How to Become a Notary in Hawaii

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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How to Become a Notary in Hawaii

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 Hawaii, 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 as well as four years of notary hotline phone support.

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Become a Notary in Hawaii

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

Step 1: Meet the Eligibility Requirements

First, you’ll need to meet the basic eligibility requirements below:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S. seeking citizenship
  • Be a resident of the state of Hawaii
  • Be at least 18 years old

If you already meet these qualifications, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step: completing an application form.

Note: If you are looking to become a notary signing agent (i.e., in order to kickstart a loan signing career), it is important to note that this role can require additional qualifications.

Step 2: Complete an Application Form

Notary public applications are completed online using the Governor of State’s website after you’ve created an eHawaii account.

If the Attorney General approves of your application, you will be shortly contacted by email to notify you of this.

Note: Unless you’re exempt, you’ll be required to pay a fee of $20 in order to submit your notary application.

Step 3: Submit Your Letter of Justification and Character

Two letters should accompany your Hawaii notary application:

  • Letter of Justification — A text detailing the reasons an applicant is applying for a notary commission plus an estimation of how many notarial acts he/she will perform and the type of documents he/she will notarize. Must be written by an officer/partner of the applicant’s company
  • Letter of Character — A text vouching for the applicant’s integrity/moral character. Must be written by a reputable Hawaii resident (that is not an employer/relative) who is able to vouch based on a previous association with the applicant

Note: If you’re self-employed, you will be able to write your own letter of justification.

Step 4: Register and Pass the Notary Public Exam

Once you’ve been notified that your application has been approved by the notary general, the next step is to log into your notary account and set up an exam using the Hawaii Notary Exam Scheduler.

When this has been arranged, you should receive an email containing the date, time, and location of your exam.

You must score 80% or higher on this closed-book test in order to pass. If you fail the exam, there might be an additional fee and/or delay before you can restart the application process.

Upon paying the $100 fee you should receive your notary commission; keep in mind that there are a few administrative rules you’ll need to follow before you can legally perform notary acts.

Note: To learn more about the notary public office and ensure you’re prepared for this exam, see the Hawaii Notary Manual.

Recommended Course

Have a look at the National Notary Association’s packages, which include all state-required notary supplies as well as four years of notary hotline phone support.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($154)

Step 5: Buy Your Notary Seal and Journal

After you pass the notary exam, you’ll be required to purchase an official notary stamp to authenticate and record all notarial acts.

Official notary seals must meet the following requirements to be acceptable:

  • Be a circular rubber stamp
  • Measure no more than two inches in diameter
  • Have a serrated or milled edge border
  • Contain your name, commission number, and the words “notary public” and “State of Hawaii”

Similarly, all official notary journals must meet the following requirements:

  • Be bound with a soft cover
  • Not measure more than 11 inches tall and 16 ½ inches wide (when fully open)
  • Have consecutively numbered pages

Note: Your seal must be delivered to the Attorney General within 90 days of your death, resignation, or commission expiration.

Step 6: Purchase a $1,000 Surety Bond

After obtaining your notary journal and seal, each notary public needs to obtain a $1,000 surety bond from a surety company authorized to do business in the state of Hawaii.

Your surety bond needs to be approved by a judge of the circuit court in which you reside before you can continue onto the next step.

Note: This bond does not protect you from the financial harm of any mistakes you may make in the performance of your duties, but rather the general Hawaii public. To protect yourself, you’ll need Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance.

Step 7: Protect Yourself with Errors and Omissions Insurance

While not required by Hawaii’s statutory laws, 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.

Step 8: File Your Notary Seal & Surety Bond

Finally, you’ll need to submit the following documents to the clerk of any circuit court:

  • A photocopy of your notary commission
  • An impression of your notary seal
  • An example of your official notary signature

Congratulations! You’re now licensed as a notary in Hawaii and are able to offer notarial services.

Step 9: Purchase a Course (Optional)

Even though this last step is not a legal requirement, you should note that several Alaska 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 Alaska 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 Alaska, many aspiring notaries find value in such courses. It’s a personal decision based on individual comfort and professional goals.

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

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($154)

How to Become a Notary in Hawaii FAQ

How much does it cost to become a notary public in Hawaii?

There are four main components to the cost of becoming a notary public in Hawaii: the application fee ($20), the commission fee ($100), the official surety bond, and the cost of your notary supplies (e.g., your stamp and journal). Depending on the surety bond and notary supplies you choose, the total cost should fall within the $150–$200 range.

Do I need to take any training or exams to become a Hawaii notary?

There are no requirements for Hawaii notaries to complete any mandatory training, however, all applicants are required to pass the notary exam in order to obtain their commission. Make sure to check out our guide on How to Become a Notary in Hawaii for guidance on how to prepare for this examination.

How do I become a mobile notary in Hawaii?

Before you can qualify to become a remote online notary public in Hawaii, you must already possess a valid commission as a standard notary public. To find out more about the general process of becoming a traditional notary public, see our article on How to Become a Notary.

How much do most notaries charge?

In Hawaii, notaries public may charge up to $5 per notarial act, though additional fees may be charged separately for unofficial notary services (e.g., fees for travel). The only requirements are that the signer must agree to these fees in advance, and they cannot exceed the actual expense that the fee pertains to.

How long does a Hawaii notary commission last?

In Hawaii, a notary commission typically lasts four years. After this initial term, you can apply for reappointment if you meet the renewal requirements. If you satisfy these requirements, you’ll be sent a renewal application two months before your notary commission expiration date and can submit your application through the Hawaii Online Notary Public website.

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