How to Become a Notary in Florida
To become a notary in Florida, you must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements listed 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.
- Complete a notary application, which may be obtained from any of the bonding agencies approved to submit applications to the Florida Department of State Notary Commissions and Certifications 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.
Click here to start the notary application process in Florida.
Who can become a notary public in Florida?
To become a notary in Florida, you must meet the following eligibility 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:
- Who can become a notary in Florida.
- How to become a notary in Florida.
- How to register to perform electronic notarizations in Florida.
- How to become a remote online 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 within six months before your current commission expires. Notaries applying for reappointment must follow the same process and procedures as new applicants. However, renewing notaries are exempt from taking a three-hour notary educational course.
Click here to start the notary renewal application process in Florida.
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 Notary Section of the Governor’s Office can be contacted at:
Executive Office of the Governor
2415 North Monroe
Street, Suite 810
Tallahassee, FL 32303
Phone: (850) 717-9310, option #2
The Florida Department of State can be contacted at:
Florida Department of State
Notary Commissions and Certifications Section
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
Phone: (850) 245-6975
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.
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.
Click here to register to the American Association of Notaries approved notary course.
After completing the notary educational course, the notary applicant will receive a certificate of completion, which must be submitted with the notary application.
Florida notaries interested in learning Florida notary law can purchase a notary handbook available on the American Association of Notaries website.
How much does it cost to become a notary public in Florida?
The cost to become a notary in Florida includes:
- A $39 filing fee for processing your notary application.*
- A four-year, $7,500 notary bond. Click here to view our Florida notary bond price.
Other expenses include the cost of purchasing:
- A notary stamp. Click here to view our notary stamp prices.
- A notary journal (optional) to record all notarial acts performed. Click here to view our notary journal prices.
- An errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy (optional) to protect yourself if you are sued for unintentional mistakes or if a false claim is filed against you. Click here to view our notary e/o policy premiums and coverage amounts.
* Veteran applicants who have served in wartime and have a disability rating of 50% or more are exempt from the $10 commission fee. (Such a disability is subject to verification by the Florida Secretary 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 (E&O) insurance policy 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 a notary 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 you select as a Florida notary public.
Florida notary errors and omissions insurance policies are available to order online at the American Association of Notaries website: https://www.floridanotaries.com/notary-insurance.
Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in Florida?
Yes. All Florida notary applicants are required to maintain a four-year, $7,500 notary bond. The bond protects the public from notary errors. If a member of the public files a claim against a notary’s bond, the bonding company is very likely to sue the notary to recoup the funds it paid on the notary’s behalf. A notary bond does not protect notaries from mistakes they make. This is why notary errors and omissions insurance (commonly known as “E&O” or “E&O insurance”) is vital.
Florida notary bonds are available to order online at the American Association of Notaries website: 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 notary 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 to be engraved on all official notary seals.
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-State of Florida”.
The Florida statutes do not specify the dimensions of the rubber stamp. Using the Great Seal of the State of Florida is strictly prohibited.
A notary seal embosser may be used in addition to but not in place of an inked notary stamp.
The American Association of Notaries offers quality notary stamps and seals at savings of up to 40% or more compared to the cost of the same products elsewhere. Click here to order your Florida notary stamp, notary seal, complete notary package, and other notary supplies.
What are the steps to replace a lost or stolen Florida notary seal?
If your official seal is lost, stolen, or believed to be in the possession of another person, you must:
- Contact the Florida Department of State’s Notary Commissions and Certifications Section at 850-245-6975. You will be assigned a new commission number.
- Purchase a new official seal once you receive your new notary commission certificate from the Florida Department of State.
How much can a Florida notary public charge for performing notarial acts?
The fee of a notary public may not exceed $10 for any one notarial act, except as provided Fla. Stat § 117.045 or § 117.275 [Fla. Stat § 117.05(2)(a)]. 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 Fla. Stat. § 117.275. A RON service provider’s services are also not considered closing services as defined in Fla. Stat. § 627.7711, and a fee for those services may be separately charged.
The online notary public may charge a fee not to exceed $20 per transaction record for making and delivering electronic copies of a given series of related electronic records, and a RON service provider may charge a fee not to exceed $20 for providing access to, or a copy of, the related audio-video communication records. However, such copies or access must be provided without charge if requested by any of the following within the ten-year period specified in Fla. Stat. § 117.245(4):
- A party to the electronic record.
- In a real estate transaction, the title agent, settlement agent, or title insurer who insured the electronic record or engaged the online notary public with regard to such transaction.
- The Florida Department of State pursuant to an investigation relating to the official misconduct of an online notary public.
- The qualified custodian of an electronic will notarized by the online notary public.
- With respect to audio-video communication recordings of an online notarization, the online notary public performing that notarization.
- With respect to electronic copies of a given series of related electronic records, the RON service provider used for the online notarization of those records.
- 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 Chapter 117 [Fla. Stat. § 117.05(2)(b)].
- A notary public is authorized to solemnize the rites of matrimony. For solemnizing the rites of matrimony, the fee of a notary public may not exceed those provided by law to the clerks of the circuit court for like services [Fla. Stat. § 117.045].
Is a notary journal required in Florida?
Notary journal requirements for each type of notarization in Florida:
- Traditional Notarizations – Florida notaries are not required to record their notarial acts in a notary journal. However, the Florida Governor’s Office encourages all notaries to use a notary journal. A notary journal can be maintained on a tangible medium or in an electronic format.
