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 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 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 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 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.
- Complete and file an application that contains the endorsement of a state legislator to the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services (DORES) and pay the filing fee of $25. 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.
- Attach an affidavit (nonresidents only) to their paper application attesting to a business address or place of employment address in New Jersey or upload an electronic copy of an affidavit to their online application.
- Expect to receive a “Notary Public Commission Certificate” and “Oath Qualification Certificate” from DORES after the application has been approved within thirty days.
- Take the Oath Qualification Certificate and the Notary Public Commission Certificate to the county clerk of the county in which he or she resides, or, if a nonresident, to the county in which he or she maintains an office or is employed within ninety days and pay a $15 filing fee. (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 or her commission, and any appointment so canceled and revoked shall be null, void, and of no effect” (NJSA §52:7-14[c]). Visit the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services (DORES) website at https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/ to apply for a Notary Public Commission online, or complete the paper application form.
How do I renew my notary commission in New Jersey?
The renewal process is the same as for the original application for appointment as a notary public (NJSA §52:7-11.b). The fee to be collected by the State Treasurer for that appointment or renewal shall be $25.00 (NJSA §52:7-11.c). To apply for reappointment as a notary public using the online renewal service, go to https://www.njportal.com/DOR/Notary.
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
(609) 292-9292 (Notary Public Application Phone)
Can a non-resident become a notary in New Jersey?
Yes. A resident who resides in a state adjoining New Jersey may apply to become a New Jersey notary public if the non-resident meets the following requirements (NJSA §52:7-13):
- Maintains, or is regularly employed in, an office in New Jersey.
- Satisfies the same qualifications as New Jersey residents, setting aside the residency requirements.
- Follows the same application for appointment procedures as New Jersey residents.
- Files and attached an affidavit setting forth his or her residence and the address of his or her office or place of employment in New Jersey. (The non-resident may upload an electronic copy of an affidavit to his or her online notary 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 residents who reside in the adjoining states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware may apply to become New Jersey notaries public.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in New Jersey?
The commission term of a New Jersey notary public is for five years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission, but a notary public may be removed from office at the pleasure of the State Treasurer (NJSA §52:7-11.a).
Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in New Jersey?
No. All new applicants seeking appointments as notaries public in New Jersey and renewing notaries are not legally required to take a notary course of study and/or pass an examination to be appointed and commissioned as a New Jersey notary public.
How much does it cost to become a notary in New Jersey?
A New Jersey notary applicant’s expenses may include the following:
- A $25 filing fee to process an application for appointment or reappointment as a notary public.
- The cost of an official seal if a notary wishes to authenticate his or her notarial acts with a notary seal.
- The cost of a notary journal if a notary wishes to adhere to the recommendations of the State Treasurer that New Jersey notaries maintain a journal of all their notarial acts performed.
- The price of an E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to purchase one for his or her personal protection against liability.
Is a notary errors & omissions insurance policy required to become a notary in New Jersey?
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 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 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 New Jersey notary public selects.
Is a notary bond required to become a notary in New Jersey?
All new applicants seeking an appointment as a notary public and renewing notaries are not required by state notary statute to obtain a notary bond to be commissioned as a notary 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?
The New Jersey notary statute does not require New Jersey notaries public to authenticate their official notarial acts with an official seal or stamp. While an official seal or stamp is not required by state notary law, the American Association of Notaries highly recommends that New Jersey notaries authenticate every notarial act with an official seal or stamp. To order a New Jersey notary stamp, notary seal, complete notary package, and notary supplies please visit the American Association of Notaries website, or call 713-644-2299.
How much can a New Jersey notary public charge for performing notarial acts?
The New Jersey notarial fees are set by state notary statute (NJSA §22A:4-14). The maximum allowable fees a New Jersey notary public can charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- For taking an acknowledgment - $2.50
- For administering an oath and affirmation - $2.50
- Executing a jurat - $2.50
- Taking proof of a deed - $2.50
Is a notary journal required in New Jersey?
