How to Become a Louisiana Notary
The Louisiana Notary Process:
Are you interested in becoming a Louisiana notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own Louisiana notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The state of Louisiana appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. Becoming a notary in Louisiana is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become a Louisiana notary. The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This guide will help you understand:
- Who can become a Louisiana notary
- The process to become a Louisiana notary
- Basic Louisiana notary duties
What are the qualifications to become a Louisiana notary?
To become a Louisiana notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Be a resident citizen or alien of this state.
- Be registered to vote in the parish in which the person seeks a notary commission.
- Be able to read, write, and speak and be sufficiently knowledgeable of the English language.
- Not be under interdiction or incapable of serving as a notary because of mental infirmity.
- Have received 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, integrity, and sober habits.
What is the process to become a Louisiana notary?
In order to become a Louisiana notary and receive a Louisiana notary commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Submit a completed Application to Qualify 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 the 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 Secretary of State.
- Submit to the Secretary of State after passing the state notary exam the following: (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.
- To download an Application to Qualify, click here.
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.
Can a non-resident become a notary in Louisiana?
No. The state of 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 nonresident attorney who is licensed to practice law in Louisiana can become an ex officio notary public if the attorney (RS §412):
- Meets the same qualifications as Louisiana residents.
- Files an original certificate of good standing from the Louisiana Supreme Court issued within the past thirty days.
- Submits an Application for Nonresident Ex Officio Status form.
- Files a notarized oath of office.
- Files an official signature page.
- Submits a surety bond or personal surety bond or errors and omissions policy in the amount of $10,000.
These nonresident attorneys are authorized and empowered to exercise all the powers and functions of a notary public ex officio only within the parish or parishes in which they maintain an office open to the public for the practice of law in Louisiana (RS §412).
How much does it cost to become a notary in Louisiana?
In the process of becoming a notary public in Louisiana, an applicant will incur the following expenses: (1) a $35 qualifying fee to process an Application to Qualify; (2) a $30 test fee to take the online notary exam pre-assessment; (3) a $100 fee to take the state notary exam; (4) a $35 commission fee; (5) the cost of a surety bond; and (6) a $20 fee to file the bond. Notaries who want to heighten and improve their notarial acts may also pay for: (1) a notary seal to authenticate their notarial acts; (2) a notary journal to record all their notarial acts performed; and (3) an errors and omissions insurance policy for the notary’s protection against liability.
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become a Louisiana notary public or to renew my Louisiana notary public commission?
Yes. All non-attorney notary applicants must complete the notary exam pre-assessment and pay a $30 test fee, as well as take 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 on the notary exam pre-assessment, the applicant 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” that contains the sources and materials from which the state notary exam is drawn. A notary applicant may purchase the 2019 edition of the study guide for a fee of $100. To pass the state notary examination, the applicant must correctly answer at least 75% of the items. Applicants are permitted to bring the 2019 edition of the study guide into the testing room and reference it during the examination. However, using any other reference materials is considered an act of cheating and is grounds for dismissal from the examination. No class or course is required by law. The state notary exam will be administered by the Secretary of State at least twice a year. Attorneys licensed to practice law in Louisiana are exempt from the state notary examination.
Can I perform electronic notarization in Louisiana?
Yes. The state of 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 in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization.
Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Louisiana?
No. The state of Louisiana has not adopted statutes or regulations that establish rules, guidelines, standards, and procedures for electronic notarization and/or remote online notarizations.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Louisiana?
The term of office of a Louisiana notary public is for life. However, there are many reasons a notary’s commission may be rendered void, including:
- The notary resigns.
- The notary dies.
- The notary’s commission is revoked.
- The notary fails to maintain a bond.
- The notary is no longer a resident or alien of Louisiana.
- The notary can no longer read, write, and understand English.
- The nonresident 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 his or her bond and was named on the application for provisional notarial appointment. Dual commissions can only be obtained for one other parish in which the notary maintains an office and is not reciprocal with the existing commission.
Is a Louisiana notary bond required to become a notary in Louisiana?
