Hawaii 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 Hawaii.

 

Hawaii Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as: certifying copies, taking acknowledgements, protesting instruments, administering oaths or affirmations, attesting identify of document signers and witnessing signatures. A notary can also be referred to as a signing agent. The Notary Public Manual is a great reference for notaries.

See our How to Become a Notary Infographic for an easy breakdown of the steps you will need to take.

How do I become a notary in Hawaii?

You must apply by completing the Application for Notary Public Commission and submitting the form and a $20 filing fee to the Attorney General.

Additionally, you will need to provide a letter of justification, written by your employer, which explains why you are seeking commission. A resident of Hawaii must write a letter of character that highlights your honesty, trustworthiness and financial integrity. This letter may not be written by an employer or relative. There is a written exam that you must pass.

After that, you must pay the filing fee of $100 to receive the original notary commission and provide a $1,000 bond to be approved by the judge. When you approved, you must provide the clerk of the circuit court a copy of your commission, notary seal impression and official signature.

Who can become a notary in Hawaii?

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must be a resident of Hawaii
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony
  • Must provide letters that are proof of your jurisdiction and character

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Hawaii.

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?

You can use the Notary Public Manual as a reference or take a training course on your own. There will be a written exam that covers statutory laws, rules and duties that apply to Hawaii notaries. You must obtain a test score of 80% or higher. There is a $25 fee for applicants who do not show up to their scheduled exams without providing any notice. Those who do not show up will need to submit a new application. If you do not pass the test, you are able to re-take the test within 14 days without submitting a new application.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

A bond of $1,000 is a requirement for notaries in Hawaii. The bond should be deposited and kept on file in the office of the clerk of circuit court where you reside. Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O) is optional, but it is recommended for your own protection.

What are the upfront costs?

  • Filing fee to file your application and issue a new or renewed commission is $120
  • Bond prices vary based on vendor
  • Prices on Notary Supplies may vary (Notary seal stamps and embossers)

What type of equipment will I need?

  • Notary Seal Stamp or Embosser

It is a requirement to use a notary seal that is circular with a serrated border. The seal must not be larger than 2" in diameter. Your seal must have the following customized text: Name, Notary Public, State of Hawaii and Notary ID Number. You CANNOT have your commission expiration date on your seal.

  • Notary Public Sign

Every notary public must display a Notary Public Sign that is no smaller than 3" x 5", but this does not apply to government notaries.

  • Notary Records Journal

You are required to keep all notarial acts recorded in a bound journal for your own protection because it keeps your notarization organized and makes it harder for pages to be misplaced or removed.

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?

A notary term in Hawaii is four years.