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In Ohio, notaries public are commissioned by individual counties, each of which has its own rules and procedure for certifying them. Dayton is located in Montgomery County, and notary commissions in this county are handled by the Dayton Bar Association.
If you wish to become a notary public in Dayton, you must apply at the Dayton Bar Association office. You must be at least 18 years old and a registered voter in Montgomery County to apply here; if you reside in any other Ohio county, call the clerk of courts office in your home county for information. All initial notary applications must be made in person, and applications are accepted Monday through Friday only, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Scheduling the Exam
On your first visit to the Bar Association, you must fill out an application and pay the application processing fee, which is $70 as of November 2010. The Bar Association accepts cash, checks, and all major credit cards. When you submit your application you will be registered for the notary exam, which is scheduled for the fourth Friday of each month at the Bar Association office. Once your test date is confirmed you will receive a notary guidebook to study.
About the Exam
The notary exam for Montgomery County includes 50 multiple-choice questions and a sample auto title for you to notarize. The test questions cover basic notarial duties and procedures, rules and regulations, and ethics. When you pass the test, you will immediately receive your notary commission, which is good for five years. If your notary commission expires, you have five years to renew it. If it has been more than five years since your commission expired, you must take a renewal test before your commission is reinstated.
Re-Taking the Test
The Dayton Bar Association allows you to re-take the test if you fail. If you fail your first test, you must wait at least one month before attempting the test again. If you fail the second test, there is another one-month waiting period before you can take the test again, and a two-month waiting period if you fail the third test. If you fail your fourth attempt at the notary commission test, you must wait one year before applying again. In all cases, there is an additional $20 fee each time you re-take the test.
An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer and editor, specializing in careers, business, education, and lifestyle topics. The author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), which covers everything from career and financial advice to furnishing your first apartment, her work has also appeared in Young Money, Lewiston Auburn Magazine, USA Today, and a variety of online outlets. She's also been quoted as a career expert in many newspapers and magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Parade. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.