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How to Become a Notary in Ohio

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Ohio’s office of the secretary of state administers the state’s notary public program. The Ohio Notary Commission maintains records of notaries public registered in Ohio and provides on its website a searchable database of the state’s commissioned notaries. The notary commission also provides on its website information and guidelines for notaries practicing in the state. The Ohio Revised Code Governing Notaries Public authorizes and provides governance for the operation of the state’s notary public program. While the secretary of state appoints and commissions notaries public, and Ohio state laws govern the process, the commissions are processed at the county level.

Confirm that you meet the requirements for commissioning as an Ohio notary public. A qualified applicant is at least 18 years old, an Ohio resident, an attorney who is an Ohio resident and who is admitted to practice law in Ohio, or an attorney who is not an Ohio resident but is admitted to practice law in Ohio and has his principal business of primary practice in Ohio.

Contact the county in which you reside to learn the notary public application procedure. The Ohio Notary Commission provides on its website links to notary public contacts in each county.

Obtain a certificate from a judge of an Ohio court of common pleas, court of appeals or supreme court in your county of residence. The certificate must state that the notary public applicant is of good moral character and confirm the applicant’s residency, if required. The certificate must state, if appropriate, that the applicant is an attorney admitted to practice in Ohio and include a statement that the applicant is qualified to perform the notary public duties. Ohio law requires judges to have personal knowledge or examination results that prove the applicant's qualities before issuing the certificate.

Take the oath of office as directed by your county court and sign your notary public commission from the Ohio’s secretary of state.

Present your commission, with the oath of office endorsed on the document, and the required fee to the clerk of courts in your county of residence. The clerk of court records and indexes your commission.


Ohio requires notaries public to purchase an approved seal before performing the duties of the notary public.