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NotaryActs

What does it mean to “notarize a signature”?

What notarial acts am I authorized to perform as a Florida notary public?

Am I allowed to refuse a notarization in the State of Florida?

Can I notarize a paper that has been made out to me?

May I perform a notarization when I am a party to the transaction?

Can I perform a notarization for a family member?

My husband is a Residential Contractor. Occasionally he needs forms notarized for his business. I am a Florida notary public. Am I allowed to notarize these forms for his construction company?

Can a Florida notary public notarize a photograph?

May I help a friend fill out immigration papers?

I am a Florida notary public, may I assist a client with legal documents?

May I notarize my own signature?

May I charge a fee for my Florida notary services?

Are Florida notary fees considered taxable income?

Am I required to keep a record of my notarial acts in the state of Florida?

Why should I keep a record book?

How do I limit my liability as a Florida notary public?

Do I have any liability as a Florida notary public?

What can a Florida notary public charge for officiating a marriage ceremony?

What wording must be included in a marriage ceremony performed by a Florida notary public?

Is just a notary stamp sufficient to notarize a document in the state of Florida, or is a raised seal (making an impression) also required?

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What does it mean to “notarize a signature”? 

 “Notarize a signature” is a generic phrase used when administering an oath or taking an acknowledgment, the two most common notarial acts.

 

 

What notarial acts am I authorized to perform as a Florida notary public?

The main duties of Florida notaries public are to administer oaths and take acknowledgments. Florida notaries may also make attested photocopies of certain documents, solemnize marriage, verify vehicle identification numbers on official forms transferring title, and certify the contents of safe deposit boxes for nonpayment of rental fees.

 

 

Am I allowed to refuse a notarization in the State of Florida? 

Yes, if proceeding with notarization would cause you to commit a prohibited act, or if any of the required elements/criteria for performance of a proper Florida notarization are missing. Situations that may require you to refuse include when you doubt that the signer is competent or willing to execute the document; or you are being asked to bend a rule of notarization such as requiring the signer to be present before you; or the document presented for notarization is clearly incomplete.

 

If you are an employee-notary, your employer controls how you manage your time and tasks while on the job, so you may need to refuse a notarization requested during business hours. If you must refuse for this reason, you may offer to perform the notarization during non-work hours.

 

Use your best judgment, and always know and follow notarial law, when weighing whether you should refuse a notarization.

 

 

Can I notarize a paper that has been made out to me?

According to Florida Chapter 117, a Florida notary public may not notarize a signature on a document if the Florida notary has a financial interest in or is a party to the underlying transaction. If the document has your name on it by mistake, the signer will need to obtain an updated version of the document with your name removed. 

 

 

May I perform a notarization when I am a party to the transaction? 

No. If you are a party to the transaction or if you have a financial and/or beneficial interest in the transaction, you may NOT be the notary for this transaction. You would not be impartial, and the transaction could be deemed unlawful or unenforceable.

 

 

Can I perform a notarization for a family member?

Florida notary law only specifically dictates you cannot notarize a signature for a spouse, son, daughter, mother or father. However, Notary Public Underwriters recommends you DO NOT complete a notarial act for ANY member of your family, including in-laws. It is difficult to sustain your notarial duty as an impartial witness for a family member.

 

 

My husband is a Residential Contractor. Occasionally he needs forms notarized for his business. I am a Florida notary public. Am I allowed to notarize these forms for his construction company?

No. As a Florida notary public one of your main objectives is to be an impartial, unbiased witness. Florida law prohibits a notary from completing a notarization for their spouse, parents or children. If you complete the notarization, it may be seen as void and legal problems may arise. Your husband will need to find another Florida notary to complete his notarization.

 

 

Can a Florida notary public notarize a photograph?

No. This is not an authorized duty of a Florida notary. An alternative would be to notarize the signature of a person who is willing to certify the authenticity of the photograph in a sworn statement.

 

 

May I help a friend fill out immigration papers?
No. Only attorneys or qualified immigration specialists may perform these duties.

 

 

I am a Florida notary public, may I assist a client with legal documents?

No, not unless you are an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Florida. Furthermore, you may not explain the contents of a document or give any advice about the document. If you do, you may be found guilty of the unauthorized practice of law.

 

 

May I notarize my own signature? 

No. Notarizing your own signature violates the requirement for impartiality. Violation of this prohibition is a felony crime.

