How to Become a Notary Public in Washington How to Become a Notary Public in Washington

How to Become a Notary Public in Washington

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

  1. Make sure you meet the state’s qualifications (see below).
  2. Get your state-required $10,000 surety bond.
  3. Complete a Notary application, including your oath.
  4. Submit your application, a copy of your surety bond and a $40 application fee to the Washington State Department of Licensing online or by mail. 
  5. Order your state-required stamp and journal after receiving your Notary certificate.

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Washington Notary Requirements

In order to become an online notary in Washington, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Hold a current Washington notary public commission
  • Have a valid ID and must be a resident of Washington or have a place of business there
  • Be able to read and write English

Acts or omissions indicating a lack of the necessary honesty, integrity, competence, or reliability could result in disqualification.

What are the costs involved in becoming a Notary in Washington State?

To pursue a Notary commission in Washington State, an initial fee of $40 is required for the application. Additionally, you’ll need to invest in a $10,000 surety bond, along with acquiring a Notary seal and journal. The costs for the surety bond, seal, and journal depend on the supplier you choose. For renewing your Notary Public commission, there’s a charge of $50.

What is the processing time for a Washington Notary commission?

The Washington State Department of Licensing typically processes Notary applications within four weeks. However, processing times may extend if your application contains errors. Online applications tend to expedite the commission receipt process.

What is the duration of a Notary commission in Washington?

In Washington, a Notary commission is valid for a four-year term.

Training and Examination for Washington Notaries

While Washington does not mandate training or examination for Notaries, the Washington State Department of Licensing suggests completing a Notary education course from a list of approved providers.

Necessary Supplies for Washington Notaries

Required supplies include an official Notary seal and a journal compliant with state law. The Notary seal must be either an inked rubber stamp or an embosser, with specific dimensions and content requirements, including your name, commission expiration date, and commission number. It’s essential to choose high-quality seals to prevent document rejection due to smudging.

Your journal must be a permanent, bound book with numbered pages, capable of recording all notarial acts, including remote online notarizations. Opt for journals with security features like tamper-proof binding. Secure storage of your journal is mandated throughout your commission and for a decade after your last recorded notarization.

Surety Bond and Insurance Requirements

A $10,000 surety bond is mandatory for all Washington Notaries. If the bond is used to pay damages, you must reimburse the bonding company plus any legal fees. While insurance isn’t required, Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance is recommended to protect against potential legal expenses and damages from unintended errors or false claims, offering coverage up to your policy limit.

Washington Notary Public FAQs

Which department oversees Notary commissions in the state?

The Washington Department of Licensing in Olympia is tasked with the commissioning of Notaries Public across the state.

Is it possible to be commissioned as a Notary in Washington without residing in the state?

Absolutely. Non-residents may obtain a Notary commission in Washington if they operate a business within the state.

Where can I find Notary training, since it’s not mandated by Washington?

Though the Department of Licensing does not offer or endorse specific Notary Public training programs, numerous credible training options can be identified through an online search for those interested in voluntary education.

What is the scope of my notarization authority?

Notaries in Washington are granted the authority to perform notarial acts throughout the state.

Who am I permitted to notarize documents for?

You can serve any individual who fulfills the standard requirements for notarization, such as presenting themselves in person and providing valid identification. Notarizing your own signature is prohibited. Although notarizing for family members is permitted provided there’s no direct financial interest for you, your spouse, or partner, exercising caution and avoiding such situations is recommended.

What are the steps if I change my address or name?

For address changes, notify the Department of Licensing via online submission, email, or mail, including your full name as on your Notary certificate, date of birth, old and new contact details. For name changes, submit an online update or mail a completed Notary Public Name Change Application along with a $15 non-refundable fee and a surety bond rider reflecting your new name.

How do I renew my Notary commission?

Renewing your Notary commission involves the same procedure as the initial application, which can be completed online. Applications for renewal can be submitted up to 120 days before your current commission expires, with a renewal fee of $42.

How do I acquire an Electronic Records Notary Public Endorsement?

To obtain this endorsement during your current commission or alongside your Notary application, submit the Notary Public Electronic Notarization Endorsement Application with a $15 fee. Within 30 days of endorsement receipt, you must inform the Department of Licensing of the electronic Notary software you will use, without the need for an additional surety bond. Notarization of electronic documents is contingent upon DOL approval of your software choice.

Is Online Notary legal in Washington?

Yes. Washington Remote Online Notarization laws were initiated back in March of 2020. The laws allow for all the functions of traditional notaries to be conducted online. This includes witnessing signatures, authenticating documents, and verifying identities digitally.

How Do You Become An Online Notary In Washington?

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

  1. Hold an existing commission as a traditional Notary Public.
  2. Hold an active electronic records Notary endorsement.
  3. Contract with a RON software provider (like BlueNotary!) that meets state requirements.
  4. Email your name and the name of your RON software provider to [email protected].
  5. Receive approval to perform remote notarizations from the Department of Licensing.

Once you have become an online notary in Washington, you will be able to provide secure remote notarial services for Washington residents. Always ensure that you follow the guidelines and laws set out by the state, as well as your chosen RON vendor.

Why Should You Consider Becoming a Notary In Washington

Becoming a notary in Washington is a great way to offer convenient and secure services to clients. It can also be very good gig for those who choose to do so as you have the ability to make your own schedule. Additionally, online notaries are in high demand due to the convenience they provide, from conducting remote meetings to handling transactions without requiring someone to be physically present.

Finally, it’s the perfect time as 1.25 billion notarizations are done annually in the Unites States and more and more of these notarizations are moving online.

What Steps Should You Take To Remain Compliant With Washington Laws?

In order to remain compliant with Washington laws, online notaries must take the following steps:

  • Keep up-to-date records of all your remote notarizations.
  • Verify the identity of each signer using an approved identification method such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Maintain a physical presence in the state of Washington during remote notarial acts.
  • Maintain a secure environment for digital documents.
  • Keep your Notary commission active and in good standing. Make sure you are up-to-date on all the current laws and guidelines.
  • Store all records and documents securely according to the requirements set out by the Washington Secretary of State’s office.
  • Stay up-to-date on your continuing education requirements.Follow the guidelines and processes set out by your chosen RON vendor.

By following these steps, you can ensure that you remain compliant with the laws governing online notaries in Washington.

What to Expect From the Job?

As in other professions, the amount of work an online notary receives can vary widely. Generally the busiest times for notaries are during 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 an online notary, you are responsible for adhering to the regulations set forth by the state. This includes making sure documents are properly completed and witnessed and ensuring they contain all of the necessary information. Additionally, the most successful online notaries spend some time doing their own client acquisition and sales funneling.

Can I do Online Notary in Washington?

Yes, you can do online notary in Washington. In order to become an online notary, you just need to meet the state requirements for certification and obtain a commission from Washington. You can also join the BlueNotary Free Notary Training Group in order to get advice from Washington notaries who have already been through the process and will share exactly what you need to do. They’ll help make sure you’re compliant with your SOS. Becoming an online notary can be a great way to supplement your income and make a positive impact on the community.

As an online notary, you get to decide which service provider to use for finding clients. Blue Notary is the best option as we make it super easy for you to onboard and start notarizing documents online. We have training videos and a signing simulator to get you comfortable with the process. We also have a facebook group full of notaries to help you get through the process and walk the path they’ve helped trail before.

You would be able to earn money with each document you notarize. There are no hidden charges that you need to worry about as we have a very straightforward policy. To register and get guided through the process hop on our BlueNotary Notary Registration Page.

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