An Arizona notary is a public official appointed by the Secretary of State to serve the public as an impartial witness to the signing of legal documents. The Arizona Secretary of State is responsible for approving, denying, suspending, or revoking Arizona notary commissions.
A Notary’s Authorized Duties in Arizona
A notary public witnesses signatures and verifies the identities of signers. A notary public must be impartial. Every state allows notaries to perform different functions. In Arizona, notaries are permitted to:
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Certify copies
- Administer jurats
Requirements to Become a Notary in Arizona
To become an Arizona notary public you must meet the following qualifications:
1. Be a permanent resident or citizen of the United States.
State notary law requires an Arizona notary public to be a citizen or a legal permanent resident of the United States. Generally, a person is considered a citizen of the U.S. if born in the United States. A person is regarded as a legal permanent resident of the U.S. if the non-citizen has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States permanently and is the holder of a permanent resident card, commonly called a "green card."
2. Be an Arizona resident.
Arizona notaries public must continuously reside in Arizona. Individuals are considered Arizona residents if they use an Arizona residence as their primary address on state and federal tax returns. An individual may also be considered an Arizona resident if he or she is currently registered to vote in Arizona. Even when an individual is out of the state for temporary or transitory purposes, he or she is still considered a resident.
3. Be at least 18 years old.
The minimum age that an individual must attain before becoming eligible for a notary commission in Arizona is 18 years old, which is considered the age of majority in Arizona.
4. Be able to read and write English.
An Arizona notary applicant must be able to read, write, and understand the English language, because most notary materials are prepared in the English language. However, this does not mean a notary who is fluent in another language cannot perform notarial acts in foreign languages.
5. Have no convictions for a felony or for an offense involving moral turpitude.
An Arizona notary public is a public officer appointed by the Arizona Secretary of State to help deter fraud. Notaries must demonstrate a high standard of honesty, integrity, reliability, and competence to discharge their notarial functions and obligations. Accordingly, the notary applicant must have no convictions for a felony, for a lesser offense involving moral turpitude, or any offense of a nature incompatible with the notary public’s duties. However, a person can still be eligible to apply for a notary commission even if convicted of a felony if his or her civil rights have been restored.
6. Never have had a professional license suspended or revoked.
The Arizona Secretary of State may refuse to grant a notary commission if the applicant has had a professional license revoked or suspended for misconduct or dishonesty or any cause that substantially relates to the notarial duties or functions. The Secretary of State may also decline to grant a notary commission if a previous notary commission was suspended or revoked.
Rejection of notary applications in Arizona
If the applicant meets all the qualifications and submits all the documents correctly, he or she will be approved and commissioned as a notary within thirty days of the application receipt date. An applicant who does not meet the requirements will be notified of the denial within thirty days of submission of the application. An individual’s application may also be rejected if he or she has failed to produce the required documents or has an error on the application. In such a case, the applicant will be notified by the Secretary of State to provide the missing documents or correct the error.
The American Association of Notaries (AAN) is here to assist you with your application and notarial needs. The AAN is a leading provider of notary bonds and notary E&O insurance policies and various notary supplies for notaries across the United States. For more information, please contact AAN by calling (713)-644-2299 or visiting our website at www.arizonanotaries. Feel free to share the news of our services with other notaries so they, too, may take advantage of everything we offer.
Click here to learn how to become a notary in Arizona.