How to Become a Notary in Arkansas

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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How to Become a Notary in Arkansas

Looking to make a difference in your community? Let us guide you on a rewarding journey toward a unique profession.

In this comprehensive guide on how to become a notary in Arkansas, 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: Interested in getting started? Have a look at the National Notary Association’s packages, which include all state-required notary supplies, a surety bond, and ten years of notary hotline phone support.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($139)

How to Become a Notary Arkansas

In order to become a notary in Arkansas, you will need to complete a few simple steps.

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements

In order to be considered eligible, an Arkansas Notary Public applicant must:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years old
  • Be a US citizen or permanent legal resident
  • Reside in Arkansas, or in a bordering state but work in Arkansas
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Not have had a commission revoked in the 10 years preceding application
  • Never have been convicted of a felony

Step 2: Buy a $7,500 Surety Bond

Once these basic requirements are satisfied, you’ll need to purchase a surety bond at the value of $7,500. This applies even if you are renewing your notary commission.

This surety bond can be bought from either:

  • A surety insurer that is licensed to do business in Arkansas
  • A general Arkansas corporation registered with the Arkansas Insurance Department

The purpose of this notary bond is to keep the general public of Arkansas protected from any potential financial harm they may suffer as a result of a notary’s negligence.

Note: Ensure your name appears on your Arkansas notary bond EXACTLY as you want it to later appear on your seal of office.

Recommended Course

Have a look at the National Notary Association’s packages, which include all state-required notary supplies, a surety bond, and ten years of notary hotline phone support.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($139)

Step 3: Pass the Online Notary Exam

Next, you’ll need to register to take your online notary exam by creating an account with Arkansas’s Notary Management System.

From this platform, you can take your notary exam by navigating to the “Notary Public Registration” option from the “Notary” drop-down menu.

All applicants are required to achieve a minimum passing grade of 80% to be able to continue with their notary public application.

Note: Invaluable information to help you prepare for this exam can be found in the Arkansas Notary Public Handbook, in addition to the study resources on the Secretary of State’s FAQ page. You can also choose to purchase a third-party course in order to help you prepare.

Step 4: Complete Your Notary Application

After passing the online notary exam, the online portal will immediately direct you to the notary application page. You’ll need to fill out these details now or retake the exam and complete it at a later time.

Once you’ve completed your application form, the next step is to get this document notarized by a notary in good standing in Arkansas. This can be checked using the “Notary Public” button on the Business and Commercial Services homepage.

Then, return your notarized application by mail or in person, along with a copy of your surety bond and $20 to the following address:

Arkansas Secretary of State
Business & Commercial Services Division
Victory Building
1401 W. Capitol Ave., Suite 250
Little Rock, AR 72201

After your application has been successfully processed, you’ll receive an email notification and hard copies of the corresponding documents around 7–10 business days after this.

Note: Non-resident aliens permanently residing in Arkansas are required to file a recorded Declaration of Domicile to the Secretary of State alongside their application and surety bond.

Step 5: Take Your Oath of Commission with the Recorder of Deeds

Upon being approved, the Secretary of State should issue you two oath of commission certificates. After checking that your name and county of commission are accurate, you’ll need to take both of these to your county of commission’s Recorder of Deeds.

Both of these certificates will be signed by a notary public in the presence of the Circuit Clerk, who will then file one of these certificates and your bond in their office.

Once this is done, you’ll need to return the second completed oath of commission to the Arkansas Secretary of State. In some cases, your county may do this on your behalf.

Only after these certificates have been filed with both the Recorder of Deeds and Secretary of State will you be sent your certificate of commission and notary public ID card.

Note: Make sure to contact the Secretary of State’s office immediately if any of the information appearing in either of your oaths of commission is incorrect.

Step 6: Buy Your Notary Seal

It is common for stamp makers to request to see your ID card or completed oath certificate before issuing you your seal of office. For this reason, it is ideal to only purchase your official notary seal once you’ve completed the steps outlined above.

It is up to you to choose where to buy your stamp from, though it must abide by the following requirements:

  • It must be in blue or black ink
  • It must contain your name as it appears in your official signature
  • It must contain your county of commission
  • It must contain the words “Notary Public” and “Arkansas”
  • It must contain the expiration date of your commission
  • It must contain your commission number

In addition to these requirements, the Arkansas Notary Handbook specifically states that your seal of office may NOT include:

  • Great Seal of the State of Arkansas
  • Outline of the State of Arkansas

Note: For any queries you may have about the notary process in Arkansas, you can contact the Business and Commercial Services Division at (501) 682-3409 or by emailing notary@sos.arkansas.gov.

Step 7: 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.

Recommended: Interested in getting started? Have a look at the National Notary Association’s packages, which include all state-required notary supplies, a surety bond, and ten years of notary hotline phone support.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($139)

How to Become a Notary in Arkansas FAQ

How do I become a certified notary in Arkansas?

To become a certified notary in Arkansas, you need to obtain a surety bond, pass the notary exam, submit an application to the Secretary of State, and finally, take your oath of commission. For a more detailed look into the process of getting a notary commission, see our article on How to Become a Notary in Arkansas.

How do I become a remote notary in Arkansas?

Since April 2021, Arkansas notaries have been able to register to perform remote online notarization (RON). In order to be able to do so, however, notaries must meet several additional requirements, including taking a course, passing an exam, and acquiring a notary journal.

How much can notaries in Arkansas charge?

Unlike in many other states, the fee amounts aren’t set by Arkansas notary law. This means it’s down to the notary and client to negotiate a price for each notarial act. When looking to determine how much to charge, always research local practices to get a good idea of the value of your services.

Do I need to take any training or exams to become an Arkansas notary?

Notary applicants in Arkansas do not need to complete any mandatory training. However, they do need to take and pass an online exam in order to complete their application. To read more about the general notary application process, see our article on How to Become a Notary.

How long does an Arkansas notary commission last?

An Arkansas notary commission is valid for a term of 10 years. After 10 years, you must apply for reappointment and complete the necessary steps to renew your commission. For this reason, it’s important to keep track of your commission’s expiration date and start the renewal process in a timely manner to continue serving as a notary signing agent.

For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary page.