What qualifications are required to become a Washington notary public?

To become a Washington notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:   

  1. At least 18 years old
  2. You must be a citizen of the United States or a permanent legal resident.
  3. You must be a Washington resident or have a Washington practice or place of employment.
  4. Learn English to read and write.
  5. You are not disqualified from receiving a commission under RCW42.45.210.

What are the steps to becoming a Washington notary public?

To become a Washington notary public and receive a Washington notary public commission, a notary applicant must:    

  1. You must meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the previous section.
  2. Complete the following:Application for Notary Public Commission(which includes the oath to office).
  3. Buy a $10,000 surety bonds
  4. Get the oath taken of you.
  5. Send the following to the Department of Licensing: (a) the completed, signed application; (b), a copy of the signed $10,000 surety bonds; (c) the signed and notarized oath of office. (d) A $30 application fee or $45 for a notary commission with electronic endorsement.
  6. After receiving the commission certificate, purchase an official seal.

Apply Online

  1. Register or log inApply online
  2. Prepare the following documents to upload: (a), an electronic copy the notarizedOath of officeForm; (b) An electronic copy of the $10,000 surety bond.
  3. You must have a payment method ready (Visa or MasterCard or American Express debit or credit card information or Visa) to pay the $30 application fee. Or, you can pay $45 for an electronic notary endorsement.

Notification. The Department of Licensing will not accept a notary application that is incomplete or invalid. The applicant has 30 calendar days to rectify any errors. The applicant’s application will be cancelled and all application fees forfeited after the period of thirty days (WAC 308-30-040A). An electronic records endorsement or remote endorsement may be declined by a notary public.

Is it possible for a non-resident to become a Washington notary?

Yes. Non-residents may apply for Washington notary public status if they meet the following requirements: RCW 42.45.200[2][c[ Non-residents must:

  1. You can work in Washington as a lawyer or employment place.
  2. You must meet the same requirements as Washington residents.
  3. Submit aNotary Public Commission ApplicationWashington residents must follow the same notary procedures and apply process as Washington residents. This includes purchasing a $10,000 surety bonds.
  4. Permanently keep a Washington practice or place of employment.
  5. If the non-resident notary is fired from employment, or loses a Washington office or place of practice, he or she must relinquish his/her notary public commission.

What is the cost of becoming a Washington notary?

The following expenses could be incurred by a Washington notary:

  1. An application to be a notary public is required to pay a $30 fee.
  2. To process an electronic appointment, a $45 fee will be charged.
  3. A $10,000 surety bond costs $10,000.
  4. A notary stamp costs approximately $70
  5. The cost of a notary book.
  6. If a notary wants to purchase an E&O policy for personal protection, the fee will be charged.

How can I renew my Washington notary license?

Before performing notarial acts, a notary public must reapply to the Department of Licensing after each term of a commission (WAC 30-030[8]). A notary public can reapply to be a notary public for reappointment no later than 120 days prior to the expiration of his or her current contract. The renewal process is identical to the original application for appointment as notary public. Washington’s notary public can submit their Notary Public Commission Renewal Request online or by post.

The notary public must submit the following to the Department of Licensing: (1) a completed Notary Public Commission Renewal App; (2) his or Her license number if applying online; (3) an electronically copy of his/her signed $10,000 surety bonds; (4) a $30 renewal fee for notary public commissions or a $45 renewal fee for notary public Commissions with electronic endorsement. The expiration of a notary’s commission means that the former notary can no longer apply to be reappointed as a public notary, but must apply as a new applicant to be a public notary.

Is there any exam or notary course required to become a Washington notary or renew my Washington notary commission?

No. No. The Department of Licensing recommends that all applicants for a Washington notary commission complete an educational course of study to ensure that they are able to understand Washington’s notary laws and regulations. It also explains the notarial duties, responsibilities and general principles of being a Washington public notary. The Department of Licensing offers a video notary training to encourage applicants to learn about their notarial duties.

What is the best way to do electronic notarization in Washington

Yes. Yes. Washington also passed the “Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts”, which allows a notary public the ability to obtain an electronic signature or electronic seal to notarize electronic documents in the physical presence of the person seeking it. This law became effective July 1. 2018.

The Department of Licensing also established standards and practices to perform notarial acts in electronic records for electronic record notaries public. These rules were adopted by the Washington Administrative Code, Title 308, Chapter 308-30. The same rules, guidelines, practices, and regulations that are applicable to traditional paper notarizations also apply to electronic signed documents, including the personal appearance before a notary public. Before performing electronic notarial acts, a person must first apply to become a commissioned public notary and then register as an electronic records public notary with the Department of Licensing.

