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In this comprehensive guide on how to become a notary in Maryland, 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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How to Become a Notary Maryland
In order to become a notary in Maryland, you will need to complete a few simple steps.
Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements
To become a notary public in Maryland, you must meet certain criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be known of good moral character, integrity, and abilities
- Reside in or have a place of employment or practice in Maryland
Note: In order to satisfy the second requirement, you will need to find three character references. These cannot be family members or employers, and are recommended to be Maryland residents.
Step 2: Take a Notary Training Course and Pass Your Exam
Next, you will need to take a training course (with an exam) from a Maryland-approved provider.
You can find a list of authorized course providers through the Maryland Secretary of State’s List of Authorized Notary Public Course of Study and Examination Providers.
The course will include information that relates to:
- Notary services you will be commissioned to perform
- The notarization process for traditional and remote notarizations
- Your role as a notary public in Maryland
- Examples of notary misconduct and negligence
After you complete your course and pass the exam, you will receive a certificate of completion. Keep in mind that you will need this when filing your application with the Maryland Secretary of State.
For all of your Maryland notary training course needs, StateRequirement recommends Notary.net
Step 3: Complete Your Notary Public Application Online
Next, you will need to complete your notary public application.
This can be done online by visiting the Maryland OneStop website and selecting the “Apply for a New Notary Commission” option.
Before you start, you should:
- Be fully familiar with the Handbook for Maryland Notaries Public
- Be able to provide information on your three character references (e.g., email, full name, address, phone, etc.)
- Have an digital image of your driver’s license or government-issued ID
- Be able to provide a digital image of your certificate of completion (education course)
- Be able to provide a digital image of your certificate of passing (exam)
Keep in mind that you will need a change of address card if your license or government ID shows a different current address than the one you included in your application.
Note: You will have 30 minutes to complete your application and pay the required filing fee ($11). After that, you will be automatically logged off and will lose all of your information.
Step 4: Finalizing Your Maryland Notary Commission
After you send your application, it will be forwarded to your state senator for endorsement.
If your senator approves your application, it will be returned to the Maryland Secretary of State, who will then send your Notary commission to the county clerk.
You will then have 30 days (notice will be given via email) in which you will need to appear before the county clerk of the circuit court in order to take your oath of office, pay an $11 fee, and collect your commission certificate.
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 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 6: Equip Yourself With the Necessary Supplies
Once your notary commission is approved, get yourself set up with the necessary notary supplies.
These include a notary seal or stamp and a notary journal.
The notary stamp is used to authenticate every notarial act you perform, while the record book is for logging all the services you provide (e.g., tangible or electronic records, etc.).
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How to Become a Notary in Maryland FAQ
How much does it cost to become a notary in the state of Maryland?
The cost of filing your application is $11 ($9 processing fee + $2 convenience fee). Having said that, there are additional costs that you will have to incur in order to become a notary in Maryland, such as purchasing E&O insurance, your notary supplies, and an online educational course. See our How to Become a Notary article for more information.
How long is the MD notary course?
This will depend on the course that you purchase, as well as on your unique schedule. Generally speaking, most courses will allow you to complete them in your own time, and will all include a state-mandatory exam in the end. Keep in mind that even though a surety bond and E&O insurance isn’t required in Maryland, they can be included in course providers’ packages.
How do I become a mobile notary in MD?
In order to become a mobile Maryland notary public, you will need to hold an existing commission as a traditional notary public, contract with a remote online notarization technology provider, and complete the Remote Notary Notification Form. You will then need to send it (alongside a copy of your commission) to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. This will enable you to perform remote notarial acts.
Do you have to take a class to be a notary in Maryland?
Yes you do. In order to become a notary in Maryland, you will need to complete an educational course from an approved provider.
This will include an exam. Your certificate of completion will need to be provided when completing your application.
What’s a notary signing agent in Maryland?
A Notary Signing Agent (NSA) in Maryland is a notary public who is specifically trained to handle and notarize loan documents. Unlike a standard notary, an NSA has additional responsibilities including ensuring the correct execution of these documents in real estate transactions, typically for mortgage refinancing, reverse mortgages, and home equity loans.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary page.