Notary FAQs

Who should take a Notary Public course?
Individuals whose jobs require that they become commissioned as a Notary Public in North Carolina or for those who wish to provide a service to the community as a Notary Public.
What are the eligibility requirements to become a Notary Public in North Carolina?

A person qualified for a notarial commission shall meet all the following requirements:

(1)  Be at least 18 years of age

(2)  Reside or have a regular place or work or business in North Carolina

(3)  Reside legally in the United States

(4)  Speak, read and write the English language

(5)  Possess a high school diploma or equivalent

(6)  Pass a course of instruction that is approved by the Secretary of State

(7)  Purchase and keep as a reference the most recent edition of the Notary Guidebook which describes the duties and authority of a Notary Public.

(8)  Submit an application containing no significant misstatement or omission of fact. The application must be signed by an elected public official in North Carolina (effective 6/30/09 this does not apply to Mecklenburg, Wake and Guilford counties); and the applicant’s signature must be acknowledged by a person authorized to administer oaths.

(9)  If the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony, written proof that rights of citizenship have been restored must be submitted along with the application (Note: if the felony involves fraud, theft, etc., the Secretary of State can still deny the applicant’s application even if the rights of citizenship have been restored due to the nature of the crime committed).

Note: Students wishing to take the notary public course must provide, to the instructor on the day of class, a federal or state issued photo ID in order to sit for the class and take the final exam. ID must be valid and current.

Must someone commissioned as a Notary in another state take the course to become a Notary in North Carolina?

Yes. It is a required course for everyone who wants to become a North Carolina Notary except for licensed members of the North Carolina Bar.

What is the cost of the program?

Before the Class:

  • The course cost is $115, plus an additional fee of $12.00 for Campus Access Parking and Security (CAPS).

  • Required text: Notary Public Guidebook ($26.75 plus tax) available at CPCC bookstores and must be purchased before the start of class.

After the Class:

  • Application fee to Secretary of State in Raleigh ($50)

  • Oath of Office at Register of Deeds in applicant's county of residence ($10)

  • Notary seal (ordered from a business supply store) approximately $25 - $35

Is there a test and do I need to prepare ahead of time?

Yes, a test is given at the conclusion of the class. Participants who successfully complete the test are given an "Application for Initial Appointment as a Notary Public" officially signed by the instructor. All of the required information is covered during class. However, it is helpful to review the book ahead of time to become familiar with the material so that you may formulate any questions pertinent to your business needs or interests to ask the instructor during the class.

Are the instructors who teach the course certified?

All instructors are certified by the N.C. Secretary of State.

What is the application process?

Application Process

After successful completion of the six and a half hour course, individuals receive an “Application for Initial Appointment as a Notary Public” form which has been signed by the instructor. The completed application should be mailed, along with a check for $50 to the Notaries Public Division, Department of the Secretary of State (complete address is on the back of the application).

In seven to 10 days the appointee’s commission will be sent to the Register of Deeds Office in his/her county of residence, and a notice of this will be mailed to the appointee.  Within 45 days the appointee must take the oath of office at the Register of Deeds Office and sign the Book of Notaries. There is a $10 charge for this.

If the appointee works in Mecklenburg County, but does not live in North Carolina, the appointee’s commission will be sent to the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds Office.  Notice of this will be mailed to the appointee. Within 45 days the appointee must take the oath of office at the Register of Deeds Office in Mecklenburg County and sign the Book of Notaries.  There is a $10 charge for this.

What is the re-commission process?

Notaries may apply for re-commissioning no earlier than 10 weeks prior to expiration date.  Three new requirements for re-commissioning are:

- submit a new application;

- meet all requirements for initial commissioning;

- pass a written (on-line) exam unless a licensed member of the
N.C. State Bar. Note: If an existing notary does not wish to take the state on-line exam, they may register for the 6.5 hour course at CPCC and take the written exam at the end of the class.  They will  be given an application at that time. This course will give the notary all the updated information and suffice for re-commission.

Notaries may reapply for re-commissioning within one year after expiration of commission. They must comply with all other re-commissioning requirements and must also fulfill educational requirements (notary class) unless the Secretary waives that requirement for the applicant.

If my address or name changes during my five year Notary commission, what should I do?

You must send a name change and/or change of address form to the Secretary of State in Raleigh. Follow their directions to complete the steps. The name change and change of address forms can be downloaded from the Secretary of State website:

How do I register?

Contact customer service at 704-330-4223 or Register Now for online registration.

How do I get more information about Notary Public?

Office of the Secretary of State in Raleigh

Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds