How to Become a Notary Public in Pennsylvania How to Become a Notary Public in Pennsylvania

How to Become a Notary Public in Pennsylvania

How to Become a Notary Public in Pennsylvania (Get your Notary Commission)

Here is the step by step on how to become a Notary Public in Pennsylvania.

  1. Complete a three-hour approved education course.
  2. Fill out the online application form. You’ll need to attach your training certificate and pay the $42 fee. It might take a week or two to get a response.
  3. Complete the $65 exam. But make sure to follow the testing instructions carefully. If you pass, your score will be sent to the state.
  4. Receive an email with your Notice of Appointee letter and blank bond.
  5. Get a $10,000 surety bond from an authorized business in Pennsylvania
  6. Within 45 days of appointment, go to your county recorder of deeds to take your Oath of Office.
  7. Register your signature with the prothonotary of your county.
  8. Receive your commission certificate and wallet card from the recorder of deeds.
  9. Buy a Notary seal and journal.

What are the Requirements to be a Notary in Pennsylvania?

An applicant wanting to become a Notary Public in Pennsylvania fulfill these eligibility requirements:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must be a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident
  • Must reside in, or have employment at a physical location within, the Commonwealth
  • Must demonstrate good moral character, integrity, and capability
  • Must possess the ability to read and write in English
  • Must not be prohibited under 57 Pa.C.S. 323
  • Must not have had a Notary commission revoked within Pennsylvania or any other state within the last five years
  • Must adhere to additional requirements as stipulated by the Department

How do I Start?

Join the BlueNotary Free Notary Public Training Group in order to get advice from PA notaries! They’ve been through the process and can answer all your questions! As well as help keep you compliant with your S.O.S. Becoming a notary can be a great way to supplement your income and make a positive impact on the community.

Eligibility for Notary Public Role in Pennsylvania:

You are ineligible for the position of a Notary Public if you:

  • Serve as a member of the U.S. Congress.
  • Benefit financially or receive special privileges from holding a federal government office or appointment.
  • Are a member of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly.

What Training is Required to be a Pennsylvania Notary Public

Prospective notaries must undergo a three-hour Notary Public education course approved by the state, within six months prior to applying. The National Notary Association (NNA) provides an online course that meets Pennsylvania’s education prerequisites for both new and renewing notaries.

While the state mandates this basic course, you may choose to pursue further education for additional training and advice, though this is optional.

Do I Need to Pass an Exam?

All new notary applicants are required to pass a state examination that focuses on Pennsylvania’s statutes, regulations, procedures, and ethical considerations. Pearson VUE administers this exam, and applicants must follow their specific guidelines for testing. Candidates are given a six-month window from authorization to pass this exam, with no limit on the number of attempts. Pearson VUE communicates the results directly to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Failure to pass within six months necessitates retaking the basic education course and restarting the commissioning process.

What Notary Supplies do I Need?

Required items include a Notary seal stamp, a journal, and certificates. An embosser is optional but not mandated.

The Notary seal must be an inked rubber stamp within a rectangular design, no larger than 3.5″ x 1″, displaying:

  • The words “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – Notary Seal”
  • The designation “Notary Public”
  • Your commission name
  • Your office’s county
  • Your commission expiration date
  • Your seven-digit identification number from the Department of State

Choose a stamp that doesn’t bleed ink and consult your vendor about product quality and durability.

For journals, opt for one with a tamper-proof sewn binding to ensure security and compliance. Keep this journal in a secure location.

Do I need a Surety Bond and Insurance?

Pennsylvania mandates that notaries carry a $10,000 surety bond for four years, obtained from a qualified bonding company in the state.

A surety bond provides a financial guarantee to those harmed by a notary’s misconduct, covering financial losses. If the bond pays out, the notary is responsible for reimbursing the surety company.

Notaries often purchase Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance for personal legal protection, although it’s not required by Pennsylvania law.

General Information for Pennsylvania Notaries:

Which state government office handles Notaries?

  • The Pennsylvania Department of State, Division of Legislation and Notaries in Harrisburg, PA, oversees Notary Public commissions.
  • The Secretary of State’s website also provides resources, including an application guide, educational materials, and training videos.

May I become a Pennsylvania Notary if I am not a U.S. citizen?

Permanent legal residents, in addition to U.S. citizens, can become notaries in Pennsylvania.

Where can I Notarize?

Notarizations can be performed anywhere within Pennsylvania.

Who can I Notarize?

Notaries can serve any individual presenting acceptable identification, provided the transaction complies with state laws. Notarizing for oneself or one’s spouse, where a direct financial interest exists, is prohibited.

