How Much Does it Cost to Become a Notary

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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How Much Does it Cost to Become a Notary

If you’re working towards becoming a notary public, one of the key factors to consider is the cost involved. In this How Much Does it Cost to Become a Notary article, we’ll explore the key expenses involved in this process as well as how they vary depending on your state and its specific requirements.

Factors such as the cost of application fees, notary education or training courses, and the necessary notary supplies (such as seals and journals) are all central parts of the total cost of becoming a notary

Read on to get an idea of how much you’ll need to spend to launch your career!

Recommended: Interested in getting started? Have a look at the National Notary Association’s state-approved packages, which come with E&O insurance, notary supplies, and a surety bond.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($79+)

Cost to Become a Notary

Below, we’ve broken down the common costs for you to be aware of before you can embark on this rewarding career path. 

Education and Training Requirements

Each state has their own notary education requirements. While there are exceptions, the majority will require you to complete a required training course as a prerequisite for becoming a notary public.

These courses are designed to provide aspiring notaries with knowledge and skills related to notarial acts, legal requirements, and ethical responsibilities.

Typically, the cost of these training courses ranges from around $50 to $200 depending on the provider, format (in-person or online), and the depth of the curriculum offered.

Recommended: Interested in getting started? We recommend having a look at our state-specific How to Become a Notary article.

Notary Public Exam Fee

Not all states require a separate exam to become a notary. Some states, such as Florida and South Carolina, may have alternative requirements you’ll need to satisfy (e.g., completing a notary education course or passing a background check).

For states without a notary exam requirement, the cost range of these fees should fall between $50 and $100.

Make sure to check with your specific state to get accurate and up-to-date information on exam fees, as they may differ depending on the state and the entity responsible for administering the exam.

Surety Bond Requirement

The surety bond requirement for notaries is a financial safeguard imposed by most states as part of the notary application process.

It’s a type of insurance coverage offered by a surety company to protect clients from any mistake or acts of misconduct that could cause financial harm to a client while performing a notarial act.

While the cost of your surety bond will vary depending on your state, bond provider, and qualifications, its coverage should typically range from $2,000 to $15,000. Some states may have different bond amounts or requirements, which can affect the overall cost.

Note: We recommended searching around to obtain different quotes to ensure you find the surety bonding company authorized best suited to your specific circumstances and the requirements set by your state.

Notary Application Fee

It’s very common in most states for applicants to be required to pay a small fee in order to submit an application to become a notary public. This fee usually falls between $10 and $120.

We’ve summarized the various application fees in the table below.

Errors and Omissions Insurance Cost

In contrast to a surety bond, errors and omissions (E&O) insurance protects notaries from the potential financial consequences of their negligence in the performance of their notarial duties.

The cost of an E&O policy varies depending on a number of factors, such its coverage limits, deductible amount, location, insurance provider, and any additional services or endorsements.

You can typically expect to pay between $500 to $1,000 per year in insurance premiums, though the actual cost may differ based on the aforementioned factors, your specific risk profile.

It’s important to note that E&O insurance is not mandatory in all states, but having this coverage can provide financial protection in case of lawsuits or claims related to errors or omissions in notarial acts.

Recommended Course

We recommend the National Notary Association’s state-approved packages, which come with E&O insurance, a surety bond, and the required notary tools.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($79+)

Notary Supplies

In order to properly perform your notary duties, you will need certain supplies. These include a notary stamp or seal, an official notary record book or notary journal, and any additional items required by your state.

Acquiring these supplies is quite inexpensive, and normally ranges from $30 to $100. Specific costs may vary depending on your use and preferences.

Some states may require the use of embosser seals, while others use rubber stamps. Make sure to research reputable suppliers and compare prices to find the most suitable and cost-effective notary supplies for your needs.

Renewal Fees

If you intend to maintain an active notary status after your initial notary license expires, you’ll need to renew it — which normally incurs a renewal fee.

The renewal fee amounts vary depending on the state, though generally fall between $25 and $100 (excluding insurance, surety bond, background checks, and other related expenses).

The renewal period for notaries (i.e. how often you’ll need to renew your commission) also varies by state, commonly ranging from two to 10 years.

Notary State Filing Fees

Part of the process of becoming a notary is to pay the necessary application fees in your state.

Below is an overview of the application fees associated with becoming a notary public across different states.

