Louisiana 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 Louisiana.

 

Louisiana Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as: certify copies, administer oaths/affirmations, make affidavits, take acknowledgements, make inventories, make partitions, receive wills, make protests, matrimonial contracts, hold family meetings, hold meetings or creditors and affix seals for deceased persons. 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 Louisiana?

You must complete the Application to Qualify for Appointment as a Notary Public about 45 days prior to your notary exam. This application has a filing fee of $25. You must register for the Pre-Assessment Notary Exam online and pay the $30 test fee. After you take and receive the results of the online pre-assessment, you will be able to fill out the examination registration form and pay the $75 fee.

When the exam has been successfully completed, you must file with the Secretary of State, two original oaths, a $10,000 surety bond or errors and omissions, an original signature and a $35 filing fee.

If you are an attorney, you will additionally need to supply a certificate of good standing issued from the Louisiana Supreme Court within the past 30 days.

Who can become a notary in Louisiana?

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must be a resident citizen or permanent alien of Louisiana
  • Must be registered to vote in the parish you seek a commission
  • Must be able to read, write and speak in English
  • Must not be incapable of serving due to mental infirmity
  • Must have a high school, approved home school, or G.E.D diploma
  • Must not have been a convicted felon or convicted and pardoned

Where can I practice my notary services?

Attorneys can practice anywhere in the state of Louisiana. Notaries are only able to provide services in the parish of their residence. A dual commission in required for any notary who wants to officiate in multiple parishes, unless they reside in an area with reciprocal parishes. In this instance, notaries are able to notarize for both locations.

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?

There is an exam that you are required to pass before becoming a notary. This test is administered by the Secretary of State twice a year regionally. These exams take place on the first Saturday of the month of June and December.

An examination is not required for attorneys, notaries who are seeking dual commission and notaries who have been previously approved, but have a change in residence.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

Yes, you will need to purchase a bond. As a new notary, you are required to have a $10,000 surety bond or errors and omissions insurance (E&O). This bond or insurance must be renewed every five years to prevent your commission from being suspended.

If you are a provisional notary public, you must have a $20,000 bond at the expense of your employer.

Resident attorneys are exempt from this requirement.

What are the upfront costs?

  • Application processing fee is $25
  • Commission filing fee is $35
  • Online pre-assessment has a fee of $30
  • Registration for the exam has a fee of $75
  • Bond prices vary based on vendor
  • Prices on Notary Supplies may vary (Notary seal stamps and embossers)

What type of equipment will I need?

  • There are no equipment requirements in Louisiana, but the following supplies are strongly encouraged
  • Notary Seal Stamp or Embosser

Your stamp or seal impression will include the following information: Name, Notary Public, Notary ID Number, Parish, Louisiana and the image of a pelican with her nest.

  • Notary Records Journal

A records journal is the best way to keep all notarial acts secure and organized in a bound book with numbered pages. This is a requirement for notaries in Orleans parish.

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 is valid for life in Louisiana. You are able to retire or resign by writing an official letter to the Secretary of State as a written request. After you resign, you will need to complete the application and take the exam if you want to become active again.