How to Become an Arizona Notary
The Arizona Notary Process:
Are you interested in becoming an Arizona notary? 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 appoints Arizona notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. 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 guide will help you understand:
- The process to become an Arizona notary
- Who can become an Arizona notary
- Basic Arizona notary duties
Qualifications to become a notary in Arizona:
To become an Arizona notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following qualifications:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a citizen or a legal permanent resident of the United States
- Be a resident of Arizona
- Never have been convicted of a felony unless civil rights have been restored, or a conviction for a lesser offense involving moral turpitude or of a nature that is incompatible with the duties of a notary public
- Be able to read and write English
The process to become a notary in Arizona:
In order to become an Arizona notary and receive an Arizona notary public commission, an Arizona notary applicant must:
- Meet the qualifications requirements provided in the previous section.
- Purchase a $5,000 Arizona notary bond.
- Complete a notary application on the Arizona Secretary of State's website.
- Submit the notary application with the original notarized Arizona notary bond and a filing fee of $43 to the Arizona Secretary of State.
- Purchase an Arizona notary stamp and a record book.
Can a non-resident become a notary in Arizona?
No. A notary applicant who does not have a primary residence in Arizona, does not qualify for an Arizona notary public commission.
Is an Arizona notary bond required to become a notary in Arizona?
Yes. New and renewing notaries public are required purchase a $5,000 Arizona notary bond. The Secretary of State will not accept any bond that was issued more than 60 days before or 30 days after the date on which the Secretary of State commissions a notary public. Please visit the American Association of Notaries website to purchase and receive a bond via e-mail in one business day.
Do I need an Arizona notary errors & omission insurance?
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from his or her official misconduct. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Arizona notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of an Arizona notary errors and omissions insurance. To receive additional information, visit our website at www.arizonanotaries.com or call (800) 721-2663.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Arizona?
To become a notary in Arizona, an applicant must include a $43 filing fee when submitting his or her notary web application for appointment or reappointment, plus the cost of the required official Arizona notary stamp, notary journal, and notary bond (the applicant can also include $68 to expedite the application if necessary).:
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Arizona?
An Arizona notary is commissioned for a term of four years from the date of appointment. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void by resignation, death, revocation, or when the notary public ceases to reside in Arizona.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Arizona?
An Arizona notary has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county at any location in Arizona. Likewise, an Arizona notary public may not perform notarial acts outside this state.
Who appoints Arizona notaries public?
To contact the Secretary of State:
Business Services Division
1700 West Washington Street, 7th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2808
(602) 542-6187 or 1-800-458-5842
How do I renew my Arizona notary commission?
An Arizona notary can file a web application for reappointment 60 days prior to the expiration date of his or her notary commission. Upon reappointment as an Arizona notary, the notary must obtain a new notary seal before he or she performs a notarial act. To initiate the reappointment process, click here.
Are there any exams or notary course requirements?
No notary training course or test is required of new and renewing notary applicants. However, the Secretary of State may require that notary applicants and suspended notaries present proof of attendance from a notary training course before receiving their commissions or before reinstatement of a suspended commission. Any applicant who is required to attend a notary training course must complete the training within 90 days prior to renewing their notary public commission.
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Arizona?
Arizona notary laws require all notaries public to use a dark-inked notary stamp to authenticate all notarial acts. 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. The notary stamp must not be larger than 1 1/2 inches high and 2 1/2 inches wide or 1 1/2 inches round. An Arizona notary is not allowed to have more than one notary stamp but may use an embossed seal in conjunction with the notary’s official seal. A notary must provide a copy of the notary's commission certificate to the stamp vendor when purchasing a notary stamp. A notary public can only have one seal.
Required Elements: The notary stamp must include the following:
- The words "Notary Public"
- The notary public's name as listed on his or her commission certificate
- The county name in which the notary is commissioned.
- The notary public's current commission expiration date.
- The Great Seal of Arizona [A.R.S. § 41-313(D)(2)].
- The notary public's commission number [A.R.S. § 41-313(D)(2)].
Is a notary journal required in Arizona?
Yes. Arizona notary laws require all notaries public to record, in chronological order, all notarial acts in a paper journal. Likewise, Arizona electronic notaries are also required to record all electronic notarial acts in a paper journal. A notary public must keep only one paper journal at a time; however, the state allows a notary to keep one journal for public records and another journal for non-public records. The American Association of Notaries and the Secretary of State recommend that an Arizona notary maintain a permanently bound journal for the notary’s protection even though it’s not required by law. To purchase Arizona notary journals and other supplies, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com or by calling (800) 721-2663.
How much can an Arizona notary charge for performing notarial acts?
Arizona notary fees are set by the Secretary of State. The maximum allowable fees an Arizona notary can charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- Acknowledgments or Jurat - up to $10.00 per notary signature
- Oaths or affirmations - up to $10.00 per notarial act
- Copy certifications - up to $10.00 per page certified
An Arizona electronic notary public may not charge more than $25 for performing an electronic notarial act.
Note: An Arizona notary may not charge notarial fees for notarizing pension papers or administering oaths required in the military service. A notary public may charge a travel mileage if the notary travels to perform a notarial act; however, the travel mileage fee must not be more than the amount allowed for Arizona state employees. Arizona law mandates that notaries post, in a conspicuous place, a complete list of the fees they are allowed to charge (ARS 38-412).
What notarial acts can an Arizona notary public perform?
An Arizona notary public is authorized to perform four notarial acts:
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Perform jurats
- Perform copy certification
Can I perform electronic notarization in Arizona
Yes. Arizona enacted Title 41, Chapter 2, Article 3 (Electronic Notarization) of the Arizona Revised Statutes governing the regulation of electronic notaries who perform electronic notarial acts relating to electronic documents. In addition, the Arizona Administrative Code provides rules for electronic notaries in Title 2, Chapter 12, Article 12 (Electronic Notary) for the performance of electronic notarial acts with respect to electronic documents. The Secretary of State appoints Arizona electronic notaries public.
