Why Become a Part-Time Notary?

April 29, 2024 / Notary Association of America
A person at a desk stamping a document with a notary stamp

Becoming a notary public can be a great side gig with plenty of opportunities to earn supplemental income. Once commissioned, you’re free to spend as much (or as little) time notarizing as you want.

This article explains the benefits of becoming a part-time notary, provides salary range information, suggests some strategies for success and offers resources to help you get commissioned.

Notary Commission Benefits


Independent notaries can work around their schedules. Work late? Schedule signings in the afternoon. Only free on weekends? Fill a Saturday with appointments.

Additionally, remote online notarization (RON) opens the door for notaries to work from home. With RON, signers and witnesses are not required to be in the same room — or even the same state — as the notary. Work anyplace with an internet connection and notarize electronic documents for clients located anywhere in the United States over a secure audio-video connection.


Generally, becoming a notary is a two-step process: Meet the state’s qualifications and complete an application. Commissions don’t require college degrees, and in many states, there are no courses or exams.

You can apply in most places if you’re at least 18 years old, a legal U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have no felony convictions.


Getting a notary commission is a relatively inexpensive pursuit compared to other potential side gigs. There’s no universal notary commission price since states set different application costs. Costs to consider include the application fee (which ranges from $10 to over $30), the notary bond (if needed), exams (if needed) and notary supplies.

Our all-in-one application packages cut costs and simplify the notary application process. They include a surety bond and a custom notary stamp. Some packages also include a record-keeping journal.

How Much Can a Part-Time Notary Make?

On average, notaries can make between $18 and $31 per hour, based on salary data from Indeed, Talent.com, and ZipRecruiter. But there’s a lot that goes into this number.

Notaries make money by charging fees for their services. As a notary, you can charge for every acknowledgment, jurat, oath and affirmation you perform. However, these fees have limitations.

Many states set limits on notarization fees. For example, Florida allows notaries to charge up to $10 for each notarial act. In New York, notaries can only charge $2 per notarial act. If you choose to work as a freelance mobile notary, you can also charge for your time and for traveling to the signing location.

Your state’s government agency that regulates notaries (usually the Secretary of State) will have more information on notary fee limits.

Make More as a Signing Agent

Signing agents are notaries who work with high-risk loan documents like mortgages. Becoming a notary signing agent requires more training due to the complex nature of loans. But that extra work pays off. Signing agents can earn between $75 and $200 per signing appointment.

Notary Success Tips and Resources

Do you think becoming a part-time notary is a good fit for you? We’ve got plenty of resources available to help you get started. Here are a few tips to consider, along with some relevant articles for further reading.

Market Yourself

Marketing your services is an important part of acquiring customers when starting out. Creating detailed business accounts on social media and making a Google Business Profile are good ways to show up on “notaries near me” internet searches. You can also do some good old-fashioned in-person networking.

Further Reading:

Start Small and Temper Expectations

Depending on where you live, there may be a lot of competition. Whether it’s a UPS near you that offers notary services or another freelance notary with years of experience, building a customer base will take time. But don’t be discouraged!

As a part-time notary, you won’t be able to offer every service imaginable. Instead, pick a niche and focus on it. Your local nursing home might be full of people who need things notarized. Or you could market yourself as an online notary and encourage people to use you instead of going somewhere in person.

Keep Learning

The notary world involves a lot of change. State laws, market conditions and business opportunities are all subject to change. If you want to keep your notary side gig viable, you need to keep learning.

Connect with other notaries online. Sign up for a webinar or an in-person conference if you’re able. Always look for ways to improve your knowledge and notarization skills.

Further reading:

Ready to start your flexible side gig as a notary? You're in the right place. Find your state on our site to purchase a notary application package that provides everything you need to get started.

If you have any questions along the way, our notary experts are ready to help. Reach out by phone, email or live online chat.