Notary Application Step by Step Guide

Effective September 1, 2023 please visit the Alabama Probate Judges Association website for a step by step guide to becoming a notary.
Notary Step by Step Guide

Application For Notary Public Commission


Online Notary Public Training Course

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Notary Public
  • You must be a resident of Coffee County to apply with this county
  • You must submit the application, along with the $10.00 application fee and a copy of your ID
  • You must complete the online training course within 30 days of submitting application
  • You must provide the Training Course Completion Certificate when recording the notary bond
  • Once the application is approved, you need to obtain a notary bond for $50,000.00 from an insurance Company
  • The recording fee is $73.00
  • Once recorded, your commission will start and will be for 4 years
  • Your Notary Seal can be obtained from most office supply stores
  • A reminder is not sent from our office to renew your notary

Notary FAQ

What is a notary public?
A notary public is an individual that acts an impartial witness in signing certain documents. The job of the notary public is to verify the identity, willingness, and awareness of any person signing the document in order to help prevent any fraud from occurring.

Can I become a notary public?
Yes. You can apply for appointment with the probate judge of the county of your residence. In order to apply, you must submit an application, which can be found at your probate judge’s office.

Is there an application fee?
Yes. Each applicant must pay a $10 application fee.

What all do I need to submit with my application?
In addition to a completed application form, you will need to submit a copy of your Alabama Driver License or Non-Driver ID.

What is the training program referenced in the application?
Effective September 1, 2023, all notary applicants, unless otherwise exempted by law, must complete a training program prepared by the Alabama Probate Judges Association and the Alabama Law Institute. This training program must be completed within 30 days after submitting your application and can be accessed on the Alabama Probate Judges Association’s website ( You will not be required to pay a fee to enroll in this program, nor will you be required to take a test to receive a certificate of completion. NOTE: Completion of any other training program will not satisfy the training requirement.

What happens after I submit my application?
Once you submit your application, the probate court’s staff verify your information and determine if you are eligible to become a notary public. The probate judge will then either send you a letter rejecting your application or send you a letter of appointment approving your application.

What do I need to do once I receive my letter of appointment?
Effective September 1, 2023, within 40 days from the date of the letter of appointment, the statewide notary must obtain a bond with sureties provided by an Alabama licensed producer of such bonds and approved by the probate judge of the county of residence in the sum of $50,000, payable to the State of Alabama and conditioned to faithfully perform the duties of notary public. The bond must be executed, approved, filed, and recorded in the office of the judge of probate of the county of their residence.

How do I receive my notary commission?
Once the probate court receives and records your notary bond, you will be given or mailed a notary commission. You cannot perform any notary act until you have received your notary commission.

How much must be paid to the probate judge to receive a notary commission?
According to the Alabama Code, the standard fee collected by the probate judge for each notary commission issued is $25.00. However, the fee may be increased by local legislation. Please contact your local probate judge to determine the fee for a notary commission in your county.

How long does a commission last as a notary public for the state at large?
The term of office for a statewide notary is 4 years. The notary may apply for a renewal after their four-year term has expired.

Is a notary required to have a seal?
Yes. In order to authenticate the official acts of the notary, each notary must provide a seal. The impression or stamp of this seal must provide the name, office, state and the county where the notary was appointed. Notary seals may be purchased from office supply stores.

Once duly appointed, what may a notary public do?
A notary may administer oaths, take acknowledgements of or proof of instruments of writing relating to commerce or navigation and certify the same and all other of their official acts under their seal of office, demand acceptance and payment of bills of exchange, promissory notes and all other writing which are governed by the commercial law as to days of grace, demand and notice of nonpayment and protest the same for nonacceptance or nonpayment and to give notice thereof as required by law.

What fees may a notary collect for services?
A notary is permitted to collect a reasonable fee, not to exceed $10.00, for each notarial act performed.

Does a notary public have to keep records to each notarial act?
No. A notary public only has to keep a record of notarial acts and communications where two-way audio-video communication is involved.

What is the penalty for performing a notarial act without a commission or an expired commission?
If any person performs a notarial act without being a notary or after their commission has expired, they are guilty of a Class C misdemeanor. If any person performs a notarial act knowing that they are not properly commissioned with the intent to commit fraud or intentionally assist with a fraudulent action, they are guilty of a Class D felony.

Can I be reported for notary misconduct?
Yes. Any party to a transaction where a notarial certificate is involved may execute an affidavit and file it with either the Secretary of State or your probate judge. Upon receipt, the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency shall then conduct an investigation and refer their findings to a district attorney for prosecution.

This information is not and shall not act as a substitute for the notary training program mandated under Alabama Code § 36-20-70. No person should ever apply or interpret any law without the aid of a lawyer who analyzes the facts, because the facts may change the application of the law.
2023 Prepared by the Alabama Law Institute for the Alabama Probate Judges’ Association


In response to numerous reports of fraud and abuse across the State regarding notaries public, the new and very prominent role notaries public have in Alabama’s new marriage contract process, and widespread reports of notaries public not understanding their duties and responsibilities, the Alabama Legislature significantly revised and updated Alabama’s Notary Public Act to address the noted problems and shortcomings with the existing law. The comprehensive revision of Alabama’s Notary Public Act brings Alabama in line with a majority of American states that require training of notaries public and specify both civil and criminal penalties, should a notary public act negligently or criminally.

