What You Should Know About Becoming a Notary

If you are looking for a new skill that will boost your resume and income, you may have considered becoming a notary public. These are a few things you should know about this profession.

How You Become a Notary

In every state, you need to be a high school graduate who is at least 18 years of age to apply for a notary commission. However, each state also differs in its requirements. For example, some states bar anyone with a felony conviction from serving. In addition, some jurisdictions require training or written exams. Therefore, contact your Secretary of State for clarification. You typically have to purchase your own supplies, e.g., notary public packages.

Where You Can Work

First, you can work for yourself. You can work part- or full-time, on the weekends, while your kids are in school, whenever and wherever you want. You simply act as an independent contractor for individuals, businesses, law offices and government agencies. Your state will set your signature rate, but you can charge for any traveling costs that you incur.

If you choose not to start your own company, you can still provide notary services on the side because you, not your company, own your supplies and commission.

Most businesses employ a notary. For example, law offices, banks, insurance companies, government agencies and title companies often have on-staff notary publics. Therefore, you can find a company in most industries that need your skillset. If you currently work in a company you like, you receive a raise or other benefits by gaining a notary commission.

What Your Duties Will Include

You will be responsible for witnessing document signing. These documents may be legal, medical or business documents. Contracts often require at least one notary witness. However, you are responsible for determining whether a person understands what is being signed and that that person is not under duress. You will also verify the signees’ identities. Finally, you cannot witness documents that benefit you.

You can increase your income, skillset and flexibility by becoming a notary public.

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