IMPORTANT UPDATES

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Remote Notarization
Effective 1/25/23, new regulations relating to notarial practices are now in effect. Please see FAQs for more information.

 

 

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Online Application Portal
Notary Public applications must now be submitted using the online application portal. You may access the online system at: New York Business Express - Notary Public Commission (DOS-0033) (ny.gov). For further details, see the ‘Apply’ section below.

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
  • $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. (Note: If you have renewed with your County Clerk, do not submit an additional renewal through the online portal as this will result in a duplicate charge.)

A renewal reminder is mailed approximately 90 days prior to the license expiration date. You must renew within 6 months of the expiration date.

You may renew your commission online by applying for reappointment through our online licensing system. To renew your commission, follow the below instructions:

  • Access the online system at: https://businessexpress.ny.gov; then, click on “Search Applications” and search for “Notary”
  • Sign in or create a NY.gov account.
  • Find your notary record.
  • Go to “My Dashboard” to start your renewal.

You will be able to log in to your account and view the status of your application.

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, you must create a new account or login to your existing NY Business Express account. Follow these steps to apply for your license online:

  • Prior to starting your online application, download, complete, and obtain a scanned copy (i.e., PDF file) of the Oath of Office form (available to download at the link below). You will be asked to upload your completed form during the application process.
  • Access the online system at: New York Business Express - Notary Public Commission (DOS-0033) (ny.gov)
  • Sign in or create a NY.gov account.
  • Click on the Apply button for the type of commission you would like to apply for (traditional notary or electronic notary).

You will be able to log in to your account and view the status of your application.

 

Oath of Office

Notary Public Application

Special Testing Arrangements Request

Credit Card Authorization Form

Licensee Search

Notary Public data is available on the Commissioned NYS Notaries Public | State of New York, where you will be able to browse, filter, sort, and export the data. The site will also allow the data to be accessed through an Application Programming Interface(API).

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?

Yes, upon the Department’s final approval of a newly appointed or renewed notary application an identification card is issued. The identification card will indicate the notary's name, address, county and commission term.

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

How do I apply for a new notary commission?

To apply for a commission, you must create a new account or login to your existing NY Business Express account. Follow these steps to apply for your license online:

  • Access the online system at: https://businessexpress.ny.gov; then, click on “Search Applications” and search for “Notary”
  • Sign in or create a NY.gov account.
  • Click on the Apply button for the type of commission you would like to apply for (traditional notary or electronic notary).

You will be able to log in to your account and view the status of your application.

I am currently a traditional notary but would like to register as an electronic notary. Can I change my commission type?

No, you cannot change your license type. You must be a notary public to be an electronic notary, which requires you to register the capability to perform electronic notarial acts.  Follow these steps to register your capability to perform electronic notarial acts by applying for an electronic notary public commission online:

  • Starting February 1st, access the online system at: https://businessexpress.ny.gov; then, click on “Search Applications” and search for “Notary”
  • Sign in or create a NY.gov account.
  • Select the option to Apply for an Electronic Notary Public commission.
  • Follow the steps to find your record and proceed with the electronic notary registration.

I am currently licensed as a traditional notary. When I become licensed as an e-notary, what happens to my traditional notary license?

Once your e-notary license is issued, your traditional notary license will automatically be cancelled. You must use your new e-notary identification number on all notarizations performed.

How do I renew my notary commission?

To renew your commission, follow the below instructions:

Once your application has been processed, you will be emailed your notary commission card.  If there are deficiencies with your renewal application, you will receive an email requesting additional information. 

Please keep your email address current with our office to ensure you receive updated information regarding your commission.

How do I complete my Oath of Office?

Prior to starting your online application, download, complete, and obtain a scanned copy (i.e., PDF file) of the Oath of Office form. You will be asked to upload your completed form to your application during the application process. An Oath of Office must be completed each time you apply for a new commission or for reappointment/renewal.

If I apply online for my initial license, should I also mail my application?

No.  Unless the Department specifically requests additional document, please do not mail your application to the Department. Sending additional papers or documents to the Department may delay processing your online application.

What if I completed my exam before online exam scheduling was available?

Exam results are valid for two years only. If you completed your exam within the past two years, but prior to online exam scheduling, you will be asked to provide your exam information during the application process.

How do I check the status of my application?

You may track the status of your application by logging in to your NY Business Express account. Click on “My Dashboard” to view your application status.

Changes in law
A new law, NY Executive Law Section 135-c, authorizes notaries to perform electronic notarial acts, provided they first register with the Department of State and comply with new rules for performing electronic notarizations.   On February 1, 2023, notaries wishing to provide electronic notary services will be able to register as an Electronic Notary with the Department of State.

