How to become a Louisiana Notary

Abbreviation: LA | 18th State | Statehood: April 30, 1812 |
How to become a notary in Louisiana:
To become a notary in Louisiana, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a resident citizen or alien resident of Louisiana
  • Be registered to vote in the parish in which the person seeks a notary commission
  • Be able to read, write, and speak in English and be sufficiently knowledgeable of the English language
  • Be a registered voter in the parish in which the commission is sought
  • Not be under interdiction or incapable of serving as a notary because of mental infirmity
  • Have received a high school diploma or a diploma for completion of a home study program approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education or a high school diploma issued after successfully completing the test of General Educational Development
  • Not have been convicted of a felony, unless the felony conviction has been pardoned
  • Have good moral character, integrity, and sober habits
Qualifications for becoming a notary in Louisiana:
In order to become a Louisiana notary and receive a Louisiana notary public commission, a notary applicant must:
  • Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
  • Complete and submit an Application to Qualify to the Secretary of State with a filing fee of $35 in adequate time prior to the pre-assessment test.
  • Register and take the online notary exam pre-assessment test and submit a $30 test fee after receiving the Secretary of State’s approval of the applicant’s Application to Qualify.
  • Register to take the state notary exam by filling out and submitting the Examination Registration Form with a registration fee of $100after receiving a score for the pre-assessment.
  • Take and pass the state notary examination administered by the Secretary of State.
  • Submit to the Secretary of State after passing the notary exam the following items: (1) two original oaths of office, one to be filed with the Secretary of State and the other to be filed with the clerk of court in the applicant’s parish of residency; (2) a $10,000 surety bond or $10,000 personal surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court or a $10,000 errors and omissions policy; (3) an original signature page; and (4) a $35 commission filing fee.

Note: Attorneys do not need to file a notary bond or insurance policy; however, they are required to submit a certificate of good standing issued by the Louisiana Supreme Court within thirty days prior to submitting a notary application. 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. To obtain a dual commission, the notary must follow the same initial application for appointment process. To download the application for appointment form, click here.

 

Can a non-resident become a notary in Louisiana?
Yes. A nonresident attorney who is licensed to practice law in Louisiana can become an ex officio notary public if the person (1)files a certificate of good standing with the Secretary of State issued by the Louisiana Supreme Court; (2) submits an Application for Nonresident Ex Officio Status form; (3) submits a $10,000 surety bond or personal surety bond or errors and omissions policy; and (4) maintains an office to practice law in Louisiana. These ex officio notaries are authorized and empowered to exercise all the powers and functions of a commissioned notary public in any parish in which they maintain an office to practice law. To obtain an Application for Nonresident Ex Officio Status form, click here.

 

Is a Louisiana notary bond required to become a notary in Louisiana?
Yes. A $10,000 surety bond, a $10,000 personal surety bond, or a $10,000 errors and omissions policy is required of new non-attorney notaries. Louisiana notaries who are bonded or insured must renew their bonds or policies every five years to prevent the suspension of a notary public commission. 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.

 

Do I need Louisiana notary errors and omissions insurance?
While optional in Louisiana, errors and omission insurance is designed to protect notaries public from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial damages to the public or a document signer. The American Association of Notaries encourages Louisiana notaries to purchase an errors and omissions insurance policy for their protection against liability.

 

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 filing fee to process an application to qualify; (2) a $30 filing fee to take the online notary exam pre-assessment test; (3) a $100 fee to take the state notary examination; (4) a $35 commission filing fee; and (5) the cost of a surety bond. Based on the notary’s wishes, additional expenses may include the purchase of (1) a notary seal; (2) a journal to record all notarial acts performed; and (3) an errors and omissions insurance policy for the notary’s protection against liability.

 

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, a notary’s commission may be rendered void: (1) by resignation; (2) by death; (3) by revocation; (4) when the notary public ceases to reside in Louisiana; or (5) when a nonresident notary ceases to maintain a law office in Louisiana. A provisional notary public has notarial functions as long as he or she is employed with the employer who posted his or her bond and was named on the application for provisional notarial appointment.

 

Where can I perform notarial acts in Louisiana?
Louisiana notaries who are attorneys have statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county at any location in Louisiana. However, non-attorney Louisiana notaries public are commissioned in the parish of their residence. A Louisiana notary public 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 with the consent of the Senate.