 

 

May I charge a fee for my Florida notary services? 

Yes. The state of Florida allows you to charge a maximum fee of $10.00 per notary act. You may charge $30.00 to perform a marriage ceremony in Florida. If you charge a higher fee than prescribed by law, the Governor may suspend your commission. Florida law does not address miscellaneous travel fees for notarial acts. Without the guidance of any rule, Florida notaries are allowed to charge a travel fee as long as the signer is made aware prior to the travel and the transaction occurring. Travel fees are not considered notary fees. They should be billed separately from any fee for notary service. While travel fees may appear on the same invoice as notarial fees, they should be presented as a separate line-item to avoid confusion.

 

 

Are Florida notary fees considered taxable income? 

Yes, fees collected while performing your duties as a Florida Notary Public are considered taxable income. A good way to keep up with your Florida notary fees is to record the amount charged for each notarization in your Florida notary record book. It is a good idea to consult your tax advisor for specific information about reporting Florida notary fees as income.

 

 

Am I required to keep a record of my notarial acts in the state of Florida?

No. Florida law does not require Florida notaries to keep a record book. However, the Florida Governor’s Office recommends notaries keep a record of all official notarial acts in a journal or record book. Although not required, you should record at least the following information: the date of the notarial act, the type of act performed, the type of document, the name, address and signature of each person whose signature was notarized, and any special notes or comments about the notarization. Our Florida notary public record book complies with the suggestions of the Governor’s Office for record keeping.

 

 

Why should I keep a record book? 

Record books are an inexpensive way to keep a record of every notarization you perform. There are several advantages, including:

 

--A record book can serve as a check-list of the steps of notarization.

--A record book may protect you against a claim of negligence or impropriety.

--A record book may help prove you notarized a document when there is a question about your signature or when the notarial certificate is destroyed or marred in some way.

--A record book can refresh your memory about a notarization you do not recall.

--A record book is reliable as evidence in court if you have to testify about a notarization.

--A record book not only protects you, but may also protect your customer and your employer.

--A record book is a great tool to calculate fees collected for notarial services, so you may accurately report your income to the IRS.

 

 

How do I limit my liability as a Florida notary public?

To limit your liability as a Florida notary public, know and follow Florida notary laws, take responsibility for your own Florida notary education, keep informed about Florida notary law changes, never make any exceptions for anyone, use reasonable care and common sense in performing your notarial duties, carry Errors & Omissions Insurance and keep a Florida notary record book.

 

 

Do I have any liability as a Florida notary public?

Yes. The public counts on Florida notaries to perform their duties properly. By making an error on a notarization, you could cause someone to lose their property or be responsible for a multi-million dollar transaction being voided. As a result, a court could find you liable for the loss and enter a judgment against you. Most surety companies demand repayment if they pay a claim against your notary bond. In addition, whatever your bond does not pay, you would be liable for.

 

 

What can a Florida notary public charge for officiating a marriage ceremony?

The state of Florida allows a Florida notary public to charge $30.00 to perform a marriage ceremony. If you charge a higher fee than prescribed by law, the Governor may suspend your commission. 

 

Florida law does not address miscellaneous travel fees for notarial acts. Without the guidance of any rule, Florida notaries are allowed to charge a travel fee as long as the signer is made aware prior to the travel and the transaction occurring. Travel fees are not considered notary fees. They should be billed separately from any fee for notary service. While travel fees may appear on the same invoice as notarial fees, they should be presented as a separate line-item to avoid confusion.

 

 

What wording must be included in a marriage ceremony performed by a Florida notary public?

The couple can choose the ceremony script. They can even personalize it as long as there is a verbal commitment made by each party to the other party in the presence of the Florida notary public. Our Marriage Kit includes sample ceremonies, making your job easier!

 

 

Is just a notary stamp sufficient to notarize a document in the state of Florida, or is a raised seal (making an impression) also required?

The primary notarial tool in the state of Florida is your Florida notary stamp. You may use an embosser (to make the raised seal), if you wish, but it MUST be used in conjunction with your Florida notary stamp. It cannot be used in replacement of the notary stamp and is only recognized as decoration.

 

 

How old do witnesses have to be to sign the marriage license in the State of Florida?

Witnesses for a Florida marriage license are not required by law; however, it is recommended. Witnesses are further proof the ceremony took place.  Any witnesses should sign the Florida notary public's record book. Notary Public Underwriters recommends the witnesses be 18 years of age or older, but since the witness signatures are not being notarized, there is no age requirement. Witnesses may need to be available in the future should testimony be required.