StateApplication FeeState Office for Notaries
Alabama$10Office of Secretary of State, Administrative Services
Alaska$40Alaska Notary Public Office
Arizona$25Arizona Secretary of State
Arkansas $20Arkansas Secretary of State, Business & Commercial Services Division
California$40California Secretary of State
Colorado$10Colorado Secretary of State
Connecticut$120Connecticut Secretary of State, Notary Public Licensing
Delaware$60Delaware Department of State, Notary Public
Florida$39State of Florida Executive Office of the Governor
Georgia$37Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority
Hawaii $20Hawaii Department of the Attorney General
Idaho$30Idaho Secretary of State
Illinois$15Illinois Secretary of State
Indiana$75Indiana Secretary of State
Iowa$30Iowa Secretary of State
Kansas$25Kansas Secretary of State
Kentucky$10Kentucky Secretary of State, Notary Commissions
Louisiana$35Louisiana Secretary of State
Maine$50Maine Department of the Secretary of State, Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions
Maryland$11Maryland Secretary of State
Massachusetts$60Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Notary Public Office
Michigan$10Michigan Department of State, Office of the Great Seal
Minnesota$120Minnesota Secretary of State
Mississippi$25Mississippi Secretary of State
Missouri$25Missouri Secretary of State, Commissions
Montana$25Montana Secretary of State
Nebraska$30Nebraska Secretary of State
Nevada$35Nevada Secretary of State
New Hampshire$75New Hampshire Department of State
New Jersey$25New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services
New Mexico$30New Mexico Secretary of State
New York$60New York Department of State
North Carolina$50North Carolina Secretary of State
North Dakota$36North Dakota Secretary of State
Ohio$15Ohio Secretary of State
Oklahoma$25Oklahoma Secretary of State
Oregon$40Oregon Secretary of State, Corporation Division
Pennsylvania$42Pennsylvania Department of State, Division of Legislation and Notaries
Rhode Island$80Rhode Island Department of State, Business Services Division
South Carolina$25South Carolina Secretary of State
South Dakota$30South Dakota Secretary of State
Tennessee$12Tennessee Secretary of State
Texas$21Texas Secretary of State
Utah$95Office of the Utah Lieutenant Governor 
Vermont$30Vermont Secretary of State, Office of Professional Regulation
Virginia$45Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Washington$40Washington State Department of Licensing 
Washington D.C.$75Mayor through the Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications, Washington, D.C.
West Virginia$52West Virginia Secretary of State, Licensing Division
Wisconsin$20Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Wyoming$60Wyoming Secretary of State

How to Become a Notary 

Becoming a notary involves a process that depends on the requirements of your state. To help you navigate the path to becoming a notary, we have outlined the general steps below:

  1. Check eligibility and requirements. Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria established by your state. This includes being of legal age, a US resident or citizen, and having a clean criminal record. 
  2. Complete qualifying education or training. Some states may require you to complete a notary education or training course. Find approved courses that meet your state’s requirements. These courses can often be completed in person or online.
  3. Pass the notary public exam. Depending on your state, you may be required to sit and pass a notary public exam before submitting your application.
  4. Obtain a notary bond or insurance. Some states require notaries to obtain a surety bond or E&O insurance as a form of financial protection.
  5. Submit a notary application. Complete the application provided by your state to become a notary. You need to fill up your personal information, check that you meet all qualifying requirements, sign an Oath of Service (either as a separate form or as a section of the application), and pay the application fee.
  6. Acquire notary supplies. Get the essential notary supplies, including a notary seal or stamp, an official journal or record book, and any other items required by your state.

Knowing the steps to becoming a notary ensures compliance with legal requirements and helps you understand the costs and fees associated with being a notary public.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Notary FAQ

How much does notary training cost?

Notary training courses can range from $40 to $200. However this cost will vary depending on the state-approved provider, format (in-person or online), and the specific curriculum you select. It’s vital to select a reputable course to ensure that you’ll have the necessary knowledge and skills to become a notary.

How much does it cost to become a notary public?

While the specific costs may vary depending on your state, becoming a notary public can require anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 (if the insurance and surety bond requirements are included). This figure is composed of several key costs, including the cost of application fees, background checks, notary education courses (if required), and the purchase of necessary supplies, such as notary stamps.

What are the requirements for a notary?

Generally, notaries are required to be at least 18 years old, a legal US resident or citizen, have no criminal record, and pass a background check. However, these requirements depending on a state-by-state basis. For a deeper look into your state’s specific requirements, make sure to check out our state-specific guides on How to Become a Notary.

How long does it take to become a notary?

Generally, becoming a notary public will take between a few weeks and months. This includes the time needed to complete an application, undergo a background check, take a course (if required), and obtain a notary seal. For more information on this topic, take a look at our How Long Does it Take to Become a Notary article.

What does a notary do?

Notaries are public officials appointed by the Secretary of State to verify the identities of signers, administer oaths or affirmations, and apply their official seal or stamp in the signing of important documents.  Find out about their duties in our What Does a Notary Do article.

Is being a notary worth it?

Yes. Becoming a notary can be worth it for those seeking additional income, expanding career opportunities, or serving their community. You can even apply to be a commissioned notary to offer remote online notary (RON) services to perform virtual notarizations. Read more about this rewarding career choice on our How to Make Money as a Notary page.