How to Become a Notary in Louisiana
To become a notary in Louisiana, you must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements detailed in the next section.
- Submit a completed Application to Qualify for Appointment as Notary Public form to the secretary of state with a $35 qualifying fee prior to the pre-assessment test.
- Register online for the notary exam pre-assessment and submit a $30 test fee.
- After receiving your score on the notary exam pre-assessment, register online to take the state notary exam and submit a registration fee of $100.
- Take and pass the state notary exam administered by the Louisiana Secretary of State.
- Submit the following to the secretary of state after passing the state notary exam: (1) two oaths of office, one to be filed with the secretary of state and the other with the clerk of court in the parish of residency, (2) an original signature page, and (3) an original or certified copy of a notary surety bond or personal surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court or an errors and omissions policy in the amount of $10,000.
Click here to download an Application to Qualify for Appointment as Notary Public form.
Note: Attorneys are exempt from the bond requirement; however, they must file an original certificate of good standing from the Louisiana Supreme Court issued within the past thirty days.
Who can become a notary public in Louisiana?
To become a notary in Louisiana, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be eighteen years of age or older.
- Be a resident citizen or alien of this state.
- Be registered to vote in the parish in which they seek a notary commission.
- Be able to read, write, speak, and be sufficiently knowledgeable of the English language.
- Not be under interdiction or incapable of serving as a notary because of mental infirmity.
- Hold a high school diploma, a diploma for completion of a home study program approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or a high school equivalency diploma issued after successfully completing the test approved by the Board of Supervisors of Community and Technical Colleges.
- Not have been convicted of a felony, or, if convicted of a felony, have been pardoned.
- Have good moral character and integrity and sober habits.
This Louisiana notary guide will help you understand the following:
- Who can become a notary in Louisiana.
- How to become a notary in Louisiana.
- The basic duties of a notary in Louisiana.
How do I renew my notary commission in Louisiana?
Louisiana notaries public are commissioned for life pursuant to Attorney General Opinion No. 1940-42.
Who appoints notaries in Louisiana?
The governor may appoint notaries on the advice and with the consent of the senate (R.S. §35:1). The Louisiana Secretary of State administers the application, qualifying, and examination processes and maintains the records on notaries.
The Louisiana Secretary of State can be contacted at:
Louisiana Secretary of State
PO Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
8585 Archives Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Can a non-resident of Louisiana apply for a commission as a notary public?
No. Louisiana does not allow out-of-state residents to become Louisiana notaries public, even if they are employed within the borders of Louisiana. However, a non-resident attorney licensed to practice law in Louisiana can become an ex officio notary public if they (R.S. §35:412):
- Satisfy the same qualifications as Louisiana residents, setting aside the residency requirements.
- Continuously maintain an office that is open to the public for the practice of law in the parish or parishes in which they will exercise the functions of a notary public ex officio.
- Submit an original certificate of good standing from the Louisiana Supreme Court issued within the past thirty days.
- Submit an Application for Non-resident Ex Officio Status form with a $35 application fee.
- Submit two oaths of office (properly executed).
- File an official signature page.
- Post a $10,000 surety bond signed by the parish clerk of court or an errors and omissions policy in the amount of $10,000.
How long is a notary public's commission term in Louisiana?
The commission term of a Louisiana notary public is for life pursuant to Attorney General Opinion No. 1940-42. However, a notary public’s commission may be rendered void if:
- The notary resigns.
- The notary dies.
- The notary’s commission is revoked.
- The notary fails to maintain a surety bond.
- The notary is no longer a resident of Louisiana.
- The notary can no longer read, write, or understand English.
- The non-resident attorney ex officio notary ceases to maintain a law office in Louisiana.
- The notary becomes incapable of serving as a notary because of mental infirmities.
- The notary is no longer a registered voter in the parish in which the notary is commissioned.
- The notary is convicted of a felony.
Note: A provisional notary public has notarial functions as long as the notary is employed with the employer who posted their bond and was named on the application for provisional notarial appointment. Dual commissions can only be obtained for one other parish where the notary maintains an office and is not reciprocal with the existing commission.
Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in Louisiana?
