How to Become a Notary in Georgia
To become a notary in Georgia, you must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements detailed in the next section.
- Determine whether your county of residence participates in the web-based application process, which allows applicants to submit their applications electronically. If the county participates, click here to begin the web-based application process, select your county of application, and follow the provided instructions.
- Obtain a notary application from your county’s clerk of superior court in the county in which you reside.
- Obtain the signatures of two endorsers (character references) who live in the county of application, have known you for over thirty days, and are not related to you.
- Take the signed notary application to the clerk of superior court in your residence county to complete the application process, pay the appointment fee of $37 to $42, and take the oath of office.
- Purchase a notary seal.
Note: Click here to determine if your county participates in the web-based application process.
Who can become a notary public in Georgia?
To become a notary in Georgia, you must meet all the following requirements:
- Be at least eighteen (18) years old.
- Be a United States citizen or a legal resident of the United States.
- Be a legal resident of the county in which you apply (or, if a non-Georgia resident, reside in a state bordering Georgia and carry on a business or profession in Georgia or be regularly employed in the Georgia county of application).
- Have and provide an operating telephone number at the time of the application.
- Be able to read and write English.
This Georgia notary guide will help you understand the following:
- Who can become a notary in Georgia.
- How to become a notary in Georgia.
- The basic duties of a notary in Georgia.
How do I renew my notary commission in Georgia?
The notary renewal application process is the same as the initial application process. You can renew your notary commission within thirty days of your notary commission expiration date. If you provided the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA) with an e-mail address, a renewal notification will be sent to you thirty days prior to expiration.
Who appoints notaries in Georgia?
The clerks of the county superior courts appoint and commission Georgia notaries public, and a copy of the notary’s certificate of appointment is sent to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority.
The Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority can be contacted at:
Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority
1875 Century Blvd, Ste. 100
Atlanta, Georgia 30345
Can a non-resident of Georgia apply for a commission as a notary public?
Yes. A non-resident who is a legal resident of a state bordering the state of Georgia can become a Georgia notary public if the person:
- Meets the qualifications as a Georgia resident.
- Is a legal resident of a bordering state.
- Is regularly employed or carries on a business or profession in Georgia.
- Submits the application, endorsements, and declaration of the applicant.
- Is appointed and commissioned by the clerk of superior court in the county in which they are employed or have a profession or business (OCGA 45-17-7).
Residents in the following states may apply for a Georgia notary commission: Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
How long is a notary public's commission term in Georgia?
The term of office of a Georgia notary public is four years, commencing on the date specified in the commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void:
- By resignation.
- By death.
- By revocation.
- When the notary public ceases to reside in Georgia.
- When a non-resident notary ceases to be regularly employed or carry on a business or profession in Georgia.
Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in Georgia?
No. Georgia state law does not require a course of study or examination to become a notary public in the state of Georgia. Nevertheless, the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority website provides a web-based notary training course, which is highly recommended. The notary course is not required to receive a commission. Click here to access the free online notary public training course, or go to: https://www.gsccca.org/file/notary-forms
How much does it cost to become a notary public in Georgia?
To become a notary public in Georgia, you must pay a $37 to $42 filing fee to process your notary application.
Other expenses include the cost of purchasing:
- A notary seal.
- A journal to record all notarial acts performed.
- An errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to protect yourself if you are sued for unintentional mistakes or if a false claim is filed against you as a notary. (This step is optional).
Do I need a notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to become a notary in Georgia?
A notary errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Georgia and is not required to become a Georgia notary public or to renew your notary commission. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that every Georgia notary obtain a notary E&O insurance policy. This insurance protects you from a claim if a client sues you as a notary. An E&O policy covers unintentional notarial mistakes and pays for legal fees and damages based on the coverage a Georgia notary public selects.
You can order a Georgia notary E&O insurance policy online at the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-insurance/georgia
Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in Georgia?
Georgia does not require a notary bond to become a notary public or to renew your notary public commission.
Note: A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from their negligence, errors, official malfeasance, or omissions. Georgia notaries are encouraged to purchase a notary E&O insurance policy to insure themselves against such claims.
Do I need to order a notary stamp in Georgia?
Georgia notary law requires all Georgia notaries public to use a seal that is either an embossed seal or an inked rubber stamp to authenticate all notarial acts (§45-17-6).
