How do I become a Notary Public?
If you're interested in becoming a Notary Public in Florida, Troy Fain Insurance offers an online application process. Simply answer the questions, customize your notary package and complete payment. Once paid, you will be able to download your notary application, bond and instructions as well as access the Florida Education Course, if you purchased it. Add info about sign docs, complete education and send forms and course certificate to us.
What are the requirements to become a notary?
State of Florida Notary Public Qualifications:
- Must be at least 18 years of age.
- Must be a legal resident of the State of Florida.
- If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must provide a recorded Declaration of Domicile, which can be obtained from your county Clerk's office.
- Must be able to read, write and comprehend the English language.
- All first-time applicants must take a state-approved notary public education course and submit a signed certificate of completion with the notary application.
- You must read the notary public laws, complete the application and bond forms and sign the Oath of Office.
- If you have been convicted of a felony, you must have your civil rights restored in order to become a notary. You must report any criminal charges, whether or not convicted on your notary application.
I completed my application online, can I just print it out and send it in?
You can go into your profile and print your application, yes. Once you print it, you must sign the bottom of it. You can make a copy of it for your records if you wish, but the State of Florida requires the original copy be sent in for their approval. We need the copy that has your original, wet ink signature. We cannot accept a photocopy of the application.
I am a renewing notary, but I was one years ago and am just renewing my commission. Do I have to re-take the education course?
It depends on when you were last commissioned and if you were previously commissioned in Florida.
If you were commissioned in Florida within the last 15 years, it is not required you take the education course, again.
We recommend, if you feel you need a refresher, to either take the course, or review your Florida Notary Handbook. The law only requires you to take the education course once every 15 years, but you should also use that as a guideline. If you feel you do not remember every aspect of being a notary public, please take the time to refresh yourself on those areas. Confirm if it's still 15 years.
Can I become a notary if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes, you may apply for a Florida notary commission; however, at the time of application, you must also submit a recorded Declaration of Domicile. You can receive this document from your county clerk's office.
How long does a notary commission last?
In the state of Florida, your notary commission term is 4 years.
I was a notary in another state, do I need to take the course?
All first-time Florida applicants are required to complete a state-approved notary education course, even if you have previously been a notary in another state. Visit our Florida Notary Education page to learn more about our online notary course.
Is training required to become a notary?
The state of Florida requires the completion of at least three hours of notary education for a new notary public, or if you have not taken an education course in 15 years.
The education course covers the duties of a notary public, as well as electronic notarization.
Our education course is approved by the State, and covers the requirement for you. It can be completed at your own pace, for your place within the course will be saved in your profile. Upon completion of the course you can either email, fax or mail your certificate to us. We need proof of completion to accompany your application. Our information can be found on our contact page.
How long does it take to become a Florida Notary Public or renew my commission?
How do I renew my Florida Notary commission?
Does placing an order make me a Notary?
What are common reasons my notary application can be rejected or delayed?
What is a Notary Bond? Why do I need it?
What is Error & Omissions Insurance? Do I need it?
What does Notary E&O cover?
What's the difference between an notary bond and notary insurance?
Each notary public in the State of Florida is required to have a $7,500 notary bond. The notary bond protects the public in case an error is made by the Florida notary. If a claim is filed against the notary’s bond, any monies recovered from the bond are initially paid by the Florida bonding agent but must be repaid by the notary.
Notary Errors and Omissions Insurance, however, is optional insurance that protects the Florida notary in case a mistake or error is made. Just as you protect your home, car and other personal effects with insurance, you need to protect your notarial acts with Florida Notary Public Errors and Omissions Insurance. The term of the policy is the same as your Florida notary commission. Policies may be purchased at a nominal premium with various limits.
I have a bond, why do I need insurance?
Your bond protects the public, if for some reason a mistake was made. E&O Insurance protects you the Notary. The bond ensures the public that the Notary will perform their duties in accordance to Florida law, and if not the public will be paid for any damages up to the price of the bond. E& O insurance protects the Notary if an unintentional mistake is made.
To learn more about E&O Insurance, please visit the Troy Fain website, or feel free to call our Customer Care line at 800-385-7019.
I shared my email address. Why can't we both log into our own accounts?
What duties can a Notary perform?
I am a Real Estate broker and have E&O insurance for my brokerage. Will that cover my notary as well?
Usually, E&O Insurance only covers one particular area. We advise you to contact the agency you have your real estate E&O Insurance through and inquiry to them for specifics on your policy.
For us, your notary E&O would only cover your notary acts. The same for the signing agent E&O Insurance. These policies are for specific work areas and cover specific acts.
My record book is complete, do I dispose of it in a specific manner or what do I do with it?