What is an Electronic Notary?

Electronic notaries are notaries public who are registered to perform electronic notarial acts, which may be done remotely online. An electronic notary commission will authorize the license holder to provide both electronic remote online notarial services and traditional notary services.

What are Electronic notarial acts?

Electronic notarial acts are notarial acts performed using software to create an electronically generated and saved record. An electronic notarial act may be done remotely whereby the notary and the signer are physically separated but able to communicate with each other simultaneously by sight and sound using means authorized by the Secretary of State.  Those means are set forth in new regulations which are available here.

How is electronic notarization performed?
Electronic notarization is done by a registered electronic notary using commercially available software that complies with Department of State regulations.  To provide an electronic 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 signer (also known as the “principal”) of the document through any of the following three methods:

  1. the notary’s personal knowledge of the signer;
  2. by means of communication technology that facilitates remote presentation by the signer of an official, acceptable form of ID, credential analysis, and identity proofing; or
  3. through oath or affirmation of a witness who personally knows the signer, 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 signer, for electronic notarizations where the document signer appears remotely, the notary must be able to see and interact, in real-time, with the remote signer of the document through audio-visual communication technology.  Regardless of the location of the signer, this technology must have security protocols in place to prevent unauthorized access.  The notary must make and keep an audio-visual recording of the electronic notarization and ensure that there is a back-up of the recording. This recording must be kept for a minimum of 10 years.

After the signer has executed the document, it must be transmitted to the notary public for officiating.  This is done by presentation to the notary of the executed document through the software platform. The notary must confirm that the document is the same as the one signed electronically in the notary public’s presence before applying the notary stamp and signature to the document.  For electronic notarial acts performed remotely, the following statement must be added to the jurat “This electronic notarial act involved a remote online appearance involving the use of communication technology.”

The electronic notarial process does not require transmission of paper records or ink signatures of either the signer (i.e., principal) or electronic notary.  The result of the process is an electronically created, electronically stored document that may be done online, and may be papered out for recording or other purposes.

What is “papering out?”

“Papering out” is a process by which the notary who performed an electronic notary service executes a paper certification (a certificate of authenticity) that a tangible copy of the signature page and document type of an electronic record remotely notarized by such notary public is an accurate copy of such electronic record.

What can an electronic notary charge for papering out an electronically created and electronically notarized document?

Two dollars.  The definition of a “notarial act” includes preparation of a certificate of authenticity (which is a paper document, not an electronically created document) for any document that has been created through an electronic notarial act.

What is Remote Ink Notarization (aka “RIN”)?

Remote ink notarization is the performance of a notarial act (not an electronic notarial act) using communication technology, where the notary and the signer are in different locations, to generate a paper document.  This process involves use of communication technology to verify the identity of the document signer followed by electronic transmission of an ink-signed document to the remotely located notary for application of an ink, or wet signature.

Is Remote Ink Notarization permitted in New York State?

Not after January 31, 2023.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, like in many jurisdictions the practice of RIN was authorized by executive order.  After the pandemic, RIN was permitted in New York State by temporary statute (Executive Law section 135-c, “Remote ink notarization”) alongside electronic notarization, subject to standards provided in the temporary law.  On January 31, 2023, only electronic notarization is permitted in New York State, through repeal of Executive Law § 135-c, Remote ink notarization and replacement with Executive Law § 135-c, Electronic notarization.

Will electronically notarized documents be accepted by a county clerk or other government offices that do not have an electronic filing system?

Yes, paper copies of electronically notarized documents must be accepted through  the “papering out” process.  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(6)(d)(ii). To be accepted, the notary would first have to certify the electronically notarized document.  New York Executive Law § 135-c(6)(d)(i).  Please note, the new law does require a record to be “papered out”  in order to be filed and specific questions about filing such documents should be directed toward the filing office where the document will be submitted.

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 signer 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.

 

Does New York State require platform certification for Electronic Notarization Platform Providers?

NYS does not require platform certification.  The model used here requires notaries to select platforms that comply with minimum standards. Notaries should obtain confirmation that any platform used complies with the NYS requirements and the platform provider is required by New York’s General Business Law to comply with those standards if they’re operating in the NY marketplace or if they’re representing to commissioned notaries that such platform complies.

Does the Department of State recommend a particular service provider?

No, the Department does not recommend any particular provider, but the notary must use a provider that meets NYS requirements. If unsure, a notary should contact the service provider and obtain confirmation, from the provider, that their service complies with specific NYS requirements.

