How to Become an Ohio Notary

This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of becoming a notary in Ohio.

To become a notary in Ohio, you must meet the Secretary of State’s qualification requirements and fill out an application online. Here’s a simplified step-by-step guide to help you start your career as a notary public.

1) Meet Ohio’s Qualification Requirements to be a Notary Public

To become a notary in Ohio, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a legal Ohio resident (or an attorney admitted to practice law in Ohio with a primary practice in the state)
  • Have no convictions or guilty pleas to a disqualifying offense
  • Complete an education program and pass a test

2) Obtain a Criminal Record Check

Non-attorney applicants must obtain an Ohio criminal records check — also known as a Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) report — that is no more than six months old and include it with their notary application.

To get your BCI report, find an authorized agent of the BCI near you to complete a form and fingerprint impression. Make sure the BCI report lists 147 022 as the reason code. This ensures the proper search is conducted and instructs the BCI location to send the report directly to you.

It may take up to 40 days to receive the BCI report, so plan accordingly.

3) Complete an Education Course and Pass a Notary Test

Applicants must complete a Secretary of State-approved notary course and pass a test before becoming commissioned. The three-hour course must cover topics like what constitutes a legal notarial act, acknowledgments, jurats, identification verification and electronic notarizations.

After completing the course and passing the test, you will receive a certificate of completion that you must include with your application.

4) Fill Out and Submit the Online Application

All notary applications must be filed electronically at Start by selecting New Notary Commission Application. Click the button to file online. Next, click Create User Account, select New Notary Commission Applicant and follow the on-screen instructions.

Your application must include:

  • An image of your signature
  • Your BCI report
  • Your education and test certificates of completion
  • Your credit or debit card information for the application filing fee

5) Complete the Notary Commission Certificate Process

Once your application is approved, the Secretary of State will email you your commission certificate.

If you purchased a notary stamp from us, email us a copy of your commission at so we can create your stamp. Your stamp will meet or exceed all state requirements.

While not required, we recommend that all notaries keep a journal of their work. That’s why we offer a notary record-keeping journal.