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In this comprehensive guide on how to become a notary in Alabama, we lay out the roadmap to achieving this goal. With easy-to-follow, actionable steps, we’ll help you navigate this intriguing process, turning the complex into simple.
Whether you’re looking to serve your community or generate additional income, this article will offer everything you need to know to get started.
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Become a Notary in Alabama
Keep in mind that, in Alabama, there are unique application rules and processes that are set by the probate judge of each county.
Having said that, we have outlined the general appointment process below.
Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements
In order to qualify to become an Alabama notary public, you must satisfy the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a U.S. permanent resident or citizen
- Meet all of your county’s legal requirements
- Be a resident of the Alabama county you’re applying in
Note: Unless you’ve been exonerated, you may be prevented from becoming a notary public if you’ve been convicted of a felony.
Step 2: Contact Your County Probate Judge
The first step you’ll need to take is to contact your appointing county probate judge from the Secretary of State’s website.
This will allow you to find out more about the specific appointment requirements that will be relevant to you, and can go a long way in ensuring that you follow the correct steps when filing your application for a notary commission.
Step 3: Complete an Application Form
After contacting your county probate judge, you should be provided with an application form to fill out. Please take your time to read the application’s instructions carefully in order to avoid additional processing time.
These application forms will often require you to fill out general personal information about yourself, such as your:
- Home address
- Contact number
- E-mail address
- Date of birth
Step 4: Obtain a $25,000 Surety Bond
Next, you’ll need a $25,000 surety bond for the duration of your four-year commission as a notary public.
This is an agreement between you and an authorized company to protect signers from financial harm they could suffer due to your negligence.
It is important to note that this notary bond ONLY protects the public from potential financial harm. To ensure you are protected, it’s a good idea to consider investing in an Errors and Omissions (E&O) policy.
This is a type of insurance that provides coverage for any potential mistakes or omissions that you might make as you perform notarial acts. It’s an extra layer of protection that can give you peace of mind while operating for a relatively low opportunity cost.
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Step 5: Submit Your Completed Application
After ensuring that all of the requirements in your county have been satisfied, you’ll be ready to file your application form with your county’s probate judge.
Alongside your submission, you’ll also be required to pay the state application fee, which ranges from $13 to $29.
Keep in mind that, after everything has been approved, the county probate judges report your notary commission to the Secretary of State.
Step 6: Equip Yourself with the Necessary Supplies
Once your Alabama notary public commission is approved, get yourself set up with the necessary notary supplies. These include a notary stamp or seal and an Alabama notary record book.
The seal is used to authenticate your notarial acts, and the record book is for logging all the notary services that you will provide.
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Step 7: Purchase a Course (Optional)
While there is no state requirement to complete mandatory training, some local probate judges may require it. Even where this is not the case, many Alabama notary applicants choose to invest in a notary course because it can offer several key benefits, such as:
- Understanding the Law: Notary law can be complex and vary from state to state. A course can help ensure that Alabama notaries fully understand the relevant applicable law and how to apply it correctly
- Professional Development: A course can enhance professional skills, making a notary more effective and competent in their role
- Reducing Liability: By better understanding the rules and best practices, notaries can reduce the risk of making errors that could result in legal action
- Increased Confidence: A notary course can boost a notary’s confidence by giving them a solid foundation of knowledge and expertise to draw from
- Staying Updated: Laws and procedures change over time. A course can help notaries stay current with any changes in the notary signing agent regulations and practices
So, while it’s not always mandatory in Alabama, many aspiring notaries find value in such courses. It’s a personal decision based on individual comfort and professional goals.
Recommended: For all of your notary training course needs, we recommend having a look at notary.net’s all-inclusive education course. Alabama Notary Course ($49.95).
How to Become a Notary in Alabama FAQ
How much does it cost to become a notary in the state of Alabama?
The three primary costs associated with becoming a notary public appointed in Alabama will be the application fee (which ranges from $13–$29), the $25,000 notary bond, and the cost of obtaining the necessary notary supplies. However, additional expenses may vary depending on your county’s specific application process. For more information, see our article on How to Become a Notary in Alabama.
What are the duties of a notary public in Alabama?
Notary publics in Alabama are responsible for a host of duties, including but not limited to, verifying identities, administering oaths and affirmations, witnessing signatures, and ensuring the authenticity of documents. In the performance of their duties, notaries must follow Alabama’s laws and guidelines.
How much do most notaries charge?
Notary publics in Alabama are authorized to charge $5 per notarial act plus extra for travel costs as long as the signers consent to these fees beforehand. This is on par with most other states in the U.S. To find out more about how you can start earning as a notary, see our article on How to Become a Notary.
Does Alabama recognize online notarization?
Yes, Alabama has recognized online notarization since 2021 — when it passed the Alabama Remote Online Notary Act. However, notaries can only perform remote online notarizations (RONs) when taking an acknowledgment and must abide by specific regulations when doing so.
How long does a notary commission last in Alabama?
An Alabama notary commission is valid for four years. However, by submitting a renewal application before the expiration date of their current commission, notaries public can extend this by another four years. See the Alabama Secretary of State’s website for more information on the requirements needed to submit a renewal application.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary page.