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Ohio Notary Study Guide

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According to chapter 147 of the Ohio Revised Code, the secretary of state in Ohio can commission any person 18 years of age or older, who resides or practices law in the state, as a notary public. Before you make application for a notary license, you must retain a signed form from the common pleas court judge, an appellate court judge or a judge from the Ohio Supreme Court. The form states you are a citizen of the county, of good moral standards and if you are an attorney. The judge may, at his discretion, ask you to take a test to determine if you have the qualifications necessary to have a notary public license.

Terms and Jurisdiction

You are commissioned as a notary public for a period of five years, once your application is accepted and the fees are paid. As of 2011, the fee for becoming a notary public is $15, and must also be paid for renewal. You must take an oath of office, once you are approved. You may operate as a notary public throughout the state of Ohio during the commission. If you violate the oath, a person may file a claim in court. If the court decides the violation did occur, your commission is revoked and you can never be authorized as a notary again.

Registers and Fees

You are required to keep a register of your actions during you commission. You can purchase a registry from companies that supply notary supplies. The registry information includes the date of each action, the name of the participants, the documents notarized and the fees charged. This registry must be accurate and up to date. Once your commission ends, and you do not renew or upon your death, or if your commission is revoked, the registry is given to the clerk of courts in your county. The fees you charge are governed by the Ohio revised code. These fees vary according to the action. You receive a list of fees you can charge when you receive your commission. You can lose your commission if you charge excessive fees for your service.

Name and Address Changes

During your commission, if you change your name or move, you must inform your county clerk of courts and the state of Ohio. If you move from one county to another, you must register your commission with the clerk of courts in the new county. While waiting for notification of acceptance for the information change, you can still operate as a notary public. However, you must make a notation on the notarized documents, that your name has changed.

Powers and Documents

As a notary public for the state of Ohio, you may take affidavits, certify depositions, notarize deeds, titles and liens. You may also notarize powers of attorney. You may also notarize subpoenas and witness statements. You cannot affix your notary seal to any documents containing blank lines, such as car title mileage. You must also verify the identity of the people you are serving. This is considered administering an oath of affirmation. If you fail to administer the oath, you can lose your commission for a period of three years.


Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for over 30 years, and published a variety of e-books and articles on gardening, small business and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English.

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