Florida Notary Commission Process
Florida notaries are appointed and commissioned by the governor. To become a notary, you must apply through a bonding agency and earn the state's approval.
A notary is a public officer authorized to perform the following duties:
- Administer oaths or affirmations
- Take acknowledgments
- Solemnize marriages
- Attest that photocopies are authentic
- Verify vehicle identification numbers (VINs)
- Certify the contents of a safe deposit box
Notary appointments last four years and can be renewed. If you meet all the requirements, you can apply to become a notary online through a state-authorized bonding agency.
Florida Notary Service is an approved bonding agency that provides everything you need to become a notary, including notary training, an online application, a surety bond, a notary seal and other supplies.
After you submit your application, the Executive Office of the Governor will review your information and determine if you qualify for the position. If your application is approved, you will be issued a notary public commission certificate. The bonding agency will provide your official notary public seal.
How to Become a Notary in Florida
The Governor's Reference Manual for Notaries Public outlines vital information about becoming a Florida notary, including details on eligibility requirements and the application process.
Applicants must meet the basic requirements to become a notary public:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must be a legal resident of Florida. Note: Permanent resident aliens may apply.
- You must be able to read, write and understand the English language.
If you have a felony conviction on your record, you must get your civil rights restored before you can become a notary. See Article VI, Section 4(a) of the Florida Constitution for further details.
Additionally, if adjudication was withheld in your case or your sentence was suspended, then you will be required to submit the following:
- A written statement explaining the charges and circumstances
- A copy of the court judgment, sentencing order or an equivalent court document
- If adjudication was withheld and your civil rights were not forfeited, you are only required to provide a written statement and court documents. However, if you were convicted of a felony, a copy of the Certificate of Restoration of Civil Rights (pardon) is required. If the state in which the felony occurred does not give you this document, you need to provide an explanation and substantial proof of the restoration of your civil rights.
Notary Training and the Application Process
If you meet the basic requirements to become a notary, you are ready for the next steps in the application process.
- Read Chapter 117 of the Florida Statutes and its amendments to get a deeper understanding of a Florida notary public's duties, responsibilities, limitations and powers.
- Complete a three-hour notary course that is registered with the Executive Office of the Governor. The course must cover the duties of a notary and how to complete electronic notarizations.
- Submit your notary application through a bonding agency. The application requires the following:
- Your personal information, including identification information, business information, professional licenses and commissions, and a statement about your criminal history. You must provide supporting documents related to your personal information when required.
- An affidavit of good character from a nonrelative who has known you for at least one year.
- A signed oath of office that affirms the facts stated in your application and oath are true.
- Secure a surety bond of $7,500 before performing any notary duties.
If your application is approved by the governor, you will be issued a notary public commission certificate. The bonding agency will provide your official notary public seal, and most agencies also provide a surety bond.
Renewing Your Florida Notary Commission
Notaries in Florida must repeat the application process every four years to renew their commission. You should start the process approximately six months before your commission expires. Florida Notary Service can also assist you with your notary renewal application.