Alabama Notary Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a new notary public? This is a list of our most frequently asked questions about becoming a notary
and what supplies you will need in the state of Alabama.

 

Alabama Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities, especially to draw up or certify contracts, deeds and other documents for use in other jurisdictions. A notary can also be referred to as a signing agent. As a reference, you can keep the Alabama Notary Laws and Regulations to help with notarial duties.

How do I become a notary?

To become a notary in the state of Alabama, you need to contact the probate judge for your county for information on being appointed. Click here to locate your judge. Although it is not a requirement, we suggest that you complete the Online Alabama Notary Training Course. You must purchase the $25,000 Alabama notary bond as insurance for the public. Once the judge has approved you and you pay the application fee, you are officially a notary public.

What notarial acts can an Alabama notary perform?

  • Oaths or affirmations
  • Protest instruments
  • Acknowledgements
  • Jurats

Who can become a notary in Alabama?

  • Anyone 18 or older
  • Must be a resident of Alabama 
  • Must be a resident of the county where appointed
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony, unless all civil rights have been restored

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Alabama.

Who can I notarize for?

You can notarize for any member of the public who makes a sensible request and meets all the requirements for notarization. For Example: Must have proof of identity and be physically present.

What kind of training do I need?

The state does not have an exam, however, the appointing judge in each county may require you to complete an education course or pass an exam before issuing your commission. The Alabama Notary Training Course is available online for purchase.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

Alabama requires all notaries to purchase a $25,000 bond. The bond must be filed in the county you are appointed. Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O) is NOT required, but it is recommended.

What are the upfront costs?

  • The issuing of a notary public commission has a fee of $10
  • The application processing and filing fee will vary by county
  • The price of the required bond will vary depending on the vendor
  • Prices on Notary Supplies may vary (Notary seal stamps and embosser)

What type of equipment will I need?

  • Notary Seal Stamp or Embosser. Alabama notaries are permitted to use an embosser or an inked stamp as their official seal. This seal must be on all official documents as proof of authenticity. Seals and stamps must include the following information: Notary Name, Notary Public and Alabama State at Large. Stamps include your commission expiration date.
  • Notary Records Journal. Although not required by the state, it is highly encouraged that you use a bound journal with numbered pages for your own protection because it makes it harder for pages to be misplaced or removed.
  • ID Guide

Suggested for mobile notaries in order to be able to determine if the form of identification, that has been presented, is an acceptable ID for notarization.

Should I get business cards or marketing materials? 

Although not a requirement, if you believe it is helpful for your business to have these, then it is a good idea. If you work for a company as a notary singing agent, then discuss with them if this would be necessary.

Is there legal risk?

Yes, since being a notary grants you certain permissions and responsibilities, there is also the need for insurance which was noted earlier.

How much legal risk will I face?

Risk should be assessed on a case by case basis, but being a notary signing agent comes with the responsibility of fully understanding the risks involved. Having E&O Insurance can potentially reduce your exposure to risk.

How long does my commission last? 

An Alabama notary's commission will last for four years. This commission will become void in the event of resignation, death, revocation or the notary no longer being a permanent resident of Alabama.