If you’re considering becoming a notary for additional income or a resume boost, these are the most common steps you’ll need to take in order to get certified.

Take a Training

Only a few states require notary training to become certified, but it’s highly recommended that people interested in applying take voluntary training to learn about the requirements and duties. Training should be approved by the Secretary of State, so check your state government’s website to find a course. Some states also require you to pass an exam but not all.

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File Your Application

Make sure you have the right application by searching your specific state (notary application Florida, for example). The process of becoming a notary will be different from state to state, so it’s important to research your state’s specific requirements.

Obtain a Surety Bond

Perhaps the most important thing to note is that you’ll likely need to obtain a notary bond. This is essentially a bond amount that acts as insurance for your customers in case you make an error that has a negative financial impact.

Pass a Background Check

In some states, it’s required that you pass a background check before becoming certified. Even in states with no background check requirement, if you disclose any criminal history on your application they may choose to run one.

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Invest in Supplies

Things like specific types of certificates, a journal that records all of your notarizations, stamps and handbooks are all helpful supplies you may want to invest in. Having the right tools will help you maintain a professional impression when working with clients.

The requirements of becoming a notary can vary greatly depending on where you plan to offer notary services. When doing research, it’s a good idea to check reputable sources and create a certification checklist with your state-specific requirements.

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