Tennessee 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 Tennessee.

 

Tennessee Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as: acknowledgements, oaths and affirmations, depositions, affidavits, protest negotiable instruments and qualify parties to bills in chancery. 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 Tennessee?

You must complete a Notary Application and submit it to the county clerk where you currently reside. The application filing fee is $12. Once your application has been approved, you must perform an oath of office before the county clerk and show proof of a $10,000 surety bond.

Who can become a notary in Tennessee?

  • Must be age 18 or older
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Must have a permanent residence or place of business in the Tennessee county you are applying to
  • Must have never had a commission revoked
  • Must never have been removed from being a notary public due to official misconduct
  • Must never have been found guilty of unauthorized practice of laws by a court

What can disqualify you from being a notary in Tennessee?

  • If you have been convicted for a felony relating to bribery, larceny or any other offense
  • If you owe any money to the United States or Tennessee from an official judgment
  • If you are a defaulter to the treasury at the time you are seeking commission
  • If you are classified as a United States soldier, marine or airman in the army, navy or air force
  • If you are a member of Congress or holding office under any foreign power, state or the United States

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Tennessee.

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 that is mandatory for Tennessee notaries.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

Tennessee requires all notaries to file a $10,000 surety bond with the county clerk where they live. 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 $12
  • 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 notary seal will be customized with the following: Name, State of Tennessee, Notary Public and County. Your stamp cannot have your commission expiration date. Black or yellow ink is forbidden for an official seal.

  • Notary Records Journal

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 signing 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 for four years and can renew by following the same protocol as new notaries.