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North Carolina Notary Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a new notary public? This is a list of our most frequently asked questions about how to become a notary in NC
and what supplies you will need in the state of North Carolina.


North Carolina Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as: oaths and affirmations, acknowledgements and certify copies. A notary can also be referred to as a signing agent. There is a North Carolina Notary Public Manual that is available for purchase.

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

How to become a notary in North Carolina:

Within three months of completing your notary course and passing an exam with a score of 80% or higher, you must complete the Notary Application and submit it to the Secretary of State with $50 for a filing fee. When you receive your commission, you will have 45 days to provide the Register of Deeds your oath of office. If you fail to provide the oath in that time, your application and another $50 fee must be submitted again.

Who can become a notary in North Carolina?

  • Must be 18 years of age or legally emancipated
  • Must be a U.S citizen that resides in or has regular work in North Carolina
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving morals
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Must be able to read, write and speak English
  • Must pass an instructional course, unless you are a member of the state bar

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of North Carolina.

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 must complete a North Carolina notary course at a location that has been approved by the Secretary of State. Upon completion of the six hour course, you must pass a notary exam with a score of 80% or above. Members of the North Carolina state bar are exempt from this requirement.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

There is no bond requirement needed for your notary public term. Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O) is optional, but recommended for your protection against any claims of negligence.

What are the upfront costs?

The NC notary renewal and new application filing fee is $50 The North Carolina Notary Handbook is $15 The price of the bonds and insurance will vary depending on the vendor Prices of notary courses can vary by the 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 NC notary seal and stamp will include the following: Name, Notary Public, County, North Carolina and My Commission Expires ____. If you choose an embosser, you will need seal impression inker for it to be photographically reproduced. Round seals can be no less than 1 1/2" and no more than 2" in diameter. Rectangle seals cannot be more than 1" x 2 1/2"

  • Notary Records Journal

Not required, but highly recommended for keeping all notarization secure in a durable, bound booklet with numbered paged and a glossary of terms and procedures.

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 an NC notary singing agent, then discuss with them if this would be necessary.

Is there legal risk?

Yes, since being a North Carolina notary grants you certain permissions and responsibilities, there is also the need for insurance.

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?

Your North Carolina notary public commission will be effective for five years. You can reapply for an NC notary renewal 10 weeks before the expiration date of your current commission.