How To Become A Notary In Alabama

Your Guide to Becoming a Notary in Alabama

Are you interested in becoming a notary in Alabama? The process may seem daunting, but with the right guidance, it can be straightforward and hassle-free. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the requirements and procedures to become a notary in Alabama.

Understanding the Alabama Notary Law

Alabama Code Sections 36-20-70 to 36-20-75 outline the laws governing the employment of notaries public in Alabama. These laws grant notaries public the authority to administer oaths, take acknowledgments, demand acceptance and payment of various writings, and exercise other powers according to commercial usage or state laws.

Notaries in Alabama are appointed and commissioned by the probate judges of the various counties for four-year terms. Recent revisions to the notary law, made by Act 2023-548, have set minimum application requirements and mandated completion of a pre-commission training program for both new and renewal applicants.

Steps to Become a Notary in Alabama

Here are the essential steps to follow in order to become a notary public in Alabama:

Step 1: Complete and Submit a Notary Application

The first step is to obtain a notary application and submit it to your local Probate Judge for review. Along with the application, you will need to provide a copy of your driver’s license and pay a $10 application fee.

Step 2: Complete a Notary Training Course

It is mandatory to complete a free notary training course and obtain the Course Completion Certificate within 30 days of submitting the notary application. This training program is prepared by the Alabama Probate Judges Association and the Alabama Law Institute.

Step 3: Receive Approval and Obtain a Notary Bond

Upon approval, you will receive a letter from the Probate Judge requesting a proof of the course training certificate and a $50,000 notary bond. The notary bond serves as a financial safeguard for the public in case of negligence or misconduct by the notary.

Step 4: Purchase a Notary Bond

Obtain a surety bond in the amount of $50,000, which can be purchased from authorized agencies. The bond is a crucial requirement to proceed with your notary commission.

Step 5: Receive Your Notary Commission Certificate

Present your Notary Training Course Completion Certificate and the notary bond to your local Probate Office. Pay any applicable fees and receive your notary public commission.

Step 6: Receive Your Notary Supplies

After obtaining your commission, you will need to acquire notary supplies such as a notary seal. Once you receive your commission certificate, you can proceed with purchasing the necessary supplies.

Costs and Considerations

The total cost to become a notary in Alabama includes the application fee, the notary bond, and the fee for the probate judge to issue a notary commission. Additionally, you may need to purchase a notary seal and journal, as well as consider obtaining errors and omissions (E&O) insurance for added protection.

Renewing Your Notary Commission

Notary commissions in Alabama are valid for four years. To renew your commission, you will need to follow a similar process, including submitting an application, completing the training course, obtaining a notary bond, and purchasing any necessary supplies.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How To Renew Notary Commission in Alabama?

To renew your notary commission in Alabama, you need to submit an application, complete the free Training Course, obtain a four-year, $50,000 notary bond, and present your notarized bond and Training Course Completion Certificate to your local Probate Judge.

2. Who Appoints Notaries in Alabama?

Notaries in Alabama are appointed and commissioned by the probate judges of the various counties. The county probate judges report the necessary information to the Alabama Secretary of State.

3. Can a Non-Resident Apply for a Notary Public Commission in Alabama?

No, individuals who are not residents of Alabama do not qualify for an Alabama notary public commission.

4. How Long is a Notary Public’s Commission Term in Alabama?

The term of office for an Alabama notary public is four years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission.

5. Is Notary Training or an Exam Required in Alabama?

Effective September 1, 2023, all notary applicants in Alabama must complete an approved Online Notary Public Training Course. However, an exam is not required.

6. How Much Does It Cost to Become a Notary Public in Alabama?

The cost to become a notary in Alabama includes the filing fee, the notary bond, the fee for the probate judge to issue a notary commission, and the expenses for purchasing notary supplies and optional errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.

By following these steps and understanding the requirements, you can successfully become a notary in Alabama and fulfill the essential duties of a notary public.

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