Florida 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 Florida.

 

Florida Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as taking acknowledgements, administering oaths or affirmations, attesting photocopies, perform marriages, verify vehicle identification numbers (VINs) and certify contents of a safe-deposit box. A notary can also be referred to as a signing agent.

Where can I register/apply?

New notaries must first complete their three hour training. Once you receive proof of completion, you are able fill out an application and send it in along with your course and bond certificates. The state will work with you to complete your qualifications from there.

Why become a notary?

  • Make additional income
  • Increase your skill-set and add to your resume
  • If working individually, you can make your own schedule
  • Easy and effective way to help your community

Who can become a notary in Florida? What do I need to do?

  • Anyone 18 or older
  • Legal resident of Florida (Working in Florida alone does not qualify) Non-U.S. Citizens are allowed, but they will need to get an Application of Domicile from the country clerk's office
  • You cannot be a convicted felon, unless you have your civil rights restored Application process ($39) requires an Affidavit of Character to be filled out by someone who has known you for over one year
  • Although no exam is required, all new notary applicants must complete a three hour State Notary Education Class (FREE) within one year of applying

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Florida.

Who can I notarize for?

As a notary/signing agent, you can notarize for any member of the public who makes a sensible request and meets all the requirements for notarization. It is recommended, as a guiding principle, to avoid notarizing any documents for family members. For Example: Must have proof of identity and be physically present.

What kind of training do I need?

The state of Florida requires a free Three Hour Training Course that must be completed within one year of applying to become a new notary signing agent.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

Florida requires all new notaries to have a surety bond of at least $7,500. Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O) is NOT required, but it is recommended.

What is a surety bond and why is it required?

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’s 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; it is to protect the public.

Florida requires this to thwart any fraudulent activity on behalf of the Notary and to protect potential victims. It's similar to having car insurance in case YOU hit somebody.

What are the upfront costs?

  • Although costs for new notaries will vary, the Florida application fee is $39
  • The price of a surety bond varies, but you can decide from this list of bond companies
  • Prices of clerical filing fees may apply in certain counties at varying prices
  • Prices of Notary Supplies may vary (Notary seal embossers and stamps)

What type of equipment will I need?

  • Rubber Notary Stamp

Stamp must have black ink that does not bleed during or after use because documents can be rejected due to smudging. Your stamp is customized to include: Notary Name, Notary Public - State of Florida, Commission Number and Expiration Date. It is optional to add notary bonding information. Notary seals must be able to be reproduced.

  • Notary Records Journal

Journal is not mandatory, but is recommended as the best way to keep notarization secure in chronological order

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?

In Florida a notary commission term is four years. After which, you will need to go through a notary renewal process, but that does not require additional training or education.