How to Become a Notary in New Jersey
The Application Process to Become a Notary in New Jersey:
Are you interested in becoming a New Jersey notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own New Jersey notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The State of New Jersey appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signings. Becoming a notary in New Jersey is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become a New Jersey notary. The America Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This New Jersey notary guide will help you understand:
- Who can become a notary in New Jersey
- How to become a notary in New Jersey
- The basic duties of a notary in New Jersey
What are the qualifications to become a notary in New Jersey?
To become a New Jersey notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least eighteen years of age.
- Be a resident of New Jersey or have a place of employment or practice in New Jersey.
- Not have been convicted of a crime under the laws of any state or of the U.S. for an offense involving dishonesty or for a crime of the first or second degree.
What is the process to become a notary in New Jersey?
To become a New Jersey notary public and receive a New Jersey notary public commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Obtain and complete a notary application that can be accessed at the state’s website and endorsed by a member of the New Jersey Legislature.
- Submit the application electronically through means provided by the State Treasurer at www.nj.gov/njbgs.
- Pay the $25 registration fee and $5.00 portal administration fee.
- Complete the required six-hour course of study approved by the State Treasurer and pass an examination prescribed by the State Treasurer. This requirement begins July 2022 for all non-attorney applicants for an initial commission. Applicants must furnish satisfactory proof that the course has been taken and the exam passed.
- Await your commission certificate and oath qualification certificate, which will be sent to you by the New Jersey Notary Public Unit if your application is approved.
- Take and subscribe an oath before your county clerk within three months and pay the $15 fee.
- Purchase a New Jersey notary stamp and notary journal.
How do I renew my notary commission in New Jersey?
The renewal process in New Jersey follows the same procedures as the original application process. The state will send you a renewal package three months prior to your commission expiration date. Note that notaries renewing on or after July of 2022 must take a state-approved, three-hour continuing education course.
Who appoints notaries in New Jersey?
The State Treasurer appoints and commissions New Jersey notaries, and the Department of the Treasury’s Notary Public Unit receives the applications for appointment and reappointment as a notary public, administers the commissioning process, and maintains an electronic database of active notaries. To contact the Division of Revenue/Notary Public Unit, use the following information:
Department of the Treasury
Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services
Notary Public Unit
PO Box 452
Trenton, NJ 08646-0452
Phone Numbers: (609) 292-0642
(609) 292-9292 (Notary Public Application Phone)
Can a non-resident become a notary in New Jersey?
Yes. A person who is not a legal resident of New Jersey may apply for a commission if he or she:
- maintains, or is regularly employed in, an office in this state or
- is an employee of a business with its domicile or primary place of business in this state.
A non-resident who meets one of these criteria may apply by complying with the required application procedures and additionally certifying, via the online commissioning site at www.nj.gov/njbgs, his or her residential address and the address of his or her office or place of employment in New Jersey. Once commissioned, a nonresident notary public must file online with the State Treasurer at www.nj.gov/njbgs a certificate showing any change of residence or change of the office or place of employment of the notary public in this state.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in New Jersey?
The term of a New Jersey notary commission is five years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void:
- By resignation, death, or revocation.
- When a notary is no longer a resident of New Jersey or, for non-resident notaries, no longer has a place of employment or practice in New Jersey.
- When a notary is convicted of a crime under the laws of any state or of the U.S. for an offense involving dishonesty or for a crime of the first or second degree.
Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in New Jersey?
Yes. A non-attorney applicant for an initial commission as a notary public must provide satisfactory proof that he or she has completed a six-hour course of study approved by the State Treasurer and passed an examination prescribed by the State Treasurer.
Also, a commissioned notary public applying to renew a commission who has satisfactorily completed the six-hour course of study and passed an examination prescribed by the State Treasurer at least one time, or who was commissioned for the first time before the effective date of P.L. 2021, c.179, shall complete a three-hour continuing education course. The Treasurer shall set forth the procedures for compliance with this provision and provide certificates of approval evidencing completion of the required education and testing online at www.nj.gov/njbgs.
Note: The education and examination requirements for a notary commission do not apply to notaries who are also licensed attorneys-at-law in New Jersey.
How much does it cost to become a notary in New Jersey?
A New Jersey notary public applicant’s expenses includes:
- A $25 registration fee plus a $5.00 portal administration fee to process an application for appointment or reappointment as a notary public.
- Tuition for the mandatory notary course and examination (effective July, 2022).
- A $15 fee to record your oath of office with the county clerk.
- A New Jersey notary stamp.
- A New Jersey notary journal to record all notarial acts performed.
- A notary errors and omissions insurance policy if the notary wishes to purchase one for his or her personal protection against liability.
Is a notary errors and omissions insurance policy required to become a notary in New Jersey?
No. An errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in New Jersey. It is not mandatory to have E&O insurance when applying for appointment as a notary public. The American Association of Notaries recommends that every New Jersey notary obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy for his or her personal protection against liability. 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 from a client who sues a notary public for recovery. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a New Jersey notary public selects.
Is a notary bond required to become a notary in New Jersey?
No. Neither first-time New Jersey notary applicants nor renewing notaries are required by state notary statute to obtain a notary bond to be commissioned as notaries public in New Jersey. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from his or her negligence, errors, official malfeasance, or omissions. New Jersey notaries are encouraged to purchase a notary surety bond to insure themselves against such claims.
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in New Jersey?
Yes. It is required that all notarial acts be stamped by the notary public. The New Jersey notary stamp of a notary shall:
- Include the name of the notary public, the title “Notary Public, State of New Jersey,” and the notary public’s commission expiration date.