Alabama’s revised Notary Public Act (Ala. Act 2023-548) was sponsored by Senator Sam Givhan (R) of Madison County and Representative David Faulkner (R) of Jefferson County. The Alabama Probate Judges Association (“APJA”) encouraged and endorsed the legislative effort and representatives of the APJA worked closely with the sponsors in formulating the revised notary act.
The revised Notary Public Act becomes effective on September 1, 2023.

The revised Notary Public Act amends Ala. Code §§ 36-20-71,72, 73.1, 74 and 75
(1975). The key features of the revised act are:

notary public’s term of office remains 4 years

Alabama’s judges of probate continue to appoint notaries public

Continues to require Alabama judges of probate to report appointments to the office of the Alabama Secretary of State

Requires an uniform application form be utilized statewide, which will be developed by the Alabama Law Institute and the APJA

Establishes a $10.00 application fee to be paid to the judge of probate at the time application is submitted

Increases the fee for issuance of a notary commission from $10.00 to $25.00

Requires all applicants (except lawyers) to successfully complete a training program prepared by the Alabama Law Institute and the APJA, that will be hosted on the APJA’s Internet website

Increases the notary bond amount from $25,000.00 to $50,000.00

Affords Alabamas judges of probate sole discretion to accept or deny applications

Creates specific grounds to deny an application:
­ Applicant is not a resident of Alabama

­ Applicant makes the application to a judge of probate who is not   the judge of probate of the county in which the applicant resides

­ Applicant has been convicted of a felony or crime involving morale turpitude

­ Applicant is currently a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding

­ Applicant is under a current order adjudicating the applicant to be incapacitated

­ Applicant provides false information on the application

­ Applicant is unable or unwilling to successfully complete the required training program within 30 days of submission of application (judge of probate may extend for good cause shown)

Any signature acknowledged by a notary public shall be physically executed within
Alabama and in the physical presence of the notary public at the time of acknowledgement

Maintains the process for electronic notarization established in 2021

Requires the notary public to positively identify the prospective signatory via personal knowledge of the affiant or the examination of photo identification issued by a governmental entity or agency

Remote notarization may not be used to notarize an absentee ballot application or
absentee ballot affidavit or for any purpose relating to voting

Increases the authorized notarization fee from $5.00 to $10.00 for each notarization act performed

A notary public shall not perform an acknowledgment in any transaction where he or she has a pecuniary interest.

Specifies that no fee may be charged by a state, county or municipal employee for a
notarial act performed during, and as a part of, his or her public service, unless otherwise provided by law.

The commissioning judge of probate may issue a warning to a notary public or restrict, suspend or revoke a notarial commission for a violation of the Notary Public Act and on any ground for which an application for a commission may be denied under the Notary Public Act. A period of restriction, suspension, or revocation does not extend the expiration date of a notary commission.

Criminal penalties:

Class C Misdemeanor
­ Holding one’s self out to the public as a notary public without being commissioned

­ Performing a notarial act with an expired, suspended or restricted commission

­ Performing a notarial act before taking an oath of office
­ Charging a fee for a notarial act in excess of the maximum fee allowed by the Notary Public Act ($10.00)

­Taking an acknowledgment or administering an oath or affirmation without the principal appearing in person before the notary public or following the procedures for remote notarization

­Taking an acknowledgment or administering an oath or affirmation without personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the principal

­Taking a verification or proof without personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the subscribing witness

 Class D Felony AND with intent to commit fraud or to intentionally assist in the commission of a fraudulent act

­Takes an acknowledgment or a verification or a proof or administers an oath or affirmation he or she knows or reasonably believes to be false

­Takes an acknowledgment or administers an oath or affirmation without the principal appearing in person before the notary public or without following the procedures for remote notarization

­Takes a verification or proof without the subscribing witness appearing in person before the notary, or without following the procedure for remote notarization

­Performs notarial acts in Alabama with the knowledge that he or she is not properly commissioned

Reporting Suspected Violations
Any party to a transaction requiring a notarial certificate for verification and any lawyer licensed in Alabama who is involved in such a transaction, in any capacity, may execute an affidavit and file it with either the Alabama Secretary of State or the commissioning judge of probate who issued the notary commission in question, setting forth the actions that the affiant alleges were violations of the Notary Public Act.

Investigation Of Complaints
The revised Notary Public Act creates a procedure for investigation of allegations of violations of the Notary Public Act by the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency. Founded investigations shall be referred to the appropriate district attorney for prosecution.

Resignation or expiration of a notary commission does not terminate or preclude an investigation into the conduct of a notary public by the Alabama Secretary of State, the commissioning judge of probate who issued the notary commission in question, or a law enforcement agency.

The commissioning judge of probate who issued the notary commission may order injunctive relief against an individual who violates the Notary Public Act, including, but not limited to, ordering the surrender and destruction of a notary commission and a notary seal

Criminal Liability Of Others
Any individual who knowingly solicits, coerces, or in any material way influences a notary to commit official misconduct is guilty as an aider and abettor and is subject to the same level of punishment as the notary public.

Civil Liability
A notary public is not an insurer but under a duty to act honestly, skillfully, and with reasonable diligence.