My name is Dia Drumgoole- co-owner of iNK-IT Mobile Notary, I became a notary in 2018 to start a second business to supplement my income. 3 years later, this is now how I make my living and a pretty good living at that. I love being a Notary and business owner. Since becoming a notary, I’ve met some amazing, generous, and inspirational people in my field across the nation. Many of them have inspired me to be the best Notary I can be and to contribute to our community. Like so many of you, I want to give something back and help someone. I’ve decided to share my journey and experiences as an Ohio Notary. For all you folks who are interested in becoming an Ohio Notary Public but don’t know where to begin, I penned a little checklist below to get you started. Good luck with your journey!
So, what is a Notary Public? In Ohio, a Notary Public is a sworn officer, commissioned under state law with the power to administer oaths, certify affidavits, take acknowledgments, and otherwise act as an impartial witness... Ohio residents apply in their county of residence and are commissioned through the Secretary of State.
Being a notary public has great responsibilities and duties. It can be a great source of reward, personally, professionally, and financially, I can’t tell you in my business interactions how many people want to know how I became a notary. Before I became a Notary, I just thought they were these hard-to-find mysterious people with cool stamps with their names on them. Since becoming a Notary I realize that this is an industry of smart, supportive people of high integrity. Notaries are integral to every community; we are needed somewhere daily. There is this perception that becoming a notary public is a long and difficult process. However, I believe becoming a notary public is quite simple. If you give me a few more minutes of your time I’ll tell you everything you need to know!
In your journey to become a Notary Public in Ohio, the Ohio Secretary of state website www.ohiosos.gov/notary will be the most important guide to understand what a notary is, what a notary does, and everything in between. This website is like the END ALL for being appointed and commissioned as a Notary Public; I encourage you to read everything you can, bookmark the link and refer to it often! So, my process of becoming a traditional Notary Public is simplified into the following steps:
STEP 1: QUALIFICATIONS OF BECOMING A NOTARY PUBLIC
As you go through the list, determine whether you meet the basic qualifications.
STEP 2: CARRY OUT A BACKGROUND CHECK
If you are certain that you meet the above qualifications, you have to get a background check to send to that State. Here is the link to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation website. If the records check does not contain disqualifying offenses, then you can proceed to the next step. Use BCI Code: 147.22 which MUST appear on the report and have the report sent to you! The BCI report will run between $30-$50 and can take a few weeks to get back.
STEP 3: PASS A 3-HOUR CLASS AND OBTAIN A CERTIFICATE
Once your background check is cleared, you now have to take a virtual class. I encourage you to take the class seriously and take notes, you want to pass it the 1st time! You have to pass the class by attaining an 80% score and above. (I got a 90% 😊and passed the 1st time) The test is issued by a Secretary of State-approved provider and can be accessed at www.ohiosos.gov/notary/education-and-testing. Find your county and schedule your class. The class costs $130. When you pass the final exam, you will obtain a certificate immediately after.
STEP 4: SUBMIT COMPLETION CERTIFICATE, BACKGROUND CHECK, AND $15 FEE FOR COMMISSION
You are almost to the finish line to become a Notary Public for the State of Ohio! Now, you have completed your 3-hour class, passed the test, and obtained a certificate. The certificate of completion has the following information:
STEP 5: ORDER NOTARY STAMP/SEAL AND JOURNAL AND SUPPLIES
Last step here: you will visit www.notary.ohiosos.gov to submit your notary commission application online. When making the application the following information is required; your email address, phone number, mailing address, date of birth, and upload a copy of your criminal record check, certificate(s) from the education and testing provider to show successful completion of the program and test, and an image of your signature. The application costs $15.00 and you now have become a commissioned notary for the State of Ohio! Congratulations my new colleague!
You are an Official Notary Public- What now? Well, since you’ve become a commissioned Notary Public, you’ll need a Notary Stamp or Notary Seal or both with your name AND a Notary Journal to record notary transactions. These are the most basic and essential items to start with, as you get more clients you can add other things. Your notary stamp, seal, and Notary Journal can be ordered here.www.ohionotarystore.com/default.aspx or www.nationalnotary.org/ohio/supplies. While you await your cool stamp with your name on it, I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to educate yourself on how to perform the very basic notary duties. This can be done here www.ohiosos.gov/notary/information/#perform. Become a knowledgeable Notary and if you don’t know the answer to something call the Ohio Secretary of State 614-466-2655. Well, that’s it, with just five simple steps (and less than $200 bucks) you have become an appointed and commissioned Notary Public in the state of Ohio! Was this checklist helpful for you? Please leave a comment!