Yes. All non-attorney notary applicants must complete the notary exam pre-assessment, pay a $30 test fee, and pass the state notary examination. The pre-assessment test is online and must be completed before an applicant can register for the state notary exam. The pre-assessment is mandatory but only needs to be taken once. After the notary applicant receives a score for their notary exam pre-assessment, they can register to take the state notary exam by filling out the examination registration and paying the $100 exam fee. The deadline to register for the state notary exam is thirty days prior to the exam.
The secretary of state publishes an official study guide for the state notary exam entitled Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice, containing the sources and materials from which the state notary exam is drawn. A notary applicant may purchase the current study guide online from the secretary of state for $100. This cost is non-refundable. To pass the state notary examination, the applicant must correctly answer at least 75 percent of the items. Applicants are permitted to bring their study guides into the testing room and reference them during the examination. However, using any other reference materials is considered cheating and is grounds for dismissal from the examination. No class or course is required by law. The state will administer the state notary exam at least twice a year. Attorneys licensed to practice law in Louisiana are exempt from the mandatory state notary examination. To order the study guide online, you must use a credit card or bank account.
How much does it cost to become a notary public in Louisiana?
To become a notary public in Louisiana, you must pay the following:
- A $35 qualifying fee for processing an application to qualify.
- A $30 test fee to take the online notary exam pre-assessment.
- A $100 fee to take the state notary exam.
- A $35 commission fee.
- The cost of a surety bond.
- A $20 fee for filing the bond.
Other expenses include the cost of purchasing:
- An official seal if you wish to authenticate your notarial acts.
- A notary journal to record notarial acts if you wish to adhere to the recommendation of the secretary of state.
- 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 Louisiana?
A notary E&O insurance policy is optional in Louisiana and is not required to become a Louisiana notary public or to renew your notary commission. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that every Louisiana notary obtain a notary E&O insurance policy. This insurance protects the notary from a claim if a client sues the notary. An E&O policy covers unintentional notarial mistakes and pays for legal fees and damages based on the coverage a Louisiana notary public selects.
Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in Louisiana?
A new non-attorney applicant seeking appointment as a notary public in Louisiana must obtain a bond in the form of a notary surety bond or personal surety bond, or a notary E&O policy in the amount of $10,000. Louisiana notaries who have a surety bond or a notary E&O policy must renew their bonds or E&O policies every five years to prevent the suspension of their notary public commissions. A person who is commissioned as a provisional notary public must maintain a bond at the expense of their employer in the amount of $20,000. Notaries who are licensed attorneys are not required to file a bond or insurance. Certain ex officio notaries are not required to be bonded. A personal surety bond expires upon cancellation or death of the surety. Bonds are approved by the parish clerk of court; however, a personal surety bond is approved by the presiding judge of the parish in which the notary public is commissioned. A $20 bond filing fee is required.
Do I need to order a notary stamp in Louisiana?
Louisiana notary statute does not require Louisiana notaries public to use a notary seal to authenticate the notarial acts they perform. Notarizations in Louisiana are regularly performed without a notary stamp or notary seal. “A notary’s signature is his seal” (LAC 46:XLVI.131A). However, a Louisiana notary public is not prohibited from using an official notary seal. If a Louisiana notary elects to use a notary seal to authenticate their notarial acts, the notary seal may contain the following elements:
- The notary’s name.
- The words “Notary Public.”
- The words “State of Louisiana.”
- The notary’s identification number assigned by the Louisiana Secretary of State.
If the notary is an attorney who is licensed to practice law in Louisiana, the notary may use their Louisiana State bar roll number in lieu of the notary’s identification number.
To order a Louisiana 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/louisiana
How much can a Louisiana notary public charge for performing notarial acts?
“Louisiana does not have a statutory fee schedule which would determine or limit what a notary can charge for his services” (LAC 46:XLVI.135A).
Is a notary journal required in Louisiana?
Only Louisiana notaries in Orleans Parish must record their notarial acts in a journal. While a journal is not required by state notary law, the American Association of Notaries highly recommends that each Louisiana notary keep a journal of their notarial acts to:
- Assist in recalling past notarial acts, if needed, or if the notary is legally challenged.
- Testify in court if called upon to testify.
- Provide irrefutable evidence that they used reasonable care and standard notarial practices in the execution of the notarial act in question.
