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In this comprehensive guide on how to become a notary in Connecticut, we lay out the roadmap to achieving this goal. With easy-to-follow, actionable steps, we’ll help you navigate this intriguing process.
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 Connecticut
In order to become a notary in Connecticut, you will need to complete a few simple steps.
Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements
To become a notary public in Connecticut, you must satisfy the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a resident or have a principal place of business in the state of Connecticut
- Not have been engaged in notarial misconduct in the past
- Not have had your notary commission revoked, suspended, or restricted in Connecticut or in a different state
Note: Meeting these basic requirements is your starting point. Once you’ve confirmed that you satisfy them, you will be able to proceed with the next steps.
Step 2: Review the Connecticut Notary Public Manual
Before proceeding further, you will want to take some time in order to review and learn the Connecticut Notary Public Manual.
This document contains information relating to the application process, as well as to your scope as a notary public. Important sections that you will need to learn include:
- Application for Appointment as a Notary Public
- Appointment of the Notary Public
- Duties and Responsibilities of the Notary Public
The notary public manual contains the information that you will be tested on during your application’s exam. You will need to answer each question correctly in order to receive your notary commission, so make sure that you know the content before you start your application, rather than before you begin operating as a notary.
Step 3: Complete a Jurat and Writing Sample
This step is required for all new notary applications, as well as for reinstatements.
You will need to complete a jurat and writing sample in your own handwriting, which contains the following four questions:
- Write out the complete form of acknowledgment for either an individual or a corporation
- Write out the form that a notary public would complete when a sworn statement (affidavit) is made
- Write out the oath administered to a notary public
- Describe the ceremony of administering an oath
Note: The last section of the form will require you to provide a signature and affirm — under penalty of false statement — that your answers are truthful. This needs to be done in front of an already-commissioned notary public.
Step 4: Find Someone to Complete Your Certificate of Character
Before starting your application, you will need to find someone to complete your Certificate of Character.
The person that you find can be:
- A reputable business
- A reputable professional person
- A public official
The person you choose will also need to be completely unrelated to you, and will need to have known you for at least one year.
This step is meant to ensure that all commissioned notaries will operate in an equitable and virtuous manner.
Step 5: Protect Yourself With Errors and Omissions Insurance
While not required by Connecticut law, it’s a good idea to consider protecting yourself with Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance.
This type of insurance provides coverage for 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 6: Complete Your Notary Commission Application
After you’ve completed all of the above steps, you will be ready to start your application for a notary commission. This can be done online only.
You can get started through the State of Connecticut’s eLicense portal. Keep in mind that you will need to create an account in order to get started.
The fee for your notary commission application is $120. If you are an active state employee, you will not be required to pay this fee (can attest to this in question 18 of the application).
Note: After your completed application form has been submitted to the Secretary of State, you should receive an email with your notary certificate of appointment within five business days.
Keep in mind that if you have previously been a notary in Connecticut but your commission has lapsed, you will need to email the Connecticut Secretary of State office and request a reinstatement instead.
Step 7: Complete Your Oath of Office
Your certificate of appointment (emailed to you following the approval of your application), will contain a panel for recording the administration of your oath of office.
Even though your oath can be administered by any person authorized to administer oaths (e.g., another notary public, etc.), most notaries find it convenient to take the oath of office from the town clerk at the same time they record their certificate.
This is because the town clerks will be authorized to administer your oath of office.
Note: The oath of office and notary certificate must be recorded with the town clerk in the town in which each notary resides (for resident applicants). Non-residents must record with the town clerk of the town where their principal place of business is held.
This must be done within 30 days of receiving your certificate of appointment.
Step 8: Equip Yourself With the Necessary Supplies
Once your electronic notary commission is approved, you will need to set yourself up with the necessary notary supplies.
These include a notary stamp or seal and a Connecticut notary journal.
The seal is used to authenticate your notarial acts, while the record book is for logging all the notary services that you provide as a notary.
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Step 9: Purchase a Course (Optional)
Even though this last step is not a legal requirement, you should note that several Connecticut 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 Connecticut notary laws and how to apply them 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 Connecticut, many aspiring notaries find value in such courses. It’s a personal decision based on individual comfort and professional goals.
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How to Become a Notary in Connecticut FAQ
How much does it cost to become a notary in Connecticut?
Becoming a notary in Connecticut entails several costs. The application fee for your notary public certification is $120, but additional expenses like notary supplies, E&O insurance, and optional educational courses can increase your total cost. For more information, see our How to Become a Notary in Connecticut article.
What can a notary do in Connecticut?
In Connecticut, a notary has the authority to conduct various legal duties. These include performing acknowledgments, administering oaths or affirmations, taking affidavits and depositions, and witnessing signatures. In essence, notaries serve as impartial witnesses to deter fraud and ensure that people are signing documents willingly.
Can a Connecticut notary notarize for a family member?
While a Connecticut notary can notarize documents for family members, there are exceptions. Notaries should not perform a notarial act if they or their spouse have a direct financial or beneficial interest in the transaction. This helps maintain impartiality and uphold the integrity of the notarial act. See our How to Become a Notary article for more information.
Does Connecticut have notary signing agents?
Yes, you can be a notary signing agent in Connecticut. This is usually done in relation to real estate transactions. Notary signing agents are notaries public with additional training that specialize in handling and notarizing loan-related documents. They undertake a crucial role during closing processes, where they are responsible for ensuring that documents have been correctly executed.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary page.