 

What is the difference between an Oath and an Acknowledgment?

With an Oath, the affiant is swearing to the content of a document. With an Acknowledgment, the affiant is acknowledging that he/she did sign the document, willingly and for purpose stated within the document.

 

How do I administer an oath for a document?

Assuming the document is ready for notarization and the signer has been satisfactorily identified and is willing to sign the document, you will administer the oath by asking a simple question, “Do you solemnly swear the information contained in this document is the truth, so help you God?” For an oath, you must witness the person signing the document.

*If the document being presented has already been signed, the signer will need to sign the document again, in the presence of a notary.

 

How do I take an acknowledgment? 

Assuming the document is ready for notarization and the signer has been satisfactorily identified and is willing to sign the document, you take the signer’s acknowledgement by asking a simple question: “Do you acknowledge and declare this is your signature, you understand this document, and you willingly signed the document for the purposes stated herein?”

 

Are Florida notaries allowed to perform marriage ceremonies?

Yes. Florida notaries public are authorized to perform marriage ceremonies if the wedding ceremony takes place in Florida and the couple obtains a valid Florida marriage license prior to the ceremony.

 

Is a Florida marriage license good in any Florida county?

Yes, a Florida marriage license is valid within any county in the state of Florida. However, after the wedding, the marriage license must be filed with the county Clerk’s Office where it was issued within 10 days of the ceremony.

 

When officiating a marriage ceremony in the state of Florida, what should I do with the marriage license?

The Florida notary public must get the marriage license from the couple prior to the wedding ceremony. The Florida notary should verify it is valid by checking the effective and expiration dates and confirm it contains the Clerk’s signature and official seal. After the ceremony, you must complete the appropriate section certifying you have joined the couple in marriage. As the performing official, you must return the marriage license to the Clerk’s Office that issued it within 10 days after the ceremony. The Clerk will record the license and send a certified copy to the couple.

 

May a Florida notary public perform a marriage ceremony for a family member?

Yes. The law permits a Florida notary public to perform a marriage ceremony for a family member because they are not notarizing anyone’s signature on the license. A Florida notary public only certifies that they have performed the marriage ceremony.

 

May I notarize a signature of a blind person?

Yes. But only if you first read the document to the person and you feel sure about the person’s understanding and willingness to sign.

 

What is the venue on a Florida notarial certificate?

“State of Florida, County of _____”

 

This notation is called the venue. It is the location of the notarization – not the county where you live or work.

 

What are the steps for performing a notarization? 

Follow these general steps for every notarization you perform:

 

1. Require the personal appearance of the document signer. Never make an exception!

2. Examine the document to ensure it is complete and contains a properly formatted notarial certificate.

3. Identify the signer, either through your personal acquaintance of the individual or some type of satisfactory evidence, such as a valid driver’s license, passport or another form of acceptable identification listed in the notary law.

4. Enter the transaction into your record book. Although the law does not require it, the Governor’s Office recommends you keep an official record of all your notarial acts.

5. Perform the notarization ceremony. You must communicate verbally with the signer to perform the notarial act. The person usually signs the document at this point.

6. Complete the notarial certificate. Make sure the information is correct and complete. Do not forget to sign and seal the certificate.

 

What should I do if a signer objects due to religion? 

A legal alternative to an oath is an affirmation. Ask the question: “Do you solemnly affirm under the penalties of perjury the information contained in this document is the truth?”

Change of Name or Address

Do I notify the state of Florida of a name change?

I’m a Florida notary public, what must I do if I change my address?

What should I do with my active commission, if I have moved out of the State of Florida?

I got married several months ago and changed my name. How do I get a new Florida notary stamp?

 

Do I notify the state of Florida of a name change?

Yes. Florida law requires you to obtain an amended commission within 60 days of the change of your legal name. If Notary Public Underwriters is your notary bonding agency, please contact our Customer Care Team to request a name change application form.

 

 

I’m a Florida notary public, what must I do if I change my address?

You must notify the Florida Secretary of State in writing of any change in your residence or business address or telephone number within 60 days of the change. Please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to notify us of your new address and request the change of address form that needs to be filed with the State of Florida. In your email, please include your name, expiration date as well as the new address.

 

 

What should I do with my active commission if I have moved out of the State of Florida?

