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How Does One Become a Notary or Justice of the Peace in South Carolina?

The governor of South Carolina once appointed justices of the peace in the state. As of 2008, the duties performed by the justice of the peace were taken over by notaries public and municipal judges. A notary public in South Carolina administers oaths, witnesses signatures, performs marriage ceremonies and takes affidavits in the state.


South Carolina notaries public must be a minimum of 18 years old to qualify for the commission. Only registered voters who are citizens of the state of South Carolina may become a notary in the state. The individual must not have a felony conviction or have served a sentence in its entirety. Felons must have served probation or parole before applying for a commission as a notary.


The notary applicant must complete an application to obtain a commission in South Carolina. The application will include the name, address, precinct and voter registration number of the individual. South Carolina notaries must have the application notarized before submitting the documents and a fee to the county delegation office. The office will send the notary application to the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office.

Commission Certificate

Approved notaries will receive a commission certificate within a week after the secretary of state receives the application and approves it. The notary must bring the commission certificate to the county clerk of court office to enroll in the county. The county clerk will stamp the certificate after recording the commission in the county record book.

Equipment and Supplies

Notaries in South Carolina may use a rubber stamp or an embossing seal to perform the duties of the office. The rubber stamp must be a rectangle or a circle and include the name, state and title of the notary public. The state of South Carolina does not require notaries to keep a record of transactions, but the South Carolina Office of the Secretary of State recommends it.


South Carolina notaries serve a 10-year term before renewing the commission. The state does not automatically renew the commission of notaries or send a notification before it expires. The application for renewal is the same as for the original notary position.


Luanne Kelchner works out of Daytona Beach, Florida and has been freelance writing full time since 2008. Her ghostwriting work has covered a variety of topics but mainly focuses on health and home improvement articles. Kelchner has a degree from Southern New Hampshire University in English language and literature.