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In this comprehensive guide on how to become a notary in Tennessee, 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 Tennessee
In order to become a notary in Tennessee, you will need to complete a few simple steps.
Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements
Before getting started with the application process to become a notary in Tennessee, it’s important to make sure you meet the following basic requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a resident of or maintain a principal place of business in Tennessee
- Be a legal permanent resident or citizen of the US
- Be able to read and write English
- Not be convicted of bribery, larceny, or other specific offenses (unless your rights of citizenship have been restored)
To read more about the specific requirements you will need to satisfy in order to become a notary, check out the Tennessee Notary Public Handbook.
Note: Your application may be automatically denied if you have any unpaid judgments to a US state/county or are indebted to the state or federal treasury.
Step 2: Obtain and Complete an Application Form
Once confirming that you satisfy these basic requirements to become a Tennessee notary public, the next step is to obtain and complete an application form from your County Clerk’s office.
You will submit an application for election as a notary, alongside a fee of $12 to the County Clerk, who will certify your election to the Tennessee Secretary of State.
When your commission has been authorized by the governor, it will be forwarded to the County Clerk by the Secretary of State. The County Clerk will then notify you when they’ve received your notary commission certificate.
Step 3: Record Your Surety Bond and Take Your Oath of Office
Before you can commence notary duties or begin to exercise your powers, you need to purchase a surety bond.
In order to be accepted, a surety bond must meet several requirements. Namely, it must:
- Be provided by a surety company authorized to do business in Tennessee (or with two-plus acceptable personal sureties)
- Be approved by the county legislative body
- Be in the amount of $10,000
When you’ve obtained your surety bond, you’ll need to file it in the office of the County Clerk of your elected county commission in order to record this bond.
Note: While here, you’ll also be required to take an oath of office before the county clerk or deputy. After this, you’ll then be qualified to operate as a notary in Tennessee.
Step 4: Protect Yourself With Errors and Omissions Insurance
While not required by Tennessee notary 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.
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Step 5: Equip Yourself With the Necessary Supplies
Once your notary commission is approved, get yourself set up with the necessary supplies. These include a stamp or seal and a Tennessee record book.
The seal is used to authenticate your notarial acts, and the record book is for logging all the services you provide. Some websites may even sell a Tennessee notary package that contains everything you’ll need.
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Step 6: Purchase a Course (Optional)
Even though this last step is not a legal requirement, you should note that several Tennessee 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 Tennessee regulations 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 relevant regulations and practices
So, while it’s not mandatory in Tennessee, many aspiring notaries find value in such courses. It’s a personal decision based on individual comfort and professional goals.
Recommended: For all of your notary training course needs, we recommend having a look at notary.net’s all-inclusive Tennessee Notary Course ($49.95).
How to Become a Notary in Tennessee FAQ
How much does it cost to become a notary in Tennessee?
The application fee for a notary commission is $12, though you will also need to purchase a custom notary seal, which can range from $20 to $40. Notaries are also required to get a bond of $10,000, which typically costs between $50 and $100. Including potential costs for notary training, the total cost could range from $100 to $200.
How hard is it to become a notary in Tennessee?
Becoming a notary in Tennessee isn’t overly difficult if you meet the basic eligibility requirements, such as being at least 18 years old, being a resident of Tennessee, and having no criminal history. Moreover, there is no mandated exam in Tennessee, but you’ll need to fill out an application, pay a fee, and get a surety bond.
Can anyone be a notary in Tennessee?
Almost anyone can become a notary in Tennessee provided they meet the following requirements: they must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen or legal resident, a resident of Tennessee, able to read and write English, and not have committed any felonies. To read more about this process, see our article on How to Become a Notary in Tennessee.
How do you get your notary license in Tennessee?
To get your license in Tennessee, you need to submit an application to the local county clerk in the county where you reside. While the specific process of becoming a notary varies county by county, the general process remains largely similar. To read more about the general process of getting licensed, see our article on How to Become a Notary.
How long does a Tennessee notary commission last?
A Tennessee notary commission lasts for four years. After this period, notaries will need to renew their commission by repeating the application process if they want to continue performing notarial services. The renewal process includes getting a new surety bond, filling out the application, and paying the commission fee again. It should also ideally be started several weeks before the expiry of the current commission.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary page.