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Becoming a notary in Georgia is a rewarding and straightforward process that opens up opportunities for you to provide essential services to your community. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process of how to become a notary in Georgia, from understanding the role to maintaining your commission and beyond.

How to Become a notary in GA

Step-by-step guide on how to become a notary in GA

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements:
    • Be at least 18 years old.
    • Be a legal resident of Georgia or work in Georgia.
    • Have no felony convictions (unless the conviction has been pardoned or had civil rights restored).
    • Be able to read and write in English.
  2. Complete a state-approved notary training course. Georgia requires all new notary applicants to complete a training course from a state-approved provider.
  3. Obtain a $10,000 surety bond. You must purchase a surety bond from a licensed insurance provider. The bond protects the public from any mistakes you might make as a notary.
  4. Complete the application form. You can obtain the application form from the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA) website.
  5. Submit the application form, along with the $37 application fee, to the GSCCCA.
  6. Pass the state notary exam. After your application is approved, you will receive instructions to schedule and take the exam. The exam covers Georgia notary laws and procedures.
  7. Receive your notary commission. Once you pass the exam, your notary commission will be issued by the GSCCCA.
  8. Obtain your notary supplies. You will need to purchase a notary seal and a notary journal to record your notarial acts. These can be purchased from office supply stores or online.
  9. Take the oath of office. You must take the oath of office before a notary public or other official who is authorized to administer oaths.
  10. File your bond and oath of office. Within 30 days of receiving your commission, you must file your bond and oath of office with the clerk of the superior court in the county where you reside.

Understanding the Role of a Notary Public

Definition of a Notary Public

A notary public is an official appointed by the state to serve as an impartial witness in the signing of important documents. Their primary role is to deter fraud by verifying the identity of the signatories and ensuring that all parties are signing willingly and knowingly.

Responsibilities and Duties

The duties of a notary public include:

  • Administering Oaths and Affirmations: Notaries can administer oaths and affirmations for affidavits, depositions, and other legal documents.
  • Witnessing Signatures: They verify the identity of the signer, witness the signing of the document, and attest to the authenticity of the signature.
  • Certifying Copies: Notaries can certify copies of documents, verifying that the copy is a true reproduction of the original.

Legal Importance in Georgia

In Georgia, notaries are crucial for the execution of many legal and official documents, including real estate transactions, affidavits, powers of attorney, and more. Their presence ensures the integrity of the documents and helps prevent fraudulent activities.

Requirements to Become a Notary in Georgia

Age and Residency Requirements

To qualify as a notary in Georgia, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Residency: You must be a legal resident of Georgia or work in Georgia and live in a neighboring state.

Educational Qualifications

While no formal education is required to become a notary in Georgia, a basic understanding of English is necessary since you need to read and understand the documents you are notarizing.

Background Check and Criminal History

Applicants must have a clean criminal record. Felony convictions disqualify you from becoming a notary unless your civil rights have been restored. It’s important to disclose any past criminal history during the application process.

Steps to Apply for a Notary Commission in Georgia

Completing the Application Form

The first step is to fill out the notary application form, which is available on the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA) website. The form requires basic information such as your name, address, and occupation.

Obtaining Endorsements

You’ll need to obtain endorsements from two residents of your county who can attest to your good character. These endorsements are a critical part of your application and demonstrate to the appointing authorities that you are trustworthy.

Paying the Application Fee

Submit your completed application along with the required fee to your county’s clerk of the superior court. The fee varies by county, so it’s important to check the specific amount required in your jurisdiction.

Training and Education for Georgia Notaries

Recommended Courses and Training Programs

While Georgia does not mandate formal training for notaries, taking a notary training course is highly beneficial. These courses cover the essentials of notarization, including state-specific laws, best practices, and ethical considerations. Many courses are available online, making them convenient and accessible.

Resources for Self-Study

If you prefer self-study, numerous resources are available to help you understand your duties. The GSCCCA website offers a variety of materials, including instructional videos, FAQs, and a comprehensive handbook that outlines the responsibilities and legal requirements of a notary.

Continuing Education Requirements

Although continuing education is not mandatory in Georgia, staying informed about changes in notary laws and practices is crucial. Regularly reviewing updates from the GSCCCA and participating in voluntary training sessions can help you stay current.

Taking the Oath of Office

Where to Take the Oath

Once your application is approved, you will need to take an oath of office. This oath can be administered by the clerk of the superior court in your county. The oath is a solemn promise to perform your notarial duties ethically and in accordance with the law.

Importance of the Oath

The oath signifies your commitment to uphold the responsibilities of a notary public. It is a binding promise to adhere to the ethical standards and legal requirements set forth by the state.

Filing the Oath with the County Clerk

After taking the oath, you must file it with the county clerk. This filing completes the commissioning process, and you will receive your notary certificate, allowing you to officially begin your duties as a notary.

Obtaining Notary Supplies

Required Notary Supplies

To perform your notarial duties, you will need the following supplies:

  • Notary Seal: A stamp or embosser that includes your name, the words “Notary Public,” “Georgia,” and your commission expiration date.
  • Journal: A record book to document all notarial acts you perform, including details such as the date, type of act, parties involved, and any fees charged.

Where to Purchase Them

Notary supplies can be purchased from office supply stores or specialized notary supply vendors. Many online retailers also offer customizable notary seals and journals.

Maintaining Your Supplies

Keep your notary supplies secure and in good condition. Regularly inspect your notary seal for wear and tear and replace it as necessary to ensure clear, legible impressions.

Understanding Notary Laws and Regulations in Georgia

Key Laws Affecting Notaries

Notaries in Georgia must comply with several key laws and regulations, including:

  • Personal Knowledge or Identification Requirement: Notaries must either personally know the signatory or verify their identity through acceptable forms of identification.
  • Disqualification from Interest: Notaries cannot notarize documents in which they have a personal interest.
  • Proper Notarial Certificates: Notaries must use the correct notarial certificates for each type of notarial act.

Staying Updated with Legal Changes

Notary laws can change, and it’s essential to stay informed. Regularly review updates from the GSCCCA and participate in continuing education opportunities to keep your knowledge current.

Resources for Legal Information

The GSCCCA website is an excellent resource for legal information related to notary duties. Additionally, various legal websites and professional organizations offer updates and guidance on notary laws.

Notary Fees in Georgia

Standard Fees for Services

Georgia law allows notaries to charge reasonable fees for their services. Common fees include:

  • Acknowledgments: $2 per notarial act.
  • Jurats: $2 per notarial act.
  • Certified Copies: $2 per notarial act.

See our comparison chart of how much is notary service is in all states of the USA.

Guidelines for Charging Fees

Notaries must inform clients of the fees before performing the notarial act. Fees should be consistent and within the legal limits. Keeping a fee schedule can help ensure transparency.

Handling Payments and Receipts

When charging fees, it’s good practice to issue receipts for payments received. This helps maintain clear records and provides proof of payment for clients.

Record Keeping for Notaries

Importance of Maintaining Records

Accurate record-keeping is vital for notaries. Keeping detailed records helps protect you in case of legal disputes and ensures compliance with state regulations.

Types of Records to Keep

Maintain a notary journal that includes:

  • Date of the notarial act
  • Type of act performed
  • Names and signatures of the parties involved
  • Type of identification presented
  • Any fees charged

Best Practices for Record-Keeping

Regularly update your journal and store it in a secure location. Keep records for the duration of your commission and follow any state guidelines for record retention.

Performing Notarial Acts

Common Notarial Acts in Georgia

Notaries in Georgia commonly perform acts such as acknowledgments, jurats, and oaths or affirmations. Each act has specific procedures that must be followed.

Procedures for Each Act

  • Acknowledgments: Verify the identity of the signer, confirm their willingness to sign, and witness the signing.
  • Jurats: Administer an oath or affirmation, witness the signing of the document, and complete the notarial certificate.
  • Oaths: Administer a verbal oath or affirmation, ensuring the individual understands the significance of the oath.

Ensuring Proper Identification and Documentation

Always verify the identity of signatories using acceptable forms of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. Record the type of identification used in your journal.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Frequent Errors Made by Notaries

Common mistakes include failing to properly identify signatories, neglecting to complete notarial certificates correctly, and notarizing documents in which the notary has a personal interest.

Tips to Avoid Mistakes

To avoid errors:

  • Always verify identification carefully.
  • Double-check your work before completing the notarial act.
  • Stay informed about notary laws and best practices.

Consequences of Errors

Errors in notarial acts can lead to legal challenges, penalties, and damage to your reputation. It’s crucial to perform your duties accurately and ethically.

Marketing Your Notary Services in Georgia 

Promoting Your Services Locally

To attract clients, promote your notary services within your community. Distribute business cards and flyers, and consider placing ads in local newspapers or community boards.

Online Marketing Strategies

Create a professional website and use social media to advertise your services. Online directories and review sites can also help potential clients find you.

Networking and Partnerships

Build relationships with local businesses, real estate agents, and law firms that frequently require notary services. Networking can lead to valuable referrals and long-term clients.

Renewing Your Notary Commission

When and How to Renew

A Georgia notary commission is valid for four years. Begin the renewal process several months before your commission expires to avoid lapses. The renewal process is similar to the initial application and involves submitting a new application, obtaining endorsements, and paying the renewal fee.

Requirements for Renewal

Ensure you meet all the renewal requirements, including residency and good character standards. Completing a notary refresher course can also be beneficial, although it is not required.

Avoiding Lapses in Commission

Mark your calendar with your commission expiration date and start the renewal process early. A lapse in your commission can disrupt your ability to provide notary services.


Becoming a notary in Georgia is a fulfilling way to serve your community and enhance your professional skills. By understanding the requirements, completing the necessary steps, and maintaining high standards of practice, you can successfully embark on this rewarding journey.


  1. Do you have to take an exam to become a notary in Georgia?
    • Yes, in Georgia, you are required to pass a state notary exam after completing the mandatory training course. The exam assesses your knowledge of Georgia notary laws and procedures.
  2. How much can a notary charge in GA?
    • In Georgia, notaries are allowed to charge a fee for their services, but the maximum fee is set by state law. As of my last update, the maximum fee for most notarial acts is $2.00 per signature or $3.00 per certified copy. However, fees may vary depending on the type of notarial act performed.
  3. How do I become a notary agent in Georgia?
    • To become a notary agent in Georgia, you would follow the same process as becoming a regular notary public. There is no separate designation for a “notary agent” in Georgia’s notary laws. Once you become a commissioned notary public, you can act as a notary agent to perform notarial acts within the state.
  4. Can you make money as a notary in GA?
    • Yes, you can make money as a notary in Georgia by charging fees for your notarial services. Notaries in Georgia are authorized to charge fees for various notarial acts they perform. However, the income potential may vary depending on factors such as demand for notarial services in your area and the fees you choose to charge. Many notaries supplement their income through part-time notary work.

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