To become a New York notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Be a citizen of the United States
- Be a resident of the State of New York, or a non-resident who has an office or place of business in New York
- Be a person of good moral character
- Have the equivalent of a common school education
- Not have been convicted of a felony and/or certain misdemeanors
The process for receiving a New York notary public commission is as follows:
- The applicant must first meet the eligibility requirements.
- The prospective notary then properly completes and submits a notary application form to the Secretary of State with a $60 filing fee.
- Next, the applicant must submit a “pass slip” indicating that he or she has taken and passed the notary public examination. (Exception: any individual who is currently a member of the New York State Bar or a court clerk of the Unified Court System is not required to complete this step.)
- Upon approval of the notary application, the Secretary of State will forward the commission, the original oath of office, and the signature of the notary public to the appropriate county clerk of the county where the notary resides or where the non-resident notary has an office or place of business. The notary public commission will then be issued.
- A newly appointed notary public will receive an identification card.
Non-Resident New York Notary:
Permitted. A non-resident person may obtain a New York notary public commission if he or she has an office or a place of business in New York. A non-resident notary public must appoint the Secretary of State as the person upon whom process can be served on his or her behalf.
New York Notary Bond:
Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from his or her official misconduct. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that New York notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of a Notary Errors and Omissions insurance policy.
A $60 fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.
New York Notary Term:
Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary public may apply for renewal three months prior to the expiration of his or her term of office by submitting a renewal application with a $60 fee to the county clerk where the notary is commissioned.
Required. A notary applicant must take and pass a written examination to hold the office of a New York notary public. There is a fee of $15 to take the exam. Attorneys are exempt from taking the examination.
New York Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:
None Required. The laws of the state of New York do not require the use of seals by notaries public. If a seal is used, it should sufficiently identify the notary public, his authority, and jurisdiction. It is the opinion of the Department of State that the only inscription required is the name of the notary and the words “Notary Public for the State of New York.” To purchase a notary seal, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663 or by visiting our website at www.usnotaries.com.
None Required. It is strongly recommended by the Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries that New York notaries public record every notarial act in a notary record book or journal. For New York notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663 or visiting our website at www.usnotaries.com
Notary fees are set by state law. A notary public is allowed to charge for each notarial act, but not more than:
- Acknowledgments - $2.00
- Oaths or affirmations - $2.00
- Jurats - $2.00
- Swearing a witness - $2.00
- Protests - $0.75
- Each additional notice of protest (limit 5) - $0.10
A New York notary public has the authority to:
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Take affidavits and depositions
- Protest instruments
A notary public does not have the authority to certify copies of any documents.
The State of New York has not enacted/adopted statutes, rules, and/or procedures for general electronic notarizations. However, effective September 19, 2012, the state’s Office of Information Technology Services adopted rules setting forth guidelines for recording electronic real property documents, which includes standards for the electronic notarization of such documents. See New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, Title 9, Subtitle N, Part 540, Section 540.7(e) specifically, authorizes the electronic notarization of an electronic real property document.
Whenever a notary public changes his or her address, the notary must notify the Secretary of State and county clerk of the county in which he or she resides by submitting a form furnished by the Secretary of State. A non-resident notary public must also file a change of residential or employment address to the Secretary of State and county clerk of the county in which he or she has an office or place of employment. If a non-resident notary moves from New York and does not retain an office or place of business in the state, the notary vacates his or her office of notary public. Click here to download the Change Notice form: http://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/notary/notary.html
If a notary public adopts a different name, the notary must notify the Secretary of State by submitting a Change of Personal Name form with a $10 filing fee, along with acceptable forms of proof of the name change such as a court order, divorce decree, marriage certificate, driver’s license, non-driver’s ID card, valid passport, or immigration documents. A new ID card will not be issued to the notary following a change of name during the course of commission, as a notary must continue to notarize using the name under which he was commissioned throughout the remainder of his term. Click here to download the Change Notice form: http://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/notary/notary.html
A notary may be removed from office if he made a misstatement of a material fact in his application for appointment or for preparing and taking an oath of an affiant to a statement that he knew to be false or fraudulent.
A notary public may not:
- Prepare, draft, select, or give advice concerning legal documents
- Perform acts that constitute the practice of law
- Make representations to have powers, qualifications, or privileges that a notary public does not possess by law
- Notarize any document wherein the notary is a party to or has direct and pecuniary interested in the transaction
- Notarize a document without the signer being present at the time of the notarization
- Prepare and take an oath of an affiant to a statement he knows to be false or fraudulent
- Overcharge for notary services
- Notarize his or her own signature
- Solemnize marriages or take the acknowledgment of parties and witnesses to a written contract of marriage
- Take an acknowledgment of a signer unless the notary knows or has satisfactory evidence that the person making it is the person described therein and who executed such instrument
- Practice fraud or deceit in the performance of his duties as a notary public
- Charge a fee for administering the oath of office to a member of the legislature, to any military officer, to an inspection of election, clerk of the poll, or to any public officer or public employee
- Sign a notarial certificate under any other name than the one under which he or she was commissioned
- Certify a copy of any document
A notary public who commits official misconduct may be subject to criminal liability and civil liability, which may include monetary penalties, imprisonment, or both. A finding of such official misconduct by a court of law or the Secretary of State may result in the revocation of the notary’s commission.
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