Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin.

 

Wisconsin Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as: depositions, protest instruments, witness signatures, take acknowledgements, administer and verify oaths or affirmations. A notary can also be referred to as a signing agent.

How can I become a notary in Wisconsin?

Before you complete the application, you will need to purchase an embosser or stamp that will act as you official notary seal. You need to have your notary seal impression on your notary application. There is an online test that must be completed and you need to attach the completion certificate to your application as proof. You will also need to include an oath of office and a $500 bond. There is a $20 filing fee for your application.

Who can become a notary in Wisconsin?

  • Must be age 18 or older
  • Must be a U.S. resident with the equivalent of an 8th grade education
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving a violation of public trust

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Wisconsin.

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?

Wisconsin requires notaries to pass an exam with a score of 90% or above. The online exam is provide by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. This site provides notary study materials that are available to you before taking the test.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

Wisconsin notaries must obtain a $500 surety bond. A bond is not required for attorneys that are applying for a permanent commission in the state. 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 $20
  • The application for attorneys with a lifetime commission has a filing fee of $50
  • 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 is customized with: Name, Notary Public and State of Wisconsin.

  • Notary Records Journal

This is not a requirement, but strongly recommended because it allows you to keep all notarial acts in chronological order 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?

Wisconsin notary commissions last for four years. Attorneys can receive a lifetime permanent commission.