The New Jersey notary statute does not require notaries public to record all the notarial acts they perform in a journal. While a notary journal is not required by state notary statute, the Department of the Treasury/Notary Public Unit and the American Association of Notaries highly recommends that New Jersey notaries record their official notarial acts in a journal in the event they need to recall the specifics of a particular notarization if needed or if legally challenged. Furthermore, the American Association of Notaries recommends that New Jersey notaries maintain a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages to create and preserve a chronological record of every notarial act they performed as a protective measure against allegations of fraudulent notarial acts and official misconduct. The notaries public in New Jersey may find that maintaining a notary journal can be an essential notarial tool in the performance of their notarial acts and that it may one day be imperative for their protection against liability. To order a New Jersey notary journal, please visit the American Association of Notaries website, or call 713-644-2299.
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). A New Jersey notary public may not perform notarial acts outside the geographic borders of New Jersey.
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)
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. Section 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?
The State of New Jersey has neither enacted into the state notary statute any electronic notarization provisions nor adopted/published regulations or established standards and procedures for notaries public in New Jersey to perform electronic notarizations.
Can I perform remote online notarizations in New Jersey?
Yes. Effective April 14, 2020, the State of New Jersey enacted Assembly 3903 (2020), which temporarily authorizes New Jersey notaries public and certain other authorized officials to perform remote notarial acts and other acts for executing and verifying certain documents using communications technology during the public health emergency and state of emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order No. 103 of 2020. In accordance with this act, and on behalf of the State Treasurer, the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services appends provisions to the New Jersey Notary Public Manual to facilitate the effective implementation of this Act. Assembly 3903 provides that the temporary authorization to perform notarial acts using communication technology for remotely located individuals does not apply to certain provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, or a statute, regulation, or other rule of law governing the creation and execution of wills or codicils, or adoption, divorce or other matters of family law. This act provides that any rule adopted or provisions appended to the New Jersey Notary Public Manual shall be effective for a period not to exceed the duration of the public health emergency and state of emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order No.103 of 2020. This act expires upon rescission of Executive Order No. 103 of 2020 by the Governor.
How do I become a remote online notary in New Jersey?
The provisions and practices at the end of the Appendix of the New Jersey Notary Public Manual do not address the process to become a temporary remote online notary public in New Jersey. New Jersey notaries are required to read both enacted Assembly 3903 and the appended provisions from the New Jersey Notary Public Manual before executing notarial acts using communication technology for remotely located individuals to ensure that they comply with all applicable requirements. New Jersey notaries public are not permitted to execute remote notarial acts once Executive Order No. 103 of 2020 is rescinded.
https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2020/Bills/A4000/3903_R1.PDF (NJ Assembly 3903)
https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/pdf/NotaryPublicManual.pdf (New Jersey Notary Public Manual)
How do I update my address with the New Jersey Secretary of State?
Following a change in a notary’s address, the New Jersey notary public 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.
How do I change my name on my notary commission in New Jersey?
Yes. After a New Jersey notary public adopts a name different from that which he or she used at the time the notary public was commissioned, the notary public 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 or otherwise, and such other information as the State Treasurer shall require. The statement must be filed with the State Treasurer’s Division of Revenue and with the county clerk of the county where the notary public was qualified as a notary public and filed his or her commission certificate (NJSA §52:7-18). 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.
Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information on how to become a notary, managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary education, and securing their notary stamp and notary supplies. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. However, we make no warrant, expressed or implied, and we do not represent, undertake, or guarantee that the information in the newsletter is correct, accurate, complete, or non-misleading. Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding notaries’ best practices, federal laws and statutes, and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources and do not warrant its accuracy. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, loss, damage, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss or consequential loss out of or in connection with the use of the information contained in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their states’ notary authorities or attorneys in their state if they have legal questions. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.
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