If you have moved out of the State of Florida, unfortunately you are no longer able to continue your Florida notary commission. You will need to contact the Governor’s office to resign your commission. Please note: Whenever you resign a notary commission, if you ever apply for a notary commission in Florida again, the Governor’s office will need to review your application before approving, which may cause delays.

 

 

I got married several months ago and changed my name. How do I get a new Florida notary stamp?

If you have legally changed your name, you will need to complete an amended commission request and submit it to your bonding agency. Florida law requires you to obtain an amended commission within 60 days of the change of your legal name. If Notary Public Underwriters is your notary bonding agency, please contact our Customer Care Team to request a name change application form.

 

 

 If you don't see your question listed above, please contact our Customer Care Team. We'd love to assist you.

Notary Application Process

 

Is there an age requirement to become a Florida notary public?

How can I apply online to become a Florida notary public?

How to renew Florida notary commission?

How do I take the Florida notary Oath of Office?

How long does the Florida notary public application take?

What address should I mail my completed online Florida notary application to?

I made a mistake on my submitted Florida notary application. How do I correct it?

My legal name is hyphenated with my maiden name and married name, but I am divorced and don't typically use my hyphenated last name. Although my hyphenated last name appears on my driver's license and social security card, am I able to use just my maiden name (without the hyphen) on the Florida notary?

I was told that it would take up to 8 weeks for the Florida Governor’s Office to review my Florida notary application. Is this true?

My Florida notary commission expired. I wish to become a notary again. Can I renew my notary commission or do I need to start a new notary application?

May I be appointed as a Florida notary public if I live in another state?

May I be a Florida notary public if I have a criminal record?

How close to my expiration date should I renew my Florida notary commission?

Does the Florida notary application and notary bond require notarization?

Can I apply for my Florida notary public commission over the phone?

 

 

Is there an age requirement to become a Florida notary public?

Yes. You must be at least 18 years of age to become a Florida notary public.

 

 

How can I apply online to become a Florida notary public?

Notary Public Underwriters makes applying online to become a Florida notary easy! Our online Florida notary application process allows you to customize your notary package and pay online using a credit card. At the end of your order, just print, sign and send your forms to our office for processing. Click here if you are interested in becoming a notary or here if you would like to renew your Florida notary commission.

 

 

How to renew Florida notary commission?

Visit our Renew your Florida Notary Commission page to use our quick and simple online Florida notary application process!

 

Once you have finished the Florida notary renewal application process online, simply print out your completed forms, sign in the indicated areas and send it to our office for processing.

 

Mail your signed Florida notary forms to:

 

NOTARY PUBLIC UNDERWRITERS

P.O. Box 5378

Tallahassee, FL 32314-5378

 

If you have any questions about the Florida notary renewal process, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly Customer Care Team.

 

 

How do I take the Florida notary Oath of Office?

The Oath of Office is printed on the Florida notary application form. You take the Oath by signing under the penalties of perjury.

 

 

How long does the Florida notary public application take?

The entire process, from the time we receive your complete Florida notary application packet to your products being mailed, should take approximately 5 to 7 business days.

 

Our online Florida notary application and renewal process makes the paperwork quick and simple. It allows you to customize your new or renewal Florida notary package and even gives you the option to upgrade your state-required seal to a round or mobile version. Visit our Become a Notary or Renew Commission pages today to get the application process started!

 

If you prefer to pay by check or money order, please visit our Florida Notary Forms page to download the required paperwork to mail in with payment.

 

 

What address should I mail my completed online Florida notary application to?

You will mail your Florida notary application and notary bond to:

Notary Public Underwriters,

P.O. Box 5378

Tallahassee, FL 32314

If you are planning to use UPS, FedEx, signature confirmation mail or expedited mail, the physical address is:

5524 Apalachee Parkway

Tallahassee, FL 32311

Note: Please send all expedited mail to the physical address. Any expedited mail sent to the P.O. Box may result in delays.

 

 

I made a mistake on my submitted Florida notary application. How do I correct it? 

If the information you entered is incorrect, you may make the correction on the form directly by making a mark through the incorrect information and providing the correct information. Online applications cannot be changed once the order is placed, but we will make the correction once the application gets to our office.

 

If the application has already been submitted to our office, you will need to contact our Customer Care Team so we can determine the correct course of action.

