How to Become a Notary in Arizona
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 of Arizona appoints 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:
- Who can become an Arizona notary
- The process to become an Arizona notary
- Basic Arizona notarial duties
What are the qualifications to become an Arizona notary?
To become an Arizona notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
- Be a citizen or a legal permanent resident of the United States.
- Be a resident of Arizona for income tax purposes and claim the individual’s residence in Arizona as the individual’s primary residence on state and federal tax returns.
- Be able to read and write English.
- Never have been convicted of a felony (unless civil rights have been restored) or of a lesser offense involving moral turpitude or an offense of a nature that is incompatible with the duties of a notary public.
What is the process to become an Arizona notary?
To become an Arizona notary public and receive an Arizona notary public commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Complete an online web-based application located on the Secretary of State’s website. (Print, sign, and have it notarized.)
- Purchase a $5,000 surety bond.
- Submit to the Secretary of State an original signed application, an original and notarized bond, and a $43 filing fee. (The applications created from the “web application” site are the only applications accepted, and the photocopies of the application and bond will not be accepted.)
- Submit all three together in person at either the Phoenix or Tucson customer service centers or by mail to the Phoenix office.
- Make sure the printed name, signatures, addresses, and county of residences on the application are identical to the information on the bond.
- To initiate a new notary application process for an Arizona notary commission, click here.
Note: The standard processing time for notary applications takes four weeks. An applicant or a renewing notary public may request to expedite the application process for an additional $25 fee, which reduces the processing time to two to three business days.
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 much does it cost to become a notary in Arizona?
An Arizona notary applicant’s expenses may include the following:
- A $43 filing fee to process an application for appointment or reappointment or $68 to expedite his or her notary application
- A $5,000 surety bond
- An official stamp
- A notary journal
- An E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to purchase one for his or her personal protection against liability
How do I renew my Arizona notary commission?
An Arizona notary public may apply for reappointment as 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. A notary public who changed any address (mailing, home, and/or business) more than thirty days from receipt of his or her application for reappointment and did not report that change to the Secretary of State must include a civil penalty of $25 to avoid delay in processing the notary’s application for reappointment (ARS §41-328). The Secretary of State is not bound by prior determinations of eligibility. The Secretary of State reserves the right to request additional documentation or fees required for processing. To apply using the renewal service online, click here.
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become an Arizona notary public or to renew my Arizona notary public commission?
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 that applicants and suspended notaries present proof of attendance at a notary training course before receiving their notary commissions or before reinstatement of a suspended commission. The American Association of Notaries offers Arizona notaries a notary course online at www.becomeanotarypublic.com.
Can I perform electronic notarization in Arizona?
Yes. The Arizona Legislature enacted the “Electronic Notarization” 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 (ARS §41-352). In addition, the Arizona Secretary of State adopted regulations by final rulemaking 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, a notary public must:
- Be a current, active Arizona notary public.
- Review the “Electronic Notary” administrative rules before applying [Electronic Notary Rules].
- Contract with a vendor that provides the technology that the notary public intends to use to perform electronic notarizations.
- Notify the Arizona Secretary of State that the notary public will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records.
- Provide a description of the technologies that the notary intends to use to perform electronic notarizations.
- Provide the name and website URL of the vendor that will supply the technologies that the notary intends to use for electronic notarizations. This technology must conform to the standards adopted by the Secretary of State by rule.
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 initiate the application process for electronic notary public, visit the Arizona Secretary of State at https://azsos.gov/business/notary/enotary.
Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Arizona?
Yes. The Arizona 2019 Legislature enacted Senate Bill 1030 and added Article 4 (Remote Online Notarization) to Title 41, Chapter 2 (Notaries Public) of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Senate Bill 1030 was to take effect on July 1, 2020, but the effective date was moved up to April 10, 2020 by an executive order.
What is the process to become an Arizona remote online notary public?
Before a notary public performs his or her initial remote online notarization, the notary must notify the Secretary of State that he or she will be performing remote online notarial acts using communication technology for remotely located individuals. Before submitting an application to register as a remote online notary public, a notary public must:
- Be a current, active Arizona notary public.
- Review the “Remote Online Notarization” administrative rules before applying [Remote Online Notary Rules].
- Contract with a vendor that provides the technology that he or she intends to use to perform remote online notarizations.
- Provide, on his or her application, a description of the technologies that the he or she intends to use to perform remote online notarizations.
- Provide, on his or her application, the name and website URL of the vendor that will supply the technologies that the notary intends to use to perform remote online notarizations.
- Select a technology that conforms to the standards adopted by the Secretary of State by rule.
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 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. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void:
- By resignation.
- By death.
- By revocation.
- When a notary public is no longer a resident of Arizona during the notary’s commission term.
- When a notary no longer is a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States.
- When a notary loses his or her capability to read and write English.
- When a notary has been convicted of a felony offense (unless civil rights have been restored) or of a lesser offense involving moral turpitude or of an offense of a nature that is incompatible with the duties of a notary public.
Is an Arizona notary bond required to become a notary in Arizona?
Yes. A surety 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 must execute the bond. The bond must be approved and filed with the Secretary of State within twenty days after an applicant receives notice of the appointment or reappointment. On filing the official oath and bond, the Secretary of State shall deliver the commission to the person appointed (ARS §41-312.B). The Secretary of State shall not accept any bond that was issued more than sixty days before or more than sixty days after the date on which the Secretary of State commissions a notary public (ARS §41-315.B). To purchase and receive a bond via e-mail in one business day, visit the American Association of Notaries website or call (800) 721-2663.
