How to Become a Notary in Arizona


The Application Process to Become a Notary in Arizona:


Are you interested in becoming a notary in Arizona ? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own Arizona notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The State of Arizona appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signings. Becoming a notary in Arizona is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become an Arizona notary. The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.

This Arizona notary guide will help you understand:

  1. Who can become a notary in Arizona
  2. How to become a notary in Arizona
  3. The basic duties of a notary in Arizona

What are the qualifications to become a notary in Arizona?


To become a notary in Arizona, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be at least eighteen (18) years of age. 
  2. Be a citizen or a legal permanent resident of the United States.
  3. Be a resident of Arizona for income tax purposes and claim a residence in Arizona as the primary residence on state and federal tax returns. 
  4. Be able to read, write, and understand English.
  5. Not be disqualified to receive a commission under ARS §41-271.

What is the process to become a notary in Arizona?


To become a notary in Arizona and receive an Arizona notary public commission, a notary applicant must:  

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
  2. Keep as a reference a notary manual that is approved by the Secretary of State and that describes the duties, authority, and ethical responsibilities of a notary public.
  3. Complete an online web-based application located on the Secretary of State’s website. (Print and sign it.)
  4. Purchase a $5,000 surety bond.
  5. Complete the oath of office section of the notary bond in the presence of a notary.
  6. Submit to the Secretary of State an original signed application, an original and notarized bond, and a $43 filing fee. (The printed name, signature, address, and resident county on the application must match the information printed on the bond.)

Click here to learn how to become a notary in Arizona.

Note:  The standard processing time for notary applications is four to six weeks.

How do I renew my notary commission in Arizona?

An Arizona notary public may apply for reappointment as a notary public as early as two months before the expiration date of his or her current notary commission. Arizona notaries must complete an online web-based application for reappointment and follow the same application process and procedures as the initial application for appointment as a notary public. Click here to learn how to renew your notary commission in Arizona.

Who appoints notaries in Arizona?

The Arizona Secretary of State receives applications for appointment and reappointment as a notary public, administers the commissioning process, and maintains an electronic database of active notaries. Contact information for the Arizona Secretary of State is as follows:

Secretary of State
Business Services Division
Notary Department
1700 West Washington Street, 7th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2808
(602) 542-6187 or 1-800-458-5842

Can a non-resident become a notary in Arizona?

No. An individual who is not a resident of Arizona for income tax purposes and who does not claim an individual residence in Arizona as his or her primary residence on state and federal tax returns does not qualify for an Arizona notary public commission.

How long is the term of a notary public commission in Arizona?

The commission term of an Arizona notary public is four years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission.

Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in Arizona?

No. New applicants seeking appointments as Arizona notaries public and renewing notaries are not required to take and pass any notary course of study or examination to be appointed and commissioned. However, the Secretary of State may require notary applicants and suspended notaries to take a course of study and pass an exam administered by the Secretary of State or an entity approved by the Secretary of State.

How much does it cost to become a notary in Arizona?

The cost to become a notary in Arizona includes the following:  

  1. A $43 filing fee to process an application for appointment or reappointment payable to the Arizona Secretary of State
  2. The cost for a four-year, $5,000 notary bond ($25.00)
  3. The fee to have the oath of office notarized
  4. The cost of an official notary stamp ($21.95)
  5. The cost of a notary journal ($11.95)
  6. The cost of an E&O insurance policy (optional) if the notary public wishes to purchase one for his or her own legal and financial protection. Click here to view policy premiums and coverage.

Is a notary errors and omissions insurance policy required to become a notary in Arizona?

An Arizona errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Arizona. It is not mandatory to have E&O insurance policy when applying for appointment as a notary public. The American Association of Notaries recommends that Arizona notaries obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy for their personal protection. Errors and omissions insurance is designed to protect notaries public against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial or other types of loss to the public or from a client who sues the notary public for recovery. An E&O insurance policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage an Arizona notary selects.  Click here for more information on E&O insurance policies.

Is a notary bond required to become a notary in Arizona?

An Arizona notary bond in the amount of $5,000 is required for any new applicant seeking an appointment as a notary public and for renewing notaries. A licensed surety agent must execute the bond. The notary bond and application must be delivered to the Secretary of State not more than sixty days before or sixty days after the effective date printed on the bond. Click here to purchase and download a notary bond instantly.

Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Arizona?

