BECOMING A NOTARY
A notary public serves an important function, guaranteeing ("attesting" or "certifying") the authenticity of signatures on legal documents, such as wills, affidavits, deeds, contracts, and powers of attorney. Who may serve as a notary? Where and how may application be made? How long may they serve? And what is the cost to apply?
Anyone who meets the following qualifications may serve as a notary in Georgia:
- Age 18 or older
- No felony convictions
- A person of integrity and good moral character who is capable of performing notarial acts
- One of the following residential requirements:
- A resident of the county where application is made
- A resident of a state bordering Georgia who carries on a business or profession in the Georgia county where application is made
- A resident of a state bordering Georgia who is regularly employed in the Georgia county where application is made
You may apply online for a four-year notary public commission or pick up an application in the office of the Clerk of Court. They are not complicated to fill out; however, by signing the applicant is swearing that he/she fulfills the conditions listed above. Two people who are residents of the county and who know the person applying must also complete portions of the form.
Once returned to the Clerk of Court along with a $42 fee (subject to change), the oath of office is administered and the application is finalized and approved. The new notary public receives two copies: One white with a gold seal, which is to be kept, and one pink, to be given to any office supply store when purchasing a seal. The yellow copy is sent to the Clerk's Authority, which indexes notaries' names on computer.