 

 

My legal name is hyphenated with my maiden name and married name, but I am divorced and don't typically use my hyphenated last name. Although my hyphenated last name appears on my driver's license and social security card, am I able to use just my maiden name (without the hyphen) on the Florida notary?

Unfortunately, your Florida notary commission should be in your official legal name. If you want your notary commission to include just your maiden name, you would legally need to change your name. Whatever name you use on your Florida notary application will be the name your commission is under.

 

If you have any further questions, please contact our Customer Care Team.

 

 

I was told that it would take up to 8 weeks for the Florida Governor’s Office to review my Florida notary application. Is this true?

For special circumstances, such as revoked professional license, disciplinary action and felony convictions, your application must go to the Governor's Office for approval. This may take a minimum of 8 weeks; however, if your application is sent to the Florida Governor's Office without all of the proper documentation, it may result in additional delays.

 

First time Florida notary applicants: We will submit your Florida notary application to the Secretary of State's office for approval within 24 hours of receiving your completed Florida notary paperwork and education certificate. The current turnaround time for Florida notary applications is approximately 3 days.

 

Renewing Florida notary applicants:  The State will accept your Florida notary renewal application within 4 months of your current expiration date. We will send your application to the State as soon as it is within the filing timeframe. Again, the Secretary of State's office approves within 3 business days.

 

If you have specific question about your Florida notary application, or would like to check the status, please contact our Customer Care Team.

 

 

My Florida notary commission expired. I wish to become a notary again. Can I renew my notary commission or do I need to start a new notary application?

You will be renewing your Florida notary commission. When you choose to renew, you will still be required to fill out a new application; this is required by the state to ensure they have updated, accurate information.

 

The only difference between a renewing Florida notary and a new Florida notary is that a new notary is required to take a notary education course, while renewing notaries are not required to. If you feel you need a refresher, we encourage you to purchase our Florida notary education course.

 

Please, visit our Renew Commission page to start the process of renewing your Florida notary commission today.

 

If you have more questions about the notary application process, please contact our Customer Care Team.

 

 

May I be appointed as a Florida notary public if I live in another state?

No. Only a person who is a legal resident of the state of Florida may become a Florida notary public.

 

 

May I be a Florida notary public if I have a criminal record?

Maybe. You are required to disclose convicted felony charges in a written statement and submit the related court documents along with your Florida notary application. You must also submit proof that your civil rights have been restored. The Florida Governor’s Office makes decisions about these appointments on an individual basis.

 

Learn more about the requirements to become a Florida notary public here.

 

 

How close to my expiration date should I renew my Florida notary commission?

The Florida Secretary of State will accept applications for renewal approximately four months before your expiration date. Renewing early does not shorten your current term. Be sure to allow plenty of time to complete all the forms and mail them to Notary Public Underwriters prior to expiration. This will ensure you do not have a lapse between commissions. Please see the Renew Commission page for more information.

 

 

Does the Florida notary application and notary bond require notarization?

No. Neither the Florida notary application nor the notary bond requires notarization by a notary public. However, you must swear or affirm under the penalties of perjury that all information in the application is correct. By submitting our online application you are confirming this as well.

 

If you are trying to Become a Florida Notary or Renew Your Florida Notary Commission, try our easy online notary application process that allows you to customize your new or renewal notary package and pay by credit card online.

 

If you prefer to pay by check or money order, please visit our Florida Notary Forms page to download a notary application and order form to mail with payment.

 

 

Can I apply for my Florida notary public commission over the phone?

You cannot apply to be a Florida notary public or renew you Florida notary commission over the phone. You can apply online on our website. Click Become a Notary or Renew Commission to start the online Florida notary application process.

 

 If you don't see your question listed above, please contact our Customer Care Team. We'd love to assist you. 

 

Notary Public Bond and Seal

What is a Florida notary bond?

Where can I get a Florida notary bond?

How do I file my Florida notary bond?

How much bond coverage does a Florida notary need?

What amount of bond is required in the state of Florida?

How much does a Florida notary bond cost?

How long is my Florida notary bond in effect?

What happens if someone makes a claim against my Florida notary bond?

What should I do if my Florida notary seal is lost or stolen?

May I use the Great Seal of Florida on my Florida notary stamp?

May I use an embosser as my Florida notary seal?

What type of notary seal is required in the State of Florida?

 

 

What is a Florida notary bond?