The Arizona statutes mandate that an electronic notary public may perform an electronic notarial act only if the signer is in the presence of the electronic notary at the time of the electronic notarization. The electronic notary and the signer must be able to see, hear, communicate with, and give identification documents to each other without the use of electronic devices such as telephones, computers, video technology, video cameras, or audio technology.
How do I change my address?
An Arizona notary is required to notify the Secretary of State within 30 days after the notary’s mailing, residential, or business address changes. The notice of an address change may be filed with the Secretary of State online by clicking here. Failure to notify the Secretary of State of the change of address may result in a $25 civil penalty and/or is grounds for the Secretary of State to suspend or revoke the notary’s commission.
How do I change my name on my Arizona notary commission?
An Arizona notary is required to notify the Secretary of State within 30 days of a surname change. Failure to notify the Secretary of State may result in the suspension or revocation of the notary’s commission.
Optional: An Arizona notary may: (1) change his or her commission name to the new name after applying as a new applicant and submitting proof from the notary’s bonding company that his or her previous bond has been cancelled; or, (2) sign his or her new name on the notary’s signature line, and below that, the notary signs his or her name the way it appears on the original commission. The notice of a name change may be filed with the Secretary of State online by clicking here.
An Arizona notary resigns his or her notary public commission by submitting an original signed letter of resignation to the Governor of Arizona. In the event of resignation, revocation of a notarial commission, or the death of a notary, the official seal, notarial journal, and public records must be delivered to the Secretary of State by certified mail within three months of such event. In addition, a signed cover letter that includes the notary’s name, commission number, and the last four digits of the notary’s social security number must be sent with the notarial items. Failure to comply with this legal requirement may result in a fine between $50 and $500 by the Secretary of State. In case of death, a representative of the deceased notary must also include with the cover letter, a copy of the notary’s death certificate.
Prohibited Arizona notarial acts
The following notarial acts will result in disciplinary action:
- Preparing, drafting, selecting, or giving advice concerning legal documents or immigration matters
- Using false or misleading advertising in which the notary public represents that he or she has duties, rights, or privileges that the notary does not possess by law
- Charging more than the fees authorized by statute or rule
- Notarizing a document without the signer being in the notary’s presence at the time of the notarization
- Using an official seal that belongs to another notary
- Allowing another person to use his/her notary official seal
- Notarizing the signature of any person who is related to the notary by marriage or adoption
- Issuing to the Secretary of State a check for the application fees that is returned for insufficient funds or any other reason
- Executing any notarial certificate that contains false statements
- Notarizing a document that does not contain a notarial certificate
- Notarizing a document that has blank spaces and is incomplete
- Notarizing his or her own signature
- Notarizing a document with a notary seal that does not conform to statute
- Failing to maintain a journal that conforms with the legal requirements
- Submitting an application for a notary commission that contains substantial and material misstatement or omission to the Secretary of State
- Committing any act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit with intent to substantially benefit the notary or another person or to substantially injure another person
- Failing to administer the oath or affirmation required at the time of performing a jurat
- Failing to authenticate a notarial act with the notary’s seal at the time of the notarization
- Notarizing a document if the notary is an officer of any named party, if the notary is a party to the document, or if the notary will receive any direct material benefit from the transaction
- Refusing to notarize a document if a reasonable request by a signer is made
- Failing to discharge fully and faithfully any of the duties or responsibilities of a notary public
- Failing to complete the acknowledgment or jurat at the time the notary’s signature and seal are affixed to the document
Official notarial misconduct:
Notaries public, who commit official misconduct, may be subject to criminal liability, civil liability, disciplinary action, and other official matters. An Arizona notary, who commits any of these violations, may be subject to the following:
- For charging more than the fees allowed by AAR R2-12-1102, the notary is liable to the aggrieved party for an amount four times the fee unlawfully asked and received, and is guilty of class 5 felony (ARS 38-143);
- A public officer authorized by law to make or give any certificate or other writing, who makes and delivers as true such a certificate or writing containing a statement which he or she knows is false, is guilty of class 6 felony (ARS 38-423);
- A person who acknowledges, certifies, notarizes, procures, or offers to file, register or record in a public office in this state an instrument he or she knows to be false or forged, which, if genuine, could be filed, registered or recorded under any law of this state or the United States, or in compliance with established procedure, is guilty of a class 6 felony (ARS 39-161);
- A non-attorney notary who advertises notarial services in a language other than English must post or include a notice in English and the other language stating “I am not an attorney and cannot give legal advice about immigration or any other legal matter,” and failure to post this notice is guilty of a class 6 felony (ARS 41-329);
- A notary’s official seal that does not conform to the requirements of ARS 41-321(B] is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor (ARS 41-321[(C]); and
- A notary who makes an embossed seal as his or her official seal is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor (ARS 41-321[C]). In addition, the Secretary of State may refuse to appoint any person as a notary public or may revoke or suspend the commission of any notary public for the violation and/or conviction of any of the above-referenced official misconduct.
Arizona notary laws and regulations:
- Title 41, Chapter 2, Article 2 (Notaries Public) of the Arizona Revised Statutes
Title 41, Chapter 2, Article 3 (Electronic Notarization) of the Arizona Revised Statues
Arizona Administrative Code Rules--Title 2, Chapter 12, Article 12 (Electronic Notaries)
Arizona notarial certificates:
Click here to view AZ notarial certificates.
Revised: July 2018
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.