Yes. All new non-attorney applicants seeking an appointment as a notary public in Louisiana are required to obtain a bond in the form of notary surety bond or personal surety bond or an errors and omissions policy in the amount of $10,000. Louisiana notaries who have a surety bond or an errors and omissions 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 his or her 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. Personal surety bonds expire upon cancellation or death of the surety and must be renewed when such occurs. Bonds are approved by the parish clerk of court; however, a personal surety bond is approved by the presiding judge of the parish for which the notary is commissioned. A $20 filing fee is required.
Do I need a Louisiana notary errors and omission insurance?
An errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Louisiana. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Louisiana notaries obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy for their personal protection against liability in addition to their notary surety bond. Errors and omissions insurance is designed to protect notaries from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial or other types of loss to the public or a client for which a notary public is sued for recovery. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a Louisiana notary public selects.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Louisiana?
Louisiana notaries who are attorneys have statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any parish at any location in Louisiana. However, non-attorney notaries appointed and commissioned in the parish of their residence may exercise any and all of the functions of a notary public within reciprocal parishes that have a population of less than forty thousand and in which his or her employer maintains an office, without additional bonding or further application or examination. If the parishes are not reciprocal, a Louisiana notary has to obtain a dual commission to notarize in another parish in which the notary maintains an office. In addition, a dual commission notary must maintain bonds in both parishes.
Who appoints Louisiana notaries public?
The Governor may appoint notaries with the advice and consent of the Senate (RS §35:1). The Secretary of State administers the application and qualifying process and the examination process and maintains the records on notaries. To contact the Secretary of State, use the following information:
Secretary of State
PO Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Louisiana?
No. 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). A Louisiana notary public is not prohibited from using an official notary seal. If Louisiana notaries elect to use a notary seal to authenticate their notarial acts, their 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 Secretary of State
If the notary is an attorney who is licensed to practice law in Louisiana, the notary may use his or her Louisiana State bar roll number in lieu of the notary’s identification number.
Is a notary journal required in Louisiana?
Only Louisiana notaries in Orleans Parish are required to 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 Louisiana notaries keep a journal of their notarial acts: (1) to assist in recalling past notarial acts, if needed, or if legally challenged; (2) to testify in court if called upon to testify; and (3) to provide irrefutable evidence that he or she 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. For Louisiana notary supplies, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.
How much can a Louisiana notary 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).
What notarial acts can a Louisiana notary public perform?
A Louisiana notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (RS §35:2A, [B] and [C] and §35:3):
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Make inventories, appraisements, and partitions
- Receive wills, make protests, matrimonial contracts, conveyances, and generally all contracts and instruments of writing
- Hold family meetings and meetings of creditors
- Make affidavits of correction
- Affix and raise the seals upon the effects of deceased persons
- Certify copies
How do I update my address with the Louisiana Secretary of State?
Within sixty days of a change in the notary’s residential address, mailing address, or both, the notary must provide the Secretary of State with a written notification (RS §35:191.3). To change the parish of residence, a Louisiana notary must transfer his or her commission to the new parish of residence, even if the parish is within a reciprocal group. The notary public must submit to the Secretary of State the following: (1) a completed Application to Qualify; (2) a $35 qualifying fee; (3) a $35 commission fee; (4) two oaths of office to be filed with the Secretary of State and the clerk of court in the new parish of residency; (5) an official signature page; (6) an original or certified copy of notary surety bond or personal surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court or an errors and omissions policy or rider for a n 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. The address change notification to the Secretary of State may be submitted online or by mail, fax, or e-mail .
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Louisiana?
A Louisiana notary public whose name is legally changed is required to provide a written notification of the name change to the Secretary of State. The notary’s notification must include: (1) two oaths of office with the new name to be filed with the Secretary of State and parish clerk of court; (2) an official signature page; (3) a completed name change form listing the current commission name, the new name, and the reason for the name change; (4) a $35 commission fee; and (5) 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.
Louisiana notarial certificates:
Click here to view Louisiana’s notarial certificates.
Revised: October 2019
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 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 the information from a variety of 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 state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.
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.