 

Contact information for the Secretary of State is as follows:

 

Secretary of State
Notary Division
PO Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
Telephone--(225) 922-0507
Facsimile--(225) 932-5359

 

Are there any exams or notary course requirements to become a notary or renew your Louisiana notary commission?
Yes. All new notary applicants who are not attorneys must take the mandatory notary exam pre-assessment test and pay a $30 filing fee. A passing score is not required to register for the state notary exam. The applicant will be able to register for the state notary exam and pay a $100 exam fee after the Secretary of State receives his or her score from the pre-assessment test. The Secretary of State publishes an official study guide for the exam, entitled “Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice,” which contains the sources and materials from which the exam items are drawn, and there is a $100 fee for this guide. No class or course is required by law. Attorneys, appointed notaries public seeking a dual commission, or notaries public qualifying for a commission in a new parish because of a change in residence are exempt from having to take the notary examination. The Secretary of State administers the notary examination regionally twice a year on the first Saturday in June and December.

 

Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Louisiana?
Optional. Louisiana notary statutes do not require Louisiana notaries public to use a notary seal to authenticate all notarial acts performed. Notarizations in Louisiana are regularly performed without a notary stamp or notary seal because a Louisiana notary’s signature is his or her seal. However, a notary public is not prohibited from using an official notary seal. If a Louisiana notary public opts to use a notary seal in the performance of a notarial act, the notary seal should at least contain the following elements:
  • The notary’s name
  • The words “Notary Public”
  • The words “State of Louisiana”
  • The words “Parish of _______”
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    Is a notary journal required in Louisiana?
    Only Louisiana notaries in Orleans Parish are required to record their notarial acts in a journal. However, the American Association of Notaries recommends that all Louisiana notaries record every notarial act performed in a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages designed to deter fraud as a protective measure against liability. For Louisiana notary supplies, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com or call (800) 721-2663.

     

    How much can a Louisiana notary charge for performing notarial acts
    Louisiana notary statute does not provide a statutory fee schedule that sets forth the maximum fees that a Louisiana notary public may charge for notarial acts; however, Louisiana notaries are permitted to charge a reasonable fee for their notarial services.

     

    What notarial acts can a Louisiana notary public perform?
    A Louisiana notary public is authorized to perform these notarial acts:
  • 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
  • Take acknowledgments
  • Make affidavits of correction
  • Affix and raise the seals upon the effects of deceased persons
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • 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, including the provision on notarization and acknowledgment, which authorizes electronic signatures used by Louisiana notaries. Section 2611 states, “If a law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified or made under oath, the requirement is 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.”

     

    How do I change my address?
    A Louisiana notary public whose residence or mailing address changes must notify the Secretary of State within sixty days after such change. Notification may be submitted online, by mail, or by fax. The Secretary of State will include notice of this requirement on its notary annual report form. To change the parish of residence, all Louisiana notaries must transfer their 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 application fee; (3) a $35 filing 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) a notary surety bond, a personal surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court, an errors and omissions policy in the amount of $10,000, or a rider that changes the parish on an existing surety bond that has been approved by the parish clerk of court. Attorneys do not have to file a bond or insurance policy.

     

    How do I change my name on my notary commission in Louisiana?
    A Louisiana notary public whose name is legally changed is required to provide written notice to the Secretary of State. Such notice must include: (1) a $35 commission filing fee; (2) two original oaths of office with the new name; (3) an original or certified true copy of the surety bond, personal surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court, errors and omissions policy in the amount of $10,000, or a rider with the new name; (4) an official signature page; (5) a name change form listing the current commission name and the new name and the reason for the change; and (6)a $35 fee to file the name change affidavit form. To download the name change form, click here.

     

    Do I need to file an Annual Report in Louisiana?
    Yes. All non-attorney notaries are required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State on or before the anniversary date of his or her notary commission on a form provided by the Secretary of State with a $25 filing fee. If a notary fails to file the required annual report and pay the filing fee in a timely manner, the following will occur: (1) a late fee not to exceed $50 will be assessed by the Secretary of State; (2) the notary commission will be automatically suspended until the required annual report has been filed and the notary has paid all accrued fees and late charges (for a period not to exceed three years) in connection with the suspension of the notary’s commission.