- Electronic Notarizations – Florida notaries are not required to record their electronic notarizations in a notary journal. A notary journal can be maintained on a tangible medium or in an electronic format.
- Remote Online Notarizations – An online notary public is required to keep one or more secure electronic journals of online notarizations.
A notary journal (also known as a record book, log book, or register book) is your first line of defense in proving your innocence if a notarial act you performed is questioned or if you are requested to testify in a court of law about a notarial act you performed in the past. A properly recorded notarial act creates a paper trail that will help investigators locate and prosecute signers who have committed forgery or fraud. Properly recorded notarial acts provide evidence that you followed your state laws and notary’s best practices.
The American Association of Notaries offers notary journals in tangible and electronic formats.
Click here to purchase a tangible notary journal.
Click here to become a member and access our electronic notary journal.
What information must Florida notaries record in their notary journals?
For Traditional Notarizations and Electronic Notarizations - Although notaries are not required to maintain a notary journal, they should follow best notary practices and record the following information:
- The date and time of the notarization.
- The type of notarial act performed.
- A description of the document being notarized.
- The printed name and address of the signer.
- The method by which the signer was identified.
- The fee charged, if any.
- Any additional information that may assist the notary in recalling the notarial act performed.
For Remote Online Notarizations – Florida notary law requires online notaries to record in an electronic journal the following information:
- The date and time of the notarization.
- The type of notarial act performed, whether an oath or acknowledgment.
- The type, the title, or a description of the electronic record or proceeding.
- The name and address of each principal involved in the transaction or proceeding.
- Evidence of identity of each principal involved in the transaction or proceeding in either of the following forms:
• a statement that the person is personally known to the online notary public; or
• a notation of the type of government-issued identification credential provided to the online notary public, an indication that the government-issued identification credential satisfied the credential analysis, and an indication that the principal satisfactorily passed the identity proofing.
- The fee, if any, charged for the notarization.
What steps should I take if my Florida notary journal is lost or stolen?
Tangible Notary Journal - Since tangible notary journals are optional, Florida notary laws do not address this question. We recommend you contact the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Electronic Notary Journal - Notify an appropriate law enforcement agency and the Florida Department of State of any unauthorized use of or compromise to the security of the electronic journal for online notarizations within seven days after discovery of such unauthorized use or compromise to security.
How long should I retain my Florida notary journal?
Tangible Notary Journal - Florida notary laws do not address this question, since tangible notary journals are optional. We recommend you keep the tangible notary journal indefinitely.
Electronic Notary Journal - The electronic journal required under Fla. Stat. §117.245(1) shall be maintained for at least ten years after the date of the online notarial act.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Florida?
Florida notaries are authorized to 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:
- Taking an acknowledgment [Fla. Stat. § 117.04]
- Administering an oath or affirmation [Fla. Stat. § 117.03]
- Attesting to photocopies [Fla. Stat. § 117.05(12)]
- Solemnizing a marriage [Fla. Stat. §117.045]
- Verifying vehicle identification numbers [Fla. Stat. § 319.23(3)(a)]
- Certifying the contents of a safe-deposit box [Fla. Stat. § 655.94]
What type of notarizations are allowed in Florida?
Florida law allows the following three types of notarizations:
Traditional notarization – This type of notarization requires the signer and the notary to meet physically in the same room within face-to-face proximity of one another. Traditional notarization involves an individual signing a tangible document with an inked pen and a notary public signing and affixing an inked notary stamp impression to the tangible notarial certificate.
Electronic notarization – This type of notarization requires the signer and the notary to meet physically in the same room within face-to-face proximity of one another. However, the notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary seal, and an electronic notarial certificate.
Remote online notarization (also known as online notarization) – The signer appears remotely before an online notary via audio-video communication technology. The notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary seal, and an electronic notarial certificate.
What are the steps to register to perform electronic notarizations in Florida?
There is no additional appointment required to perform in-person electronic notarizations if you are currently appointed as a Florida notary public. Click here for more information on electronic notarizations.
What are the steps to become a remote online notary in Florida?
To register to perform remote online notarizations pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 117.225, you must:
- First, be commissioned as a Florida notary public.
- Complete our remote online education training course and print the course certificate of completion.
- Contract with a remote online notarization service provider. The Florida Department of State’s website provides a list of self-certified technology service providers.
- Review Florida Statutes, Title X, Chapter 117, Part II and 1N-7001, Florida Administrative Code.
- Obtain a $25,000 notary bond and $25,000 errors and omissions insurance policy.
- Complete an Application Registration for Online Notary Public form and an Online Notary Public: Required Information form.
- Submit the following to the Florida Department of State:
- Certificate of Completion for the online education training course.
- The notarized Application Registration for Online Notary Public form.
- Online Notary Public: Required Information form.
- $10 notary public registration fee.
- Evidence of your $25,000 notary bond and $25,000 errors and omissions insurance policy.
- A copy of your notary public commission certificate.
Click here to start the application process to become a remote online notary in Florida.
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 [Fla. Stat. §117.01(2)]. Download the address change form and mail it the Florida Department of State. Notify your bonding agency of the address change.
If you no longer reside in Florida, you must submit a “Moving Out-of-State Required Resignation” form to the executive office of the governor.
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.
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 [Fla. Stat. §117.05(9)].
Legal disclaimer: The information provided on this page is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We do not claim to be attorneys and we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, losses, damages, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss, or consequential loss, out of or in connection with the use of the information contained on any of the American Association of Notaries website pages. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their state’s notary authorities or attorneys if they have legal questions.
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.