How to Become a Notary in Louisiana

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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How to Become a Notary in Louisiana

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

In this comprehensive guide on how to become a notary in Louisiana, 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 Louisiana

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

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements

In order to qualify as a Louisiana notary public, applicants must:

  • Be registered to vote in the parish they’re seeking a notary commission
  • Be a resident citizen/alien in Louisiana
  • Not have been convicted of a felony (unless they’ve also been pardoned)
  • Be able to read, write, and speak the English language
  • Be at least 18 years of age or older
  • Hold a high school equivalency diploma

Step 2: Complete the Application to Qualify

The next step for eligible applicants is to fill out the Application to Qualify for Appointment as a Notary Public.

Your application can be filed online, or by mailing it to the following address:

P. O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge
LA 70804-9125

You can find instructions for completing this application at the top of the form, or by calling the Notary Division at (225) 922-0507 for more information.

Note: You will need to include a $35 application fee along with your application when you submit it to the Secretary of State. This can be paid by check, money order, or a credit card stored on file on the Notary Division’s website.

Step 3: Register for Pre-Exam Assessment

Once the Secretary of State approves your application, you’ll receive instructions on how to register for the mandatory Notary Exam Pre-Assessment via email or a letter (depending on how you filed your application).

After registering, you’ll shortly be emailed login instructions by the LSU Center for Assessment and Evaluation so that you can take this pre-assessment.

When you’ve completed this assessment, the LSU will forward your score to the Office of the Secretary of State and you’ll be able to sign up for the State Notary Exam.

This test is an evaluation and does not require a passing score for you to register for the state notary exam.

Note: You cannot fail this assessment, it is simply an evaluation you must complete to be able to register for the notary exam.

Step 4: Take the State Notary Exam

You’ll be able to register to take the State Notary Exam as soon as you receive a score for your pre-assessment.

All of the above steps need to be completed in the 30-day period leading up to when you take the State Notary Exam. Given that it takes around a week to score the pre-assessment, it’s helpful to submit these as soon as possible.

In order to prepare for this examination, the Secretary of State recommends its official study guide: Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice.

Note: If you are licensed to practice law in Louisiana you will not need to take the state exam. Though you will need to demonstrate a certificate of good standing issued by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

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.

Recommended Course

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

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($198)

Step 6: File Your Oath of Office

The final step is to execute two Oath of Office forms and file them to the following entities:

  • Parish Clerk of Court — Alongside your surety bond/E&O insurance forms
  • Louisiana Secretary of State — Alongside your official signature page and certified true copy of bond/E&O signed by the parish clerk of court

If everything goes smoothly, you should soon receive your Certificate of Commission from the Secretary of State.

Note: You don’t need to wait until you have this certificate to begin notarizing. You can start on your commission date, which can be found on the Notary Public Database.

Step 7: 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 Louisiana notary journal.

The seal is used to authenticate your notarial acts, while the record book is for logging all the services that you provide as a notary.

Keep in mind that you will need an eSeal in order to perform services that relate to any electronically notarized document.

Step 8: Purchase a Course (Optional)

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

How to Become a Notary in Louisiana FAQ

How much does it cost to become a Louisiana notary?

The cost of becoming a Louisiana notary signing agent can vary depending on several factors, including exam preparation fees, notary bond premiums, and the cost of E&O insurance. Ultimately, it’s down to how much you are willing to spend. However, there are a few mandatory costs, such as a $35 application fee. To read more about the associated costs of getting commissioned, see our article on How to Become a Notary.

How hard is the Louisiana Notary exam?

The Louisiana Notary Exam is considered quite challenging due to the breadth and depth of legal knowledge it covers. Despite this, ensuring you are well prepared and sticking to a rigorous study regime are your best shots at passing. To help you prepare, make sure to take advantage of the Secretary of State’s official study guide: Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice.

What is the process of becoming a notary in Louisiana?

Assuming you meet the elementary and secondary education requirements, the application process can be broken down into five key steps: completing the Application to Qualify, taking a mandatory pre-assessment, passing the state’s notary exam, and finally, filing your oath of office and commission with the parish clerk’s office. For a more detailed look at this process, check out our article on How to Become a Notary in Louisiana.

How long do notary commissions last in Louisiana?

Notary commissions in Louisiana are for life, provided the notary continues to meet the qualifications. However, notaries must maintain a notary surety bond for as long as they hold their commission, and they must also continue to reside within the state. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in suspension or revocation of the notary commission.

How much can Louisiana notaries charge?

Louisiana law does not provide a maximum fee schedule for notarial acts, allowing notaries to set their own fees. However, it’s common for notaries to charge in the range of $5 to $10 per signature for standard documents. That being said, fees can be much higher for more complex services such as conducting real estate closings and typically are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

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