Become a Washington Notary

Abbreviation: WA   |   42nd State   |   Statehood: November 11, 1889 |
To become a Washington notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a resident of the state of Washington or be a residents of Idaho or Oregon and maintain regular employment or do business in Washington
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Receive the endorsement of three Washington residents who are eligible to vote and are not related to the applicant
To receive a Washington notary public commission:

  • First meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Then properly complete and submit a notary application form to the Department of Licensing with a $10,000 bond and a $30 filing fee. Click here to download the application form-
Non-Resident Washington Notary:
Permitted. Non-residents residing in Idaho or Oregon may apply to be a Washington notary public while regularly employed or doing business in Washington.
Washington Notary Bond:
A $10,000 notary bond is required for new and renewing notaries.
Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from his or her official misconduct as a notary public. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Washington notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance.
Filing Fee:
A $30 filing fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.
Washington Notary Term:
Four years.
Department of Licensing
Notary Public Section
P.O. Box 9027
Olympia, WA 98507-9027
Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary public may renew his or her appointment without the endorsements required by law if he or she submits a new application before the expiration date of his or her current appointment.
None Required.
Washington Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:

Type — embosser or rubber-inked stamp

Shape — round or rectangular

Dimensions — a minimum one and five-eighths inches in diameter if round; if rectangular, a minimum of one inch wide by one and five-eighths inches long with a minimum of 8-point type

Required elements – the seal must contain the notary public’s surname and at least the initials of the notary’s first and middle names, the date the appointment expires, and the words “Notary Public, State of Washington.” The use of the Washington state seal on the notary stamp or seal is prohibited. A notary public’s seal or stamp shall be the exclusive property of the notary public, and the seal must not be surrendered to an employer upon termination of employment, regardless of whether the employer paid for the seal or for the notary’s bond or appointment fees.

Record Book:
None Required. It is strongly recommended by the Department of Licensing and the American Association of Notaries that Washington notaries public record every notarial act in a notary journal. For Washington notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663 or visiting our website at
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 - $10.00
  • Oaths or affirmations - $10.00
  • Protests - $10.00
  • Certifying that an event has occurred or an act has been performed - $10.00
  • Witnessing or attesting a signature - $10.00
  • Certifying or attesting a copy - $10.00
  • Copy of a document for the first page - $1.00
  • Each remaining page - $0.25
A notary public who charges for notarial acts must conspicuously display in his place of business, or present to each customer outside his business, an English-language schedule of fees. The notarial fee schedule must not be printed in smaller than 10-point type. A notary public may charge a travel fee if the notary and the person requesting the notarial act agree upon the travel fee in advance and the notary explains that the travel fee is in addition to the notarial fee.
A Washington notary public has the authority to:
  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • Witness or attest a signature
  • Certify that an event has occurred or an act has been performed
  • Protest instruments
  • Certify or attest a copy
Electronic Notarization:
The State of Washington has not enacted/adopted statutes, rules, and/or procedures for electronic notarizations.
Address Change:
Required. When a notary public changes his or her address, the notary must notify the Department of Licensing in writing of the address change. The new address notification can be sent by email or fax or be mailed to the address listed above.
Name Change:
Required. When a notary public changes his or her name, the notary must submit a written notification of the name change to the Department of Licensing. The notification of name change must be accompanied by a bond rider from the bonding company amending the notary bond and a fee of $15. The Department of Licensing will issue a duplicate Certificate of Appointment with the new name.
If a notary public voluntarily resigns his or her notary appointment, or if the notary appointment is revoked, suspended, or restricted, the notary public must mail or deliver his or her notary stamp or seal to the Department of Licensing. No voluntary resignation of a notary appointment shall be effective until the notary seal or stamp is mailed or delivered to the Notary Section. A judicial finding of incompetency of a notary public is a basis for the revocation of the appointment of a notary public.
Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • Prepare, draft, select, or give advice concerning legal documents
  • Overcharge for notarial services
  • Notarize a document without the principal signer being in the notary’s presence at the time of the performance of the notarial act
  • Notarize his or her own signature
  • Endorse or promote any service, contest, or other offering if the notary’s seal or title is used in the endorsement or promotional statement
  • Notarize with an expired seal or stamp
  • Use the Washington State Seal on his or her notary stamp or seal
  • Sign a notarial certificate under any other name than the one under which the notary was commissioned
  • Certify copies of documents recordable in the public records
Criminal Offense:
  • A notary public commits official misconduct when he or she signs a notarial certificate while knowing that the contents of the certificate are false.
  • Official misconduct also constitutes unprofessional conduct for which disciplinary action may be taken.
  • A notary public who commits an act of official misconduct shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

Revised: September 2015

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