How to Become a Notary in Rhode Island

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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How to Become a Notary in Rhode Island

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 Rhode Island, 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 in addition to four years of notary hotline phone support.

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Become a Notary in Rhode Island

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

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements

The following minimum requirements must be satisfied by applicants in Rhode Island:

  • Be at least eighteen (18) years of age
  • Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
  • Be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in this state
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Not be disqualified to receive a commission under §42-30.1-16
  • Demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the powers and duties pursuant to the requirements of this chapter

In addition to this, the following individuals can apply regardless of whether they meet the residency requirement:

  • A member in good standing of the RI bar association
  • A certified public accountant

Note: See the “Requirements” section of the Notary Public Manual for more information.

Step 2: Take the Notary Knowledge Assessment

In Rhode Island, all notary applicants must demonstrate that they possess sufficient knowledge of a notary public’s powers and duties by passing the Notary Knowledge Assessment.

To help you prepare for this examination, you are encouraged to take advantage of the educational materials included on the Rhode Island Department of State website.

A score of 80% or higher is needed in order to pass this exam. If you fail to obtain this score, you’re encouraged to review the information on the Department of State website and Notary Public Manual before retaking the assessment.

Recommended Course

Have a look at the National Notary Association’s packages, which include all state-required notary supplies in addition to four years of notary hotline phone support.

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($91)

Step 3: Complete the Application and Oath of Office

Once you’ve achieved a passing grade on the notary exam, you’ll be able to fill out the Notary Application Form. Before sending you must get your form notarized by a Rhode Island Notary Public and take the Oath of Office. Notaries are available at the Department of State office for this service.

You will need to include an $80 application fee alongside your application form. This fee is payable by a number of methods, including:

  • By mail via check made payable to the Rhode Island Department of State
  • In-person via cash, credit card, or check

When all of this is ready, mail or bring the completed document to the following address:

Rhode Island Department of State
148 W. River St.
Providence, RI 02904

Once your completed application has been received by the Office of the Department of State, it will typically take between three to five business days to be processed. After this, your commission will be mailed to the address you listed on the application.

Note: Certain state representatives (outlined here in Section § 42-30.1-15.D) will not be required to pay an application fee.

Step 4: 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 5: Equip Yourself With the Necessary Supplies

Once your 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 Rhode Island 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.

Step 6: Purchase a Course (Optional)

Even though this last step is not a legal requirement, you should note that several Rhode Island notary 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 Rhode Island notary laws 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 notary regulations and practices

So, while it’s not mandatory in Rhode Island, many aspiring notaries find value in such courses. It’s a personal decision based on individual comfort and professional goals.

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

4.5 out of 5 starsNational Notary Association ($91)

How to Become a Notary in Rhode Island FAQ

How much does it cost to become a notary in Rhode Island?

The total cost of becoming a notary in Rhode Island can vary depending on the exact supplies you decide to purchase, such as the notary stamp, journal, and possibly a notary training course. These costs should be considered on top of the application fee to become a notary public in Rhode Island, which is normally $80.

How do you become a notary in Rhode Island?

In order to apply to become a notary, you must be at least 18 years old, a legal resident of the US, and have a Rhode Island business or residential address. If you satisfy these basic requirements, you’ll be able to continue with the application process. To read more about it, see our article on How to Become a Notary in Rhode Island.

What is the hardest state to become a notary?

Due to differences in requirements, the difficulty of becoming a notary can vary significantly from state to state. California is often regarded as one of the most challenging states in which to become a notary. For guidance on how to succeed regardless of your state, see our article on How to Become a Notary.

How much do Rhode Island notaries charge?

The fees a notary can charge are not specifically set by Rhode Island’s notary laws, meaning they can vary from notary to notary. However, the National Notary Association suggests a fee of $5 per notarial act as a guideline. It’s always best to confirm the fee with the notary beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings.

How long is the notary commission in Rhode Island?

The term of a notary commission in Rhode Island is five years. After this time, those who wish to continue offering notary services must renew their commission by reapplying through the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office and paying the necessary renewal fees.

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