If you are looking for a rewarding career that allows you to serve the public and earn extra income, becoming a notary in Alabama might be a great option for you.
A notary is a person who is authorized by the state to perform certain official acts, such as witnessing signatures, administering oaths, and verifying documents. Notaries play an important role in preventing fraud and ensuring the validity of transactions.
But how do you become a notary in Alabama? What are the requirements, fees, and steps involved? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to become a notary in Alabama. Let’s get started!
Related: How to Become a Notary in Missouri
What are the requirements to become a notary in Alabama?
To become a notary in Alabama, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States.
- You must be a resident of Alabama or have a place of employment or practice in Alabama.
- You must be able to read and write English.
- You must not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.
- You must not have had your notary commission revoked or suspended in any state.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Alabama?
The cost of becoming a notary in Alabama varies depending on the type and duration of your commission, as well as the optional supplies and insurance you may purchase. Here is a breakdown of the possible costs:
- Application fee: $25
- Bond: $25-$50 (depending on the amount of your bond)
- Seal: $15-$40 (depending on the type of seal)
- Journal: $15-$30 (depending on the type of journal)
- Errors and omissions insurance: $20-$100 (depending on the coverage amount and term)
The total cost of becoming a notary in Alabama can range from $80 to $245, excluding any travel or postage expenses.
Related: How to Become a Notary in Michigan
How to become a notary in Alabama
To become a notary in Alabama, you need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Complete the application form
The first step is to complete the application form for appointment as an Alabama notary public. You can download the form from the Alabama Secretary of State website or request it by mail or phone. The form requires you to provide your personal information, such as your name, address, date of birth, social security number, citizenship status, and contact details. You also need to indicate the type and term of your commission, as well as your county of residence or employment.
Step 2: Obtain a bond
The second step is to obtain a bond from a licensed surety company. A bond is a guarantee that you will perform your notarial duties faithfully and honestly. If you make a mistake or misconduct that causes harm to someone, they can file a claim against your bond and receive compensation. The bond amount depends on the type of commission you choose:
- For regular commissions, you need a $25,000 bond for four years.
- For statewide commissions, you need a $25,000 bond for four years or a $50,000 bond for six years.
You can find a list of approved surety companies on the Alabama Secretary of State website. The cost of obtaining a bond may vary depending on the surety company and your credit history.
Step 3: Submit your application and bond
The third step is to submit your application and bond to the probate judge of your county of residence or employment. You need to pay an application fee of $25 by check or money order made payable to the Secretary of State. You also need to take an oath of office before the probate judge or their authorized representative. The probate judge will review your application and bond and forward them to the Secretary of State for approval.
Step 4: Receive your commission certificate
The fourth step is to receive your commission certificate from the Secretary of State. This certificate confirms your appointment as an Alabama notary public and shows your commission number, type, term, and expiration date. You will receive your commission certificate by mail within four to six weeks after submitting your application and bond.
Step 5: Purchase your seal and journal
The fifth step is to purchase your seal and journal from a reputable vendor. A seal is a device that imprints your name, commission number, expiration date, and county on every document you notarize. A journal is a record book that contains all the information about every notarization you perform. Both are required by law for every Alabama notary public.
You can choose between an ink stamp or an embosser as your seal. However, if you use an embosser, you also need to use a dark ink stamp to make your seal impression legible. You can also choose between a paper or an electronic journal, as long as it meets the state’s standards. You can find a list of approved vendors on the Alabama Secretary of State website.
Step 6: Start performing notarial acts
The sixth and final step is to start performing notarial acts according to the law and best practices. You need to follow the essential steps of notarization, such as:
- Require personal appearance of the signer
- Check the document and certificate
- Identify and screen the signer
- Perform the notarial act required by the certificate
- Complete your journal entry
- Fill in, sign, and seal the certificate
You also need to keep yourself updated on the notary laws, rules, and ethics, and avoid any conflicts of interest, liability, or unauthorized practice of law. You can find more information and resources on the Alabama Secretary of State website or the National Notary Association website.
Becoming a notary in Alabama is a rewarding career that allows you to serve the public and earn extra income. To become a notary in Alabama, you need to meet the requirements, pay the fees, and follow the steps outlined in this guide. Once you become a notary, you need to perform your duties with care, integrity, and professionalism. We hope this guide has helped you understand how to become a notary in Alabama and inspired you to pursue this career path. Good luck!