Alabama Notary FAQs

What Are the Requirements to Become a Notary in Alabama?

To become a notary in Alabama, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Reside in the Alabama county where you apply
  • Be able to read and write in English

What Disqualifies You from Becoming a Notary in Alabama?

If you have been convicted of a felony and have not had your civil and political rights restored, you may not serve as an Alabama notary.

What Are the Steps to Becoming an Alabama Notary?

Notaries in Alabama are appointed and commissioned by the probate judge of their county of residence. The required steps can vary because probate judges set their own application rules and procedures to accompany the process set by state law.

  1. Contact your Judge of Probate to ensure you meet all of your county's requirements.
  2. Secure a $25,000 surety bond by purchasing the Alabama Notary package.
  3. Complete your application and submit it to your probate judge with your county's application fee.
  4. Obtain a notary seal (included in the Alabama Notary package). After you have been appointed, send a copy of your commission information so we can manufacture your seal.

For county-specific information on becoming a notary, contact your county probate judge.

What Supplies Will I Need as an Alabama Notary?

As an Alabama notary, you will use your notary seal to stamp all notarizations you perform on paper documents. Our Alabama Notary package includes a state-compliant notary seal. You can choose a square or circular seal in your choice of three colors.

A notary journal is not state-required but is highly recommended. By maintaining an up-to-date journal, you can prevent fraud and keep an official record of all your notarizations for future reference.

Which Alabama Government Office Appoints Notaries?

Notaries in Alabama are appointed and commissioned by the probate judge of each county. The probate judge will report the following information about commissioned notaries to the Secretary of State:

  • Name
  • County of residence
  • Date of issuance
  • Date of expiration

The Secretary of State does not appoint or commission notaries. Records filed with this office regarding notaries are public record.

How Long Will My Alabama Notary Commission Be Valid?

Your Alabama notary commission is valid for four years. You will need to renew your commission before it expires if you wish to extend your term for another four years.

How Do I Renew My Alabama Notary Commission?

The commission renewal process varies by county. Check with your county probate judge to learn how you can renew your notary commission.

Do I Need to Take a Notary Education Course or Exam?

Alabama does not require a state-proctored notary exam. The requirement to pass a qualifying course or exam is at the discretion of the appointing county probate judge.

If you are interested in reviewing self-education materials, you can find these on the Alabama Secretary of State's website.

Where Will I Be Authorized to Perform Notarizations?

As an Alabama notary, you will be authorized to perform notarial acts anywhere within the state's borders.

What Fees Can Alabama Notaries Charge for Their Notary Services?

Notaries in Alabama are authorized to charge $5 per notarial act.

Why Do I Need a $25,000 Surety Bond?

The $25,000 surety bond is required to protect signers against financial damages resulting from any negligence or misconduct on behalf of the notary. The surety bond is a financial guarantee that the notary will comply with state laws. The bond is in place to protect the public, not the notary.

Do I Need to Purchase Errors and Omissions Insurance?

You are not required to purchase errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. However, it is highly encouraged. If one of your clients files a claim against you over an alleged mistake or omission, an E&O policy would protect you according to the coverage that you selected. Without errors and omissions insurance, you are held personally liable in the event of a lawsuit.