    The state of Alabama has not enacted/adopted notary statutes, regulations, or established procedures for electronic notarizations. The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act were both enacted in Alabama, acknowledging the legal validity of electronic signatures used by Alabama notaries on a notarized document, if all of the information required by other applicable law is attached to or logically associated with the document or signature. A physical or electronic image of a stamp, impression, or seal need not accompany an electronic signature.

     

    How do I change my address?
    The Code of Alabama does not provide statutory requirements for Alabama notaries to notify their appointing county probate judge after an address change during the term of their commission. However, certain websites for some of the appointing county probate judges state that when the notaries they commissioned move out of the county from where their commission was granted, they vacate their office as notary public.For information regarding a change of address, Alabama notaries have a duty to contact their appointing county probate judge where their commission was granted to comply with their requirements.

     

    How do I change my name on my notary commission?
    Alabama law does not provide statutory requirements for Alabama notaries to report a new name change or change their name on their notary public commission after a name change. For information regarding a new name change, Alabama notaries have a duty to contact their appointing county probate judge where their commission was granted to comply with their requirements, or just reapply for a new notary commission in their new name.

     

    Death/Resignation/Removal
    Alabama law does not provide statutory requirements for Alabama notaries or their representatives in the event of death, resignation, removal from office, or if they no longer reside in Alabama. For information regarding such events, Alabama notaries or their representatives have a duty to contact the notary’s appointing county probate judge where the commission was granted to comply with their requirements,and what to do with the notary’s commission and official seal.

    Official Notarial Misconduct:
  • Any person who, having been a notary, willfully performs or assumes the authority to perform a notarial act after his or her commission expires, with knowledge that his or her notary commission has expired, shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor (COA §36-20-75).
  • Any person, who without a notary’s commission, assumes the authority and performs a notarial act shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor (COA §36-20-75).
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    Alabama Notary Laws and Regulations:
    Code of Alabama, Title 36, Chapter 20, Article 4 (Employment of Notaries Public)
    http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/coatoc.htm

     

    Code of Alabama, Title 35, Chapter 4 (Conveyances and Creation of Estates)
    http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/coatoc.htm

    Alabama Notarial Certificates:
    Click here to view Alabama notarial certificates.

    Revised: November 2017

    Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page. Information this page 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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