Regarding changes in address or name, and renewing your Notary commission:

  • Report any changes in address or name to the Department within 30 days.
  • If relocating your Notary office to a new county, register your signature at the new county’s prothonotary’s office within 30 days. Moving out of state automatically terminates your commission.
  • For name changes, submit the appropriate form with evidence of the change to the Department. You may continue using your old name for notarizations until your commission expires, but you must register your new name and signature before using it on notarial acts.

How do I Renew my Commission?

Renewing your Notary commission follows the initial application process, including the education requirement but excluding the examination, unless your commission has lapsed.

What to Expect?

As in other professions, the amount of work notary public receives can vary widely. Generally the busiest time is tax season, when documents such as tax returns need to be signed and notarized. However, there is also a steady demand throughout the year from businesses and individuals in need of authentication services. There are many businesses that need consistent notarizations.

It is important to remember that when working as a notary public, you are responsible for adhering to the regulations set forth by the state. This includes making sure documents are properly completed and witnessed. Always ensure documents contain all of the necessary information. Additionally, the most successful notaries we see, spend some chiseling away at the age old question of “how to get notary clients“.  In other words, they spend a non trivial of time taking learning about marketing.

How Much Can You Expect To Make?

Notarization is like any business in that you get out what you put in. When you create an account with Blue Notary to get started, you can expect to earn around $25 for online notarizations. As you gain more experience and have notarized more documents, you will be able to earn even more by taking on loan signing packages. You will be able to earn a very decent income – all from the comfort of your home office. 

BlueNotary also has the option for you to Invoice Your Clients Outside of BlueNotary at your rates at a cost of just $3 per notarization for their Pro-Hybrid members. This makes your earnings very flexible depending on your ability to build a network.


Are Online Notaries Legal in Pennsylvania?

On October 29, 2020, Pennsylvania permanently adopted the provision for remote online notarization (RON), enabling notaries who hold an active commission to carry out RONs for individuals regardless of their location, provided that the notaries are physically present within the state boundaries of Pennsylvania.

This step by step guide on How to Become an Online Notary in Pennsylvania will show you the process for registering as a remote online notary.

Why Should You Consider Becoming An Online Notary In PA?

Becoming an Online Notary is the easier faster way to do notarizations when you don’t want to spend time traveling. Online Notaries offer faster booking and easier document completion.

    How Do You Become An Online Notary In Pennsylvania?

    Once you have met all the requirements to become a traditional notary in Pennsylvania, you can apply to become an online notary by:

    1. Having an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public.
    2. Completing the Pennsylvania Electronic Notary Public Application.
    3. Submitting your application to the Department of State’s Bureau of Elections and Notaries.
    4. Receiving an email from the Bureau letting you know of their approval.
    5. Logging onto the Department of State’s website and selecting your provider.
    6. The State notifying your vendor of choice. 
    7. Working with the vendor for setup and payment.  

    As an online notary, you get to decide which platform to use for servicing your clients. BlueNotary is the best option for super simple onboarding. We even have training videos and a signing simulator to get you comfortable with the process. Want more? Try our Facebook group full of notaries!

    Register and get started here: Sign Up.

    Are You a Business Looking to Fulfill Your Notary Needs?

    BlueNotary offers multiple solutions for filling your notarial needs. Whether its online using our network, your network, or with one of our BlueMobile Notary teams, you can be sure we’ve got a simple solution for you.  Start moving some of that work off your plate, meet with our Solutions Team today! Whether it’s a one off, or a custom enterprise solution, we’ve got you sorted.

    Book a Meeting

    Are You a Notary Building Your Own Business?

    If you are a notary who is looking to build your business. We have built a course just for you to jumpstart and accelerate your business growth. This course is specifically for those who want to know how to build a stream of incoming clients and those who aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty. The Blue Mastermind Course comes with:

    • Exclusive membership to the Blue Mastermind Inner Circle
    • BlueNotary Pro Hybrid – 1 Year Subscription
    • Access to our Leads Generator Database
    • LIFETIME Digital Certificate and Electronic Seal
    • Handle Any Document Course
    • BlueBrick – We help you build your own notary website
    • Blue Mastermind Training

    You can check out more information on taking the plunge into the deep end of the notary pool and learning to swim fastest over here.

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      Once you’re commissioned in Pennsylvania, you’re good to go, but there will be future requirements. You’ll have to do four hours of continuing education every two years in order to keep your commission active (both traditional and electronic). Staying up to date with the latest laws is a best practice in the notarization world!


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