The Florida notary bond is a type of surety bond issued by an approved surety company to protect the public against any wrongdoing on the part of the Florida notary. The surety company guarantees to the public that you, as a Florida notary public, will perform your duties in accordance with the law, and if you do not, the company will pay any damages caused by the incorrect notarization up to the amount of the bond.

 

 

Where can I get a Florida notary bond?

You must purchase a Florida notary bond from a Florida licensed bonding or insurance company. Notary Public Underwriters handles this process for our customers. Our goal is to make the steps of becoming a Florida notary or renewing your Florida notary commission fast and easy.

 

 

How do I file my Florida notary bond?

If you choose Notary Public Underwriters as your bonding agency, within 24-hours​ of receiving the properly completed forms, we hand deliver your Florida notary bond, along with your Florida notary application to the Secretary of State's office.

 

 

How much bond coverage does a Florida notary need?

Florida notary bonds do not have coverage amounts similar to insurance policies. The bond amount is set by statute through the Florida legislature and is currently set at $7,500.00. Keep in mind, the notary bond only protects the public, not the notary. Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance protects the notary and offers different coverage options.

 

 

What amount of bond is required in the state of Florida?

Florida notary law requires a bond in the amount of $7,500.

 

 

How much does a Florida notary bond cost?

A $7,500, 4-year notary bond in the state of Florida costs $40 through Notary Public Underwriters.

 

 

How long is my Florida notary bond in effect?

A Florida notary bond is effective for the entire 4 years of your Florida notary commission.

 

 

What happens if someone makes a claim against my Florida notary bond?

Your surety company's claim department will investigate the claim. They will contact you to gather information about the transaction in question. They may ask for a copy of your notary journal record for the notarization and any other facts that may help them determine the basis for the claim. A pending claim does not always mean there will be financial loss for the notary. Your surety company may find the claim not to be legitimate, or they may deny the claim. However, if the claim has merit, your surety company will negotiate a settlement or pay the full amount of the bond.

 

IMPORTANT: You may be held responsible for repaying any amount the surety pays to satisfy the claim, including defense costs. Remember, the notary bond protects the public, not the notary. We highly recommend all notaries purchase notary Errors & Omissions Insurance to guard against potential financial loss due to an innocent mistake.

 

 

What should I do if my Florida notary seal is lost or stolen?

If your Florida notary seal is lost, stolen or in the possession of another person, you must notify the Florida Secretary of State immediately. Send or deliver a written letter to the Secretary of State regarding the lost or stolen seal, including the last time you used or had your Florida notary seal in your possession. The Secretary of State’s office will issue you a new commission number and notify the bonding agency of the change. Once you receive your new commission number, you can order a replacement stamp. Just be sure to send a copy of your new commission number so that we can ensure your information is correct.

 

 

May I use the Great Seal of Florida on my Florida notary stamp?

No. Florida Notaries are prohibited from using the Florida state seal.

 

 

May I use an embosser as my Florida notary seal?

No. The official Florida notary seal is a rubber stamp. However, you may use an embossing seal in addition to the rubber notary stamp, as decoration only. Notary Public Underwriters offers both seals in several styles. If you frequently notarize out-of-state or international documents, you may want to purchase an embosser seal, which is readily accepted as the notary standard around the world.

 

 

What type of notary seal is required in the State of Florida?

The official seal for Florida notaries is the rubber stamp. The stamp must contain four elements: the phrase “Notary Public-State of Florida,” your exact commission name, your notary commission number, and the expiration date of your commission. The seal must be affixed with black ink that is photographically reproducible.

 

 If you don't see your question listed above, please contact our Customer Care Team. We'd love to assist you.

 

The Office of Notary Public

What is the purpose of a Florida notary public?

Are Florida notaries licensed like other professionals?

How do I become a Florida notary public?

How do I renew my Florida notary commission?

How long is the term of office for a Florida notary public?

What are the qualifications to become a FL notary?

If I move, can I transfer my Florida notary commission?

The Florida notary commission number I had when I became a Florida notary previously is not the same as the notary commission number I received upon renewing my Florida notary commission. Shouldn't the numbers be the same?

Do I need to fill out the employer section of the Florida notary application if I'm not planning to use the Florida notary commission for my job?

I obtained my Florida notary commission through my job, do I need to notify the Secretary of State’s office if I leave my current employer?

How do I contact the Florida Secretary of State?

I've submitted my Florida notary application. Am I a Florida notary now?

