IMPORTANT UPDATE: Remote Notarization

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Effective 2/25/22, remote notarization is now authorized in New York State, per section 135-c of the executive law. Please see FAQs for more information.

Overview

Notaries Public are "commissioned" (i.e., licensed) by the Secretary of State. Notarial functions include:

  • administering oaths and affirmations;
  • taking affidavits and depositions;
  • receiving and certifying acknowledgments or proof of such written instruments as deeds, mortgages and powers of attorney; and;
  • demanding acceptance or payment of foreign and inland bills of exchange, promissory notes and obligations in writing, and protesting the same for non-payment

Many banks, law offices and other institutions which deal in financial or real property transactions employ individuals who are commissioned as Notaries Public. It is the responsibility of licensees to understand the Notary Public Law.

Term is commission is four years

laws, rules and regulations 

Requirements

  • Submit a completed application and the required fee to the Department of State.
  • pass the New York State notary public examination. NYS Attorneys and court clerks of the Unified Court System are exempt from the examination.
  • be a resident of New York State or have an office or place of business in New York State.

Fees

There are fees associated with your Notary Public commission. You may pay these fees by check or money order made payable to the Department of State or by MasterCard or Visa using a credit card authorization form. DO NOT SEND CASH. Application fees are nonrefundable. A $20 fee will be charged for any check returned by your bank.

  • $60 - Initial Application
  • $60 - Renewal (payable to the County Clerk's office)
  • $15 - Written Exam
  • $10 - Change of Personal Name and/or Address (No fee is required if a name change is the result of a change in marital status)
  • $10 - Duplicate License/Registration Request

Written Exam

NYS Attorneys and court clerks of the Unified Court System are exempt from the examination.

Examination Information and Schedule:

Renew or Update

Renew Your License

You are eligible to renew your license 90 days prior to your license expiration date. Your license expiration date is printed on the license.

Renewal forms are mailed approximately 90 days prior to the license expiration date. Complete and submit the renewal form to the County Clerk where you are commissioned within 6 months of the expiration date.

If you are eligible to renew your license and you have not received a renewal form, visit the County Clerk’s Office in which you are commissioned or email the Division of Licensing Services and request a form. Your email must include your full name, mailing address, license type, unique identification number and expiration date of your license.

Update Your License

To update your personal name, business or residence address download, complete and submit the Change Notice to the address on the form.

To request a duplicate license certificate, complete and submit the Duplicate License/Registration Request to the address on the form.

Change Notice

Duplicate License/Registration Request

Apply

To apply for a Notary Public commission, submit a completed application to the NYS Department of State, Division of Licensing Services.

 

Notary Public Application

Special Testing Arrangements Request

Credit Card Authorization Form

Licensee Search

Searches are limited to active licenses only. 

  • Search by ID Number (Unique ID or Registration Number)
  • Search by Name (last name, first name and optionally city/zip code/county)
  • Search by Business Name (business name and optionally city/zip code/county)

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained on this site is up to date and accurate. As the Department relies upon information provided to it, the information's completeness or accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

Please note that information pertaining to residence addresses is not included on this database. Such information is protected by privacy law.

FAQs

Who is exempt for taking the notary public examination?

An individual who is currently a member of the New York State Bar or a court clerk of the Unified Court System, appointed to that position after taking a Civil Service promotional examination in the court clerk series of titles, while not exempt from the application fee, may be appointed a notary public without an examination.

Can a person convicted of a criminal offense become a notary public?

Generally, a person convicted of felony cannot be appointed as a notary public. Also, certain misdemeanors are considered disqualifying. However, should a person convicted of any crime obtain an executive pardon, a certificate of relief from disabilities, or a certificate of good conduct from the parole board, he or she may be considered for appointment.

What has the County Clerk's office to do with notaries?

Notaries Public are commissioned in their counties of residence. After receiving and approving an applicant for a notary public commission, the Secretary of State forwards the commission, the original oath of office and the signature of the notary public to the appropriate county clerk. The county clerk maintains a record of the commission and signature. The public may then access this record and verify the "official" signature of the notary at the county clerk's office.

Does a notary public receive any form of identification or license?

A newly appointed notary public will receive an identification card within four to six weeks of the date that the Division of Licensing Services receives his or her application. The identification card will indicate the notary's name, address, county and commission term. A reappointed notary will receive a replacement identification card from the Department of State within six to eight weeks of the date the county clerk receives his or her renewal application.

May a notary public charge for administering an oath or affirmation or for taking an acknowledgment or proof or execution?

A notary public may charge a fee of $2.00 for administering an oath or affirmation or for taking an acknowledgment or proof of execution. Unless otherwise authorized by law, a notarial fee may not exceed this amount.

What happens if my document was notarized by a person who purported to be a notary public, but was not?