Do I need an Arizona notary errors and omission insurance?
No. An errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Arizona. It is not mandatory to have E&O insurance 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 against liability. Errors and omissions insurance is designed to protect notaries public from liability 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 policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage an Arizona notary selects. To obtain information regarding an E&O insurance policy, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.arizonanotaries.com or call (800) 721-2663.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Arizona?
Arizona notaries public may perform notarial acts anywhere within the geographic borders of the Arizona. “Acknowledgments of documents may be taken and executed and oaths may be administered by a notary public in any county of the state although the commission is issued to the notary public in and for another county” (ARS §41-312.A). An Arizona notary public may not perform notarial acts outside Arizona.
Who appoints Arizona notaries public?
The Arizona Secretary of States 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
1700 West Washington Street, 7th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2808
(602) 542-6187 or 1-800-458-5842
Southern Arizona Satellite Office:
Arizona State Complex Building
400 West Congress
First Floor, Suite 141
Tucson, AZ 85701
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Arizona?
Yes. The Arizona notary statute requires notaries public to authenticate with an official seal all official acts on every certificate or acknowledgment signed and sealed by the notary (ARS §41-313[D]).
Dimensions: “A notary public’s official seal may be any shape and shall produce a stamped seal that is no more than one and one-half inches high and two and one-half inches wide” (ARS §41-321.B).
Required Elements: Arizona notaries must provide and keep the official seal that is imprinted in dark ink with the following elements (ARS §41-313[D]):
- The words “Notary Public”
- The name of the county in which the notary is commissioned
- The name of the notary public as it appears on the notarial application
- The Great Seal of the State of Arizona
- The notarial commission number
- The expiration date of the notarial commission
“A notary public may possess only one official seal but may also possess and use an embossing seal that may be used only in conjunction with the notary public's official seal. An embossing seal is not an official seal of a notary public” (ARS §41-321.B). “Dark ink includes black, dark blue, dark purple, dark green or dark brown. Red ink or ink not viewable on all copy or fax machines is unacceptable” (Notary Public Reference Manual).
Failure to comply: Using an official seal that is not in compliance with Section 41-313[D] is grounds for the Secretary of State to refuse, revoke, or suspend a notary’s commission (ARS §41-330An).
Is a notary journal required in Arizona?
Yes. A notary public must keep a paper journal to record all notarial acts in chronological order and must keep only one journal at a time. The notary shall furnish, when requested, a certified copy of any public record in the notary'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 (ARS §41-319.A). Likewise, electronic notaries are required to record all electronic notarial acts performed in a paper journal. A notary public is allowed to keep one journal for public records and another journal for non-public records. If a notary keeps only one journal, that journal is presumed to be a public record, which becomes the property of a notary. A notary’s journal that contains entries that are not public records is the property of the notary’s employer when the notary leaves that employment (ARS §41-319.E). The notary's journal is a public record that may be viewed by or copied for any member of the public, but only on presentation to the notary of a written request that details the month and year of the notarial act, the name of the person whose signature was notarized, and the type of document or transaction (ARS §41-319.E). While not required by state notary law, the American Association of Notaries recommends that Arizona notaries maintain a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages to create and preserve a chronological record of every notarial act performed as a protective measure against allegations of fraudulent notarial acts and official misconduct. For Arizona notary supplies, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com, call (800) 721-2663, or click here.
How much can an Arizona notary charge for performing notarial acts?
The Arizona Secretary of State shall establish fees that notaries public may charge for notarial acts. These fees shall be established by rules adopted pursuant to Chapter 6 (ARS §41-316.A and AAC R2-12-1102). The maximum allowable fees an Arizona notary public may charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- For an acknowledgment-- up to $10.00 per notary signature
- For an oath or affirmation--up to $10.00 per notarial act
- For a jurat—up to $10 per notary signature
- 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.
What notarial acts can an Arizona notary public perform?
An Arizona notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (ARS §41-313.A):
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Perform jurats
- Perform copy certification
How do I update my address for my Arizona notary commission?
Within thirty days after the change of a notary’s mailing, business, or residential address, the notary must deliver to the Secretary of State, by certified mail or other means providing a receipt, a signed notice of the change that provides both the old and new addresses (ARS §41-323.A). The Secretary of State’s online system will request a notary public to complete all three addresses as an added security feature; however, if only one address is changing, only that address will be changed. If a notary public fails to comply with Section 41-323, the notary public has failed to fully and faithfully discharge the duties of a notary public 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. A notary public may file an address change notice with the Secretary of State online by clicking here.
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Arizona?
An Arizona notary public who has a change of surname may continue to use the official seal and commission in the notary’s prior name until the commission expires. The notary must sign the changed surname on the line that is designated for the notary public’s signature on the notarial certificate. Immediately below that signature, the notary public shall sign the name under which the notary was commissioned (ARS §41-327). The notary public must notify the Secretary of State within thirty days of the notary’s change of surname. A notary public may 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. Failure to notify the Secretary of State of this change of surname is evidence of the notary’s failure to fully and faithfully discharge the duties of a notary public. A notary public must submit a Notary Public Address/Name Change Notification and include legal documentation to show why the notary’s name changed (marriage license, divorce decree, etc.), which may be filed online at the Secretary of State’s website by clicking here.
Revised: August 2020
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 the 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.