- Be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed or attached or with which it is logically associated.
If a notarial act regarding a tangible record is performed by a notary public, an official stamp must be affixed to or embossed on the certificate near the signature of the notary public and the impression must be clear and readable.
If a notarial act regarding an electronic record is performed by a notary public, an official stamp must be attached to or logically associated with the certificate.
How much can a New Jersey notary public charge for performing notarial acts?
Notarial officers may collect the following fees for services rendered:
- For administering oaths, taking affidavits, taking proofs of a deed, and taking acknowledgements, $2.50 per act.
- For administering oaths, taking affidavits, taking proofs of a deed, and taking acknowledgments of the grantors in the transfer of real estate, regardless of the number of such services performed in a single transaction to transfer real estate, $15.00.
- For administering oaths, taking affidavits, and taking acknowledgments of the mortgagors in the financing of real estate, regardless of the number of such services performed in a single transaction to finance real estate, $25.00.
Is a notary journal required in New Jersey?
Yes. A notary public shall maintain a journal of all notarial acts performed. The journal may be in a tangible medium that is a permanent, bound register with consecutively numbered lines and pages or in an electronic format that is permanent and tamper-evident. A notary public shall maintain only one journal at a time to chronicle all notarial acts, whether those notarial acts are performed regarding tangible or electronic records.
If a notary public’s journal is lost or stolen, the notary public must notify the State Treasurer within ten days of the loss or theft at https://www.nj.gov/treasury/revenue/revgencode.shtml.
Where can I perform notarial acts in New Jersey?
A New Jersey notary public is authorized to perform the duties of a notary public within the state’s borders.
What notarial acts can a New Jersey notary public perform?
A New Jersey notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts:
- Taking an acknowledgment
- Administering an oath or affirmation
- Taking a verification on oath or affirmation
- Witnessing or attesting a signature
- Certifying or attesting a copy or deposition
- Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument
Can I perform electronic notarizations in New Jersey?
Yes. The State of New Jersey enacted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (NJSA §12A:12-1 through §12A:12-26), which includes a provision that authorizes New Jersey notaries to obtain an electronic signature to notarize electronic documents in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization. §12A:12--11 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” (NJSA §12A:12-11).
What is the process to become a New Jersey electronic notary public?
Before a notary public performs an initial electronic notarization, the notary public must notify the State Treasurer electronically at https://www.njportal.com/DOR/Notary that he or she will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records and identify the technology that he or she intends to use. A notarial officer may select one or more tamper-evident technologies to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records.
A notarial officer performing an electronic notarization for an individual must:
- Obtain satisfactory identification for the individual pursuant to chapter 7 of the Notary Public Manual (“Forms of Identification”).
- After executing the notarial act, complete an electronic certificate with an electronic signature and stamp including all elements required by Chapter 6, and attach the certificate, signature, and stamp to (or logically associate the certificate and stamp with) the notarized record.
Furthermore, the notarial officer must ensure that his or her electronic signature and stamp are reliable. Thus, an electronic signature and stamp must be:
- Unique to the notarial officer.
- Capable of independent verification.
- Retained under the notary public's sole control.
- Attached to or logically associated with the electronic document in a tamper-evident manner.
A notary public must not disclose any access information used to affix his or her signature and stamp except when requested to do so by law enforcement, the court, or—with reasonable precautions—electronic document preparation and transmission vendors.
Can I perform remote online notarizations in New Jersey?
Yes. Effective October 20, 2021, notaries in New Jersey can apply to perform remote online notarizations (RONs) using a communication technology for a remotely located individual, regardless of whether the individual is physically located in New Jersey. In performing remote notarization, the notary public must ensure the remote session is interactive and secure, meaning the notary and person can view each other directly in real-time and that the session cannot be viewed and/or recorded by an unauthorized party. The notarial officer must follow the security procedures of the National Notary Association as described here.
The notary public is also required to complete a certificate and stamp and create an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act. For more information with regard to remote notarizations, read the New Jersey Notary Public Manual (see Chapter 8).
How do I become a remote online notary in New Jersey?
To perform remote online notarizations, a New Jersey notary public must comply with the following:
- Hold an existing commission as a traditional notary public.
- Contract with a RON provider that meets state requirements.
- Notify the State Treasurer electronically at https://www.njportal.com/DOR/Notary that he or she will be performing such notarial acts and identify the technologies he or she intends to use.
The remote online notary public is required to provide a computer, webcam, microphone, and secure internet connection. The notary will also need to purchase digital notary supplies, including an electronic seal, an electronic journal, and a digital certificate containing his or her electronic signature.
Can I perform remote ink notarizations (RIN) in New Jersey?
No. Notaries in New Jersey are not allowed to perform remote ink notarizations.
How do I update my address with the New Jersey Secretary of State?
The notary public must report any changes to their address to the State Treasurer's Division of Revenue, which can be done by submitting a change request online. There is no fee for an address change.
How do I change my name on my notary commission in New Jersey?
If you, as a notary public, adopt a name different from the one you used at the time of commissioning, before you provide a signature to any record which you are authorized or required to sign as a notary public, you must make, sign, and file a statement in writing and under oath, on a form prescribed and furnished online by the State Treasurer, setting out the circumstances under which you adopted the new name. Additionally, a $25 fee must be paid for the name change.
The statement must indicate why the new name was adopted (i.e., through marriage or civil union, by a change of name proceeding, etc.) and include such other information as the State Treasurer shall require. The statement shall be evidence of the right of the notary public to continue to exercise the powers and privileges and perform the duties of a notary public in the changed or new name.
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 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 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.