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Iowa 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 Iowa.


Iowa Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as taking verification and administering oaths or affirmations, noting protests of instruments, taking acknowledgements, witnessing or attesting signatures and certifying copies. A notary can also be referred to as a signing agent.

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 Iowa?

You must complete the Application of Appointment as a Notary Public form and submit it to the Secretary of State with the $30 application fee. Taking and oath of office is also part of the application.

Who can become a notary in Iowa?

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Must be an Iowa resident or employed in the state
  • Must be able to read and write English

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Iowa.

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?

Courses and exams are not a requirement in Iowa.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

There is no bond requirement in Iowa. Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O) is optional, but it is recommended for your own protection.

What are the upfront costs?

  • Application processing fee is $30
  • 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

Your stamp or seal impression will include the following information: Name, Notarial Seal, Iowa, Commission Number and Expiration Date. If you choose to use an embosser, you will need seal impression inker to make your raised impressions able to be reproduced.

  • Notary Records Journal

You are not required to purchase a records journal, but we suggest it because it is best practice to keep all notarial acts secure and organized in a bound book with numbered pages.

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?

Notary commission in Iowa lasts for a term of three years.