     

    Death/Resignation/Removal:
    A Louisiana notary public, or his or her representative, is required to send a written notice to the Secretary of State if the notary: (1) no longer maintains a residence in Louisiana or, for nonresident notaries, no longer maintains a law office in Louisiana; (2) no longer wishes to hold the office of notary public; (3) is deceased; (4) is retired; or (5) is duty-bound to resign by court order or the Secretary of State’s revocation process. To download the Retirement Status Affidavit, click here.

     

    Prohibited Notarial Acts:
    These activities by a Louisiana non-attorney notary public provide a basis for administrative disciplinary action:
  • Performing acts that constitute the practice of law
  • Claiming to have powers, qualifications, rights, or privileges that the office of notary public does not authorize, including the power to counsel on immigration matters
  • Submitting an application for a notarial commission containing substantial and significant misstatements or omissions of fact
  • Engaging in dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation
  • Engaging in gross misconduct or malfeasance in the exercise of notarial powers
  • Using the title “notario publico”
  • Notarizing his or her own signature
  • Signing a notarial certificate under any other name than the one under which the notary was commissioned
  • Notarizing a notarial certificate containing information known or believed by the notary to be false
  • Ceasing to hold any qualification required for the office of notary public
  • Performing a notarial act that he or she knows or suspects is illegal, false, or deceptive
  • Certifying as true what the notary knew or should have known was false
  • Official Notarial Misconduct:
    Louisiana notaries public who commit official malfeasance may be subject to criminal liability, civil liability, and administrative disciplinary action:

     

    §601. Unlawful exercise of notarial powers; penalties. A. A person who has not first been duly authorized to exercise notarial powers in this state or whose authority to exercise notarial powers in this state has been judicially revoked may not perform any of the following actions: (1) Exercise or purport to exercise any notarial function. (2) Hold out to the public as being entitled to exercise notarial functions. (3) Render or furnish notarial services. (4) Take any acknowledgment, administer any oath, or execute any instrument purportedly as a notary public or as a person purportedly authorized to exercise notarial power and authority. (5) Present oneself as a notary public or as being authorized to exercise notarial functions. (6) Assume, use, or advertise the title of notary public or ex officio notary or equivalent terms in any language or any similar title in such a manner as to convey the impression that he is authorized to exercise notarial powers. B. (1) Any person who violates any provision of this section will be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both. (2) In addition to the penalties provided by paragraph (1) of this subsection, the person will be required to make full restitution for all costs required to authenticate, confirm, or ratify any instruments that fail to qualify as notarial acts due to the lack of proper authority of the notary or purported notary, including all costs of recordation and all damages each affected party may suffer.

     

    §602. Unlawful exercise of prior authorized or limited notarial powers; penalties A. No person who has been duly appointed to the office of notary public or who has been otherwise authorized to exercise notarial functions in this state may exercise any notarial function in this state during any period when: (1) His commission or authority to exercise notarial functions is either: (a) statutorily or judicially suspended or (b) statutorily or administratively revoked. (2) He is no longer validly commissioned in this state. (3) He has elected to place his commission in retirement status under the provisions of R.S. 35:202(G). (4) He is no longer validly possessed of the office or position from which his authority to exercise notarial functions was derived. (5) He has been convicted of a felony and has not been pardoned. (6) He is not authorized by law to exercise that particular notarial function. B.(1) Any person who knowingly violates any provision of this section will be fined not more than one thousand dollars and will be required to make full restitution for all costs required to authenticate, confirm, or ratify any instruments that fail to qualify as notarial acts due to the lack of proper authority of the notary or purported notary, including all costs of recordation and all damages each affected party may suffer. (2) In addition to the penalties provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the person will also be subject to having his commission suspended or revoked and will be subject to being permanently enjoined from exercising any notarial function in any capacity.

    Louisiana Notary Laws and Regulations:
    Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 35, “Notaries Public and Commissioners”
    https://legis.la.gov/Legis/Laws_Toc.aspx?folder=75&level=Parent

     

    Louisiana Administrative Code, Title 46: XLVI, Chapter 1, “Notaries Public”
    http://www.doa.la.gov/Pages/osr/LAC-46.aspx

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

    Revised: January 2018

    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.
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