Become an Ohio Notary

Abbreviation: OH | 17th State | Statehood: March 1, 1803 |
Eligibility:
To become an Ohio notary public, a person must be 18 years of age or older and satisfy one of the following requirements:

  • Be a legal resident of Ohio who is not an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Ohio, or
  • Be a legal resident of Ohio who is an attorney admitted to practice law in Ohio by the Ohio Supreme Court, or
  • Be a non-resident who is an attorney admitted to practice law in Ohio by the Ohio Supreme Court and has a principal place of business or a primary practice in Ohio.

Qualifications:
To receive an Ohio notary public commission, an applicant must:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements
  • Properly complete and submit a notary application form obtained from the local clerk of common pleas court or the local bar association
  • Execute the oath of office
  • Pay the required filing fee of $15
  • Submit the Certificate of Qualification from a judge of an Ohio court of common pleas, court appeals, or supreme court to the Secretary of State
  • Record the notary commission and signature with the clerk of the court of common pleas of the county in which the notary public resides

Non-Resident Ohio Notary:
Permitted. A non-resident applicant must be an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Ohio by the Ohio Supreme Court and have his or her principal place of business or primary practice in Ohio.

Ohio Notary Bond:
None required.

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 Ohio notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance.

Filing Fee:
In Ohio, all new notary commissions and notary renewals are handled by the counties. Each county has a slightly different process. Contact your county for further information.

Ohio Notary Term:
Five years for a notary public who is not an attorney. A notary public who is an attorney in good standing before the Supreme Court of Ohio may have a notary commission term for as long as the attorney is a resident of Ohio or has the attorney’s principal place of business or primary practice in Ohio.

Jurisdiction:
Statewide.

Appointment:
Secretary of State, but only upon the recommendation of a judge of an Ohio court of common pleas, court of appeals, or Supreme Court.

Ohio Secretary of State
Notary Commission Clerk
PO Box 1658
Columbus, OH 43216-1658
(614) 644-4559
http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/recordsIndexes/Notary.aspx

Notary Commission Renewal:
In Ohio, all notary renewals are handled through the counties, and each county has a slightly different process for renewals. A notary public must contact the county in which he or she resides for further instructions.

Education/Testing:
None Required.

Ohio Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:

Required.

Type – embosser or rubber-inked stamp

Required elements--The seal shall consist of the coat of arms of Ohio within a circle one inch in diameter and shall be surrounded by the words, “notary public,” “notarial seal,” “notary public’s name,” and “State of Ohio.” The name of the notary public may, instead of appearing on the seal, be printed, typewritten, or stamped in legible, printed letters near the notary’s signature on each document signed by the notary public.

Record Book:
Required. A notary public must maintain an official register in which to record a copy of every certificate of protest and copy of note, which seal and record shall be exempt from execution. Upon the notary public’s death, expiration of term without reappointment, or removal from office, the notary’s official register shall be deposited in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the notary resides. It is strongly recommended by the American Association of Notaries that Ohio notaries public record every notarial act in a notary record book or journal. For Ohio notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling (800) 721-2663 or visiting our website at www.usnotaries.com.

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 - $2.00
  • Jurats - $1.50
  • Oaths or affirmations - $1.00
  • Protests - $1.00 plus actual expenses
  • Affidavits - $1.50

Authority:
An Ohio notary public has the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths or affirmations
  • Take and certify depositions
  • Protest instruments

Electronic Notarization:
The State of Ohio has not enacted/adopted statutes, rules, and/or procedures for electronic notarizations.

Address Change:
The notary public must provide to the Secretary of State an Application for Amendment of Notary Public Information form within 30 days after an address change. If the notary’s county changes, the notary must record his or her commission with the clerk of courts of common pleas of the new county. Click here to download the change of address form -- http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/recordsIndexes/Notary.aspx

Name Change:
If a notary public legally changes his or her name, the notary must provide to the Secretary of State an Application for Amendment of Notary Public Information form within 30 days after the name change. The notary does not need to change his or her commission until the next renewal process. A notary who wishes to have his or her commission changed must complete a new notary application and surrender his or her notary commission. Click here to download the name change form -- http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/recordsIndexes/Notary.aspx

Death/Resignation/Removal:
A notary public, other than an attorney, who resigns his or her notary commission shall deliver to the Secretary of State, on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State, a written notice indicating the effective date of resignation. In case of the death, resignation, or removal of a notary, the notary record book shall be deposited in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the notary resides.

Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • Perform a notarial act if the notary is a signer or named in the document to be notarized
  • Select notarial certificates
  • Make representations to have powers, qualifications, rights or privileges that the notary does not have including the power to counsel on legal matters
  • Overcharge for notary services
  • Engage in the unauthorized practice of law
  • Notarize his or her own signature
  • Notarize the signatures of his or her relatives
  • Notarize a document if he or she is a party to the document
  • Act as a witness to and notarize the same instrument
  • Execute any certificate he or she knows to be false

Criminal Violation:
A notary who continues to perform notarial acts without a notary commission is in a violation of Section 147.10 of the Ohio Revised Code and shall be fined not more than $500. A notary who fails to administer the appropriate oath or affirmation of a person in the notarization of an affidavit violates Section 147.14 and shall be fined not more than $100, imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both. Official misconduct may result in the revocation of the notary’s commission.

Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

Revised: August 2015

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