Louisiana notaries are encouraged to maintain a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages to create and preserve a chronological record of every notarial act performed as a protective measure against liability.
To order a Louisiana notary journal, please visit the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.notarypublicstamps.com/record-book/louisiana.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Louisiana?
Louisiana notaries public who are attorneys have statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any parish at any location in Louisiana. Non-attorney notaries public appointed and commissioned in the parish of their residence may exercise any and all of the functions of a notary public within reciprocal parishes with a population of less than forty thousand and in which their employer maintains an office. They may do so without additional bonding or further application or examination. If the parishes are not reciprocal, a Louisiana notary public must obtain a dual commission to notarize in another parish in which the notary public maintains an office. In addition, a dual commission notary public must maintain bonds in both parishes.
What notarial acts can a Louisiana notary public perform?
A Louisiana notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (R.S. §35:2A, [B] and [C] and §35:3):
- Take acknowledgments.
- Administer oaths and affirmations.
- Make inventories, appraisements, and partitions.
- Receive wills and make protests, matrimonial contracts, conveyances, and generally all contracts and instruments of writing.
- Hold family and creditors meetings.
- Make affidavits of correction.
- Affix and raise the seals upon the effects of deceased persons.
- Certify copies.
Can I perform electronic notarizations in Louisiana?
Yes. The State of Louisiana has not yet adopted statutes or regulations that establish rules, guidelines, standards, and procedures for electronic notarization. However, Louisiana has adopted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, which authorizes Louisiana notaries public to obtain an electronic signature and electronic seal to notarize electronic documents.
Can I perform remote online notarizations in Louisiana?
Yes. Louisiana started allowing notaries to register for remote online notarization (RON) on February 1, 2022, with the enactment of the Remote Online Notarization Act (R.S. §35:621 et. seq.). Remote notarization allows a signer to personally appear before the notary at the time of the notarization using audio-visual technology over the internet instead of being physically present in the same room. Louisiana notaries can only perform a remote notarization if they are registered with the secretary of state and when they are within the physical limits of their jurisdiction.
How do I become a remote online notary in Louisiana?
To become a remote online notary public, you must:
- Complete an online instruction course and pass a quiz on the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website.
- Obtain a PDF copy of your certificate after the successful completion of the course and quiz.
- Determine the type of technology you will use to perform remote online notarizations and select a remote notary technology provider. The Louisiana Secretary of State’s website lists remote notarization technology providers.
- Log in to your online notary account on the secretary of state’s website and complete the RON registration.
- Upload your quiz certificate of completion and pay the one-time filing fee of $100.
- Contact your remote notary technology provider so you may obtain and pay for the remote notary technology.
How do I update my address on my Louisiana notary commission?
Address change within the same parish
If you change your residential address, mailing address, or both, you have sixty days to notify the Louisiana Secretary of State (R.S. §35:191.3). Notify the Louisiana Secretary of State by mail, fax, or online, or send a message via their website.
To change your parish of residence, you must transfer your commission to the new parish of residence, even if the parish is within a reciprocal group. Submit the following to the secretary of state:
- A complete application to qualify with a $35 qualifying fee and a $35 commission fee.
- Two completed oaths of office forms, one filed with the secretary of state and another with the clerk of court in your new parish of residency.
- An official signature page.
- Include one of the following: An original or certified copy of a notary surety bond, personal surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court, original notary E&O policy, or a rider for an existing surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court in the amount of $10,000. Attorneys do not have to file a bond or insurance policy.
How do I change my name on my notary commission in Louisiana?
If you legally change your name, you may choose not to update your notary name and official signature on file with the secretary of state and continue notarizing documents using the notary name and official signature you are commissioned under.
However, if you would like to notarize documents using your new name, you must notify the Louisiana Secretary of State and submit the following:
- Two oaths of office with the new name to be filed with the secretary of state and parish clerk of court.
- An official signature page.
- A completed name change form listing the current commission name, the new name, and the reason for the name change.
- A $35 commission fee.
- An original or certified copy of a notary surety bond or personal surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court or an errors and omissions policy or rider for an existing surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court in the amount of $10,000 with the new name. Attorneys are exempt from the bond requirement.
To download the name change form, click here.
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.