PA Notary Course: An Overview

Our online three-hour education course on Notaries.com satisfies the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s requirement for new and renewing notaries. Our course explains the newly-enacted RULONA notary law and covers the best practices to use to make sure all PA notaries are compliant.

  • Our notary course is available online 24/7 and you can log in and out as needed
  • Our course is timed to ensure you are spending the required minimum of three hours
  • Upon completion, you will receive a certificate to submit with your state notary application that proves you satisfied the course requirement

We make submitting a notary application a seamless process with Notaries.com. Our affordable packages provides you with all of the supplies and information to get started.

If you need to renew your notary commission before it expires, get started with our state-approved course today.

Guide to Becoming a PA Notary

In addition to offering the PA state-approved online notary course, our application package simplifies the entire notary application experience for you. Instead of tracking down numerous vendors and supplies on top of trying to manage each step of the process yourself, We streamline the application and provide all the training you need with one easy, affordable payment.

Benefits of our application package include:

  • All items needed to become a notary (base package includes state required notary bond, customized self-inking notary stamp and required PA notary course)
  • Step-by-step support throughout the entire process
  • Instruction guide for submitting the state application
  • Assistance completing the notary bond

Why You Need a Pennsylvania Notary Course

As of October 2017, all Pennsylvania notaries are required to complete a three-hour online notary course. Whether you’re applying for the first time or renewing your notary license, the PA Notary course must be completed within six months of submitting the application.

The official PA state notary exam covers regulations, statutes and ethics that pertain to notaries in Pennsylvania. You must answer 75% of the questions correctly to pass the exam.

Here’s What Our PA Notary Course Covers

In addition to the requirements of the RULONA law, our PA notary course includes:

  • Notary acts
  • Notary equipment
  • Appointment process
  • Identifying customers

Steps to Becoming a Notary in Pennsylvania

Our goal is to make each step of becoming a notary easy and clear while eliminating the risk of your application being delayed or voided, requiring you to restart the process from the beginning.

Here are the steps required to become a notary in PA:

  1. Meet Pennsylvania Notary Requirements
  2. Complete the PA Notary Course
  3. Submit Completed Application
  4. Become Approved to Take the State Exam
  5. Swear In with the Recorder of Deeds

Step 1: Meet Pennsylvania Notary Requirements

To become a notary in PA, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 18 years of age and a legal U.S. citizen
  • Live or hold employment in Pennsylvania
  • Must never had entered guilty or no contest plea for the past five years
  • Must not have had a PA notary commission revoked in the past five years
  • Exhibit honesty, integrity, reliability and ability

Any acts or omissions that demonstrate a lack of the characteristics above, such as putting dishonest information on the application or having a felony charge, may result in disqualification under section 323 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.

Step 2: Complete the PA Notary Course

As noted above, the second step in the notary process is to complete the required PA notary education course. You’ll have access to this three-hour PA notary online training course with our notary package. You’ll receive a notary education completion certificate when you’re finished, which you’ll need to save for when you complete the notary application on the state’s website.

Step 3: Submit Completed Application

You must complete and submit the state notary public application. The application and reappointment form enable you to become or remain state-approved. We will give you step-by-step instructions to guide you through the application. Once you get started with our program, we’ll help you to upload your notary education certificate to the Pennsylvania notary website.

Don’t forget to submit your notary application with a check or money order for $42 payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The Department of State, Commonwealth of PA

Dept. of State, Bureau of Commissions

Division of Legislation and Notaries

210 North Office Building

Harrisburg, PA 17120

Step 4: Become Approved to Take the State Exam

About two weeks after submitting your application, you will receive an Approval to Test message from third-party vendor Pearson Vue on behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of State. After you pass the exam, you will receive a blank notary bond and a notice letter – mail these to Notaries.com immediately. You only have 45 days to complete the bond and get sworn in at the Recorder of Deeds or else your notary application will be voided.

Do not sign or edit any part of the bond. It cannot be corrected and the process will have to begin from the beginning. Notaries.com will complete your bond and return it to you with your notice letter, notary stamp and record journal.

Step 5: Swear In with the Recorder of Deeds

After you receive your letter, stamp and completed bond from Notaries.com, go your county’s Recorder of Deeds office to take the oath of office. If you used your business address on the application, you will need to visit that county’s Recorder of Deeds office.

Once you have been sworn in, you become eligible to notarize in your community.

senior businessman concentrate on stamping document , approve contract

Benefits of Being a Notary

Nearly five million people in America are providing important legal tasks in their communities by serving as notary publics. By witnessing and legalizing powers of attorney, contracts, mortgage documents, adoption papers, etc., they provide an important service to the community at large.

Here are some reasons to taking  the PA notary course and serving as a notary public:

Make Extra Income

Becoming a notary is a great way to make extra income. Depending on the service, Pennsylvania notary fees range from $3-5 per signature. That accumulates quickly if you’re signing multiple pages. It is also customary to charge a fee for your travel or other expenses related to your duties.

Maintain Schedule Flexibility

Earning income is certainly the primary benefit, but just as importantly, you’ll be able to conduct notarizations on your terms. Being a notary is an effective way to generate revenue if you stay at home or if you work but have evening availability. Most signature requests come outside of traditional business hours.

