Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania.

 

Pennsylvania Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as: certify copies or depositions, acknowledgements, signature witnessing, oaths and affirmations, affidavits and note protests of negotiable instruments. A notary can also be referred to as a signing agent.

How can I become a notary in Pennsylvania?

You must enroll in an approved three hour notary training course and take an exam. You must be able to provide proof of passing an exam and send that to the Department of State with your notary application, course completion certificate and filing fee of $42. When you have received your commission, you need to purchase a $10,000 surety bond, take an oath of office and provide this to the Recorder of Deeds along with your official signature. You are required to complete the previous tasks within 45 days of receiving your appointment.

Who can become a notary in Pennsylvania?

  • Must be age 18 or older
  • Must be a U.S. citizen with regular employment or residency in Pennsylvania
  • Must be able to write and read the English language

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Pennsylvania.

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?

Pennsylvania notaries must complete a three hour notary course that has been approved by the state. You will have six months preceding the application to complete this. After the course, you need to pass the Department of State's exam.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

A $10,000 surety bond must be purchased by all Pennsylvania notaries. Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O) is optional, but recommended for your protection against any claims of negligence or damages that result from misconduct.

What are the upfront costs?

  • The application filing fee is $42
  • Courses and exam prices vary based on 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

Your pre-inked or self-inking stamp will be customized with the following text: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Notary Seal, Name, Notary Public, County, Commission Expiration Date and Commission Number. Stamp can have a maximum height of 1" x 3 1/2" and must have a border.

  • Notary Records Journal

All notarization will be standardized and 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?

A notary in Pennsylvania has a four year commission. You can file for reappointment 60 days before the expiration date of your commission.