Ohio 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 Ohio.

 

Ohio Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as: protest instruments, administer oaths and affirmations, certify depositions, acknowledgements, and affidavits. 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 can I become a notary in Ohio?

Contact the county that you wish to gain a commission in because the notary application process does vary. If required in your county, you must take a notary course and pass an exam. Aside from your application, you need to provide a Certificate of Qualifications that has been endorsed by a judge or justice of the court or appeals, common pleas or Supreme Court. Once a commission has been issued, you must record your commission and oath of office with the clerk of court of common pleas in the county you reside.

Who can become a notary in Ohio?

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must be a legal resident, have regular employment, or be an attorney who is admitted to practice in Ohio

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Ohio.

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 not a state requirement for an exam or notary training, but depending on the county you reside, the judge of court of common pleas may require you to take a test after completing a course.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

Ohio does not mandate the use of bonds for notaries. Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O) is optional, but recommended for your protection against any claims of negligence.

What are the upfront costs?

  • The application filing fee varies by county
  • The price of a notary course and exam can vary by vendor
  • The price of the bonds and insurance will vary depending on 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 seal and stamp will include the following: Name, Notary Public, State of Ohio, My Commission Expires____ and the image of the Ohio State Seal.

  • Notary Records Journal

Not mandatory equipment, but strongly encouraged 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 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.

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?

If you are an attorney that is in good standing with the Supreme Court of Ohio, your commission can last as long as you are a resident in Ohio. Any other notary public has a five year commission.