Add to Your Resume

Many industries across Pennsylvania require signatures from notaries, so becoming one will make you very marketable and in demand. Many employers value someone with the ability to notarize an internal work document or one for a customer. The ability to notarize documents opens doors for you in all levels of business.

Give Back to the Community

If you are the type of person who values helping others or feels a sense of civic pride, becoming a notary is especially rewarding. Many people (like senior citizens, college students or low-income workers) need documents notarized and community-friendly notaries can offer free or low-cost notary services. Offering free notarizations can pay off in the long run, as that helps you gain exposure to paying clients.

Tips for a Smooth Notary Process

Follow PA Notary Course Directions

The questions and prompts in our Pennsylvania notary course are designed to be straightforward and match state requirements, but it’s important to focus and read all notary materials carefully and thoroughly. Our PA notary course provides  there are extra directions in our package materials to help you along the way.

Use Save and Continue

By clicking the “Save and Continue” button, you’ll be able to save your work as you go. You won’t lose any information. Just make sure you know your customer ID and password, and you can sign in at any time.

Call Notaries.com Toll-Free

Our staff is available to help. You can call toll-free at 1-800-422-1555 for assistance.

Let the Experts Help

For best results and to avoid delays and frustration, use our application package and the resources available at Notaries.com to make sure you’re doing all the right steps when you send in your documents and take your online PA notary course.

Frequently Asked Questions for Pennsylvania Notaries

How long does a notary commission last in PA?

The commission term is good for four years from the date of appointment. Renewing your PA notary license is easy. Begin by taking a state-approved notary training course.

What kind of training or education is required?

Both new and renewing notaries must complete a state-approved, three-hour training course. This must be done no more than six months before submitting your application. Our PA notary course is completely online and state-approved, so first-time and renewing notaries can easily access the education.

Do I need to pass an exam?

Yes, new notaries must pass the state exam to be commissioned. The exam covers Pennsylvania’s regulations, ethics and procedures. Outside vendor Pearson VUE administers the exam and it is recommended that all instructions are followed carefully.

How long does the notary commission process take?

According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, commissions are expected to take 4-6 weeks. The process could take longer depending on when you complete the exam and application.

How much does it cost to become a notary in PA?

To apply for a notary commission, there is a $42 state fee. There is also a $65 Pennsylvania exam fee. Before taking the exam, you’ll also have to pay for the PA notary course. Depending on your county, there may be fees to register your signature or execute your notary bond. Other service and equipment fees depend on the vendor your choose. Notary applicants are encouraged to always read the fine print before buying anything.

We provide the online notary training course and all of the materials required to become a PA notary at one low cost. You’ll only have to pay for the exam and the state fee directly.

Will I need to execute a surety bond?

Yes, new notaries in Pennsylvania are required to have a $10,000 bond written by a state-qualified company. This is necessary to protect those who rely on notaries who purposefully or accidentally violate state laws. If damages are paid from a bond, you are responsible for repaying the bond company. In addition, many notaries choose to purchase additional protection called E & O Insurance, although it is not required.

Where can I conduct notarizations?

Once commissioned, a notary public is eligible to work anywhere within the borders of Pennsylvania, including real estate offices, legal companies, and banks.

Who can I notarize for?

A notary public may serve any person who can produce valid identification. Acceptable identifiers include:

  • State-issued driver’s license or ID card
  • S. passport or military ID
  • ID issued by the state, county or city government
  • Permanent resident card issued by U.S. Immigration Services
  • Foreign passport

The request must meet all notarization requirements.

Can I notarize documents over the phone?

An important part of a notary’s job is to verify identity. It is recommended that all notarizations happen in-person so all parties are present for verification and witness.

What kind of supplies will I need?

Required supplies include official notary seals, affidavit stamp and a notarial journal. An embosser is optional. Make sure your stamps don’t bleed be sure to ask your supply vendor about product guarantees. When you’re buying your journal, be sure to ask about security and quality features so your records are kept safely.

How do I renew my notary commission?

Your commission lasts for four years and then must be renewed. At renewal time, you must submit a valid application and meet all notary public basic requirements. If your commission expires you will be required to pass the exam again.

What Is A Notary Signing Agent?

A notary signing agent ensures the validity of mortgage loan documents as well as the identity of the lender and borrower. Lending companies hire NSAs to make sure all of the documents are in legal order. NSAs normally make substantially more per signature than notary publics, sometimes between $50 and $150 per signing.

The American Safety Council is a leading safety provider of e-learning safety training solutions and medical continuing education on behalf of government, business, motor vehicle and higher learning organizations. The American Safety Council offers products and services with Notaries.com to make becoming a notary easy.

Sources: 

Justia: https://law.justia.com/codes/pennsylvania/2016/title-57/chapter-3/section-323/

Pennsylvania Dept. of State: https://www.notaries.pa.gov/Pages/Home.aspx

Pennsylvania Dept. of State: http://www.dos.pa.gov/OtherServices/Notaries/Resources/Documents/LAWS/RULONA,%20major%20changes%20for%20website%204-29-2017.pdf

Investopedia: www.investopedia.com/terms/e/errors-omissions-insurance.asp