NOTICE: The 2023 Alabama Legislature’s Senate Bill 322 made changes to Notary Public laws
EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2023
Please review the following:
NEW NOTARY PUBLIC APPLICATION PROCESS
Applications are available at www.ALPJA.org and at
Click on the upper right corner of the screen where it say “Notary Public Training” for information. There are six (6) steps:
Download the application for Notary Public.
The online application is a data entry form where you can fill it out online and print it out, sign it and bring it in. We also have blank applications available in our offices.
Page 2 of the application contains sensitive personal information that will be used in the newly required mandatory background check. Please be aware, NONE of the application information will be saved or stored, and if you close the form prematurely, you will have to re-enter everything.
Customer will have to provide a copy of their driver’s license.
Customer will also have to produce “a document” that verifies their residential address in Lee County. (A Post Office Box is not sufficient, the document must show your residential address, not an office. If your current residential address is shown on your driver’s license, that will suffice.)
Customer will submit an original printed & signed application along with copies of their driver’s license and proof of residency with a non-refundable $10.00 application fee, cash or check.
If sending application and other documents by mail, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope so that our office may return your background check results.
We will use the application to perform the required background check through the Alabama Unified Judicial System. Customer will be notified by letter that they have passed or been denied.
Once you receive that letter, you should take:
Complete the online Notary Public Training course available at ALPJA.org.
Click on the upper right corner of the screen where it says: “Notary Public Training”.
(Step 4 can be performed while awaiting the background notification letter from Probate.)
You will not be required to pay a fee to enroll in this training program, nor will you be required to take a test to receive a certificate of completion.
Customer will need to print the Certificate of Completion at the end of the training course.
Acquire a $50,000.00 commercial surety bond, payable to the State of Alabama.
Bring the training course Certificate of Completion and the original of the commercial surety bond to the Probate Office within thirty (30) days of the filing of the application, along with an additional $56.00 fee for recording your bond and notary commission, cash or check.
Once processed, customer will receive a Notary Commission by mail. Notary is responsible for acquiring his or her own notary seal or stamp.
Frequently Asked Questions:
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.
HOW LONG DOES A COMMISSION FOR A NOTARY LAST?
Four years from the date of the commission. Code of Alabama § 36-20-70 (a).
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 or stamp. The impression of this seal or stamp must provide the name, office, and the state for which he or she was appointed. Code of Alabama § 36-20-72.
WHAT MAY A DULY APPOINTED NOTARY PUBLIC DO?
May administer oaths in all matters incident to the exercise of their office.
Take the acknowledgement 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 writings 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.
Exercise such other powers, according to commercial usage or the laws of this state, as may belong to notaries public. Code of Alabama § 36-20-73.
WHAT FEES MAY A NOTARY COLLECT FOR SERVICES?
Notaries public are entitled to a sum not to exceed ten dollars ($10) for carrying out any of the enumerated powers listed above. Code of Alabama § 36-20-74.
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 WITH AN EXPIRED COMMISSION?
If any person willfully performs a notarial act without being a notary or after their commission has expired, they are guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and subject to imprisonment for not more than three months and/or a fine not more than $500.00.
Code of Alabama §§ 36-20-75, 13A-5-7, 13A-5-12.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR PERFORMING A NOTARIAL ACT WHILE KNOWING ONE IS NOT PROPERLY COMMISSIONED?
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.
IS A NOTARY PUBLIC SUBJECT TO IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVAL FROM OFFICE?
Yes. A notary may be impeached and removed from office for willful neglect of duty, corruption of office, incompetency, excessive use of liquors or drugs to such an extent in view of the dignity of the office and importance of its duties it makes the notary unfit to perform the duties of the office, or commits any offense involving moral turpitude. Code of Alabama § 36-11-1.
WHAT ACTION SHOULD I TAKE IF I WANT TO RENEW MY NOTARY COMMISSION?
You will need to complete a new application, provide an updated bond, and pay the $66.00 fee.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I CHANGE MY LEGAL NAME AND MY COMMISSION IS NOT YET EXPIRED?
You will be required to complete a new application, provide an updated bond, and a new $66.00 fee to become commissioned in your new name.