How to Become a Notary Public in Puerto Rico

How to Become a Notary Public in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico residents can become Notary Public by taking the following steps:

  • Pass the Puerto Rico bar exam
  • Pass a separate test to be admitted as a notary lawyer
  • Request your license
  • Be assigned a notary book
  • Pay a $50 application fee
  • Provide proof of completion of the notary public course
  • Provide a certificate of good conduct
  • Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance for financial security.
  • Purchase a notary public stamp
  • Register the stamp with the Department of State
  • Buy a notary public journal to record all notarial acts

The University of Puerto Rico School of Law offers a one-year program with 24 credits, half of which is elective. Courses include theoretical, practical, civil rights, technology, feminism, business start-ups, international relations, comparative law, and intellectual property. The school also has a long-standing commitment to clinical education.

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What are the Requirements to Become a Notary in Puerto Rico?

In a lot of states, becoming a notary is very easy, and the requirements are very simple, such as being able to read and being over the age of 18. However, in Puerto Rico, only Puerto Rican lawyers can be notary publics. To become a notary attorney or notary lawyer, you must first pass the Puerto Rico bar exam and then pass a separate test to be admitted as a notary lawyer. Afterward, the notary public needs to request his or her license and be assigned a notary book.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Notary Public in Puerto Rico?

You have to submit a request to the Puerto Rico Department of State after finishing your training and qualifying for the examination. Confirmation of good conduct, evidence of having finished the notary public course, and a $50 fee for the application must be provided with the completed form. 

How Long Does it Take to Become a Notary in Puerto Rico?

In Puerto Rico, the process to become a notary public can take up to four weeks if the state’s requirements are minimal, and seven to nine weeks if the state requires training, an exam, or other requirements. 

Do I need Training to Become a Notary in Puerto Rico?

Yes, you need to complete a notary training course to become a notary in Puerto Rico. Furthermore, the common requirements include being at least 21 years old, Being a resident of Puerto Rico, Having a clean criminal record, and Paying the necessary application and licensing fees.

How Long Is a Notary Commission Valid in Puerto Rico?

The term of office for a notary in Puerto Rico is one year for the first term and then three additional terms of two years each. However, the court may extend the term of any board member when it deems it necessary. 

What Supplies Do Puerto Rico Notaries Need?

After your application has been approved, you will need to do the following:

  • Purchase a notary public stamp
  • Register it with the Department of State
  • Purchase a notary public journal

Furthermore, you can contact the Puerto Rico Department of State for more information on how to get started. 

What About Bonds or Insurance for Puerto Rico Notaries?

A notary bond is required for candidates for a commission in Puerto Rico, as well as 32 other states, such as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A notary bond protects the individuals who may be harmed by the notary’s negligent act. The bond does not protect the notary. The notary is responsible for the financial repercussions up to the bond amount if there is a claim against them.
Additionally, a notary surety bond can be a mortgage bond or posted by an insurance company. Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance protects notaries in the case of negligence. E&O also covers legal defence costs and the expense of settlements and judgments in the event of a lawsuit.

Puerto Rico Notary Public FAQs

Who Oversees Notaries in Puerto Rico?

The Judicial Branch of Puerto Rico oversees the notarial function. The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico has the power to regulate the practice of law and establish the requirements for admission to practice the profession. 

Where can I get training to become a Notary Public?

Yes, Puerto Rico requires training to become a notary public, including passing the Puerto Rico bar exam and you must complete a notary public program approved by the Puerto Rico Department of State and pass a written exam.

Can I become a Puerto Rico Notary if I am not a U.S. citizen?

Yes, a notary applicant does need to be a United States citizen.

Where will I be able to notarize?

Your commission as the Puerto Rico Notary Public gives you the license to be notarial within Puerto Rico’s geographical bounds. This simply means that you can become a notary anywhere in the state, irrespective of county or city.

Who can I notarize for?

Puerto Rico Notaries Public have limitations on who they can serve. You cannot notarize for yourself, close relatives (spouse, ancestors, descendants, siblings), or anyone sharing your residence. Employer restrictions may also apply during work hours. This impartiality ensures notarized documents remain valid and conflict-free.

How much can I charge for my notary services?

In Puerto Rico, notary fees can range from 1% to 2% of the price of a property. The value of the property and the complexity of the transaction are two important factors that affect notary fees. Notaries in Puerto Rico are also licensed attorneys who are involved in all real estate transactions. They ensure the legality of documents, prepare deeds, and register them with the Property Registry. 

Is Online Notary Legal in Puerto Rico?

Since April 2020, remote online notarization has been permitted under M.S. Executive Order No. 1467. Notaries in Mississippi who wish to provide remote notary services must both have a regular notary commission and inform the Secretary of State of their desire.

What happens if I move or change my name after becoming a Notary?

Mississippi notaries must inform the Secretary of State within 30 days of an address or name change. Report address changes with a $20 fee using the “Application for Notary Public Change of Address” form. Name changes require a new commission, updated seal, and written notification to your surety company. Moreover, you can temporarily use your former name until the replacement commission arrives.

What’s the potential legal risk involved in being a Notary Public?

Legal risk for Mississippi Notaries Public varies. Mistakes, even unintentional ones, can lead to lawsuits. Moreover, these can be expensive, even if you win. However, the risk can be minimized by following notary laws meticulously, keeping good records, and considering E&O insurance. Essentially, careful practice is key to protecting yourself from potential legal issues.

How do I renew my Mississippi Notary Public Commission?

Renewing your Mississippi Notary Public Commission mirrors the initial application process. Begin at least 90 days before your current term ends to avoid a lapse in service. Complete the renewal application, ensure your surety bond is valid, submit the oath of office form, and pay the $25 filing fee. Consider purchasing a new seal reflecting your updated expiration date and a fresh notary journal if needed. Additionally, E&O insurance is recommended for additional protection. This streamlined process ensures a timely renewal of your notary commission.

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