How to Become a New Jersey Notary
The New Jersey Notary Process:
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 signing. 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 American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This guide will help you understand:
- Who can become a New Jersey notary
- The process to become a New Jersey notary
- Basic New Jersey notary duties
What are the qualifications to become a New Jersey notary?
To become a New Jersey notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Be a resident of New Jersey or a resident of an adjoining state who maintains, or is regularly employed in, an office in New Jersey.
- Not have been convicted of a crime under the laws of any state or the United States for an offense involving dishonesty or a crime of the first or second degree.
What is the process to become a New Jersey notary?
In order to become a New Jersey notary and receive a New Jersey notary commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Complete and file an application with the endorsement of a state legislator to the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services (DORES) and pay the filing fee of $25 (plus a fee of $5 if filing online). Applications filed online will be endorsed electronically by state legislators. Paper applications must be submitted to a state legislator for endorsement before filing with DORES.
- The Notary Public Online Application System and paper application form are available at https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/dcr/geninfo/notarymanual.shtml.
- Nonresidents must attach an affidavit to their paper applications attesting to a business address or place of employment address in New Jersey or upload an electronic copy of an affidavit to their online applications.
- After the application has been approved, DORES mails to the notary a “Commission Certificate” and “Oath Qualification Certificate.”
- Within ninety days, the notary must take the oath of office and the commission certificate to the County Clerk of the county in which he or she resides, or, if a nonresident notary, to the county in which he or she maintains an office or is employed and pay a filing fee of $15. (The County Clerk sends the notarized “Oath Qualification Certificate” to DORES within ten days of administering the oath.)
Note: “The State Treasurer shall cancel and revoke the appointment of any notary public who fails to take and subscribe said oath within three months of the receipt of his commission, and any appointment so canceled and revoked shall be null, void, and of no effect” (NJSA §52:7-14[C]).
Can a non-resident become a notary in New Jersey?
Yes. A resident of an adjoining state who is regularly employed or maintains an office in New Jersey may apply to become a New Jersey notary public (NJSA §52:7-13). Non-residents must:
- Satisfy the same qualifications as New Jersey residents.
- Follow the same application for appointment procedures as New Jersey residents.
- Attach an affidavit to his or her paper application attesting to a business address or place of employment address in New Jersey or upload an electronic copy of an affidavit to his or her online application.
- File with the State Treasurer a certificate showing any change of residence or of his or her office or place of employment address in New Jersey.
Note: Only the residents who reside in the adjoining states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware may apply to become New Jersey notaries.
How much does it cost to become a notary in New Jersey?
A New Jersey notary applicant’s expenses may include the cost for the following: (1) a $25 fee (plus a fee of $5 if filing online) to process a new or renewal notary public application; (2) a notary seal if a notary wishes to authenticate his or her notarial acts with a seal; (3) a journal if a notary wishes to adhere to the recommendations of the State Treasurer that New Jersey notaries maintain journals of their notarial acts; and (4) an E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to obtain one for his or her own personal protection against liability.
How do I renew my New Jersey notary commission?
The Department of the Treasury sends out a reminder notification to notaries three months prior to their commission expiration dates, which includes the information about the renewal application process. The renewal process is the same as the initial application for appointment process and procedures, including the $25 application fee (plus a fee of $5 if filing online). To start the renewal process, go to: https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/dcr/programs/notary.shtml
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become a New Jersey notary public or to renew my New Jersey notary public commission?
No. New Jersey notary statute does not require a course of study and/or examination to be commissioned as a notary public in New Jersey.
Can I perform electronic notarization 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 provisions that authorize notaries to obtain electronic signatures and electronic seals to notarize electronic documents in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization.
Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in New Jersey?
