- Become a Notary
- Renew Notary Commission
- Order Notary Supplies
- Notary Courses
- Bonds & Insurance
How to Become a Notary in Florida
To become a notary in Florida, you must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements detailed in the next section.
- Satisfactorily complete, within one year prior to the application, a notary educational course at least three hours long that includes electronic notarization and covers the duties of the notary public. This requirement may be satisfied by completing, at no cost, the online course offered by the Florida Department of State and the Governor’s Office.
- Complete an application, which may be obtained from any of the bonding agencies approved to submit applications to the Division of Corporations, Notary Commissions Section.
- Purchase a four-year, $7,500 notary bond from the bonding agency handling your notary application.
- Mail the notary application, the certificate of course completion, and a $39 state filing fee (if not paid online) to your bonding agency, which will submit them to the Florida Department of State.
Once your application is approved, your notary public commission certificate will be mailed to your bonding agency, which will, in turn, mail it to you.
Who can become a notary public in Florida?
To become a notary in Florida, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
- Be a legal resident of Florida.
- Be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien with proof of Declaration of Domicile.
- Be able to read, write, and understand the English language.
- Have your civil rights restored if you have ever been convicted of a felony.
This Florida notary guide will help you understand the following:
- Who can become a notary in Florida.
- How to become a notary in Florida.
- The basic duties of a notary in Florida.
How do I renew my notary commission in Florida?
You can apply to renew your Florida notary commission six months before your current commission expires. Notaries applying for reappointment must follow the same process and procedures as new applicants. Renewing notaries are exempt from taking a three-hour educational course.
Who appoints notaries in Florida?
The governor appoints notaries. The Governor’s Office reviews misconduct complaints against notaries and takes disciplinary action when deemed appropriate. However, the Florida Department of State receives applications for appointment and reappointment as a notary public, administers the commissioning process, and maintains records on notaries. The Governor's Office has also partnered with the Florida Department of State to deliver the required notary education course to notaries.
The Notary Section of the Governor’s Office can be contacted at:
Executive Office of the Governor
Office of the General Counsel
The Capitol, Suite 209
400 South Monroe Street,
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
The Florida Department of State can be contacted at:
Florida Department of State
Division of Corporations
Notary Commissions and Certifications Section
PO Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
Can a non-resident of Florida apply for a commission as a notary public?
No. An individual who is not a legal resident of Florida is not eligible to apply for a Florida notary public commission.
How long is a notary public's commission term in Florida?
The term of office for a Florida notary public is four years commencing with the date specified in the notary public’s commission certificate. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void:
- By resignation.
- By death.
- By revocation.
- When a notary public ceases to maintain legal residence in Florida during the entire term of appointment.
- When a notary is no longer a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States.
- When a notary public becomes disqualified pursuant to Fla. Stat. §117.01(4).
Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in Florida?
Yes. A new notary applicant seeking a commission as a Florida notary public must complete at least three hours of interactive or classroom instruction on various topics, including electronic notarization and notary public duties. This training must be completed within the year prior to applying for appointment as a notary public. Educational courses satisfying this requirement 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. Completing the online course offered by the Florida Department of State and the Governor’s Office may also satisfy this requirement at no cost. After completing the educational course, the notary applicant will receive a certificate of completion, which can be submitted with the application for appointment.
How much does it cost to become a notary public in Florida?
To become a notary in Florida, you must pay the following:
- A $39 filing fee for processing your notary application.*
- The cost of a $7,500 notary bond.
Other expenses include the cost of purchasing:
- A notary stamp.
- A notary journal if you wish to follow the recommendation of the Governor’s Office.
- An errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to protect yourself if you are sued for unintentional mistakes or if a false claim is filed against you. (This step is optional).
* No commission fee is required for issuing a commission as a notary public for a veteran who has served in wartime service and has a disability rating of 50% or more, and such a disability is subject to verification by the Florida Department of State.
Do I need a notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to become a notary in Florida?
A notary errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Florida and is not required to become a Florida notary public or to renew your notary commission. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that every Florida notary obtain an E&O insurance policy. This insurance protects you from a claim if a client sues you as a notary. A notary E&O policy covers unintentional notarial mistakes and pays for legal fees and damages based on the coverage a Florida notary public selects.
You can order a Florida notary errors and omissions insurance policy online at the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.floridanotaries.com/notary-insurance
Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in Florida?
A Florida notary bond for $7,500 is required for all new and renewing notary applicants. The bond must be issued by a surety company licensed or authorized to transact business in Florida. Upon payment to any individual harmed as a result of a breach of duty by a notary public, the entity who issued the notary bond for the notary public shall notify the governor of the payment and the circumstances that led to the claim.
To purchase a Florida notary bond, visit the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.floridanotaries.com/florida-notary-bond
Do I need to order a notary stamp in Florida?
Yes. Florida notary statutes require all notaries public to use a rubber, black-inked stamp to authenticate all notarial acts. Section 117.05(3)(a) of the Florida statutes provides the legal specifications regarding the layout and the information required on all official notary seals.
Required Elements: The official notary seal must contain the following elements:
- The notary public’s name.
- The date of expiration of the notary public’s commission.
- The commission number assigned to the notary public.
- The words “Notary Public.”
- The words “State of Florida.”
The Florida statutes do not specify the dimensions of the rubber stamp. No emblem or symbol is required or prohibited. However, using the Great Seal of the State of Florida on the notary stamp is strictly prohibited.
An impression-type seal may be used in addition to the rubber stamp seal, but the rubber stamp seal shall be the official seal for use on paper documents, and the impression-type seal may not be substituted therefor. For electronic notarization, a notary must affix the information contained in their notary seal but need not affix the image of the physical notary seal [FS 117.021(3)].
