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Notary publics are appointed by the Secretary of State in the state where they are residents. Notaries are used to witness signatures on paperwork that requires the signature of a notary, an impartial third party who can attest to the fact that the signatures on any form have not been forged. Notary signatures make it more difficult for criminals to commit fraud or forgery.
Obtain a copy of a notary public application form from your Secretary of State’s website. Read the instructions to determine whether you are eligible to be a notary public in your state. Convicted criminals, non-U.S. citizens, and people under age 18 are not eligible to apply.
Enter your name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and driver’s license number on the notary public application form. Answer the questions at the bottom of the form by checking the “Yes” or “No” boxes next to each question. Each question must be answered honestly.
Mail your notary public application, along with the associated fee, to the Secretary of State in the state where you are a permanent resident. Your notary application will be reviewed and, if approved, your notary seal and paperwork will be mailed to you within four weeks.