No. The Department of Treasury/Division of Revenue’s homepage includes a warning regarding webcam or video notarizations that states, “NOTICE CONCERNING ONLINE NOTARY SERVICES UTILIZING A WEB CAM OR OTHER VIDEO EQUIPMENT:
The Division of Revenue requested legal guidance concerning the practice of online notarization services utilizing a webcam or other video in lieu of a personal appearance in front of a valid New Jersey Notary. It has been determined that New Jersey’s statutes do not allow for this type of notarization.”
How long is the term of a notary public commission in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, notaries public are appointed for a term of five years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void by: (1) resignation, (2) death, (3) revocation, and (4) removal by the State Treasurer.
Is a New Jersey notary bond required to become a notary in New Jersey?
No. New applicants seeking an appointment as a notary public and renewing notaries are not legally required to be bonded to be appointed as New Jersey notaries public.
Do I need a New Jersey notary errors and omission insurance?
An errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in New Jersey. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that New Jersey notaries obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy for their personal protection against liability. Errors and omissions insurance is designed to protect notaries who are sued for recovery from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial or other types of loss to the public or a client. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a New Jersey notary selects.
Where can I perform notarial acts in New Jersey?
“A notary public who has been duly commissioned and qualified is authorized to perform his duties throughout the State” (NJSA §52:7-15.a). Likewise, a notary public may not perform notarial acts outside the State of New Jersey. However, documents for use in another state may be notarized in New Jersey so long as the notarization physically takes place within the borders of New Jersey.
Who appoints New Jersey notaries public?
The State Treasurer appoints and commissions New Jersey notaries, and the Department of the Treasury’s Notary Public Unit processes the applications for appointment and reappointment. 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
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in New Jersey?
No. The New Jersey notary law does not require notaries to authenticate their notarial acts with an official seal/stamp. While a stamp is not required by state notary law, the American Association of Notaries highly recommends that New Jersey notaries authenticate every notarial act with a notary seal/stamp that contains pertinent notary information such as: (1) the name of the notary public; (2) the words “Notary Public”; (3) the words “State of New Jersey”; and (4) the notary’s commission expiration date. For New Jersey notary supplies, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.
Is a notary journal required in New Jersey?
No. While a notary journal is not required by state notary law, the Department of the Treasury/Notary Public Unit and the American Association of Notaries highly recommend that New Jersey notaries: (1) maintain a journal of their official notarial acts to assist in recalling past notarial acts, if needed, or if legally challenged; and (2) maintain a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages to create and preserve a chronological record of every notarial act as a protective measure against liability. For New Jersey notary supplies, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.
How much can a New Jersey notary charge for performing notarial acts?
New Jersey notarial fees are set by state notary statute (NJSA §22A:4-14). The maximum fees that may be charged by a New Jersey notary public for various notarial acts are listed below:
- Taking an acknowledgment - $2.50
- Administering an oath and affirmation - $2.50
- Executing a jurat - $2.50
- Taking proof of a deed - $2.50
What notarial acts can a New Jersey notary public perform?
A New Jersey notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (NJSA §22A:4-14):
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Execute jurats
- Take proofs of deeds
- Protest instruments
- Witness the opening of safe deposit boxes (NJSA §17:14A-51)
How do I update my address with the New Jersey Secretary of State?
Following a change in a notary’s address, the notary must provide a written notification of an address change to the State Treasurer’s Division of Revenue and to the County Clerk of the county where the notary was qualified as a notary public and filed the commission certificate. Change of address can be performed online. There is no fee for an address change. For an address change, go to https://www.njportal.com/DOR/Notary.
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in New Jersey?
After a notary public adopts a name different from the one under which he or she was commissioned, the notary must provide a written statement on a form prescribed and furnished by the State Treasurer, setting out the circumstances under which the notary has adopted the new name, whether through marriage or by a change of name proceeding. The statement must be filed with the State Treasurer’s Division of Revenue and with the County Clerk of the county where the notary was qualified as a notary public and filed his or her commission certificate. Change of name can be performed online. There is a $25 fee for a name change. For a name change, go to https://www.njportal.com/DOR/Notary.
New Jersey notarial certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.
Revised: October 2019
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.