The Arizona notary statute requires Arizona notaries to authenticate with an official seal all notarial acts they perform (A.R.S. §41-264[B]).  The official notary stamp must:

  • Be a rubber stamp.
  • Have dark ink. These colors include black, dark blue, dark purple, dark green or dark brown. Red ink or ink not viewable on all copy or fax machines is unacceptable.
  • Not be larger than 1 1/2 inches high and 2 1/2 inches wide or 1 1/2 inches round.
  • Contain the words “Notary Public.”
  • Contain the notary public’s name as listed on his or her commission certificate.
  • Contain the Arizona county (listed on the commission certificate) in which the notary public was commissioned.
  • Contain the notary public’s current commission expiration date.
  • Contain the Great Seal of Arizona [A.R.S. §41-266(B)].
  • Contain the notary public’s commission number.

IMPORTANT:

  1. A notary public may only have one stamp.
  2. A notary public may use an embosser only in conjunction with the notary public's physical stamping device. An embosser or an impression made by the embosser is not an official seal of office for the purposes of the laws of this state.
  3. The notary must provide a COPY of the notary certificate to the company making the seal.

Note: The law authorizes the Secretary of State to impose a $1,000 penalty against a notary who fails to notify the Secretary of State of the loss, theft, or compromise of an official notary journal or stamping device within ten days. The notary is also required to notify law enforcement when a journal or stamping device is stolen.

Please visit the American Association of Notaries website to order an Arizona notary stampnotary seal,  notary package, and notary supplies.

How much can an Arizona notary public charge for performing notarial acts?

The maximum allowable fees an Arizona notary public may charge for notarial acts are listed below:  

  1. For an acknowledgment—up to $10.00 per notary signature
  2. For an oath or affirmation—up to $10.00 per notarial act
  3. For a jurat—up to $10 per notary signature
  4. For a copy certification—up to $10.00 per page certified

Note: A notary public shall select a standard fee, from “no charge” up to the maximum $10 fee, for a notarial act. A notary public must be consistent when charging fees and post the fee schedule in a conspicuous location. Before performing any notarial act, the notary public must inform the requestor of the service fee if one will be charged. A notary public must not advertise or charge or receive a fee for performing a notarial act except as specifically authorized by rule (ARS 41-316[C]). A notary public may be paid an amount up to the amount authorized for mileage expenses and per diem subsistence for state employees as prescribed by Title 38, Chapter 4, Article 2 (ARS §41-316[B]). For the latest authorized mileage fees for state employees, check the fee schedule online at www.gao.az.gov/travel.

Reminder: Per notary rules, notary fees shall be from "no charge up to a maximum of $10.00 per notarial act." This includes electronic and remote online notary fees.

Is a notary journal required in Arizona?

Arizona notary law requires all notaries to record all notarial acts in a chronological notary journal.

  • On tangible records - A notary public shall record all notarial acts on a paper journal
  • On electronic records - A notary public shall record all notarial acts on either a paper journal or on one or more electronic journals   
  • Private records - If one or more entries in a notary public's journal are not public records, the notary public shall keep one journal that contains entries that are not public records and one journal that contains entries that are public records. If a notary public keeps only one journal, that journal is presumed to be a public record.  A notary public's journal that contains entries that are not public records is the property of the employer of that notary public and shall be retained by that employer if the notary public leaves that employment. A notary public's journal that contains only public records is the property of the notary public without regard to whether the notary public's employer purchased the journal or provided the fees for the commissioning of the notary public ARS §41-319(E).
  • Except as prescribed by ARS §41-319(E), a notary public shall keep only one paper journal at a time.
  • The notary public shall record all notarial acts in chronological order.
  • The notary public shall furnish, when requested, a certified copy of any public record in the notary public's journal. Records of notarial acts that violate the attorney-client privilege or that are confidential pursuant to federal or state law are not a public record.

Note: The law authorizes the Secretary of State to impose a $1,000 penalty against a notary who fails to notify the Secretary of State of the loss, theft, or compromise of an official notary journal or stamping device within ten days. The notary is also required to notify law enforcement when a journal or stamping device is stolen.

To order an Arizona notary journal, please visit the American Association of Notaries website.

Where can I perform notarial acts in Arizona?

Arizona notaries public have authority to perform notarial acts anywhere within the geographic borders of Arizona.

What notarial acts can an Arizona notary public perform?

An Arizona notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts:   

  1. Take acknowledgments
  2. Administer oaths and affirmations
  3. Take verifications on oaths or affirmations
  4. Witness or attest signatures
  5. Certify or attest copies

Can I perform electronic notarizations in Arizona?

