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 NJ, 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.
How to Become a Notary New Jersey
In order to become a notary in New Jersey, you will need to complete a few simple steps.
Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements
First and foremost, you will need to make sure that you satisfy all essential New Jersey notary requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must be a legal resident of New Jersey or employed by a company that has a primary place of business within NJ (remote work is accepted)
- You must not have been convicted of a crime under the laws of any state within the US or an offense involving dishonesty
Note: If you are a nonresident notary applicant, you will still be able to apply as long as you are an employee of a business whose domicile or primary place of business is in New Jersey.
Step 2: Read the New Jersey Notary Public Manual
Before starting your Notary Commissioning Application through NJ’s Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services, you will need to review the New Jersey Notary Public Manual.
The document contains 26 pages, and must be read before you start your application in accordance with NJ state law.
A few of the important notarial topics it contains include:
- Chapter 3: Qualifications for Office, Scope of Authority and Prohibited Acts
- Chapter 4: Notary Commissioning Process
- Chapter 5: Denial, Revocation, Suspension or Limitation of a Commission
- Chapter 6: General Requirements for Notarial Acts
- Chapter 7: Forms of Identification and Copy Certification Requirements
- Chapter 8: Use of Communication Technology
- Chapter 9: Electronic Notarization
- Chapter 10: Right to Refuse to Perform a Notarial Act
- Chapter 11: Fees for Notarial Services
All in all, reading the manual is a great way of understanding your scope of authority as a NJ notary (e.g., cannot perform acts for a record to which you or a spouse are a party, cannot perform notarial acts where you have a direct beneficial interest, etc.).
Step 3: Complete NJ’s Education Requirements
As of July 2022, New Jersey applicants are required to complete a six-hour course of study which is approved by the State Treasurer before sitting a mandatory exam.
Having said that, keep in mind that you can currently satisfy this requirement by reading the Notary Public Manual (listed above).
This is expected to change in the future.
Step 4: Pass the Notary Public Examination
After you have completed your education requirements (i.e., in the form of reading your manual), you will need to pass the New Jersey Notary Public Exam.
This exam contains 50 questions, 40 of which need to be answered correctly in order to receive a passing grade (80%).
All candidates will have 75 minutes to complete the exam.
Note: The fee for the exam is $2.5. This covers the cost of three attempts.
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.
We recommend the National Notary Association’s state-approved packages, which come with E&O insurance, a surety bond, and the required notary tools.
Step 6: Steps After Approval
If approved, the state’s Notary Public Unit will send you a Commission Certificate and Oath Qualification Certificate.
Within three months of receiving your commission, you must take an oath before your county clerk. This oath is meant to solidify your commitment to honesty, as well as to faithfully executing your notary duties.
After your oath, the county clerk will collect a filing fee and send the completed Oath Qualification Certificate to the Notary Public Unit.
Step 7: 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 stamp or seal and a New Jersey notary journal.
The seal is used to authenticate your notarial acts, and the record book is for logging all the services you provide (e.g., tangible or electronic records, etc.).
How to Become a Notary in New Jersey FAQ
How much can I charge as a notary in NJ?
In New Jersey, notaries can charge a statutory fee of $2.50 per notarial act. Keep in mind that most notary publics supplement their income through additional services. For more information, have a look at our How to Become a Notary article.
What are the requirements to be a notary in New Jersey?
To become a notary in NJ, you must be at least 18 years old, be a legal resident of the state or be employed by a company that operates within the state, and not be disqualified under Chapter 5 of the state’s regulations. Moreover, you must satisfy the state’s education requirements, sit the notary public exam, and apply for a New Jersey Notary commission.
Does NJ require a notary course?
Yes, New Jersey requires prospective notaries to complete a six-hour course approved by the State Treasurer. Having said that, reading the manual provided by the division is currently enough to satisfy this requirement. Keep in mind that you will need to complete your course before you submit your active notary public application.
How many questions are there in the NJ notary exam?
This exam contains 50 questions. In order to pass, you will need to answer 40 — or 80% — of the questions correctly within a 75 minute time-frame. The fee for the exam is $2.5 per three attempts. For more information, have a look at our How to Become a Notary in NJ article.
Can I notarize for a family member in NJ?
In New Jersey, a notary public is prohibited from notarizing documents where they or their spouse or civil union partner are a party or in which they have a direct beneficial interest. This will likely include notarizing for family members in most cases.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary page.