Tennessee Notary FAQs
What Are the Requirements to Become a Tennessee Notary?
To become a notary in Tennessee, you must be:
- At least 18 years old
- A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
- A resident of Tennessee or maintain a principal place of business in the state
- Able to read and write in English
What Disqualifies You from Serving as a Tennessee Notary?
You may not become a notary in Tennessee if you:
- Are actively serving in the military
- Are a member of Congress or hold an office of profit or trust under any foreign power, other state, or the United States
- Have been convicted of bribery, larceny, or certain other offenses unless your rights of citizenship have been restored
- Have unpaid judgments to the United States, Tennessee, or any Tennessee county
- Owe money to the state or federal treasury
Do I Need to Complete Training to Become a Tennessee Notary?
No, Tennessee does not require notary applicants to complete a notary education course. You can find a wide range of information and resources for Tennessee notaries on the Secretary of State's website.
How Long Will My Tennessee Notary Commission Be Valid?
Your commission will remain valid for four years. Your four-year term begins on the date your notary commission is issued by the governor. Before your term expires, you will need to renew your commission. The renewal process follows the same steps required to obtain your original commission.
Do I Need a $10,000 Notary Bond?
Yes. Tennessee requires all notaries to post a notary surety bond in the amount of $10,000. The notary bond covers the entirety of your four-year term and protects the public from any mistakes, fraud or misconduct associated with your duties as a notary.
Do I Need to Purchase Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance?
While Tennessee does not require notaries to purchase errors and omissions insurance, it is highly encouraged so you can protect yourself in the event of a lawsuit. If a client files a claim against you for an alleged mistake or omission, an E&O policy will protect you up to the amount of coverage that you selected. Without E&O insurance, you would be held personally liable for legal fees and any damages.
Do I Need a Notary Journal?
Yes. Tennessee requires notaries to use a "well-bound book" or journal to record every notarization they perform. According to the Tennessee Attorney General, a digital journal is acceptable as long as it is available for public inspection and complies with other statutory conditions.