How to Become a Notary in Arizona


To become a notary in Arizona, you must:


  1. Meet the eligibility requirements listed in the next section.
  2. Keep a notary manual approved by the secretary of state as a reference that describes the duties, authority, and ethical responsibilities of a notary public.
  3. Complete an online notary application (found on the secretary of state's website).
  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 an original signed application, an original and notarized bond, and a $43 processing fee to the secretary of state. (The printed name, signature, address, and resident county on the application must match the information printed on the bond.)

Click here to start the notary application process in Arizona.

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

Who can become a notary public in Arizona?


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

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

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. How to become an electronic notary in Arizona.
  4. How to become a remote online notary in Arizona.
  5. The basic duties of a notary in Arizona.

How do I renew my notary commission in Arizona?


You can renew your notary commission in Arizona as early as sixty days before your current notary commission expires. To do so, complete an online notary application for reappointment and follow the same process and procedures as your initial application for appointment as a notary public.

Click here to start the notary renewal application process in Arizona.

Who appoints notaries in Arizona?


The Arizona Secretary of State receives notary applications for the appointment and reappointment of notaries public, administers the commissioning process, and maintains an electronic database of active notaries.

Arizona Secretary of State's Office
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 of Arizona apply for a commission as a notary public?


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 their primary residence on state and federal tax returns does not qualify for an Arizona notary public commission.

How long is a notary public's commission term in Arizona?


An Arizona notary’s term of office is four years.

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


No. There is no requirement to take or pass any notary course of study or examination to be appointed and commissioned as a notary public in Arizona or to renew your commission. However, the Arizona Secretary of State may require notary applicants and suspended notaries to take a study course and pass an exam administered by the Arizona Secretary of State or an entity approved by the Arizona Secretary of State.

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


The cost to become a notary in Arizona includes: 

  1. A $43 processing fee to the secretary of state to process your notary application.
  2. A four-year, $5,000 notary bond. Click here to view our Arizona notary bond price.
  3. A fee to have the oath of office notarized. This can range from no charge to a maximum of $10.

Other expenses include the cost of purchasing:

  1. An official notary stamp. Click here to view our notary stamp prices.
  2. A notary journal. Click here to view our notary journal prices.
  3. An errors and omissions insurance policy (optional) to protect yourself if you are sued for unintentional mistakes or if a false claim is filed against you. Click here to view our notary e/o policy premiums and coverage amounts.

Do I need a notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to become a notary in Arizona?


A notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is not required to become an Arizona notary public or to renew your notary commission. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that every Arizona notary obtain a notary E&O insurance policy. This insurance protects you from a claim if a client sues you as a notary. A notary E&O policy covers unintentional notarial mistakes and pays for legal fees and damages based on the coverage an Arizona notary public selects.

Arizona notary errors and omissions insurance policies are available to order online at the American Association of Notaries website: https://www.arizonanotaries.com/notary-insurance.

Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in Arizona?


Yes. All Arizona notary applicants are required to maintain a four-year, $5,000 notary bond. The bond protects the public from notary errors.

If a member of the public files a claim against a notary’s bond, the bonding company is very likely to sue the notary to recoup the funds it paid on the notary’s behalf. A notary bond does not protect notaries from mistakes they make. This is why notary errors and omissions insurance (commonly known as “E&O” or “E&O insurance”) is vital.

Arizona notary bonds are available to order online at the American Association of Notaries website: https://www.arizonanotaries.com/arizona-notary-bond.

Do I need to order a notary stamp in Arizona?


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

  • Be a rubber stamp.
  • Use dark ink, including 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 if round.
  • Contain the words “Notary Public.”
  • Contain your name as listed on your commission certificate.
  • Contain the Arizona county (listed on the commission certificate) in which you are commissioned.
  • Contain your notary commission expiration date.
  • Contain the Great Seal of Arizona.
  • Contain your commission number.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

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

The American Association of Notaries offers quality notary stamps and seals at savings of up to 40% or more compared to the cost of the same products elsewhere. Click here to order your Arizona notary stampnotary sealcomplete notary package, and other notary supplies.

What are the steps to replace a lost or stolen Arizona notary seal?


If your notary seal is lost or stolen, you will need to:

  1. Inform the appropriate law enforcement agency (in the case of theft).
  2. Notify the secretary of state within ten days of the loss or theft by submitting a Notice of Loss or Theft form on the Arizona Secretary of State’s website.
  3. Purchase a new notary seal that is distinguishable (different shape and ink color) from your old notary seal.
  4. Make a note in your notary journal of the date you started using your new notary 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 within ten days of the loss, theft, or compromise of an official notary stamping device.