Where may I notarize as a Florida Notary Public?

 

What is the purpose of a Florida notary public?


A Florida notary public is a person of integrity who is appointed to act as an impartial witness to the signing of an important transaction and to perform a notarial act, which validates the transaction. A Florida notary’s primary purpose is to prevent fraud and forgery by requiring the personal presence of the signer and satisfactorily identifying the signer.

 

 

Are Florida notaries licensed like other professionals?


No. Notaries are public officers and are appointed and commissioned by the Governor of Florida with the assistance of the Secretary of State. 

 

 

 

How do I become a Florida notary public?


You will need to complete the state required Florida notary application, purchase the required notary bond and Florida notary seal, and take the required Florida notary education course. Click 'Become a Notary' to start your Florida notary application today.

 

 

 

How do I renew my Florida notary commission?


You will need to complete the state required Florida notary application, and purchase the required notary bond and Florida notary seal. The State of Florida does require you to complete the application in full and purchase a new bond every 4 years, even though you are a renewal. Click 'Renew your Commission' to start your Florida notary application today.

 

 

 

How long is the term of office for a Florida notary public?

 

The term of office for a Florida notary public is 4 years.

 

 

 

What are the qualifications to become a FL notary?

 

— You must be at least 18 years of age or older.

— You must be a legal resident of the State of Florida.

— If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must submit a recorded Declaration of Domicile obtained from the Clerk’s Office in the county where you live.

— You must be able to read, write and understand English.

— First time applicants must take a notary public education course and furnish a signed certificate of completion with the application.

— You must read the Florida notary public laws and sign the Oath of Office.

— If ever convicted of a felony crime, you must provide a written statement of the nature of the offense, a copy of the court judgement and sentencing order and proof your civil rights have been restored.

— You must list any professional licenses or commissions (other than Notary Public) that you’ve held in the state of Florida within the past 10 years. If any have been revoked, you must submit a written statement about the nature of the action and a copy of the Final Order from the regulating agency.

— If you’ve been disciplined by a regulatory agency, including the Florida bar, and including disciplinary action that is confidential, you must submit a written statement about the nature of action and any supporting documentation, such as a copy of the Final Order from the regulating agency.

For more information about the qualifications, the application process or the costs, please review the Become a Notary page.

 

 

 

If I move, can I transfer my Florida notary commission?


You cannot transfer your Florida notary public commission to another state. Notary commissions are specific to individual states, and notary laws can vary widely between states. If you are moving out of state, you must resign your Florida notary commission and re-apply in your new state. 

 

 

 

The Florida notary commission number I had when I became a Florida notary previously is not the same as the notary commission number I received upon renewing my Florida notary commission. Shouldn't the numbers be the same?


Florida notary commission numbers are issued per notary commission, not per Florida notary. Therefore, every time you renew your term of office as a Florida Notary Public, you will be issued a new Florida notary commission number for that specified notary term. Once a Florida notary commission expires, so does that coinciding commission number.  

 

 

 

Do I need to fill out the employer section of the Florida notary application if I'm not planning to use the Florida notary commission for my job?


As required by Florida law, if you are employed you must provide your business address and business phone number on the Florida notary application. You can read the Florida Statutes 117.01 (2) here.

 

 

 

I obtained my Florida notary commission through my job, do I need to notify the Secretary of State’s office if I leave my current employer?

 

Yes, you do. According to Florida law, you must provide notification of any changes to your business address or business phone number, as well as your home address or home phone, within 60 days of the change. You will find the appropriate form here. It should be submitted to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Or you may mail it to:

Notary Public Underwriters, Inc. 
P.O. Box 5378
Tallahassee, FL 32314

We will forward your changes to the Secretary of State’s office for you.

 

 

 

How do I contact the Florida Secretary of State's office?


You can reach the Florida Secretary of State by telephone at 850.245.6975. 

 

 

 

I've submitted my Florida notary application. Am I a Florida notary now?


No. Only the Florida Secretary of State's office can make you an official Florida notary public. As your notary bonding agency, we handle your Florida notary application and manufacture your notary supplies once you are commissioned by the Florida Secretary of State's office.

 

 

 

Where may I notarize as a Florida Notary Public?


You may perform official acts anywhere within the state of Florida. However, you have no authority to act outside the state.

 

 

 

 If you don't see your question listed above, please contact our Customer Care Team. We'd love to assist you.