What are the steps to becoming a Washington electronic notary public

Before an individual can perform the first notarial act in relation to electronic records, they must:

  1. To become a Washington notary public, you must meet the same statutory requirements as Washington residents (RCW 42.45.200).
  2. You can be commissioned as a Washington notary.
  3. Complete the following form to apply simultaneously for an electronic records notary public endorsement and a notary Public commission.Notary Public Electronic Notarization Endorsement ApplicationAdd an electronic notary endorsement.
  4. If you apply simultaneously for both a traditional notary commission and an endorsement to a commission as an electronically recorded notary public, you can purchase a $10,000 bond.
  5. Attach a $45 fee to pay for a notary public Commission with electronic endorsement.
  6. The Department of Licensing should be notified of the details of the tamper evident technology that the notary public plans to use for electronic notarizations. This must be done within 30 days of receiving the endorsement.
  7. You must ensure that the technology used by electronic notarizations is compliant with the Department of Licensing standards.

The Department of Licensing will approve an application and issue the endorsements and notary public commission after the applicant has fulfilled the requirements for an electronic records notary public endorsement and/or a notary general commission. The Department of Licensing may hold a notary public application for 30 calendar days to allow applicants to rectify any errors. The notary public application will be cancelled and all application fees forfeited after the period of thirty days. An electronic records notary public can choose not to apply for remote endorsement. An electronic notary cannot perform notarial acts on behalf of an electronic record that is not his or her choice. Electronic records public must keep a journal that records all electronic notarizations. To initiate the process to perform electronic notarizations, visit the Department of Licensing by clicking here: WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site: How to get your notary public license.

What is the best way to notarize Washington remotely (online)?

Yes. Yes. Senate Bill 5641 (2019), authorizes a Washington notary public to act as a remote notary public for individuals located remotely using communication technology conforming to the Department Licensing’s rules and standards. Senate Bill 5641 gives the Department of Licensing authority to create permanent rules for remote notarizations. The Department of Licensing did not issue final rules to comply with the provisions of Senate Bill 5641 regarding remote notarizations of individuals who are not physically present. The Department of Licensing is authorized by section 42.45.280 to create rules for remote online notarizations. These rules can: (1) provide guidelines for performing a notarial act for a distantly located individual using communications technology; (2) establish standards or procedures for identity proofing and communication technology providers; (3) establish requirements for approval of providers of communication technology; (4) establish standards and a time period for the preservation of audio-visual recordings created under this section. A notary public must inform the Department of Licensing before a notary public can perform the initial remote notarial act.

How do you become a Washington remote notary public online?

Before a notary public can perform the first notarial act in respect of a remote individual, they must:

  1. You currently (a) have an active notary commission with an electronic record notary public endorsement; (b) you are applying for an electronic record notary Public endorsement and remote notary endorsement simultaneously for an active notary commission; (c) you are simultaneously applying for a notary commission, an electronically records notary private endorsement, and remote endorsement by completing aNotary Public Electronic Notarization Endorsement ApplicationAdd an electronic notary endorsement or remote endorsement.
  2. If you are applying for both a traditional notary commission and an endorsement to a commission as an electronically recorded notary public, you will need to purchase a $10,000 bond.
  3. Attach a $45 fee to pay for a notary public Commission with electronic endorsement.
  4. Within thirty days of receiving the Department of Licensing’s endorsement for remote notaries, provide the Department of Licensing a description of the technology that the remote notary public will use to perform notarial acts via communication technology for remote individuals.
  5. You must ensure that remote notaries public use technology to perform remote notarizations in accordance with Title 308, Chapter 308-30 of Washington Administrative Code.
  6. Before performing notarial acts, you must reapply to the Department of Licensing.

An applicant must first choose vendors to provide remote online notarizations. These vendors will be able to explain how to use their software to do remote notarization or electronic signature notarization. The Department of Licensing will approve an applicant’s application and issue the notary commission and any endorsements, provided that they have met all statutory requirements for a remote notary endorsement and electronic records notary public endorsement. The Department of Licensing will hold the notary applications for 30 calendar days to allow applicants to rectify any errors. The application will be cancelled and all application fees forfeited after the period of thirty days. Remote notary publics must keep a log of all remote notarizations. Click here to visit the Department of Licensing and start the process of remote notarizations

What is the term of a Washington notary public commission?

A Washington notary public’s commission term is four years, beginning with the date on the certificate. A notary’s commission can be canceled:

  1. Resignation, death or revocation.
  2. A notary public who is not a Washington resident during his or her commission term.
  3. A notary is not a citizen or permanent legal residence of the United States.
  4. Non-resident notaries must cease to have a Washington office or place of practice.
  5. A notary who loses his or her ability to read and spell English.
  6. A notary who has been disqualified from receiving a notary public commissioner pursuant to RCW42.45.210.

