Become a NEW Arizona Notary
To be commissioned by the Secretary of State, the following requirements must be met, per Arizona Revised Statute § 41-312(E):
- Be an Arizona resident.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Be able to read and write English.
- Be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States.
- Not have a conviction for a felony unless civil rights have been restored, or a conviction of a lesser offense involving moral turpitude or of a nature that is incompatible with the duties of a notary public.
- If you are mailing in an expedited application, noticeably write “EXPEDITE” on your envelope so that your application is processed promptly.
- Upon receipt of your commission certificate, we recommend that you review your name, county of residence and commission dates to ensure your stamp is made accurately.
- Any application requiring further review, i.e. felony conviction, professional license action or past notary complaint, cannot be expedited. If the expedited fee is included, it will either be returned or refunded.
A Note Regarding Bonds
Our office does not provide notary bonds, nor do we recommend or favor any company or organization that does. Our office only can establish the parameters for how a bond must be completed. A bond must include:
- Principal name and signatures.
Your bond will have your name printed in multiple spaces. Verify that your name is printed exactly the way you want to be commissioned and that the name printed on your bond matches the name you’ll supply on your application (e.g.: if you put “Notary Q. Public” on your application; you cannot sign or have “N. Q. Public” or “Notary Public” on your bond).
A notary bond sometimes referred to as a surety bond, will have two spaces for your signature. You must sign both spaces labelled principal and ensure that your signatures on your bond match your signature on your application.
Mismatching printed names and/or principal signatures is cause for your bond to be returned for revision.
- Commission effective and end dates.
These dates refer to the duration of your commission. These dates must be four years apart and one day less. For example, if your commission is effective on November 7, 2010, it will end on November 6, 2014 (11/7/2010 - 11/6/2014).
If your bond does not have effective dates in the same sequence, it will be returned for revision.
- Issue date.
This refers to the date your bond was produced by your bonding company. Your bond must be issued up to 60 days before or 30 days after your effective date (the date your commission starts).
Similarly, this 90-day window is the same timeframe that our office can accept your renewal for processing. Should processing not be completed on time, our office will return your application for revision of your bond dates to current dates. If your notary expires before you receive your new commission certificate, you must stop notarizing until such time as you receive it.
- Your county of residence.
You’ll notice that your county of residence is listed on your commission certificate and notary seal. This is significant because if your employer purchased your commission, your bonding company may mistakenly use your business address, meaning the county where you are employed, which is a cause for your application to be returned for revision.
- Counter signatures.
The bond will call for two signatures: Arizona resident agent and a representative for the bonding company. Both spaces must be signed by representatives of your bonding company; however, they do not need to be original signatures.
- Oath of office and notarization.
A notary public is a public officer commissioned by the Secretary of State to perform notarial acts. When taking your notary bond for notarization, you must swear to a verbal oath, the oath of office, which is found on the notary bond. The name in the oath of office must match how it is written/printed previously on your bond and on the application.
The office you are swearing to uphold in the oath of office should say notary public.
A notary bond calls for jurat language because the applicant must sign and take an oath. This is important to note because any document with jurat language will have the applicant swear or affirm that the contents of the document are true and correct at the time of signing. Therefore, a document with jurat language must be completed prior to notarization and cannot have any blank spaces.
Should a notary come across a bond with blank spaces, he or she should request that the signer complete the spaces prior to performing the notarization.
Notary Public Reference Manual
All notaries must have our Notary Public Reference Manual on hand once commissioned. This manual is available in electronic format for downloading on the following website link: http://www.azsos.gov/sites/azsos.gov/files/notary_manual-2015-oct.pdf