A Notary is someone who witnesses the signing of documents such as loans, deeds, and contracts in order to stop fraud and ensure that the signers know what they are getting into. They help to verify that the signers are verified, identified, and able to do whatever the signature lets them do.
In some places, notaries also act as lawyers in civil lawsuits, and can give legal advice, write wills, and mediate disputes if they haven’t been presented to a court. They aren’t paid by the government and are instead allowed to charge fees for their services or operate a free clinic to help their community’s law needs.
Any person can submit a notary application, as long as they are 18, a legal resident of the state, and have no criminal background. A background check will be done during the process. Then depending on the state, you are in, notary training courses are required. Whether it is required or not, taking one can be very beneficial.
If the state doesn’t require the training, then notaries who wish to take the training must either complete an online course, or see if their local community college either offers or knows about a Notary program. The courses can cost anywhere from 100-200 dollars and often take around 3-6 hours to complete.
Again, depending on the state, an exam may or may not be required for prospective notaries. If it is, then the exam lasts around an hour.
No matter where you are in the U.S, there will always be an organization or group dedicated to helping people become notaries. The process can take anywhere from 4-9 weeks depending on the state’s requirements.
However, anyone can become a legalized notary, so it might take some extra work but in the end, everyone will reach the same goal.