To become a Washington notary, do I need a Washington notary bond?

Yes. For new applicants to notaries public, and renewals of notaries public, a $10,000 surety bond is required. An authorized surety, or another entity licensed to issue surety bonds in Washington, must issue the assurance. The bond must be executed by a licensed surety. The bond must be valid for at least four years or until the expiration of the notary public’s license. Before cancelling the assurance, the surety or issuing organization must notify the Department of Licensing in writing. The Department of Licensing must be notified by the surety or issuing entities within thirty days of making a payment for a claimant.

Only valid assurances filed with the Department of Licensing will allow a notary public to perform notarial acts in Washington. The Department of Licensing will issue a commission to a notary public to an applicant, renewing notary public, or for a period of four years, depending on whether the assurance has expired.

What do I need to insure my Washington notary errors or omissions?

No. Washington does not require an errors and omissions policy. E&O insurance is optional and not required for those who apply to be a notary public. The American Association of Notaries recommends Washington notaries have an errors and omissions policy to protect themselves against liability. The purpose of errors and omissions insurance protects notaries against liability for notarial mistakes, omissions or losses that may result from financial or other types of loss to the public or clients who sue a notary public to recover. E&O policies typically cover legal fees and damages depending on what coverage a Washington notary chooses.

Washington: Where can I do notarial acts?

Washington’s notary public is subject to statewide jurisdiction. He or she may perform notarial acts in any place within Washington’s geographic boundaries. A Washington notary public cannot perform notarial acts beyond Washington.

Who appoints Washington public notaries?

Washington State Department of Licensing manages the commissioning process of new and renewed notaries public, electronic record notaries publicly, and remote online notaries. It also maintains an electronic database of all active notaries public.

Department of Licensing

Notary Public Program

PO Box 3856

Seattle, WA 98124-38556

1-360-664-1550

Email: notaries@dol.wa.gov

What do I need to buy a Washington notary stamp?

Yes. Yes. According to Washington’s notary statute, all public notaries must use either an embossed or rubber seal to authenticate official acts (RCW.SS42.45.150). The Washington Administrative Code, Rule 308-30-070, provides legal details regarding the layout of official stamps and embosser seals. Visit https://publicnotary.services/

DimensionsOfficial seals or stamps must meet the following requirements: (a. Must be at least one and five-eighths in diameter if they are circular, or one-inch wide by one-eighths long if rectangular; and (b. The face of the seal/stamp shall be permanently affixed.

(c) If the stamp is attached to a tangible record it must be in permanent ink. It can also be photocopied. (c) The font size shall be at least 8 points. (d) The seal or stamp cannot contain the Washington state seal.

Dimensions of an embosser on recordable documents:An embossing stamp must be used on a recordable document.

The embossing seal must be inked before use, or the impression of it would need to be “smudged” after it has been affixed.

Essential ElementsOfficial seals or stamps of notaries public must contain (RCW.SS42.45.150).

  1. The words “Notary Public”
  2. The words “State Washington”
  3. Name of the notary public as commissioned
  4. Expiration date for the notary public’s Commission
  5. Number of the notary public’s commissioner (WAC308-30-070).
  6. All other information requested by the Department of Licensing

Notice:The official seal or stamp of the notary public is his or her exclusive property. The notary must not give away his or her official seal to an employer after a termination of employment. The notary public must inform the Department of Licensing within ten days of finding out that the seal or stamp has been lost or stolen. A notary public cannot obtain a replacement official stamp or seal until they have properly informed the Department of Licensing about the loss or theft. The replacement official seal or stamped must be indistinguishable from the original seal (WAC 308-30-090). After obtaining a replacement, a notary public must destroy the original seal or stamp.

To notarize electronically in Washington, do I need an electronic notary stamp?

Yes. Yes.

Dimensions (WAC 30-070)The requirements for an official seal or stamp are: (a), must be at least one and five-eighths in diameter if it is circular, or one and five and eighths in length if it is rectangular; (b); the face of the seal/stamp shall be permanently affixed to a tangible document; (c); if the stamp has a permanent adhesive, it must be applied in permanent ink that can be photocopied; (c); the font size shall be at minimum 8 point type; and (d); and the Washington state seals.

Required Elements (RCW42.45.150).An electronic notary public stamp shall be a digital image which appears in the same or similar representation as a traditional physical notary official stamp. It must also include:

  1. The words “Notary Public”
  2. The words “State Washington”
  3. Name of the notary public as commissioned
  4. Expiration date for the notary public’s Commission;
  5. Number of the notary public’s commissioner (WAC308-30-070).
  6. All other information requested by the Department of Licensing

NotableIf the electronic notarial certificates conform to RCW 42.45.130 or 42.45.140, an electronic stamp can be used to authenticate the electronic notarial acts. The electronic stamp created by tamper-evident technology shall only be used for electronic notarial acts as per RCW Chapter 42.45. An official stamp can only be generated by the notary public to whom tamper evident technology has been registered.