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. An acknowledgment: Up to $10 per notary signature.
  2. An oath or affirmation: Up to $10 per notarial act.
  3. A jurat: Up to $10 per notary signature.
  4. A copy certification: Up to $10 per page certified.

Per notary rules, notary fees shall be from "no charge up to a maximum of $10 per notarial act." This includes electronic and remote online notary fees.

Important:

  • A notary public shall select a standard fee for a notarial act from “no charge” up to the maximum $10 fee.
  • 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 is to 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 [A.R.S. § 41-316(C)].
  • A notary public may be paid up to the amount authorized for mileage expenses and per diem subsistence for state employees, as prescribed by Title 38, Chapter 4, Article 2 [A.R.S. § 41-316(B)]. For the current authorized mileage fees for state employees, check the fee schedule online at https://gao.az.gov/state-arizona-accounting-manual-saam (Title: Maximum Mileage, Lodging, Meal, Parking and Incidental Expense Reimbursement Rates).

Is a notary journal required in Arizona?


Notary journal requirements for each type of notarization in Arizona:

  • Traditional Notarizations – An Arizona notary public performing traditional notarizations is required to keep a paper journal to chronicle all notarial acts performed regarding tangible records. The notarial acts must be listed in chronological order. The secretary of state recommends paper journals be permanently bound.
  • Electronic Notarizations – An electronic notary public shall keep a journal of all electronic notarial acts in bound paper form with the same form as required in A.R.S. § 41-319 and shall be under the sole control of the electronic notary public [R2-12-1207].
  • Remote Online Notarizations – An Arizona notary public performing remote online notarizations must record each notarial act in chronological order in a journal maintained in a permanent, tamper-evident electronic format. A notary public may not record a remote online notarial act in a paper journal.

Arizona notaries are only allowed to keep one paper journal unless one or more entries in the journal are not public records. In this case, the notary public shall keep one journal containing non-public entries and one with public entries. If a notary public keeps only one journal, that journal is presumed to be a public record.

A notary journal (also known as a record book, log book, or register book) is your first line of defense in proving your innocence if a notarial act you performed is questioned or if you are requested to testify in a court of law about a notarial act you performed in the past. A properly recorded notarial act creates a paper trail that will help investigators locate and prosecute signers who have committed forgery or fraud. Properly recorded notarial acts provide evidence that you followed your state laws and notary’s best practices.

The American Association of Notaries offers notary journals in tangible and electronic formats.

Click here to purchase a tangible notary journal.

Click here to become a member and access our electronic notary journal.

What information must Arizona notaries record in their notary journals?


Arizona requires notaries to chronicle the following information in their notary journals:

 For Traditional and Electronic Notarizations:

  1. The date of the notarial act.
  2. A description of the document and type of notarial act (e.g.: acknowledgment, administering an oath or affirmation, copy certification, and taking a verification on oath or affirmation).
  3. The printed full name, address, and signature of each person for whom a notarial act is performed. To ensure accurate documentation of identification information, the notary should record the signer’s name and address in his or her journal as provided on the ID.
  4. The type of satisfactory evidence of identity presented to the notary by each person for whom a notarial act is performed.
  5. A description of the satisfactory evidence of identity provided, including its date of issuance or expiration.
  6. The fee, if any, charged per notary public signature. For clarity, it is recommended that the notary insert the total fee collected if multiple signatures are notarized as well as a notation indicating how many signatures were notarized. If not charging, it is recommended that the notary simply write “Ø.”

    Optional Entries:
  • The time of day of the notarization. This is not required under law but is helpful when recalling a notarization.
  • The thumbprint of a signer. Not all journals include an area for a thumbprint. A thumbprint is not required under Arizona law, and a refusal to leave a thumbprint is not a valid reason to refuse a notarization.
     

 For Remote Online Notarizations:

  1. The date and time of the notarial act.
  2. A description of the record, if any, and type of notarial act.
  3. The full name and address of each individual for whom the remote online notarial act is performed.
  4. If the identity of the individual is based on personal knowledge, a statement to that effect.
  5. If the identity of the individual is based on credential analysis and identity proofing, a brief description of the results of the identity verification process and the identification credential presented, including the date of issuance and expiration of the identification credential but not its serial or identification number.
  6. If the identity of the individual is based on an oath or affirmation of a credible witness, the information of the credible witness.
  7. A fee, if any, charged by the notary public.

