How to become a Florida Notary

Abbreviation: FL   |   27th State   |   Statehood: March 3, 1845 |
How to Become a Florida Notary:
To become a Florida notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  1. Be 18 years of age or older
  2. Be a legal resident of Florida
  3. If a permanent resident alien, file a recorded Declaration of Domicile with the application
  4. Be able to read, write, and understand the English language
  5. Never have been convicted of a felony
In order to receive a Florida notary public commission, a person must:

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements
  2. Complete a notary education course—the Department of State’s Notary Education Program satisfies this requirement and can be taken online, free of charge
  3. Contact a bonding agency after completing an education course, and they will provide the application, pay the state filing fees, write a notary bond, and supply the notary seal
  4. Properly complete and submit a notary application form to the bonding agency because the Department of State no longer provides notary applications. The bonding agency will forward the application to the Department of State. Upon approval of the application, the applicant will receive the commission certificate and notary seal from his or her bonding agency.

Non-Resident Florida Notary:
Not Permitted.
Florida Notary Bond:
Required. A bond in the amount of $7,500 is required for new and renewing notaries public. For a notary bond, please visit the American Association of Notaries website at or call (800) 721-2663.
Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from official misconduct. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Florida notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance. Visit our website at for additional information, or call (800) 721-2663.
Filing Fee:
A $39 filing fee is required for new and renewal notary applications. No commission fee is required from a veteran who has served in wartime service and who has a disability rating of 50%.
Florida Notary Term:
Four years.
The Governor of Florida
Office of the Governor,
Notary Section, The Capitol,
400 South Monroe Street,
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
(850) 717-9325

Department of State
Division of Corporations
Notary Commissions
PO Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
(850) 245-6975

Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary may apply 60 days before the expiration of his current commission by completing a renewal application form.
Required. First-time applicants are required to take a three-hour course. Click here to take the course online -
Florida Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:

Type – rubber-inked stamp

Ink color – black

Embosser – may be used with rubber stamp seal but may not be a substitute for the rubber-inked stamp. The notary seal must be kept under lock and key to avoid its loss or misuse by another individual. Neither a rubber stamp nor an impression-type seal is required for an electronic notarization.

Required elements - Name of the notary, commission expiration date, the notary’s commission number, and the words “Notary Public” and “State of Florida.” No emblem or symbol is required, but nor are they prohibited. However, the use of the Great Seal of the State of Florida on the notary seal is strictly prohibited.

Shape/ Dimensions - not specified by notary laws

For electronic notarization, a notary must affix the information contained in his or her notary seal but does not need to affix the image of the physical notary seal. See Florida Statutes, Section 117.021(3).

Note: If a notary seal is lost or stolen, the notary is required to submit a written notification to the Governor’s Office, Notary Section. The notice must include the notary’s name and number, date of birth, and the last date the seal was in the notary’s possession. If the seal was stolen, the notary must file a report with the local law enforcement agency.

Record Book:
None Required. It is strongly recommended by the Governor’s Task Force on Notaries Public and the American Association of Notaries that Florida notaries public record every notarial act in a notary journal. For Florida notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663 or visiting our website at
Notary Fees:
Notary fees are set by state law. A notary public is allowed to charge for each notarial act, but not more than:

  • Acknowledgments - $10.00
  • Oaths or affirmations - $10.00
  • Jurats - $10.00
  • Protests - $10.00
  • Copy Certifications - $10.00
  • Solemnizing a Marriage - $30.00
  • Verifying a VIN - $20.00

A Florida notary has the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths or affirmations
  • Attest to photocopies of non-recordable documents
  • Solemnize marriages
  • Verify vehicle identification numbers
  • Certify the contents of a safe-deposit box
Electronic Notarization:
Permitted. The Florida Statutes, Title X, Chapter 117, Section 117.021 authorizes electronic notarizations. The Department of State adopted rules that set forth the definitions and notary signature for electronic notarizations. The 2016 new administrative rule stipulates that any public key certificate or electronic notary system that is used to affix the notary’s electronic signature and seal information shall be issued at the third or higher level of assurance as defined by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-63 (NIST 800-63), Electronic Authentication Guideline Version 1.0.2, which is incorporated by referenced in Rule 1N-5.002. See Florida Administrative Code 1N-5.001 and 1N-5.002.
Address Change:
Required. A notary must submit notification to the Secretary of State within 60 days of any change of home or business address. If the notary moves out of the state of Florida, the notary must resign his notary commission.
Name Change:
A notary who lawfully changes his name must complete a notice of name change form from the Secretary of State within 60 days after such change, which must also include the current commission, a rider to the notary bond, and a $25 check or money order.
To resign the office of notary public, the notary is required to submit a letter of resignation with the original commission to the Governor’s Office. The notary must destroy or deliver the notary seal to the Governor’s Office.
Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • Prepare, draft, select, or give advice concerning legal documents
  • Perform acts that constitute the practice of law
  • Use the phrase “notario” or “notario publico” to advertise notary services
  • Overcharge for notary services
  • Notarize a document without the signer being present at the time of the notarization
  • Use a facsimile signature stamp unless the notary has a physical disability
  • Notarize blank forms
  • Provide notary services for a signer who has been adjudicated mentally incapacitated by a court
  • Provide notary services for a signer who is mentally incapable of understanding the nature and effect of the signing of such document
  • Provide notary services to a signer who does not speak or understand the English language
  • Change anything in the document after it has been signed by anyone
  • Amend the notarial certificate after the execution of the notarization
  • Notarize a signature on a document unless the notary personally knows the signer or has established the identity of the signer through satisfactory evidence of identification
  • Attest to the trueness of a photocopy of a recordable document
  • Sign under any other name than his or her commissioned name
  • Notarize a document that is incomplete
  • Notarize a document that contains blank spaces
  • Notarize for immediate family members
  • Notarize a document in which he or she has a financial or beneficial interest or is named as a party to the transaction
  • Notarize his or her own signature
  • Notarize a photograph
  • Guarantee a signature
  • Certify the authenticity of objects, such as art or sports memorabilia
  • Judge contests or certify contest results
  • Certify a person’s residency or citizenship status
Criminal Penalties:
Includes, but are not limited to the following:

  • No person shall obtain or use a notary public commission in other than his legal name, and it is unlawful for a notary public to notarize his own signature. Any person applying for a notary public commission must submit proof of his identity to the Department of State if so requested. Anyone who violates this provision is guilty of a felony of the third degree.
  • Any person who acts as or otherwise willfully impersonates a notary public while not lawfully appointed and commissioned to perform notarial acts is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.
  • Any person who unlawfully possesses a notary public official seal or any papers or copies relating to notarial acts is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.
  • Any notary public who knowingly acts as a notary public after his commission has expired is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.
  • A notary public who falsely or fraudulently takes an acknowledgment of an instrument as a notary public or who falsely or fraudulently makes a certificate as a notary public or who falsely takes or receives an acknowledgment of the signature on a written instrument is guilty of a felony of the third degree.
  • A notary who notarizes the signature of a signer who is not in the presence of the notary at the time of the execution of the notarization is guilty of a civil infraction, punishable by a penalty not exceeding $5,000.
Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

Revised: July 2016

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