Generally, section 142-a of the Executive Law provides that a document notarized by a person who was not commissioned as a notary public will not be deemed invalid because of that fact. If you find yourself in a situation where you think this may be of importance, you should contact your attorney.

In addition to my residence address, should I provide you with my business address on my notary application?

The notary application address is subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law and if an applicant does not want their residence address released, they may also provide our office with a business address for disclosure purposes only.

How do I change my name or address on my license?

If you have changed your name or address, you may submit a change of personal name or address form along with a $10 fee. (The $10 fee is not required if the individual name change is the result in change of marital status) You may also change your name upon renewal of your license/registration. You must provide proof of your name change, e.g. a copy of one of the following: court order changing your name; marriage certificate; driver's license, or a non-driver's ID card; valid passport; or immigration documents. Please note: A new ID card will not be issued to you following a change of name during the course of your commission, as you must continue to notarize using the name under which you were commissioned throughout the remainder of your term.

What name should I sign on the renewal application?

If you are changing or have changed your name, you should use your new name when signing your renewal application.

Are there any legal memoranda for Notaries Public?

Yes. Legal Memoranda

Remote Notarization FAQs

New Legislation - What is Currently Allowed?
A new law permits remote notarization in the State of New York.    On January 31, 2023, notaries wishing to provide remote notary services must register with the Department of State.  On that date, new regulations will go into effect with additional requirements for electronic notaries.  These FAQs provide information on what is currently allowed under the remote notary statute. 

What is remote notarization?
“Remote notarization” is a form of notarization where the notary officiates the document remotely through audio-visual technology and other security protocols. Remote notarization can be performed by a notary public by traditional ink (e.g., pen) or electronic signature.

How is remote notarization performed?
To provide a remote notarization, the notary public must be physically located within the State of New York at the time of the notarization.  The notary must identify the remote signor (also known as the “principal”) of the document through any of the following three methods:

  1. the notary’s personal knowledge of the signor;
  2. by means of communication technology that facilitates remote presentation by the signor of an official, acceptable form of ID, credential analysis, and identity proofing; or
  3. through oath or affirmation of a credible witness who personally knows the signor, and who is either personally known to the notary or identified by the previously referenced means of communication technology.

Commercial software is available to notaries public to perform identify proofing and credential analysis.

Regardless of the method used to confirm the identity of the signor, the notary must be able to see and interact, in real-time, with the remote signor of the document through audio-visual communication technology.  This technology must have security protocols in place to prevent unauthorized access.  The notary must make and keep an audio-visual recording of the remote notarization, and ensure that there is a back-up of the recording.

After the remote signor has executed the document, it must be transmitted to the notary public for officiating.  The notary must confirm that the document is the same as the one signed remotely in the notary public’s presence before applying the notary stamp and signature to the document.  The following statement must be added to the jurat “This remote notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”

What is credential analysis?
Credential analysis is a process where a third-party service validates a government-issued identification presented by an individual through a review of public and proprietary data sources.

What is identity proofing?
Identity proofing is a process or service through which a third party confirms the identity of a signor through review of personal information from public and proprietary data sources.

What is the difference between credential analysis and identify proofing?
Credential analysis validates the authenticity of the principal’s government-issued identification, and identity proofing validates the identity of the individual principal.

How long must a notary retain the audio-visual recording of each remote notarization performed?
A recording, containing both audio and video, of the remote notarization must be retained by the notary for at least ten (10) years. The notary must take reasonable steps to ensure a backup recording of the remote notarization exists and is secured from unauthorized use. The notary may authorize a third party to retain the recordings on behalf of the notary, provided that all recordings retained by a third party be made available to the Secretary of State upon request.

Is a notary journal required?
Yes, the notary public must keep a journal of all remote notarizations performed. Each journal entry must be made contemporaneously with the performance of the notarial act, and each entry must include the date and approximate time of the notarization, the name of the remote signor, the audio-visual technology used to perform the notarization, the number and type of documents officiated and notarial services provided, and the type of identification/credential presented by the remote signor of the document or documents.  The journal must be kept by the notary public for as long as they remain a notary and for an additional five years thereafter.

How much can a notary charge for remote notarization?
A notary public may charge $5.00 per act/signature. If the notary is not performing a remote notarization, the fee cannot exceed $2.00 per act.  

Does the notary have to provide remote notary services?
No, if the notary does not have the appropriate technology or capability to provide such services, or does not wish to engage at all in remote notarization, a notary may decline to provide remote services. Additionally, a notary may and should refuse to provide remote notary services if the notary does not believe the person signing the document remotely has capacity to sign or if the notary does not believe the remote signor is signing the document voluntarily.