To order a Florida notary stamp, notary seal, complete notary package, and notary supplies, please visit the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.floridanotaries.com/notary-stamps
How much can a Florida notary public charge for performing notarial acts?
Florida notary fees are set by state notary statute [FS §117.05(2)(a)]. The maximum allowable fees a Florida notary public may charge for notarial acts are as follows:
- Acknowledgments: $10
- Oaths or affirmations: $10
- Jurats: $10
- Protests: $10
- Copy certifications: $10
- Solemnizing a marriage: $30
- Verifying a VIN: $20
- Performing an online notarization: $25
An online notary public or their employer may charge a fee, not to exceed $25, for performing an online notarial act under Part II of Chapter 117. Fees for services other than notarial acts, including the services of a RON service provider, are not governed by § 117.275. A RON service provider’s services are also not considered closing services as defined in s. 627.7711, and a fee for those services may be separately charged.
Note: A notary public may not charge a fee for witnessing a vote-by-mail ballot in an election and must witness such a ballot upon the request of an elector, provided the notarial act is in accordance with the provisions of this chapter [FS §117.05(2)(b)].
Is a notary journal required in Florida?
The Florida notary statute does not require Florida notaries public to record the notarial acts they perform in a journal. However, the Governor’s Office strongly recommends that all notarial acts be recorded in a notary journal to protect the notary public from liability. While a journal is not required by state notary law, the American Association of Notaries also encourages Florida notaries to maintain a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages to create and preserve a chronological record of every notarial act performed as a protective measure against allegations of fraudulent notarial acts and official misconduct. Florida notaries may find that maintaining a journal of notarial acts is a beneficial tool for their notarial standards and practices in the performance of their notarial acts.
To order a Florida notary journal, please visit the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.floridanotaries.com/record-book.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Florida?
You may perform notarial acts while physically located anywhere within the geographic borders of the state of Florida.
What notarial acts can a Florida notary public perform?
A Florida notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (FS §117.03 and §117.04):
- Taking an acknowledgment
- Administering an oath or affirmation
- Attesting or certifying a copy
- Solemnizing a marriage (FS §117.045)
- Verifying vehicle identification numbers [FS §319.23(3)(a)]
- Certifying the contents of a safe-deposit box (FS §655-94)
Can I perform electronic notarizations in Florida?
Yes. The Florida Statutes, Title X, Chapter 117, Section 117.021 authorize electronic notarizations. The Department of State adopted rules that set forth the definitions and notary signature and seal for electronic notarizations. Section 117.021 provides that in performing an electronic notarial act, a notary public must use an electronic signature that is:
- Unique to the notary.
- Capable of independent verification.
- Retained under the notary’s sole control. (This includes access protection through the use of passwords or codes under the control of the notary.)
- Attached to or logically associated with the electronic document in a manner that any subsequent alteration to the electronic document displays evidence of the alteration.
Furthermore, Section 117.021 provides the seal information required for an electronic document. The failure of a notary public to comply with any of the requirements of Section 117.021 may constitute grounds for suspension of the notary’s commission by the Executive Office of the Governor.
What is the process to become a Florida electronic notary public?
No additional appointment to notarize electronic documents is required if you are currently appointed as a notary in Florida. However, you must purchase a digital certificate to perform electronic notarizations.
Can I perform remote online notarizations in Florida?
Yes. The Florida 2019 Legislature enacted House Bill 409 amended the Florida notaries public statutes by adding new provisions for remote online notarizations, effective January 1, 2020. Florida notaries are authorized to perform remote online notarizations using two-way audio-video communication technology that meets the requirements and standards of Part II of Chapter 117 and any rules adopted by the Department of State pursuant to Section 117.295. Before a notary public performs their first remote online notarization, the notary must apply to the Department of State to register for an online notary public commission.
How do I become a remote online notary in Florida?
To register to perform remote online notarizations pursuant to Section 117.225, you must:
- First, be commissioned as a Florida notary public.
- Certify that you have completed a classroom or online course covering the duties, obligations, and technology requirements for serving as an online notary public.
- Pay a notary public registration fee.
- Submit a signed registration form as an online notary public to the Department of State.
- Identify the RON service provider whose audio-video communication technology and processes for credential analysis and identity-proofing technologies you intend to use for online notarizations.
- Obtain a $25,000 bond and have it approved and filed with the Florida Department of State.
- Provide proof of a $25,000 notary E&O insurance policy.
How do I update my address on my Florida notary commission?
You must notify the Florida Department of State in writing within sixty days of any change to your business address, home telephone number, business telephone number, home address, or criminal record [FS §117.01(2)]. Download the address change form and mail it to your bonding company to update your information on file with the Florida Department of State.
How do I change my name on my notary commission in Florida?
If you legally change your name, you must amend your notary commission with the Florida Secretary of State within sixty days. The request for a name change should be made through your bonding agency. Provide the bonding agency with the following:
- A $25 fee.
- Your current commission certificate.
- A completed Amended Commission Request Notice of Name Change form, which includes:
- Your new name.
- A specimen of your official signature.
Upon receipt, your bonding agency will send a rider for your bond with the notice of name change form to the Florida Department of State. After submitting the required notice of name change form and rider, you may continue to perform notarial acts in your former name for sixty days or until you receive the amended commission from your bonding agency, whichever date is sooner [FS §117.05(9)].
To download the name change form, visit the Florida Department of State’s website at https://dos.myflorida.com/sunbiz/other-services/notaries/notary-forms.
Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page. Information on this page is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from various sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their states if they have legal questions about how to perform notarial acts.
Florida notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, the American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company (established 1900). Kal Tabbara is a licensed insurance agent in Florida.