Looking to make a difference in your community? Let us guide you on a rewarding journey towards a unique profession.
In this comprehensive guide on how to become a notary in Florida, 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.
Recommended: Form an LLC with NorthWest Registered Agent in order to ensure that your personal assets are protected in the event of a negligence lawsuit.
Becoming a Notary in Florida
In order to become a notary in Florida, you will need to complete a few simple steps.
Step 1: Meet the Eligibility Requirements
To qualify for a notary license in Florida, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a legal resident of Florida
- Not have been convicted of a felony (unless your civil rights have been restored)
- Have read Chapter 117 of the Florida Statutes of Being a Notary Public
Note: If you have been convinced of a felony, you will need to provide the following materials in order to apply:
- A written statement of your charges and life post-conviction
- Journal entries (sentencing order and judgment) copies to the state
- A Restoration of Civil Rights Certificate (RCR)
Step 2: Complete an Approved Education Course
The state of Florida requires you to complete a three-hour notary education course that is approved by the state of Florida.
This course provides you with essential knowledge about your responsibilities and the legal requirements of being a notary.
Note: After you complete your course, you will have up to one year to file your application with the Florida Department of State.
Step 3: Purchase a $7,500 Surety Bond
You will then need to contact a bonding agency that is approved to operate in Florida in order to purchase a $7,500 surety bond.
Several of these bonding agencies offer “one-stop-shopping”, meaning that they allow prospective notaries to make one payment to them in exchange for:
- Providing a notary application
- Paying the relevant state fees
- Writing your notary bond
- Supplying your notary seal
Keep in mind that, although the state fee of $39 is fixed, this is not the case with bond premiums. These are priced competitively and thus can range significantly depending on the bonding agency and/or Florida notary service that you work with.
Step 4: Complete the Notary Application
You will need to complete all of the required information on your Notary Public Commission Application.
Besides your personal information (e.g., full name, address, social security number (SNN), etc.), you will be required to fill in the answer to eight different questions, such as whether you are a legal resident of Florida, whether you have ever been commissioned as a notary in Florida in the past, and whether you are a wartime veteran.
You will also need to have a person that has known you for over one year complete the “Affidavit of Character” section.
Finally, you will need to sign the “Oath of Office” and “Bond of Notary Public” part of the application.
Step 5: Protect Yourself with Errors and Omissions Insurance
While not required by law, it’s a good idea to consider protecting yourself with Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance before you begin operating as a notary.
This type of insurance 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.
Purchase E&O Insurance with Next Insurance
Next Insurance is a fully online provider dedicated to low-cost, high-protection coverage for small businesses.
Step 6: Pay the Filing Fee and Submit Your Application
After you have purchased your E&O insurance and completed the Notary Public Commission Application, you’ll need to pay a fixed $39 filing fee and submit it to the Florida Department of State.
Keep in mind that all non-US citizens will need to get a recorded Application of Domicile form from the county clerk’s office before filing an application.
Step 7: Obtain Notary Supplies
Finally, you’ll need to obtain your notary supplies.
This includes your notary stamp or seal, as well as your notary journal (used to maintain a record of all of your notarial acts).
Remember that, as a notary, you will serve a vital role in your community. This responsibility requires diligence, precision, and a high ethical standard.
Recommended: Interested in getting started? We recommend having a look at notary.net’s affordable and state-specific notary supplies package.
How to Become a Notary in Florida FAQ
How much does it cost to be a notary in Florida?
Becoming a notary in Florida can cost around $100 to $250. This estimate includes a $39 state filing fee, the price of a mandatory education course, the premium for a $7,500 notary bond, and the cost of notary supplies, including your notary seal.
How long does it take to become a Florida notary?
On average, it can take between 2-4 weeks to become a notary in Florida. This timeline includes completion of the required education course and processing time for the application and receipt of your notary commission certificate.
How much money can a notary make in Florida?
Income for a Florida notary can vary greatly, depending largely on their level of activity. Notaries can charge up to $10 per notarial act and additional fees for services like travel. Some Florida notaries might earn a few hundred dollars per year, while others could earn significantly more.
Is it easy to become a notary in Florida?
Becoming a notary in Florida involves a series of straightforward steps, including completing a three hour Florida notary education course, filling out a Florida notary application, and purchasing a notary bond. Numerous resources are available to guide applicants through the process (e.g., working with a third-party notary package service, etc.).
What does a Florida notary do?
A Florida notary public verifies the identities of individuals signing documents, witnesses these signings, and ensures signers understand document contents and are not acting under duress. Notaries also administer oaths, record all notarial acts in a journal, and use a notary seal to certify their notarial acts. For more information, see our How to Become a Notary article.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary page.