What steps should I take if my Arizona notary journal is lost or stolen?


If your notary journal is lost or stolen, you will need to:

  1. Inform the appropriate law enforcement agency (in the case of theft).
  2. Notify the secretary of state within ten days of the loss or theft by submitting a Notice of Loss or Theft form on the Arizona Secretary of State’s website.
  3. Purchase a new notary journal.
  4. Document in your new notary journal why you needed to replace it.

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 within ten days of the loss, theft, or compromise of an official notary journal.

How long should I retain my Arizona notary journal?


You are required to keep a journal of all notarial acts for at least five years.

Where can I perform notarial acts in Arizona?


Arizona notaries are authorized to perform notarial acts while physically located anywhere within the geographic borders of the state 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.

What type of notarizations are allowed in Arizona?


Arizona law allows the following three types of notarizations:

Traditional notarization This type of notarization requires the signer and the notary to meet physically in the same room within face-to-face proximity of one another. Traditional notarization involves an individual signing a tangible document with an inked pen and a notary public signing and affixing an inked notary stamp impression to the tangible notarial certificate.

Electronic notarization – This type of notarization requires the signer and the electronic notary (also known as an E-notary and eNotary) to meet physically in the same room within face-to-face proximity of one another. However, the notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary seal, and an electronic notarial certificate.

Remote online notarization (also known as RON and remote notarization) – The signer appears remotely before a remote online notary via audio-visual technology. The notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary seal, and an electronic notarial certificate.

What are the steps to become an electronic notary in Arizona?


To become an electronic notary public in Arizona, follow the steps below:

  1. Be a current, active Arizona notary public.
  2. Review the “Electronic Notary Rules” before applying.
  3. Contract with a vendor that provides the technology you intend to use to perform electronic notarizations. The secretary of state’s website provides a list of electronic notary vendors you may wish to contact.
  4. Complete an application on the Arizona Secretary of State’s website at https://apps.azsos.gov/apps/notary/application/EApplication.aspx.
  5. Upon receipt of the application, the secretary of state will generate and email you an “E-notary/RON Request,” which must be printed, signed, and returned to the secretary of state.

Upon approval by the secretary of state, you will receive a link to download your notary commission certificate and the approved application. The entire process of becoming an e-notary will take one to two weeks.

For more information about becoming an electronic notary in Arizona, visit the Arizona Secretary of State’s website.

What are the steps to become a remote online notary in Arizona?


To become a remote online notary public in Arizona, follow the steps below:

  1. Be a current, active Arizona notary public.
  2. Review the “Remote Online Notary Rules” before applying.
  3. Contract with a vendor that provides the technology you intend to use to perform remote online notarizations. The secretary of state’s website provides a list of remote online notary vendors you may wish to contact.
  4. Complete an application on the Arizona Secretary of State’s website at https://apps.azsos.gov/apps/notary/application/EApplication.aspx.
  5. Upon receipt of the application, the secretary of state will generate and email you an “E-notary/RON Request,” which must be printed, signed, and returned to the secretary of state.

Upon approval by the secretary of state, you will receive a link to download your notary commission certificate and the approved application. The entire process of becoming a remote online notary will take one to two weeks.

For more information about becoming a remote online notary in Arizona, visit the Arizona Secretary of State’s website.

How do I update my address on my Arizona notary commission?


If your mailing, business, or residential address changes, you have thirty days to notify the secretary of state by completing an address change form on the secretary of state’s online system.

If you fail to comply with A.R.S. § 41-323(A), you have failed to discharge your duties fully and faithfully, and the Arizona Secretary of State may impose a civil penalty of $25 against you [A.R.S. § 41-323(C)]. You must pay any civil penalty imposed before the renewal of your notary commission.

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


You must notify the Arizona Secretary of State within thirty days of your name change (A.R.S. § 41-327). If your name changes, you have two options under the law:

  1. Continue to use the official seal and commission with your prior name until your 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. If you choose this option, you are still required  to complete a name change form on the secretary of state’s online system.
  2. If you wish to change your notary name on your notary commission, you must first resign your notary commission  by completing a resignation form on the secretary of state’s online system and reapply using the renewal option. Proof from your bonding company showing that your previous bond has been canceled must be included.

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

Revised:


December 2023

Legal disclaimer: The information provided on this page is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We do not claim to be attorneys and we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, losses, damages, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss, or consequential loss, out of or in connection with the use of the information contained on any of the American Association of Notaries website pages. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their state’s notary authorities or attorneys if they have legal questions. 

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.