How to Become a Notary in NY

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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How to Become a Notary in NY

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 NY, 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 state-approved packages, which come with E&O insurance, notary supplies, and a surety bond.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association

Become a Notary New York

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

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements

To become a notary public in New York, you must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Live or work in New York State
  • Be able to read and write in English

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: Learn New York’s Notary Public License Law

Before proceeding further, it’s crucial that you spend some time in order to learn the New York Notary Public License Law.

This is a 22 page document that will allow you to pass your examination, and that will also provide comprehensive insights into your role as a notary public.

Examples of sections that are provided include county law, powers and duties, executive law, real property law, judiciary law, and identification of the communication technology and providers used (for electronic notarial acts).

Note: In addition to this, we recommend purchasing a third-party notary training course before sitting your exam.

This can go a long way in ensuring that you pass on your first attempt, and can also mean that you feel more comfortable to begin operating after you receive your notary commission.

Recommended Course

We recommend the National Notary Association’s state-approved packages, which come with E&O insurance, a surety bond, and the required notary tools.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association

Step 3: Pass the One-Hour NYS Notary Public Examination

Next, you need to pass the New York State Notary Public Examination ($15 fee). The test, which takes one hour, is based on the New York Notary Public License Law document linked above.

You will be able to schedule your exam by emailing the Department of State at the following email address: and typing “Schedule Notary Public Exam” in the email’s subject line. Keep in mind that your email will need to include the following information:

  • Your address, telephone number, and full legal name
  • The exam you wish to take (i.e., notary exam, etc.)
  • The exam site location you wish to book
  • The exam date(s) of your choice

You will have a selection of exam site locations and exam dates to book from. These can be found in Notary Public Examination Instructions and Schedule form.

Keep in mind that if you are an attorney that is currently a member of the New York State Bar or a court clerk of the Unified Court System who has been appointed to such a position after taking a civil service promotional examination, you will not need to take and pass this exam.

Note: Your exam results will stay valid for up to two years, meaning that you will need to file your notary public application within this timeframe in order for it to be accepted.

Step 4: Complete the State Application and Oath of Office

After passing the exam, you will need to complete the Notary Public Application form and submit it to the New York Department of State’s Division of Licensing Services alongside a $60 filing fee.

Keep in mind that an oath of office must be signed in the presence of a commissioned Notary and submitted alongside your application. Once accepted, a copy of it will be sent to the appropriate county clerk by the Department of State.

Note: Since mail applications are no longer accepted, you will need to submit your application online through the New York Department of State’s online application portal (a NY Business Express account is required).

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.

Step 6: 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 New York 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.

Recommended: Interested in getting started? Have a look at the National Notary Association’s state-approved packages, which come with E&O insurance, notary supplies, and a surety bond.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association

How to Become a Notary in NY FAQ

How much money does a notary make in NY?

A notary’s earnings in New York can vary significantly depending on their location, demand, and the types of services they offer. While they can charge up to $2 per notarized signature, many notaries supplement their income by offering other legal services or operating in roles that benefit from notary skills. Note: Notaries can receive a fee of $25 for each electronic notarial act performed.

How much is a NYS notary license?

The application fee for a notary public commission in New York is $60. Having said that, this does not include a variety of additional expenses, such as the fee for the notary exam ($15), the cost of purchasing your notary supplies, and the cost of E&O insurance. For more information, have a look at our How to Become a Notary in NY guide.

How hard is the NYS notary exam?

The difficulty of the New York State notary exam will largely depend on your individual preparation. This is because the test entails multiple-choice questions that are centered around the Notary Public License Law of New York. For more information, we recommend having a look at our How to Become a Notary article.

Can I take the NY notary test online?

No. According to the New York State Department website, candidates cannot choose to take the Notary Public exam online. Exams are scheduled via email, where you will need to provide a date, time, and location that is suitable for you. Keep in mind that the exam carries a $15 fee.

Do I need a notary surety bond in New York?

New York does not require its notaries to carry a surety bond. Even though you have the option to do this, notaries in New York tend to (generally speaking) protect themselves by purchasing E&O insurance. This protects them from liability that could arise as a result of negligence in relation to in-person or electronic notarial acts performed while operating.

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