South Carolina 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 South Carolina.

 

South Carolina Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as: perform marriage ceremonies, take oaths and affirmations, take acknowledgements, attestations and jurats, signature witnessing, verify facts and conduct any acts authorized by state law. A notary can also be referred to as a signing agent. The Notary Public Online Manual is a great reference guide for notaries.

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 South Carolina?

You must complete a Notary Application, be endorsed by half of the delegates in your county, by the state senator and representative from the district you live in or the chairman or secretary from your county. You will need to take an oath of office in front of a notary and submit all of this to the Secretary of State with a $25 fee.

Upon receiving your commission, you will need to enroll your official commission with the Clerk of County for a $5 fee.

Who can become a notary in South Carolina?

  • Must be a registered voter in South Carolina
  • Must be able to read and write in English

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of South 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?

There is no exam or notary course needed to become a South Carolina notary.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

There is no bond or insurance required for notaries in South Carolina. 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 $25
  • $5 fee to file official commission with the Clerk of County when approved
  • 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 notary seal will be customized with the following: Name, Notary Public, State of South Carolina and Commission Expiration Date.

  • Notary Records Journal

This is not a requirement, but it is recommended as the best way to keep all notarization standardized in chronological order thanks to the 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?

You will have an active commission of 10 years in the state of South Carolina. Notaries will be able to renew their appointment by submitting an application about 12 weeks prior to your expiration date.