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How to Become a Notary in New York

To become a notary in New York, you must:

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements detailed in the next section.
  2. Download and print the Notary Public Oath of Office form.
  3. Sign the oath of office form in the presence of a New York notary public or a New York county clerk.
  4. Schedule and pay for the written exam at an exam center. NYS attorneys and Unified Court System court clerks are exempt from the examination. The exam schedule can be found on the Department of State’s website at https://dos.ny.gov/notary-public
    The exam is given on a walk-in basis at certain exam center locations. If you pass the exam, you will receive a pass slip in the mail.
  5. Scan your completed Notary Public Oath of Office form and notary public examination pass slip.
  6. Visit the New York Department of State’s website and create a NY Business Express account.
  7. Complete an online application, upload your oath of office form and pass slip, and pay the $60 original traditional notary application fee.  

Within four to six weeks of your application approval, you will receive an identification card stating your notary name, address, county, and commission term.

Who can become a notary public in New York?

To become a notary in New York, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be eighteen years of age or older.
  2. Be a citizen of the United States.
  3. Be a resident of the state of New York or work for a business located in New York.
  4. Have no felony convictions.

This New York notary guide will help you understand the following:

  1. Who can become a notary in New York.
  2. How to become a notary in New York.
  3. The basic duties of a notary in New York.

How do I renew my notary commission in New York?

You can renew your notary license ninety days before the license expiration date. A notary renewal reminder is mailed to you by the county clerk approximately ninety days before your commission expiration date.

Submit a completed notary renewal application and a $60 fee to the county clerk where you are commissioned within six months of your expiration date.

If you submit the renewal application more than six months after your license expiration date, the county clerk will not be able to accept your application, and you will need to retake the exam and apply as a new applicant.

Once your application is approved, you will receive a replacement identification card from the Department of State within three to four months of the date the county clerk receives your application for reappointment as a notary public.


  • Soon, New York State’s online licensing system will allow notaries to renew online.
  • The secretary of state can waive the six-month deadline for notaries whose induction or enlistment in the Armed Forces of the United States prevents them from reapplying within six months, on the condition that they reapply within one year after discharge from the military, or if they have a qualifying condition as defined in Section 1 of the Veteran’s Services Law, which was previously Section 350 of the Executive Law. This change also applies to notaries who are discharged LGBT veterans as defined in Section 1 of the Veteran’s Services Law.

Who appoints notaries in New York?

The secretary of state appoints, commissions, and regulates notaries public in New York. Individuals applying to become a New York notary must submit their notary applications to the Department of State.

The New York Department of State can be contacted at:

New York State
Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
Notary Public
P.O. Box 22065
Albany, New York 12201-2065
(518) 474-4429

Notaries public are commissioned in their counties of residence. After receiving and approving an applicant for a notary public commission, the secretary of state forwards the commission, the original oath of office, and the notary public's signature to the appropriate county clerk. The county clerk maintains a record of the commission and signature. The public may then access this record and verify the "official" signature of the notary at the county clerk's office.

Can a non-resident of New York apply for a commission as a notary public?

Yes. Non-resident notary applicants employed by a business in New York may apply for a New York notary public commission. Non-resident notary applicants must meet the same eligibility requirements as New York resident notary applicants. A non-resident notary public who ceases to have an office or place of business in New York must vacate their office as a New York notary public.

How long is a notary public's commission term in New York?

The term of office of a New York notary public is four years, commencing on the date specified in the notary public’s identification card. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void:

  1. By resignation.
  2. By revocation.
  3. By death.
  4. When they cease to reside in New York (if a resident notary).
  5. When they cease working for a New York business (if a non-resident notary).
  6. When they are convicted of a felony and/ or certain misdemeanors.

Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in New York?

Yes. First-time notary applicants must take and pass the NYS notary public examination. Notaries applying for reappointment are not required to take and pass another notary public examination. The examination results are valid for two years.

