Frequently Asked Questions
And the answers you are looking for.
A Notary Public is a state public officer appointed and commissioned by the Governor whose function is to: administer oaths, take acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments, attest to or certify photocopies of certain documents, and perform other duties specified by law.
A commissioned notary is a state public officer that has been approved by the Governor’s office to perform the following six duties:
- Administer oaths/affirmations
- Solemnizing marriage between couples
- Taking acknowledgements
- Verifying Vehicle Identification Numbers
- Verifying the contents of a safety deposit box
- Verifying the photocopies of various documents
Fortunately, Florida Notary Agency processes your Application and submits all of the required fees on your behalf to the state of Florida. The requirements are: (1) submit an Application to the State of Florida; (2) pay the $39 Florida filing fee; (3) obtain a $7,500 Notary Bond; and (4) obtain a Notary Stamp/Seal. Additionally, if you are a first time notary you must complete a three hour notary education course and provide the state with a copy of the course completion.
Click here to view Chapter 117 – Notaries Public.
Click here to view the Governor's Reference Manual for Notaries.
A first-time applicant for a notary commission must submit proof that the applicant has, within 1 year prior to the application, completed at least 3 hours of interactive or classroom instruction, including electronic notarization, and covering the duties of the notary public. Courses satisfying this section may be offered by any public or private sector person or entity registered with the Executive Office of the Governor and must include a core curriculum approved by that office. (Florida Statutes, 668.50 (11)).
Click here to access the online notary course.
Florida Notary Agency offers a seamless renewal process that allows you to pull your information from your prior notary application, make updates if necessary, and checkout. You will then print out your renewal application, sign and mail it back to us. It is quick and easy as 1-2-3!
While the length it takes to become a notary changes per state, it is generally recommended you start the process at least six to nine months early.
This process normally takes two to three weeks from the time we receive your properly completed and signed materials from you.
- Applicant completes online form; prints form and mails to Florida Notary Agency.
- Florida Notary Agency receives Application; FNA digitizes Application; mails original to Florida’s Department of Corporation 2nd Day Air and emails Applicant of receipt and processing.
- State of Florida processes Application (takes five to fourteen days).
- State of Florida mails Florida Notary Agency the Notary Commission Certificate; Florida Notary Agency digitizes commission certificate and emails Application that Notary Commission has been processed by the state.
- Florida Notary Agency then mails to the applicant the original Notary Commission Certificate and Notary Seal.
You cannot fax the Notary Application or any other required documents. The State of Florida requires that all registration materials and course completion certificates have original signatures and require hard copy originals to be submitted to the state for processing.
- State of Florida Filling Fees
- Official Notary Commission Certificate
- $7,500 Required Notary Bond
- Required Notary Stamp
- Online Management System
- Online Florida Notary Application
The state of Florida requires that a commissioned notary carry a bond in the amount of $7,500. In the event that a notary fails to administer his or her duty correctly, the notary bond will compensate the individuals harmed as a result. The notary bond protects notaries’ clients.
The notary may then be pursued for all expenses as a result of their negligence. For coverage that ensures you are protected, it is recommended that you purchase E&O Insurance. Please see below.
Note: The Florida Notary Agency package includes the bond required for your new and renewal commission. The notary bond is written through RLI Insurance Company – Surety Division.
Florida Notary Agency professionals highly recommend all applicants purchase Errors and Omissions insurance which protects you the notary from negligent acts. This coverage is optional and not required.
Within the scope of the policy terms and language, professional liability (E&O) insurance will protect the commissioned notary from negligence, errors or omissions alleged or committed when acting as an active notary up to the policy limits.
Expense for legal defense is provided to the insured and paid for up to the policy limits even when the claim is fraudulent or groundless against the commissioned notary.
Florida Notary Agency offers Errors and Omissions Insurance through RLI Insurance Company – Surety Division.
Note: This is an abbreviated synopsis of the scope of Errors and Omissions insurance. All coverage is subject to the conditions, provisions, and exclusions of the insurance policy provided by RLI Insurance Company – Surety Division.
Simple oversights such as failing to affix your notary stamp/seal or properly identifying the signer(s). Even if the claim isn't valid, you still could be faced with court costs while defending yourself. Without E&O, these costs would come out of your pocket.
- Protection against any claim for an error or omission allegedly made by you
- Protection from personal liability
- Coverage of all defense costs
- No deductible. The policy pays from the first cent
- Protects the notary whether the claim is true or false
- Covers you on the job
- Provides for legal fees and expenses
- Offers affordable protection
- Provides you with peace of mind
Yes. The notary is personal to the individual no matter who paid for the notary commission.
No. The notary stamp belongs to the notary. Any business keeping the notary stamp should be reported immediately to the office that issued the notary commission such as the Governor or Secretary of State's office.
No. Notaries are individually responsible for all of their actions. Even if you notarize for your employer, you are responsible—no matter who paid for your notary commission.
F.S. 117.05(9) requires the Notary to request a name change and amended commission within 60 days of the name change by mailing $25 and a notice of change form with the Secretary of State. A rider to the notary bond must accompany the name change.
The law requires you to contact the Department of State or the Govenor in writing. Be sure to give us your commission number and date of birth for identification, and tell us the last date that your seal was in your possession.
Unfortunately, the Florida commission is not transferable. If you are permanently relocating, as an appointed public officer of the State of Florida, you must surrender your commission. Upon your decision to relocate, you should contact of the office of the Governor by letter with your original notary commission certificate asking to resign your commission.
No. You may not notarize for mother, father, sister or brother. You can notarize for stepmother, etc…
Yes. You may not notarize for a family member.
Yes. If they are not, you are in violation of state notary statutes. Notaries are never under any circumstance allowed to violate the presence requirement.
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