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In this comprehensive guide on how to become a notary in Georgia, 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 Georgia
In order to become a notary in Georgia, you will need to complete a few simple steps.
Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements
All notary public applicants must meet certain basic requirements in the state of Georgia in order to be eligible. These include:
- Being at least 18 years old
- Being a legal resident of Georgia, or of a state bordering Georgia and carrying out business there
- Be a citizen or legal resident of the US
- Be able to read and write English
With the basic requirements above satisfied, you’ll be ready to continue with the rest of the notary commission process.
Step 2: Complete the Notary Application
Depending on whether your county permits online applications or not, there are two ways for you to complete your notary application in Georgia:
- Online application — If your county permits it, you can complete your application online using the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority online platform.
- Physical application — If online application is not permitted in your state, you’ll need to contact the Clerk of Superior Court in your county to obtain the form, then submit the completed notary application back to the Clerk when completed.
Note: You can check if your Georgia county allows you to complete your application online by using the GSCCCA website.
Step 3: Pay the Filing Fee and Take Your Oath of Office
Once you’ve completed your Georgia application, whether online or physically, you’ll need to pay a filing fee of $37 and take your oath of office to finish the application process.
The Clerk of Superior Court will witness your oath of office before issuing your notary certificate of appointment — this is what licenses you to perform notary services.
Step 4: Purchase a Course (Optional)
Even though this step is not a legal requirement, you should note that many Georgia notary applicants choose to invest in a notary course. This is because it can offer several benefits, such as:
- Understanding the law: Notary laws can be complex and vary from state to state. A course can help ensure that notaries fully understand Georgia notary 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 notary regulations and practices
So, while it’s not mandatory in Georgia, many aspiring notaries find value in such courses. It’s a personal decision based on individual comfort and professional goals.
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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.
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.
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Step 5: Buy Your Georgia Notary Supplies
Finally, you’ll need to obtain a seal of office in order to authenticate all your notarial acts. In order to comply with Georgia legislation, your Georgia notary stamp must contain the following pieces of information:
- Your name
- The words “Notary Public”
- Your county of appointment
- The name of the state
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How to Become a Notary in Georgia FAQ
How much can you charge as a notary in Georgia?
Notaries are not legally allowed to charge more than a maximum of $2 per notarial act. However, they are permitted to charge additional amounts for travel if the signers agree in advance. Additionally, Georgia notaries public must display a fee schedule in English at their place of work.
Can you make money as a notary in Georgia?
Yes, notaries in Georgia are allowed to charge for various different services, such as acknowledging signatures, administering oaths, and certifying copies. However, due to the nominal amounts notaries are allowed to charge for each of these acts, notaries are unlikely to make a fortune.
What disqualifies you from being a notary in Georgia?
Factors such as being convicted of a felony by a local law enforcement entity, previously having a notary commission suspended or revoked, or being found mentally incompetent by a court can all disqualify you. On top of this, there are additional eligibility criteria that individuals must meet in order to obtain a commission. We explore these in greater detail in our article on How to Become a Notary in Georgia.
Do you have to take a test to be a notary in Georgia?
No, there is no requirement for notary applicants in Georgia to pass an exam in order to become licensed as a notary. That being said, the licensing process can still be quite tricky even without an exam. For guidance on how to streamline your application, see our article on How to Become a Notary. Alternatively, you can purchase the Georgia notary handbook.
How do I become a notary public in Georgia?
To become a notary public in Georgia, you’ll first need to complete an application form either by submitting it online or to a Clerk of Superior Court. Then, all that’s left to do is pay the filing fee, take your oath of office, and purchase your official notary seal.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary page.