Examination schedules are updated every two months and posted on the Department of State’s website. You must correctly answer at least seventy percent of the questions to pass the exam. However, all exam results are reported as either passed or failed; you will not get a numerical score.

A “pass slip” will be mailed to those notary applicants who passed the examination. This slip must be uploaded when completing the notary application online.

An attorney and counselor at law duly admitted to practice in the state of New York or a court clerk of the Unified Court System who has been appointed to such a position after taking a Civil Service promotional examination in the court clerk series of title are not required to take and pass the examination.

Some exam centers have limited seating and are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, while others require individuals to schedule their exams. If you are late, you will not be admitted to the exam. Every individual taking an exam must bring a valid form of government-issued ID that includes their signature and photo, two #2 pencils, and a $15 examination fee.

How much does it cost to become a notary public in New York?

To become a notary public in New York, you must pay the following:

  1. A fee to have your Notary Public Oath of Office form notarized.
  2. A $15 examination fee.
  3. A $60 filing fee for processing your notary application.

Other expenses include the cost of purchasing:

  1. A notary seal if a notary public wishes to authenticate an official act with a notary seal.
  2. A notary journal to record every notarial act performed.
  3. An errors and omissions insurance policy to protect you if you are sued for unintentional mistakes or if a false claim is filed against you as a notary. (This policy is optional.)

Do I need a notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to become a notary in New York?

A notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is optional in New York and is not required to become a New York notary public or to renew your notary commission. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that every New York notary obtain a notary E&O insurance policy. This insurance protects you from a claim if a client sues you as a notary. A notary E&O policy covers unintentional notarial mistakes and pays for legal fees and damages based on the coverage you select as a New York notary public.

Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in New York?

A notary bond is not required in New York to become a notary public or to renew your notary public commission. 

Note: A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from their negligence, errors, official malfeasance, or omissions. New York notaries are encouraged to purchase notary E&O insurance to insure themselves against such claims.

Do I need to order a notary stamp in New York?

No. You are not required to use a notary stamp when notarizing documents, but Executive Law §137 states the following:

  1. When exercising powers pursuant to Article 6, a notary public, in addition to the venue of the act and signature of such a notary public, shall print, typewrite, stamp, or affix by electronic means when performing an electronic notarial act in conformity with Executive Law §135(c), beneath their signature in black ink:
    • The notary public's name
    • The words "Notary Public State of New York"
    • The name of the county in which such notary public originally qualified
    • The expiration date of such notary public's commission
    • Wherever required, the name of any county in which such notary public's certificate of official character is filed, using the words “Certificate filed ........... County"
  2. A notary public who has qualified or filed a certificate of official character in the office of the clerk in a county or counties within the city of New York must also affix to each instrument their official number or numbers in black ink, as assigned by the clerk or clerks of such county or counties at the time they qualified in such county or counties and, if the instrument is to be recorded in an office of the register of the city of New York in any county within such city and the notary has been given a number or numbers by such register or his predecessors in any county or counties, when the notary public's autographed signature and certificate are filed in such office or offices pursuant to Chapter 18, the notary public shall also affix such number or numbers
  3. If any notary public willfully fails to comply with the provisions of §137, they shall be subject to disciplinary action by the secretary of state

The Notary Public License Law book states, “the laws of the State of New York do not require the use of seals by notaries public. If a seal is used, it should sufficiently identify the notary public, his authority, and jurisdiction. It is the opinion of the Department of State that the only inscription required is the name of the notary and the words ‘Notary Public for the State of New York.’”

To order a New York notary stampnotary seal, complete notary package, and notary supplies, please visit the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-stamps/new-york.

How much can a New York notary public charge for performing notarial acts?

New York notary fees are set by Executive Law §136. The maximum allowable fees that a New York notary public may charge for notarial acts are as follows:

  • For administering an oath or affirmation, and certifying the same when required, except where another fee is specifically prescribed by statute, $2.
  • For taking and certifying the acknowledgment or proof of execution of a written instrument by one person, $2, and by each additional person, $2, for swearing each witness thereto, $2.
  • An electronic notary public shall be entitled to a fee of $25 for each electronic notarial act performed, which shall be inclusive of all costs incurred by the notary public.

