How to Become a Notary in Wisconsin

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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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 Wisconsin, 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, a surety bond, and four years of notary hotline phone support.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($107)

Become a Notary in Wisconsin

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

Step 1: Meet the Eligibility Requirements

In order to become a Notary Public under Wisconsin Statute, you must:

  • Be a resident of the United States
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have at least the equivalent of an eighth-grade education
  • Pass the online Wisconsin Notary Public exam
  • Be able to demonstrate adherence to Wisconsin Statutes with regard to arrests, citations, and convictions

Note: If you’ve been convicted of a felony that involves a breach of public trust in a federal or state court, you may be unable to be commissioned as notaries public unless you’ve been pardoned.

Step 2: Pass the Notary Public Exam

Once you’ve confirmed that you satisfy the eligibility requirements above, the next step is to pass the online Notary Public Exam with 90% or better.

There is a tutorial available for you to read outlining your future duties before taking this exam. For any questions you may have that aren’t covered by this tutorial, be sure to contact the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

You will receive a certificate once you obtain a passing grade on the final exam. Print this off and keep it safe, as you will need it at a later stage of your application.

Note: Don’t worry if 90% sounds tricky to achieve, you can take this exam an unlimited number of times until you achieve a passing mark. You can also choose to purchase a third-party course in order to help you prepare.

Recommended Course

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

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($107)

Step 3: Buy Your Surety Bond

All applicants applying for a four-year Wisconsin notary public commission are required to obtain a surety bond and notary seal.

Your surety bond is in place to protect any members of the public who are harmed as a result of potential negligence or notary errors you may commit.

A surety company agrees to be legally liable for these damages, up to $500. However, if you’re sued for any damages greater than this amount, you will be personally responsible for everything beyond $500.

To be an acceptable notary bond under Wisconsin Statutes, several requirements must be met. Namely, it must:

  • Be a specific bond of $500 (i.e., not a “blanket bond” for employment purposes)
  • Provided by an insurance company that is licensed to sell surety bonds in Wisconsin

Step 4: Buy Your Notary Supplies

Before you complete the application form, it is your responsibility to purchase an official seal or rubber stamp.

There are no requirements with regards to the shape or size of the seal/stamp, only that it MUST contain your name, the phrase “Notary Public”, and “State of Wisconsin”.

A shortened version of your first name, or initials, may be used, however, your last name must be included on the stamp in full.

Note: When performing notarial acts in the future, you will sign your name exactly as included on your notary stamp.

Step 5: Complete the Online Notary Application

With your surety bond and seal/stamp sorted, you’ll be ready to complete the Wisconsin Notary Online Application.

Once completed, you must email/mail the following to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI):

  • Your completed application form
  • Your printed-out notary exam certificate
  • Your surety bond form
  • Your oath of office form
  • $20 fee addressed to the Wisconsin DFI
Email the above documents to: DFINotary@wisconsin.govORMail the above documents to:
Notary Records Section
WI Dept of Financial Institutions
PO Box 7847 Madison WI 53707-7847

Note: If your application is approved, the Wisconsin DFI will shortly notify you via email.

Step 6: 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: Interested in getting started? Have a look at the National Notary Association’s packages, which include all state-required notary supplies, a surety bond, and four years of notary hotline phone support.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($107)

How to Become a Notary in Wisconsin FAQ

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

The cost to become a notary public in Wisconsin includes a $20 application fee, the cost of purchasing your $500 surety bond, and the cost of your seal. To find out more, see our article on How to Become a Notary.

How do you become a public notary in Wisconsin?

You must be at least 18 years old, be a resident of or employed in the state, and have no felony convictions unless pardoned. After completing the application, pay a $20 application fee, obtain a $500 surety bond, and obtain a notary seal or stamp. To find out more about this process, see our How to Become a Notary in Wisconsin article.

Does Wisconsin allow online notaries?

Yes, as of 2020, Wisconsin permits remote online notarization (RON); it is the 23rd state to authorize RONs. This allows notaries to perform remote notarizations via audio-video communication for signers located anywhere, given the notary is physically located in Wisconsin at the time of notarization.

How much do most Wisconsin notaries charge?

A Wisconsin notary public can charge up to a maximum of $5 per notarial act as prescribed by the state. This fee can increase if additional services are provided, such as travel for mobile notaries. However, it’s important to disclose all fees to the client upfront.

How long is the notary public commission in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, the notary commission lasts four years. This means that, once you are commissioned, you’re able to perform notarial acts for a period of four years. After this period of time, you would need to renew your commission if you wish to continue serving as a notary public.

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