We recommend you keep your record book indefinitely. You never know when the record of previous notarial acts will be needed. If you do not want to keep it forever, we highly recommend you hold on to it for at least 5 years.
And we want to commend you for keeping records even though it is not required in Florida-- we think it's an excellent habit!
I know we can complete a notarization for a minor, but are there any adjustments to the regulations I should follow?
Florida does not stipulate an age limit for completing a notarization for a minor, but they do require you to follow the same standards you would for any other notarization. For instance, the minor must physically be present, proper identification must be presented and you must establish the minor is not being coerced into signing and understands the document. The parent cannot sign for the child.
For full details of how to complete a notarization for a minor, please read our blog.
What if I move out of Florida, may I transfer my Notary Commission?
Notary commissions cannot be transferred from state to state. You will first need to resign your current Florida commission by contacting the Governor's office. When you have established your new residence, you may apply for a new notary commission in that state.
I'm moving, what should I do with my notary commission?
If you are moving out of state, you need to send in a resignation to the Governor's office. With your signed resignation letter, you need to enclose your certificate. You will also need to destroy your official notary seal.
If you are moving within Florida, you need to update the Department of State, Division of Corporations, of the change within 60 days.
What do I do if I lose my Notary seal?
If you have lost your Florida notary seal or it has been stolen please complete the Lost or Stolen Form and return it to Troy Fain Insurance by email, fax, or mail.
What must I do if my name changes?
Florida law gives you 60 days to change your commission. If you are bonded through Troy Fain, please use our Amended Commission Notary Packet. The regular package is $43, which includes the state fees. You will complete the form and payment and mail it to Troy Fain Insurance. Confirm package price.
What is a Notary Public?
What if I entered the wrong name on the Notary application?
Where can I find the laws and rules for being a Notary?
Can I notarize my own signature?
It is prohibited by Florida law for a notary to notarize his/her own signature. To do so would pose a conflict of interest since you cannot be an impartial witness to yourself.
Can I notarize the documents of my family?
Florida law states that a notary may not notarize for a spouse, child or parent. Although notarizing for any extended family member is not prohibited, you may risk the legitimacy of the document. It is not recommended to notarize a document for any relative.
Can I perform a marriage ceremony for a relative?
Yes, a notary public may perform marriage ceremonies for family members in Florida. The ceremony must take place in Florida and you must be a notary public commissioned in Florida.
Do I need a Notary seal or stamp?
What do I do with an expired notary stamp?
When your commission expires you need to ensure you are properly disposing of your expired materials. This means none of your materials should be usable when you throw them away-- you do not want to toss a seal that can still be used to make an impression.
To ensure an impression cannot be made, we recommend you remove the rubber impression pad from the base of the stamp and cut it into pieces. To be extra secure you can toss the pieces in separate trash bins.
For the embosser, break the die insert into two pieces, or as many pieces as you can. If you cannot break it, file some of the raised portions of the insert so it will not create an impression.
Never throw your old commission information away fully intact, you do not want someone using your information.
What is a notarization?
How much may I charge for notarizing a document?
Florida law permits you to charge up to $10 per notarization and up to $30 for marriage ceremonies. You may also charge for mileage or convenience if you are traveling to a customer. Any extra charges need to be outlined and accepted verbally or by written invoice explaining the charges before you notarize the document.
Can I refuse to notarize?
Yes. If all of the requirements to perform a proper Florida notarization have not been met, if you question the signer's competence, or suspect they are being coerced, you should refuse to notarize.
If you are uncomfortable with what you are being asked to do, you can refuse. For example, some religions may frown on one of their members performing a marriage ceremony, or you may be unwilling to notarize a will because of liability concerns.
There may also be limitations set by your employer during office hours, and they would be within their rights to impose them. Remember, if you are notarizing as part of your job, your employer shares your liability.
Am I required to use a record book?
Florida notary law does not require you use a record book. However, keeping a log of your Florida notarial acts may protect you or provide evidence if a specific notarization is ever questioned at a later date. The risk of liability is enough to consider keeping a record book to provide a lasting and thorough record of your notarial acts. You can order a Florida notary record book from us, which complies with all recommendations of the Governor’s Office.
Can I notarize documents out of state?
Unfortunately, no you cannot perform a notarial act out of state. You and the signer must physically be present in Florida, even if the documents are intended for use in Florida. Your jurisdiction as a Florida notary only extends to Florida.
That being said, you can perform the notarization in Florida and it would be good in any other state or foreign country, as long as you follow Florida law. Also, be sure the venue reflects you are completing the notarial act in Florida, even if the documents where created elsewhere.
You can find the full explanation of your jurisdiction in the ASN Florida Notary Handbook.