Is a notary journal required in New York?

Yes. Beginning January 25, 2023, all notaries, including those who only provide traditional in-person services, must keep a journal of all notarial acts performed for ten years. This journal must include the type of identification provided. Additionally, electronic notaries must maintain a journal as well as an audio and video record of all electronic notarial acts performed.

To order a New York notary journal, please visit the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.notarypublicstamps.com/record-book/new-york.

Where can I perform notarial acts in New York?

As a New York notary public, you have statewide jurisdiction, which only allows you to perform notarizations if you are physically within the geographic borders of the state of New York [Executive Law §130(1)].

What notarial acts can a New York notary public perform?

A New York notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (Executive Law §135):

  • Receive and certify acknowledgments or proof of deeds, mortgages, powers of attorney, and other instruments in writing
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • Take affidavits and depositions
  • Demand acceptance or payment of foreign and inland bills of exchange, promissory notes, and obligations in writing, and to protest the same for non-acceptance or non-payment, as the case may require, and, for use in another jurisdiction, exercise such other powers and duties as by the laws of nations and according to commercial usage, or by the laws of any other government or country, may be exercised and performed by notaries public, provided that when exercising such powers the notary public shall set forth the name of such other jurisdiction
  • Open and inventory the contents of safe deposit boxes (Banking Law §335)

Can I perform electronic notarizations in New York?

Yes. As of January 31, 2023, New York notaries can perform electronic notarizations. Read the next section to learn how to become an electronic notary in New York.

What is the process to become a New York electronic notary public?

To become an electronic notary in New York, you must:

  1. Have an active traditional notary commission.
  2. Go to the New York State’s Business Express website, click “Apply Online for Electronic Notary Public,” create a new account or login to your existing NY Business Express account.
  3. Complete the online application.
  4. Submit a sample version of an electronically notarized document to the Department of State using your digital signature and certificate. This must not be a document notarized for a client.

Once your application to become an electronic notary public is approved, you will be issued a new registration number and expiration date. Your traditional license will be surrendered, and you will now hold an electronic license. Your electronic notary commission will authorize you to provide both electronic remote online notarial services and traditional notarial services.

Can I perform remote notarizations in New York?

Yes. As of January 31, 2023, New York notaries are allowed to perform remote notarizations. Read the previous section to learn how to become an electronic notary in New York.

How do I update my address on my New York notary commission?

If your address or email address changes, you must notify the Division of Licensing Services within five days of the change. To update your address, complete the “Change Notice” form and submit it with a $10 fee to the Division of Licensing Services.

If you’re a non-resident notary, you must also notify the Division of Licensing Services by completing a “Change Notice” form when your residential or business address changes. As a non-resident notary, if you move to another state and cease to have an office or place of business in New York, you must vacate the office of notary public.

To download the “Change Notice” form, go here: https://dos.ny.gov/notary-public

How do I change my name on my notary commission in New York?

If you adopt a different name during your term as a New York notary public, you must notify the secretary of state within five days of the change by submitting a “Change Notice” form with a $10 filing fee, along with acceptable forms of proof of the name change, like a court order, divorce decree, marriage certificate, driver’s license, non-driver’s ID card, valid passport, or immigration documents. The fee is not required if a personal name change is the result of a marital status change.

A new ID card will NOT be issued to you after a name change during your commission term. You must continue to notarize using the name under which you were commissioned throughout the remainder of your notary term.

However, if you elect to use your married name, then you must continue to use your maiden name in your signature and seal when acting in your notarial capacity for the remainder of your term as a notary public. Add your married name in parentheses after your signature.

You are also required by law to notify the county clerk’s office in the county in which you originally filed your oath and signature card. If you have filed certificates of official character for your present term in other county clerks’ offices, you should advise them of the name change.

To download the “Change Notice” form, go here: https://dos.ny.gov/notary-public


January 2023

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 various 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.