Required Elements: The Georgia notary seal or stamp must contain the following elements:
- The notary’s name as it appears on the commission certificate.
- The words “Notary Public.”
- The word “Georgia” or the abbreviation “GA.”
- The name of the county where the notary was commissioned.
Note: Georgia notaries must provide written notification to the appointing clerk of superior court and supply a copy of that notification to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority within ten days of the loss or theft of a notary seal.
To order a Georgia notary stamp, notary seal, complete notary package, and notary supplies, please visit the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-stamps/georgia
How much can a Georgia notary public charge for performing notarial acts?
Georgia notary fees are set by state law (§45-17-11). The maximum allowable fees that a Georgia notary public may charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- Administering an oath in any case: $2
- Each attendance on any person to make proof as a notary public and certifying to same: $2
- Every other certificate: $2
Is a notary journal required in Georgia?
A notary journal (also known as a record book, log book, or register book) is your first line of defense in proving your innocence if a notarial act you performed is questioned or if you are requested to testify in a court of law about a notarial act you performed in the past. A properly recorded notarial act creates a paper trail that will help investigators locate and prosecute signers who have committed forgery and fraud. Properly recorded notarial acts provide evidence that you followed your state laws and notary’s best practices.
Notary journal requirements in Georgia for traditional notarizations – Georgia law does not require that a notary maintain a journal of notarial acts; however, the Georgia secretary of state strongly encourages notaries to maintain a journal to protect the integrity of the acts. A notary journal can be maintained on a tangible medium or in an electronic format.
The American Association of Notaries offers a wide variety of notary journals.
Click here to purchase a tangible notary journal.
Click here to become a member and access our electronic notary journal.
What information must Georgia notaries record in their notary journals?
If you choose to maintain a notary journal, the secretary of state recommends that you record the following information:
- Signer’s name.
- Signer’s address.
- Type of identification.
- Type of document being notarized.
- Date and time of the notarial act
- Any comments or special observations.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Georgia?
You may perform notarial acts while physically located anywhere within the geographic borders of the state of Georgia.
What notarial acts can a Georgia notary public perform?
A Georgia notary public is authorized to:
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Witness or attest signature or execution of deeds and other written instruments
- Take verifications upon oath or affirmation
- Certify copies of non-recordable documents
Can I perform electronic notarizations in Georgia?
Yes. The state of Georgia has not yet adopted statutes or regulations that establish rules, guidelines, standards, and procedures for electronic notarization. Nevertheless, Georgia has adopted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, including the provision on notarization and acknowledgment (OCGA 10-12-1 through 10-12-20), which authorizes electronic signatures used by Georgia notaries. Section 10-12-11 states, “If a law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath, such requirement shall be satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform those acts, together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law, is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record.” Moreover, Georgia adopted the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (OCGA 44-2-35 through 44-2-39.2), which authorizes electronic signatures used by Georgia notaries.
Most importantly, Georgia state law requires that a document signer personally appear before a notary public and be physically close enough to see, hear, communicate, and give identification credentials without the use of electronic devices, including telephones, computers, video cameras, or video conferences during the entire performance of the notarial act. Therefore, Georgia notaries public are prohibited from performing online webcam notarizations.
How do I update my address on my Georgia notary commission?
If your residence or business address, whichever was used for your appointment, changes during your notary commission term, you must provide a written notice to the appointing clerk of superior court and provide a copy of the notice to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority. The notice must contain your old and new information, including any change in your telephone number, and must be received by the clerk of superior court within thirty days of the change.
Click here to download a Notary Public Contact Information Change Form.
How do I change my name on my notary commission in Georgia?
If your name has legally changed during the term of your notary commission, you must provide a written notice to the appointing clerk of the superior court and provide a copy of the notice to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority. The notice must contain your old and new name and a new signature sample and must be received within thirty days of the name change. Many counties require a personal appearance to complete changes to a notary commission. Contact your appointing clerk of superior court’s office for county-specific instructions to ensure you satisfy all essential requirements. You may not officially sign under your new name until you receive the amended certificate of appointment.
Click here to download the Notary Public Contact Information Change form.
Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page. Information on this page is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from various sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their states if they have legal questions about how to perform notarial acts.
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.