How to get an Arizona Notary Commission
This Arizona notary public guide is for informational purposes only. SuretyBonds.com does not regulate or manage commissions for notaries public in Arizona. Contact the Arizona Secretary of State for the state’s latest official notary public commission requirements.
Notaries public witness signatures and verify identities of signers. In Arizona specifically, notaries can only perform acknowledgments, jurats, copy certifications, and oaths and affirmations. Arizona Statutes Section 41-315 requires that you purchase and file a $5,000 surety bond before being commissioned as notary public in Arizona. Each notary in Arizona must meet the requirements listed in Arizona Statutes Section 41-312(E), which will be reviewed and verified by the Arizona Secretary of State.
To become a notary public in Arizona, you must complete the following steps.
How do I become a notary public in Arizona?
Step 1: Verify you're eligible to become a notary public in Arizona.
You must meet the following requirements to qualify as a notary public as required by the Arizona Secretary of State.
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a legal resident of Arizona and permanent United States resident
- Be able to read and write English
- Be a resident of Arizona for income tax purposes and claim the residence in Arizona as the individual's primary residence on state and federal tax returns
- Not be disqualified to receive a commission under section 41-271
- Have passed the examination described in section 41-270 if required by the secretary of state
- Keep a manual that is approved by the secretary of state that describes the duties, authority, and ethical responsibilities of a notary public
NOTE: If you've been found guilty of a felony, you'll be disqualified from applying unless your civil rights have been restored or the conviction was of a lesser offense determined to be unrelated to the duties of a notary public.
Step 2: Purchase your Arizona notary bond.
You must purchase and file a $5,000 Arizona notary surety bond to protect the state and general public against improper notary conduct. You can buy your Arizona notary bond online 24/7, delivered in minutes by email. For a small additional premium, you may also include errors and omissions insurance coverage. You must file your official notary bond with the Secretary of State before you receive your notary commission. The bond must be submitted to the Secretary of State within 30 days of the effective date or a new bond will need to be issued.
Step 3: Complete your notary application.
You can start your online application before or after you purchase your surety bond, however, you won't be able to complete it and receive your notary commission without a valid notary bond.
You must complete an online application to submit to the Secretary of State. You can fill out the application online but must print the application to sign it. The Secretary of State will create a PDF of the files that need to be printed. If you need, you can save the files and take them to another computer to print.
Your name on the application must match your name as printed on the bond. Your signatures on both the bond and application must be identical. Your application must provide your physical home address, which should match the county of residence on your bond. You must also indicate whether this is a new or renewal commission.
Step 4: Mail your application packet to the Secretary of State.
Your mailed application packet must include your original signed notary application, notarized Arizona notary bond with original signature, and $43 filing fee paid by check or money order made out to the “Arizona Secretary of State." Do not send any cash by mail. You must submit your application materials to the Secretary of State at the following address.
Secretary of State
Attn: Notary Dept.
1700 W. Washington Street, Fl. 7
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2808
The standard processing time for notary applications is about 4 to 6 weeks. This is based on when the Secretary of State's office receives the application, not based on the mailing date.
NOTE: The Secretary of State's office reserves the right to request additional documentation or fees for processing.
Step 5: Purchase your notary stamp/seal.
Once you receive your commission certificate and have verified the information is correct, you must obtain a notary public seal before notarizing any document. To get your seal you may contact a stationery store, office supply store, bonding agent or a professional notary organization. You must provide a copy of your notary certificate to the company making your seal. A valid notary seal must meet the following requirements.
- Be a rubber stamp
- Has dark ink such as black, dark blue, dark purple, dark green or dark brown (red ink is not accepted)
- Not larger that 1 ½ inches high and 2 ½ inches wide or 1 ½ inches round
- Show the words “Notary Public"
- Contain the name of the notary public as listed on his or her commission certificate
- Display the Arizona county in which the notary public was commissioned (listed on the commission certificate)
- List the commission expiration date
- Feature the Great Seal of Arizona as stated in § 41-266(B)
- Include the commission number
NOTE: Each licensed notary may only have 1 seal.
Step 6: Purchase your notary public journal.
As an Arizona notary, you must obtain a journal, also called a “record book,” throughout your duration as a commissioned notary. Journals may be purchased at stationery or office supply stores and through notary organizations. Journal fees will vary based on who you buy it from.
Journals must be in paper form and list notarial acts in chronological order. Use of a permanently bound journal is recommended, but not required, to protect the notary. Permanently bound pages are more difficult to remove or lose than loose-leaf pages.
If you are authorized to perform remote online notarizations, you must keep records of those notarizations in 1 or more electronic journals to chronicle all notarial acts performed that regard electronic records.
Journals that contain records that are not public belong to the employer of the notary and should be kept by the employer. Journals that contain public records belong to the notary, who is responsible for turning in the journal to the Secretary of State once the commission is no longer effective.
Each journal entry must include the following.
- The date of the notarial act
- A description of the document and type of notarial act
- The full name and address of each person for whom a notarial act is performed
- If using a paper journal, the signature of each person for whom a notarial act is performed
- Evidence of identity shown to the notary public by each person for whom a notarial act is performed, or a notation that the notary public's personal knowledge of the person was used as acceptable evidence of identity
- If applicable, a description of the identification card or document including its issue and expiration date
- If applicable, the fee charged for the notarial act
NOTE: Each notary public may only keep one paper journal at a time.
Step 7: Purchase errors and omission insurance.
The Arizona SOS recommends, but does not require, errors and omissions insurance to limit financial exposure. A surety bond protects consumers rather than the notary; many choose E&O coverage as it protects notaries from legal expenses out of their own pockets. Purchasing errors and omissions insurance protects both you and your company against losses not covered by traditional liability insurance.
How do I become a remote notary in Arizona?
Commissioned Arizona notaries may now apply to perform remote online notarizations. Remote online notarizations allow notaries to perform notarizations with the use of telecommunication technology. You must meet the following requirements to become a remote notary.
- Must be a current, active notary public
- Review the remote online notary rules
- Contact the vendor that provides the remote notarization technology
- The application must provide a description of the technologies you intend to use
- The application must provide the name and website URL of the vendor that will supply the technologies
How much does it cost to become a notary in Arizona?
The cost of becoming a notary in Arizona depends on which of the two service options an applicant selects—the standard service or the expedited service. Standard service is a 3-4 week processing time and includes the service fee of $25 plus the $18 application and bond filing fee for a total of $43. The expedited service is a 24-48 hour process that costs $25 for the expedited filing fee in addition to the standard service total, meaning the expedited process costs a total of $68.
Watch this video to learn about the Arizona notary application process and surety bond requirement.
Last Updated: August 11, 2023