Career Development

What Does a Notary Public Do?

Find out what a notary public does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a notary public.

Notaries are responsible for ensuring that important documents are valid and legally binding. They witness the signing of these documents and then certify that they were witnessed correctly. Notaries also commonly provide information about themselves to help establish their identity, such as their contact information or commission number.

Notary Public Job Duties

A notary public is responsible for a wide range of duties, which can include:

  • Performing marriages for individuals who have obtained a marriage license
  • Attending real estate closings to ensure that all documents are executed correctly and that funds are transferred properly
  • Taking depositions and swearing in witnesses for court proceedings
  • Witnessing and certifying the execution of documents such as wills, trusts, deeds, contracts, and agreements
  • Witnessing the signing of documents and administering oaths to people who are signing the document
  • Certifying copies of documents such as birth certificates or marriage licenses
  • Preparing and filing legal documents such as affidavits, complaints, or petitions with the court
  • Preparing and filing documents with government agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • Performing clerical tasks such as taking inventory of items listed in estate inventories

Notary Public Salary & Outlook

Notary public salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the type of notarizations they perform, and the geographic location of their job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $41,500 ($19.95/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $67,500 ($32.45/hour)

The employment of notaries public is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

The need for notaries will continue to exist because they provide a valuable service to the public. However, the growth in the use of electronic records and digital signatures may limit the demand for notary services.

Related: Notary Public Interview Questions and Answers

Notary Public Job Requirements

A notary public is a public servant who is authorized to administer oaths and to take and certify affidavits, depositions, and protests. In order to become a notary public, an individual must:

Education: Notary publics are typically required to have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. However, many states require notaries to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business administration, finance or accounting.

Training & Experience: Most states require newly appointed notaries to complete a training course within a certain period of time after appointment. These courses are usually offered online and are free of charge. They provide instruction on the duties and responsibilities of a notary public, including how to properly complete and certify documents.

Certifications & Licenses: Notary publics are required to get certified during their training period. During this time, they will be tested on their knowledge of the law and how to apply it in different situations.

Notary publics are also required to get certified every four years. They can take the notary exam again if they fail to get certified.

Notary Public Skills

Notaries need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is a necessary skill for notaries public, as they often communicate with clients, colleagues and other professionals. Notaries public must be able to communicate clearly and concisely in writing and verbally. They must also be able to communicate with clients from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.

Attention to detail: Notaries must be able to pay close attention to the details of the documents they’re notarizing. This includes ensuring that the documents are complete, that the information is accurate and that the documents are signed correctly. Attention to detail can also help notaries ensure that the parties involved in a transaction are who they say they are and that the documents are authentic.

Organization: As a notary public, it’s important to be organized to ensure you complete all of your duties in a timely manner. This includes keeping track of your appointments, keeping your notary journal updated and ensuring you have all the necessary paperwork for each client. Being organized can help you be more efficient and complete your work accurately.

Ethics: A notary public is a representative of the state and federal government. As such, they must abide by the laws they’re responsible for enforcing. Notaries should have a strong sense of ethics and integrity to ensure they uphold the law and act in the best interest of their clients.

Customer service: Customer service is another important skill for notaries to have, as they often work directly with clients. Notaries should be able to provide clients with information about their duties and responsibilities, as well as answer any questions they may have. They should also be able to explain the process of notarization and the documents involved.

Notary Public Work Environment

Notaries public work in a variety of settings, including banks, law firms, real estate offices, and government agencies. They typically work during regular business hours, although they may be required to work evenings or weekends to accommodate the schedules of their clients. Notaries public must be able to sit or stand for long periods of time and have good vision and hearing to perform their duties. They must also be able to read and write clearly and legibly to complete notarizations.

Notary Public Trends

Here are three trends influencing how notaries public work. Notaries public will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Digital Signatures

The growth of digital signatures is a trend that is quickly changing the notary industry. As more and more people sign documents electronically, the need for notaries will decrease.

However, notaries can still be valuable assets to businesses by providing other services, such as identity verification and document authentication. By expanding their skillset, notaries can remain competitive in the marketplace.

More Electronic Records

As technology advances, more and more records are being kept electronically. This means that notaries will need to become familiar with electronic records and how to verify them.

In order to stay ahead of the curve, notaries should learn how to use electronic records and how to verify their authenticity. They should also keep up-to-date on the latest security measures so that they can protect clients’ data.

Greater Use of DocuSign

The use of DocuSign is becoming increasingly popular among businesses and individuals alike. This is due to the fact that it is an easy and convenient way to sign documents electronically.

As more and more people begin to use DocuSign, notaries will need to learn how to use this software in order to provide services to their customers. This includes both signing documents and verifying the signatures of others.

How to Become a Notary Public

A notary public career can be a great way to start your professional life. Notaries provide important services that help people conduct their business and personal affairs. They are trusted professionals who have been trained in the law and have passed a rigorous exam.

To become a notary public, you must first meet certain requirements. You must be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license, and live in the state where you want to practice. You also need to pass a written exam and a practical test. Once you have met all of these requirements, you can apply for your commission as a notary public.

Advancement Prospects

The National Notary Association (NNA) offers a Certified Notary Signing Agent (CNSA) designation for notaries who wish to specialize in loan document signings. The NNA also offers the Certified Notary Public (CNP) designation for notaries who wish to demonstrate a higher level of professionalism and expertise.

Notaries who wish to move into management or executive positions can do so by becoming a Notary Administrator. Notary Administrators are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a notary office, including hiring and training new notaries, maintaining notary records, and ensuring compliance with state and federal laws.

Notaries who wish to move into teaching positions can do so by becoming a Notary Education Specialist. Notary Education Specialists are responsible for teaching notary classes, developing notary training materials, and conducting research on notary best practices.

Notary Public Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide a full range of notary services to our clients. We are currently seeking a Notary Public to join our team. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 2 years experience as a Notary Public and be able to work independently with little supervision. He or she will be responsible for providing notary services to our clients in a professional and efficient manner.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Verify the identity of signers
  • Witness signatures on documents
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • Take acknowledgments
  • Determine whether signers are willing and able to sign without coercion
  • Refuse to notarize a document if the signer appears to be under duress
  • Keep a journal of all notarial acts
  • Store original signed documents in a secure location
  • Make copies of documents upon request
  • Charge a reasonable fee for services
  • Maintain current knowledge of notarial law and procedures
  • Comply with all state requirements for practicing as a notary public

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Notary commission in good standing
  • Bonded and insured
  • Proficient with computers, including Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat Pro
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Ability to multitask and work well under pressure

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or higher
  • Previous experience working as a notary public
  • Familiarity with NotaryCam or other remote notarization software
  • Experience with e-recording platforms


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