To become a notary in Florida, you are required to complete an application approved by the Governor’s office. At the time of the writing of this article, Florida was one of the few states that still required notary applicants to submit a paper notary application.
All notary applicants in Florida must submit their applications through an approved notary vendor authorized to file notary applications with the Department of State. The Florida notary application is a little lengthy and confusing, and so the American Association of Notaries (AAN) recommends that applicants use an online application wizard that will guide them step by step through the notary application process.
Here are the steps to follow to complete a notary application in Florida:
1- Download a Florida Notary Application
Click here to download a Florida notary application and the instructions. Follow the notary application instructions, which outline the steps you need to take to finish the complete notary application accurately. Provide all the information requested and then return the completed and signed notary application to AAN with your payment.
Any missing information or signature will delay the application process. Once we receive the completed application, we will issue the required four-year, $7,500 Florida notary bond and forward the Florida notary application to the Florida Department of State for approval. The approval process usually takes around two weeks if all the information included on the application is correct.
2- Receive Your Florida Notary Commission Certificate and Notary Supplies
If your Florida notary application is approved, the Department of State will mail us your notary commission certificate. We will prepare any notary supplies that you ordered and mail both the notary commission certificate and your Florida notary supplies to the address that you provided on your order. Please ensure that the name on the stamp and the notary commission match before using your Florida notary stamp. If there are any discrepancies, please call our office. Make sure you sign documents using the same official signature that you chose on the oath of office page on the notary application.
3- Denied Florida Notary Applications
The Governor’s Office has the authority to deny notary applications for any reason. Rejected notary applications are not subjected to subsequent reviews, and rejected applicants have to wait at least a year before reapplying.
The Florida notary application form consists of four sections:
1- Personal information
The applicant is required to enter his or her legal name, social security number, date of birth, sex, race, residence address, place of employment, business address, home phone, business phone, Florida driver's license number or other state-issued ID, information about any previous notary commission, residency status, citizenship status, criminal record, and information about any professional licenses.
2- Oath of office
All Florida notary applicants must take the following oath:
Read the oath of office carefully before signing it. You are swearing under penalty of perjury that you understand Florida notary laws and you are qualified and able to execute your notarial duties faithfully and according to Florida notary.
3- Affidavit of Character
This part must be completed by a person who is unrelated to the applicant and who has known the applicant for at least one year. The individual providing the affidavit must give a sworn statement that the applicant is of good character.
4- Notary Surety Bond
All Florida notaries are required to maintain a four-year $7,500 surety bond. The bond protects the public from a notary’s error. The notary application processor will supply you with the bond form to sign and return with the application and payment.
5- Pay the Notary Application Fee
The total notary application fees are $39 and must be included with the notary application that you mail to AAN or another notary vendor.
Under section 117.01(2), Florida Statutes, veterans who served during a wartime period defined in law and who have a disability rating of 50% or more are exempt from the $10 commission fee. A veteran who qualifies should request the reduction in writing and provide proof of exemption.
When completing the application, it is important to be honest and truthful. If it is determined that you misstated any information on your application, your notary appointment may be delayed or denied. If the misstatements are discovered later on, your commission can be revoked or suspended, and you may be denied any future consideration for a notary appointment. You may also be subject to criminal prosecution on a charge of perjury.
The American Association of Notaries recommends that each notary keep a copy of the notary application he or she mailed to the approved notary processor in his or her files so that it is readily accessible if the notary later needs to contact the Department of State, the bonding agency, or the surety company.
The American Association of Notaries has been helping notaries since 1994. We can help you become a notary in Florida. Click here to learn how to become a notary in Florida.