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In this comprehensive guide on how to become a notary in Iowa, 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 Iowa
In order to become a notary in Iowa, you will need to complete a few simple steps.
Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements
If you want to apply to become a notary public in Iowa, you must first satisfy the following basic requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident
- Live or work in Iowa, or a state that borders Iowa
- Be able to read and write English
- Not have been convicted of a felony involving fraud, dishonesty, or deceit
Step 2: Complete the Application for Appointment as Notary Public Form
If you meet the eligibility requirements outlined above, you’ll be ready to complete the Application for Appointment as Notary Public form.
Instructions for filling out this document can be found at the end of the application form. Make sure to read through them as incorrect or incomplete applications will be returned.
Once you’ve completed your application, mail it to the following address along with a $30.00 filing fee:
SECRETARY OF STATE
Lucas Building, 1st Floor
Des Moines, IA 50319
Note: Your oath of office is contained within this application form, so by filling it out you are also completing your oath.
Step 3: Receive Your Notary Commission
If your application is successful, the Secretary of State will shortly send you your commission certificate.
Congratulations! You’re now officially qualified to notarize documents in the state of Iowa and will be able to do so from the starting date listed on your commission certificate.
Note: You can contact the Iowa Secretary of State for any queries you might have regarding the application process by calling (515)281-5204.
Step 4: 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 each notarial act. 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: Equip Yourself With the Necessary Supplies
Once your commission is approved, get yourself set up with the necessary supplies. These include a notary stamp or seal and a record book.
The seal is used to authenticate your notarial acts, and the record book is for logging all the notary services you provide.
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Step 8: Purchase a Course (Optional)
Even though this last step is not a legal requirement, you should note that several Iowa applicants choose to invest in a training course. This is because it can offer several benefits, such as:
- Understanding the Law: Iowa notary law can be complex and vary from state to state. A course can help ensure that Iowa notaries fully understand relevant laws and how to apply them correctly
- Professional Development: A course can enhance professional skills, making a notary signing agent 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 training 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 Iowa, 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 Iowa FAQ
How much is it to become a notary in Iowa?
Outside of the $30 fee to submit your application form, the only other significant cost is that of your necessary supplies (e.g., your notarial seal and notary journal). Unlike in a number of other states, it’s not necessary to obtain a surety bond as a notary in Iowa, which can save you a little on the startup cost.
How do I become an electronic notary in Iowa?
While filling out your application form, you’ll need to tick the box indicating you want to perform remote online notarization and then complete the Application for Approval to Perform Notarial Acts for Remotely Located Individuals form. More information regarding remote notarial acts and the notary training necessary for a remote online notary can be found on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website. See our How to Become a Notary article for more information.
How long does a notary commission last in Iowa?
A notary commission in Iowa typically lasts for three years from its starting date. After this period, you will need to renew your commission in order to continue working as an Iowa notary public. Renewal requirements may include submitting an application, paying the renewal fee, and meeting any additional criteria set by the Iowa Secretary of State’s office.
How do I become a notary public in Iowa?
To become a notary public in Iowa, you must meet the eligibility requirements set by the Iowa Secretary of State’s office before completing an application and paying the required fees. For more detailed information on how to complete this process, see our article on How to Become a Notary in Iowa.
How do I renew my notary commission in Iowa?
To renew your notary commission in Iowa, you must submit a renewal application before your current commission expires. This typically involves completing an application form, paying the renewal fee, and waiting for your new commission certificate to be issued to you.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary page.