Washington requires a notary journal.

Yes. Yes. Washington’s notary statute requires that a notary public keep a journal where he or she records all notarial acts performed (RCW 42.45.180). No matter whether notarial acts concern tangible or electronic records, a notary public must keep only one tangible journal. A journal that is kept on tangible media must have a permanent, bound register with number pages.

An electronic records public can keep an electronic format journal to document his or her electronic notarial acts. This journal can be kept in parallel with the tangible journal. The electronic journal must conform to the Department of Licensing’s rules and be permanent, tamper-evident, electronic format. If documentation of notarial acts is already kept by professional practice, a notary public licensed to practice law in Washington does not need to keep a journal.

The journal of the notary must be kept safe and secure, and under the sole and direct control of the notary public. The Department of Licensing may take administrative action against a notary if he or she fails to secure the journal (RCW 42.45.180[5]). The journal must be kept by a notary public for ten years from the date of the notarial act. After the ten year period, the Department of Licensing requires that a notary public’s journal be destroyed. The Department of Licensing requires that a notary public immediately notify the Department of Licensing if the journal of a notary public is lost, stolen, or damaged. Washington notary supplies can be found https://publicnotary.services/

What is the maximum amount a Washington notary can charge for performing notarial acts

The Washington Department of Licensing adopted Rules (WAC 308-30-220) determine Washington notary fees. Below is a list of the maximum fees a Washington notary public can charge for notarial acts.

  1. Receipt of acknowledgment – $10.00
  2. Administering an affirmation or oath – $10.00
  3. Take a verification under oath, affirmation or oath – $10.00
  4. Certifying the event or act occurred – $10.00
  5. Witnessing or attesting to a signature – $10.00
  6. Attesting or certifying a copy – $10.00
  7. Remote notarial acts for remote individuals – $25

A notary can also charge a travel fee if he or she travels to perform a notarial service. This is if the notary and the person requesting it agree to pay the fee in advance. Additional costs may be charged by a notary for copying any document or instrument. Notary publics are not allowed to charge fees for notifying or receiving a protest about a negotiable document or record.

What notarial acts is a Washington notary public allowed to perform?

The following notarial acts can be performed by a Washington notary public, regardless of whether the record is tangible or electronic (RCW 42.45.010[8]:

  1. Receipt and acknowledgement
  2. Affirmation or oath to be administered
  3. Attesting to or witnessing a signature
  4. Take a verification under oath or affirmation
  5. Attesting or certifying a copy
  6. Note: Protest of a negotiable Instrument
  7. Attesting to the existence of an event or the performance a act

How can I change my Washington address?

Every Washington notary public must notify the Department of License within fifteen days of any changes to the information on his or her endorsement or notary public commission applications. Notary publics must update their information by mail or email with the Department of Licensing. This includes (1) the name as it appears in the notary commission certificate, (2) the date of birth, (3) the previous address, telephone, and email, and (4) the new address, phone or email.

A change of address is free. However, a new commission certificate cannot be issued. You can easily change the information of a notary online.Log in or register. You can update the information of a notary public by visiting the Washington Department of Licensing website. 

What do I need to do to update my Washington notary commission?

Washington’s notary public must notify the Department of Licensing if his or her name has changed legally during the term of their notary commissions. This notification must be done on the prescribed form provided by the Department of Licensing within 15 days of the name change. Name change notifications by mail must contain: (1) A completedNotary Public Name Change Application(1) A copy of the surety bonds rider from the bonding firm showing the new name; (2) an electronic copy of the proof of address; (3) a $15 filing fee in check or money order for a new certificate. A notary must (1) obtain an electronic copy of the surety bond rider containing the new name; (2) select a payment method for the $15 filing fee; (3)Log in or registerYou can change your name online.

Where To Work As a Notary in Washington

You can work in many settings as a public notary in Washington. Whether you decide to work for a law firm, real estate agency or a government job, there are many options available. You can also work for yourself as a mobile notary.

Where To Find Clients in Washington

We work with notaries all over Washington to help them find more business and make more money. If you would like to join our notary network, contact us today for more information. We work with notaries in all cities including:

  1. Seattle
  2. Spokane
  3. Tacoma
  4. Vancouver
  5. Bellevue
  6. Kent
  7. Everett
  8. Spokane Valley
  9. Renton
  10. Kirkland
  11. Bellingham
  12. Federal Way
  13. Yakima
  14. Kennewick
  15. Redmond
  16. Auburn
  17. Pasco
  18. Marysville
  19. Sammamish
  20. Lakewood