Arkansas 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 Arkansas.

 

Arkansas 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. The Arkansas Notary Public and eNotary Handbook is a great reference.

How do I become a notary in Arkansas?

Create an account in the Notary Management System Account select and begin the notary application. Aside from the application, you must obtain a $7,500 surety bond and complete a multiple;choice exam. Once this exam has been successfully accomplished, you will be able to complete and submit the application that has been notarized by an Arkansas notary. There is a $20 application fee. When you receive three official certificates, you will have 30 days to provide one to county where you reside. The Secretary of State will approve the process once everything has been received.

Who can become a notary in Arkansas?

  • Must be age 18 or older
  • Must be a U.S. citizen and have proof of permanent residency
  • Must be a legal resident of Arkansas or must be employed in Arkansas, but reside in an adjoining state
  • Must be able to read and write in English
  • Must have a business or residence address in Arkansas
  • Prior commissions must not have been revoked in the past 10 years
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Arkansas.

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?

All notaries are required to complete a multiple choice exam with a minimum choice of 80%. Once this is accomplished, the application can be completed. There are free online training courses provided through the Notary Management System. The Arkansas Notary Public and eNotary Handbook is an excellent reference.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

An Arkansas surety bond is mandatory in the amount of $7,500. Errors and Omissions& insurance(E&O) is NOT required, but it is recommended.

What is a surety bond and do I need one?

A surety bond is a promise to pay anyone harmed if you fail to honestly, diligently and faithfully discharge your responsibilities as a Notary. Any damages paid from the bond go to cover a signer losses and you must pay back the surety company. The surety company may also require you to repay any costs the company incurs in defending the bond. A surety bond does NOT provide insurance coverage for you.

Arkansas does require a surety bond to protect the public from any notary misconduct.

What are the upfront costs?

  • Application filing fee is $30
  • Prices of a surety bond will vary depending on vendor
  • Prices on Notary Supplies may vary (Notary seal stamps and embossers)

What type of equipment will I need?

  • Notary Seal Embosser or Stamp

An embosser or stamp with black or blue ink, must be used to authenticate all notarization. The notary seal cannot include the Arkansas state seal or an outline of the state. Official seals will include the following information: Notary Name, County, Notary Public, Arkansas, Expiration Date and Commission Number.

  • Notary Records Journal

It is not mandatory, but the state does recommend a bound journal for your own protection because it keeps your notarization organized and 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, being a notary grants you certain permissions and responsibilities and there is 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? In Arkansas a notary's commission term is 10 years from the date they are appointed.