Yes. The Arizona Legislature enacted laws authorizing a notary public to obtain an electronic or digital signature and electronic seal to notarize electronic records in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization. In addition, the Arizona Secretary of State adopted regulations relating to electronic notarization provisions with respect to electronic records for electronic notaries in Title 2, Chapter 12, Article 12 (Electronic Notary) in the Arizona Administrative Code.

What is the process to become an Arizona electronic notary public?

To register as an electronic notary public, you must:

  1. Be a current, active Arizona notary public.
  2. Review the “Electronic Notary Rules” administrative rules before applying.
  3. Contract with a vendor that provides the technology that you intend to use to perform electronic notarizations.
  4. Complete an application on the Arizona Secretary of State’s website.
  5. Provide a description of the technologies or devices that you intend to use to perform electronic notarizations.
  6. Provide the name, address, and website URL of the vendor(s) or other persons that will directly supply the technologies that you intend to use for electronic notarizations. This technology must conform to the standards adopted by the Secretary of State.

Upon receipt of the application, the Secretary of State will generate and email the applicant an “E-notary/RON Request,” which must be printed, signed, and returned to the Secretary of State. Upon the Secretary of State’s approval, a commission certificate will be sent to the applicant by email with a link to the approved application and commission certificate. There is no additional fee or bond required at this time to become an electronic notary. The entire process to become an e-notary will take one to two weeks.

To start the application process for electronic notary public, visit the Arizona Secretary of State at https://azsos.gov/business/notary-public/remote-enotary.

Can I perform remote online notarizations in Arizona?

Yes. Arizona enacted laws allowing Arizona notaries to perform remote online notarizations.

How do I become a remote online notary in Arizona?

To register as a remote online notary public, you must:

  1. Be a current, active Arizona notary public.
  2. Review the “Remote Online Notary Rules” administrative rules before applying.
  3. Contract with a vendor that provides the technology that you intend to use to perform remote online notarizations.
  4. Complete an application on Arizona Secretary of State’s website.
  5. Provide a description of the technologies or devices that you intend to use to perform remote online notarizations.
  6. Provide the name, address, and website URL of the vendor(s) or other persons that will directly supply the technologies that you intend to use for remote online notarizations. This technology must conform to the standards adopted by the Secretary of State.

Upon approval, the notary public will receive a written authorization from the Secretary of State to perform remote online notarizations. A remote online notary public may also perform electronic notarizations. There is no additional fee or bond required at this time to become a Remote Online Notary Public. The commission term of a remote online notary public is the same as the term of the notary’s existing notary public commission. A remote online notary public must follow the initial application process to renew his or her authorization to continue to perform remote online notarizations (AAC R2-12-1304[I]).

How do I update my address with the Arizona Secretary of State?

Within thirty days after the change of a notary’s mailing, business, or residential address, the notary must notify the Secretary of State.

A notary must complete an address change form on the Secretary of State’s online system. Deliver the printed form to the Secretary of State by certified mail or any other means providing a receipt (ARS §41-323An). 

If a notary public fails to comply with Section 41-323, the notary public has failed to fully and faithfully discharge his or her duties, and the Secretary of State may impose a civil penalty of $25 against the notary public (ARS §41-323[C]). The notary public must pay any civil penalty imposed by the Secretary of State before the renewal of his or her commission.

How do I change my name on my notary commission in Arizona?

A notary public must notify the Secretary of State within thirty days of any name changes during his or her notary term. If your name changes, as an Arizona notary, you have two choices under the law:

  1. Continue to use the official seal and commission in your prior name until the commission expires. However, you must sign notarial certificates using your new  surname. Immediately below that signature, sign the name under which you are currently commissioned (ARS §41-327). You must complete a name change form on the Secretary of State’s online system. Deliver the printed form and include legal documentation to show why your name changed (marriage license, divorce decree, etc.) to the Secretary of State by certified mail or any other means providing a receipt (ARS §41-327). 
  2. If you wish to change your notary name on your notary commission, you must notify the Secretary of State by completing a resignation form on the Secretary of State’s online system and reapply using the renewal option. Proof from your bonding company that your previous  bond has been cancelled must be included.

Failure to notify the Secretary of State of a change of surname is evidence of failure to fully and faithfully discharge the duties of a notary public.

Revised:

July 2022

Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page. Information on this page is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their states if they have legal questions about how to perform notarial acts.

Arizona notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, the American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company (established 1900). Kal Tabbara is a licensed insurance agent in Arizona.