Do notaries have to register with the Secretary of State to provide remote notary services?
Any notary public commissioned by the NYS Department of State can act as a traditional or remote notary. No separate application or license is required, and the notary is not required to pay any additional fee to the Department of State or the County Clerk where the notary is currently commissioned.  On January 31, 2023 the rules for remote notarization will change.  One significant change is that as of January 31, 2023, any notary wishing to provide remote notarization, must register the capability to perform electronic notarizations with the NYS Department of State, Division of Licensing Services, and pay the requisite fee (which is to be determined and established in regulation) to act as an electronic notary.

Will remotely notarized documents be accepted by a county clerk or other government offices?
Yes, the new law states, in part, “[a] county clerk, city registrar, or other recording officer where applicable shall accept for recording a tangible copy of an electronic record and that is otherwise eligible to be recorded under the laws of this state if the record has been certified by a notary public or other individual authorized to perform a notarial act.” New York Executive Law § 135-c(12)(b). To be accepted, the notary would first have to certify the remotely notarized document.   New York Executive Law § 135-c(12)(a). Specific questions about filing such documents should be directed toward the filing office where the document will be submitted.

New Legislation- What will Change on January 31, 2023?
On January 31, 2023, notaries wishing to provide remote notary services must register with the Department of State as an electronic notary.  On this date, regulations will go into effect placing additional requirements on remote notary services and providing for additional standards relating to a notary’s use of an electronic signature.  Additional information will be posted here once the regulations have been proposed and adopted.

Contact Contact the Division of Licensing Services

Contact

Mailing Information:
NYS Department of State Division of Licensing Services
PO Box 22001
Albany NY 12201-2001


Please note: If you utilize express services or next day ground services such as UPS, Federal Express, DHL, etc. you should use the physical address of the building.

Albany Physical Address

Division of Licensing Services
1 Commerce Plaza 99 Washington Avenue, 6th Floor
Albany, NY 12231

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Phone Information:

General Information (518) 474-4429
Security Guard and Armored Car Guard Information (518) 474-7569

Call Center Representatives are available from 8:45am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday except on Legal Holidays.

Deaf, hard of hearing and speech-disabled callers, please use 7-1-1

For all other inquiries, email Licensing Services

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Visitor & Customer Service Center Information:

Below is a listing of Licensing Customer Service Centers and the hours of operation. All Customer Service Centers are following COVID-19 guidelines and all visitors are asked to abide by these guidelines. Please monitor this page for updates to office hours, guidelines and or any closures.

Albany: This office is open for all services. All visitors are asked to follow 
COVID guidelines.
NYS Department of State Division of Licensing Services
1 Commerce Plaza 99 Washington Avenue, 6th Floor
Albany, NY 12231


Customer Service hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

*Important note about Apostille and Certification of Authentication Services: Apostille and Certification of Authentication documents may be dropped off for processing. Customers may provide prepaid envelopes for priority returns. Priority appointments based on travel plans within two weeks may be scheduled at our Albany or New York City customer service office. For further information, please visit 
https://dos.ny.gov/apostille-or-certificate-authentication

Parking
Limited on street metered parking is available for 1 Commerce Plaza in Albany. The Office of General Services has various parking lots throughout downtown Albany which have limited visitor parking. To find out more information about the 
OGS lots, please visit their website.  
 

New York City: This office is open for all services with the exception of walk-in apostille processing. Apostilles will not be processed without a previously scheduled priority appointment. All visitors are asked to follow COVID guidelines.
NYS Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
123 William St. 2nd Fl. New York, NY 10038-3804

Customer Service hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am to 3:30pm

*Important note about Apostille and Certification of Authentication Services: Apostille and Certification of Authentication documents may be dropped off for processing. Customers may provide prepaid envelopes for priority returns. Priority appointments based on travel plans within two weeks may be scheduled at our Albany or New York City customer service office. For further information, please visit https://dos.ny.gov/apostille-or-certificate-authentication

 

Binghamton: This office is open for all services. All visitors are asked to follow COVID guidelines.
NYS Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
State Office Building
44 Hawley Street, Room 1506
Binghamton, NY 13901-4455
(518) 474-4429


Customer Service hours: Monday – Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm

 

Buffalo: This office is open for all services. All visitors are asked to follow COVID guidelines.
NYS Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
295 Main Street, 8th Floor, Suite 821
Buffalo, NY 14203
(518) 474-4429


Customer Service hours: Monday – Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm

 

Hauppauge: This office is open for all services. All visitors are asked to follow COVID guidelines.

NYS Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
State Office Building
250 Veterans Memorial Highway
Hauppauge, NY 11788-5519
(518) 474-4429


Customer Service hours: Monday – Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm

 

Utica: This office is closed until further notice.

NYS Department of State
Division of Licensing Services
State Office Building
207 Genesee Street Utica, NY 13501-2812
(518) 474-4429