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Become a Tennessee Notary

Abbreviation: TN | 16th State | Statehood: June 1, 1796 |
Eligibility:
To become a Tennessee notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a resident of the county elected, or have their principal place of business in the county
  • Be a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident
  • If a person’s principal place of business is in any county in the state of Tennessee, the person is eligible for election as a notary in that county, although the person may reside in a state other than Tennessee
  • Has never been removed from the office of notary public for official misconduct
  • Has never had a notarial commission revoked or suspended in Tennessee or any other state
  • Has never been found by a court in Tennessee or any other state to have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law

Qualification:
In order to receive a Tennessee notary public commission, a person must:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements
  • Properly complete and submit the notary application to the County Clerk in the county in which the applicant resides or maintains his/her principal place of business with a $12 filing fee. The County Clerk will certify the election and will forward the certification to the Secretary of State.
  • Once the applicant is elected, the Secretary of State will send the governor-issued commission to the County Clerk to be recorded and notify the notary public
  • The notary public must execute an oath of office before the county clerk or the clerk’s deputy in the notary’s county, and provide a $10,000 bond
  • The county clerk shall deliver the commission to the notary public and record the date of the issuance and expiration date and qualifications in their office.

Non-Residents Tennessee Notary:
Permitted. If a person’s principal place of business is in any county in the state of Tennessee, the person is eligible for election as a notary public in that county, although the person may reside in a state other than Tennessee. However, such non-resident applicant must also meet the same requirements as a resident applicant.

Tennessee Notary Bond:
Required. A bond in the amount of $10,000 is required for new and renewing notaries public. The bond shall be filed in the office of the county clerk in the county where the notary public was elected. Please visit the American Association of Notaries’ website at www.usnotaries.com to purchase and receive a bond via email in one business day.

Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from the misconduct of the notary public. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommend Tennessee notaries public to insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of a Notary Errors and Omissions insurance. Visit our website: www.usnotaries.com for more information.

Filing Fee:
A $12 fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.

Tennessee Notary Term:
4 years.

Jurisdiction:
Statewide.

Appointment:
Governor

Tennessee Department of State
Secretary of State--Notary
William R. Snodgrass Tower, 8th Floor
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
Nashville, TN 37243
615-741-2650
http://www.state.tn.us/sos/bus_svc/notary.htm

Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary may apply for renewal by submitting and following the same process as a new applicant.

Education/Testing:
None Required.

Tennessee Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:
Required.


Type —rubber stamp

Ink color -any color other than black or yellow provided that the color used is clearly legible and appears as black when photocopied on a non-color copier.

Shape —circular

Recommended by the Secretary of State that the seal be a circular seal with the notary public’s name as it appears on the commission printed at the top, the county of election printed at the bottom, and the words “State of Tennessee Notary Public” or “Tennessee Notary Public” printed in the center

Record Book:
None Required. It is strongly recommended by the Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries that Tennessee notaries public record every notarial act in a well-bound notary record book. For Tennessee notary supplies, contact the American Association of Notaries by calling (800) 721-2663 or visiting our website at www.usnotaries.com .

Notary Fees:
Notarial fees are set by state law. A notary public is allowed to charge for each notarial act, but not more than:

  • Acknowledgments $0.25
  • Jurats $0.25
  • Oaths or affirmations $0.25
  • Depositions $1.00
  • Protest instruments $1.50
  • Recording protests $1.00
In order to charge the statutory notarial fees, a notary public must keep a record in a well-bound book of each of his or her attestations, protestations, and other instruments of publication.

Authority:
A Tennessee notary public has the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • Take depositions
  • Qualify parties to bills in chancery
  • Protest negotiable instruments
  • Take affidavits

Address Change:
If a notary public moves his or her residence or principal place of business out of the county from which he or she was elected and commissioned to another county in Tennessee, the notary must notify the county clerk in the county from which the notary was elected and commissioned shall pay to the county clerk a fee of $7.00. The county clerk notifies the Secretary of State of the change of address. If a notary public moves out of the state of Tennessee and has neither a residence nor a principal place of business in Tennessee, the notary is disqualified from acting as a Tennessee notary public and such notary must surrender his or her notary public commission.

Name Change:
If a notary public’s surname changes, he or she must notify the county clerk of the county from which he or she was elected and commissioned and pay to the county clerk a fee of $7.00. The county clerk will notify the Secretary of State of the name change. Please contact the county clerk of the county from which the notary public was elected and commissioned for further instructions because the notary may be required to bring a rider from his or her insurance company with the name change.

Death/Resignation/Removal:
If a notary public moves out of the state of Tennessee and has neither a residence nor a principal place of business in Tennessee, the notary must surrender his or her commission. The notary seal must be surrendered to the county clerk where the notary was elected and commissioned upon expiration of the notary’s term of office or resignation, and the personal representative must surrender the seal in the event of the death of the notary.

Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • Prepare legal documents or give legal advice if the notary is not an attorney
  • Perform acts that constitute the practice of law
  • Notarize a document without the signer being in the notary’s presence at the time of the execution of the notarization
  • Be a party to a false affidavit
  • Notarize documents with an expired commission
  • Post-date or ante-date any oath or acknowledgment
  • Hold himself to be an immigration consultant, immigration paralegal, or expert on immigration matters unless also an accredited representative of an organization recognized by the board of immigration appeals
  • Notarize the signature of his or her spouse on a document
  • Notarize a document in a matter in which he or she has a financial interest

Criminal Violation:
It is a Class C misdemeanor for a person to act as a Tennessee notary public after moving out of Tennessee. Violation of the laws governing advertising by notaries public is an unfair or deceptive act constituting a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine in an amount up to $500. It is a misdemeanor to take office as a notary public if a disqualification exists. A notary public who commit official misconduct may also be subject to criminal and civil liability, and may include the revocation of his or her notary public commission.

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

Revised: January 2014

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety. American Association of Notaries is owned by Kal Tabbara, a licensed insurance agent.