How To Become a Notary in Florida

Are you interested in becoming a notary? The job of a notary is one that is very serious, as you are responsible for ensuring that people who are signing important documents aren’t doing so under duress. You may also be required to put the signer under oath, and it is important to understand that a notary must always be impartial. If this sounds like a job for you, you simply need to know how to become one.

Take an Education Course

The first step to learning how to become a notary in Florida is to take the notary education course. The course must be taken and passed within one year prior to applying to become a notary. The course must also have included at least three hours of interactive instruction. In Florida, you can take the Department of State’s Notary Education Program free of charge and online to satisfy this requirement.

Contact a Bonding Agency

After completing the education course, contact an approved bonding agency. This is typically a one-stop-shop situation. You’ll pay the agency and it will pay the state fees, give you the application, write your notary bond and give you your notary seal. State fees are $39, but the bond and notary seal themselves are priced competitively, so be sure to shop around for the best price.

Complete the Application

Fill out the application form completely when the bonding agency gives it to you. Do not skip any portions. If your application has missing information, the bonding agency will return it to you and cause a delay. If you are on probation, have ever been convicted of a felony, or have had adjudication withheld, you’ll need to provide other documents with your application. These include a copy of the Judgment and Sentencing Order, a written statement about the circumstances of the charges, and if you were convicted, a copy of the pardon.

Submit the Application

After you fill it out, return it to the bonding agency to submit it. The agency will forward it to the State of Florida to be reviewed. If your application is approved, your bonding agency will give you your notary seal and commission certificate. If your application was denied, you may re-apply after at least one year has passed.

Remember, only work with state-approved bonding agencies when you’re trying to become a notary. This ensures you go through the process correctly and that you don’t fall victim to a scam.