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On Friday, September 20, the process to become a notary in Ohio will change. Please click here for details.

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Notary Public

Effective September 20, 2019

The New State of Notary

There are changes coming to Ohio’s notary public commissioning process beginning September 20, 2019.  Last year, Ohio adopted the Notary Modernization Act with a goal of standardizing the notary public commission process and permitting both online and electronic notarization. In order to achieve these goals, the existing rules and process governing notary had to evolve. From the application and educational requirements to the cost of being a notary, lawyers and non-lawyers alike have to follow a new set of rules. These changes will impact all first time applicants – lawyers and non-lawyers – as well as non-lawyer notaries who want to renew their existing commissions.

In light of these changes, the Cuyahoga Notary Public Commission is joining forces with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association to make the new notary process seamless. We have also entered into a partnership with the Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, Toledo and Ohio State bar associations to create the Ohio Notary Services, LLC – an organization that will continue to have a local Cleveland presence as well as a new, statewide reach. Through this collaboration, we will still be able to handle all of your notary education and testing needs.

In addition, for those who wish to become an Ohio e-notary public, Ohio Notary Services is THE ONLY source authorized by the Ohio Secretary of State to offer education and testing under the new laws. 

Beginning September 20, you can visit Ohio Notary Services’ website at www.becomeanohionotary.com for all of your notary questions and needs. At a high level, the new process will work like this:  

  1. Individuals can apply to become an Ohio notary or e-notary via the Ohio Secretary of State’s Notary website at https://www.sos.state.oh.us/notary/. The application process now requires a formal Bureau of Criminal Investigation criminal records check. Further details are available on the Secretary's website.

 

  1. Next, through Ohio Notary Services’ website – becomeanohionotary.com – notary applicants can create an account and select whether they want to take an in-person class and test, or if they wish to do both online. Steps 1 and 2 can be done simultaneously.

 

  1. Classes can be taken in person or watch the online video. Again, it will be the applicants’ choice as to which form is most convenient. Once finished with the class component, they will take the test either in-person or online. Once they pass the test, Ohio Notary Services will provide them with all the information they need in order to complete the process and receive their commission from the Secretary of State. 
  2. Visit becomeanohionotary.com for your notary supplies.

Under the new law, renewing a notary commission may begin up to 90 days in advance. Visit the Secretary of State website to begin the process and then return to www.becomeanohionotary.com to get started with the required renewal class.

The new notary law has also established fixed fees across the state for acquiring or renewing notary commissions. The fee schedule is as follows:

Traditional Notaries:

  • New applicants (non-attorney)
  • New applicants (attorney)
  • Renewals (non-attorney)

Electronic Notaries:

  • New applicants
  • Renewals

Still have questions?  Call us at (216) 443-8623 or visit www.becomeanohionotary.com.

How to become a Notary Public (Until 9/20/2019)

Requirements

  • Each applicant must be 18 years of age or older; a registered voter or a registered alien.
  • Ohio law provides that each applicant must be of good moral character; a citizen of the county within which he or she resides; or an attorney who is qualified and licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio.

Process

  • An application must be completed in the Office of the Notary Public Commission.
  • A fee of $70.00 is paid at the time the application is completed. Only cash or checks (made payable to the Notary Commission) are accepted.
  • A date for a Notary test is provided to the applicant.
  • Each applicant is provided a manual for Notaries Public that contains the appropriate information each Notary should know in order to be an effective and competent Notary.
  • Each applicant must complete a written and oral examination based upon the information contained in the manual.
  • Upon successful completion of the examination, the applicant's name is forwarded to the Secretary of State of Ohio who issues the Notary Public certificate. Upon receipt of the Notary Public certificate, the applicant must record the certificate with the county clerk of courts office. Located in the Cuyahoga County Courthouse, ground floor, Room 34.

Additional Information

  • A Notary Public is appointed for a period of five years. Once the term expires, each Notary may reapply for an additional five years by completing the application to renew and paying a fee of $70.00. Renewal by mail is now available for $75.00. Please call us for information at (216) 443-8623.
  • An attorney in Ohio is permitted to become a Notary Public for life, as long as he or she is in good standing with the Ohio Supreme Court as a licensed attorney in the State of Ohio. Attorneys must pay a fee of $100.00 and register their certificate with the county Clerk of Courts located at Cuyahoga County Courthouse ground floor Room #34. Attorneys must present their Ohio Supreme Court card and Clerk of Court card at the time of application.
Location Pin Icon

Cuyahoga County Notary Public Office

Cuyahoga County Courthouse Room 101 First Floor
One West Lakeside Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44113

(216) 443-8623

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Applications are accepted

Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
The office is staffed during the lunch hour.