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Notary Rotary

Welcome to Notary Public 101

Here, you can learn how to become a notary, how to renew your notary commission, and where to find educational opportunities for notaries public.

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Notary Education
Become a Notary in Pennsylvania
Find a Notary Class in Pennsylvania
Begin Notary Public 101

In most states, becoming a notary public involves meeting a number of requirements. Generally, you must be 18 years of age, not have a serious criminal history, and successfully complete an application process. In some states, the notary application process will require notary education (ranging from a simple online course to a notary class and competency exam) and a background check, as well as the purchase of a surety bond. A more thorough explanation for your state is described below.

 

Become a Pennsylvania notary public with Notary Rotary, Inc.

Qualifications:

A notary public applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements for an appointment:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a resident of or be employed within the Commonwealth
  • Be of good character, integrity and ability
  • Must not have been convicted or pled guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or a lesser offense incompatible with the duties of a notary public during the five-year period preceding the date of application
  • Has not had a prior notary public commission revoked by the Commonwealth or any other state during the five year period preceding the date of application

 The following persons are not eligible to hold the office of notary public:

  • Any person holding any judicial office in the Commonwealth, except the office of Magisterial District Justice
  • A member of the U.S. Congress, and a person holding an office or appointment of profit or trust under the legislative, executive or judiciary departments of the federal government for which he or she receives a salary, fees or perquisites
  • Any member of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania

Term of Appointment:

The term of a Pennsylvania notary public appointment is four (4) years, unless revoked or resigned before that time.  There is no limit to the number of consecutive terms that may be served.

Allow four to six weeks to process new Notary Public applications.

Step 1: Complete the mandatory education requirement

Pennsylvania notaries public are required to be familiar with the duties and responsibilities of the office. As a condition for initial appointment and reappointment, notaries public are required to complete a three-hour preapproved notary public education course within six months immediately preceding application. There are some exemptions to this requirement.

An approved notary education course may be comprised of either interactive or classroom instruction and must contain a core curriculum covering the duties and responsibilities of the notary office and electronic notarization. Courses preapproved by the Secretary are designated as approved for initial appointment or approved for reappointment. All courses approved for initial appointment may be used to satisfy the education requirement for reappointment, in addition to the courses approved solely for reappointment. Courses approved for reappointment are more advanced in content and are designed to be relevant for the notary who has already completed the basic education course and has encountered more complicated documents and advanced notary issues in the course of a previous commission.

Please see the "Notary Education Providers" link for a list of approved notary public education course providers.

When you receive your course completion certificate make a copy to include with your application and save the original for your records.

Step 2: Submit the Pennsylvania notary public application

Download and complete the Pennsylvania Notary Public Application according to the instructions provided.  It is imperative that the information on the application be legibly written.

Application Submission Checklist

  • Include your full first and last name (full middle name or middle initial is optional) or first initial, full middle and last name on the application
  • Include a check in the amount of $40.00 made payable to the "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."  NOTE: Please do not staple your check or money order to the application. 
  • Include proof of having completed a three hour preapproved mandatory notary education course within six months preceding application if required. (see "Mandatory Education Requirement" link)
  • Include the endorsement of the state Senator of the district in which you reside or if you are a nonresident employed in Pennsylvania, the endorsement of the Senator in which you are employed.

Applications for appointment or reappointment as a notary public may be obtained from the Department of State's Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation by:

The completed application, accompanied by a non-refundable filing fee of $40.00 payable to the "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." You may submit the application online or mail it to the following address:

Department of State
Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation
210 North Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0029

If the Department of State approves your application you will receive a notice of appointment with further instructions and an official bond and oath form to be executed by you when you receive your surety bond.

Step 3: Order your official surety bond and other supplies from Notary Rotary, Inc.

Within 45 days after the date of his/her appointment, a notary public is required to execute and file a $10,000 surety bond and Oath of Office, both available from Notary Rotary's online store.

Notaries public commissioned in Pennsylvania are required to use a notary stamp seal for all notarial acts on paper.  Notaries may use an embosser in addition to the rubber stamp seal; however the embosser is optional. 

Pennsylvania law also requires every Pennsylvania notary public to maintain a sequential record of all notarial acts; the Modern Journal of Notarial Events from Notary Rotary, Inc., contains all the elements necessary and was designed specifically with the notary in mind. 

Please order your Pennsylvania Notary Supplies at the Notary Rotary online store.  Enter the store to purchase your $10,000 surety bond and Oath of Office, Pennsylvania notary stamp, Modern Journal of Notarial Events, and any other supplies you may need. To order, enter the required information, scroll down through the page to locate and select the desired products, and follow the instructions through checkout. Your order will be manufactured and shipped as soon as it can be processed, usually within 2-3 days.

Step 4: File with the county Recorder of Deeds and the Prothonotary

Before you may perform any notarial acts you must file the surety bond and Oath of Office form, with the Recorder of Deeds in the county where your business is located as listed on your application.  This must be completed within FORTY- FIVE (45) DAYS after the date of appointment or the commission becomes null and void. Extensions will not be given.

You will also need to register your official signature with the Prothonotary of the county wherein your business is located.  You may be charged a small fee for the registration of your signature.  You must sign your name exactly and only as it appears on your commission.

Once these requirements are met, the Recorder of Deeds will issue the commission and wallet card to you and you will be ready to act as a commissioned notary public for the State of Pennsylvania.


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