What are the requirements for an exemplar?

Exemplars are required for electronic notaries only. Your exemplar should include your electronic signature and seal as well as information about your digital credential service provider. Your electronic signature must be a digital version of your signature, typed signatures are not accepted. If you need assistance with your exemplar, please contact your service provider.

How do I submit an exemplar?

After you have been issued an electronic notary commission, please login to your NY Business Express Account and navigate to your dashboard. Select “Start Exemplar Application” to submit an exemplar. If you have more than one service provider, or if you change service providers, you may navigate here to submit or update your exemplar.

Are notaries required to keep a journal?

Yes. Beginning January 25th, 2023, all notaries, including those notaries that only provide traditional in-person services, are required to keep a journal of all notarial acts performed which includes the type of identification provided, for 10 years. Additionally, electronic notaries must maintain a journal of all notarial acts as well as an audio & video record of all electronic notarial acts performed.

What information must be maintained in the journal?

“Traditional” notary journal must include:

(1)   the date, approximate time, and type of notarial acts performed

(2)   the name and address of any individuals for whom a notarial act was performed

(3)   the number and type of notarial services provided

(4)   the type of credential used to identify the principal, including, for verification made where a notary relies on the oath or affirmation of two witnesses who identify themselves with a valid government issued ID and who know the document signer personally, the names of the witnesses and, if applicable, the type of credential used; and

(5)   the verification procedures used for any personal appearance before the notary public.

 

“Electronic” notary journal must include:

(1)   the date, approximate time, and type of notarial acts performed

(2)   the name and address of any individuals for whom a notarial act was performed

(3)   the number and type of notarial services provided

(4)   the type of credential used to identify the principal, including, for verification made where a notary relies on the oath or affirmation of two witnesses who identify themselves with a valid government issued ID and who know the document signer personally, the names of the witnesses and, if applicable, the type of credential used;

(5)   the verification procedures used for any personal appearance before the notary public;

(6)   for electronic notarial acts, identification of the communication technology, certification authority, and verification providers used; and

(7)   an actual audio/video recording of the act.

 

Does the law required that the signer physically be within NYS for electronic notarization?

No. The notary must be in NYS but the person using the services can be any place provided that if the person is not in the US, the following additional rule applies:

If the principal is located outside of the United States, the notary must verify, through verbal confirmation made by the signer in the course of the recorded electronic notarial act, that the record or subject of the notarial act:

(1) is to be filed with or relates to a matter before a public official or court, governmental entity, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; or

(2) involves property located in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States or involves a transaction substantially connected with the United States;

If an electronic notarization is done remotely, the jurat must expressly state that the person making the acknowledgement or making the oath appeared through use of communication technology.

How much can a notary charge for remote notarization?

An Electronic Notary may charge up to $25.00 per electronic notarial act performed. The fee may be charged for each notarial act performed during one electronic session. A certificate of authenticity for any document that has been created through an electronic notarial act is a notarial act for which $2.00 may be charged.

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.

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 provides a copy of the application information 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?

Yes, upon approval of a new or renewed application a notary who has submitted their application online will receive a printable identification card via email. Applications submitted by mail will receive an identification card by mail.

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 NYS 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: 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

Where can I find more information?

For additional information, including a copy of the laws, please visit our website. You may also call (518) 474-4429 or email the Department for assistance.

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

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

Visitor & Customer Service Center Information:

Below is a listing of Licensing Customer Service Centers and the hours of operation. Please monitor this page for updates to office hours, guidelines and or any closures. 

Albany: This office is open for all services.  
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 

Albany 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 

*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 customer service office. For further information, please visit https://dos.ny.gov/apostille-or-certificate-authentication 
 

New York City: This office is open for all services.
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 4:30pm 
 

*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. For further information, please visit https://dos.ny.gov/apostille-or-certificate-authentication

 

Binghamton: Effective July 7, 2023, Licensing Customer Service Center will be closed until further notice. Licensing examinations will continue to be held as scheduled. 
NYS Department of State 
Division of Licensing Services 
State Office Building 
44 Hawley Street, Room 1506 
Binghamton, NY 13901-4455 
(518) 474-4429 
 

Buffalo: Effective November 10, 2022, Licensing Customer Service Center will be closed until further notice. Licensing examinations will continue to be held as scheduled 
NYS Department of State 
Division of Licensing Services 
295 Main Street, 8th Floor, Suite 821 
Buffalo, NY 14203 
(518) 474-4429

 

Hauppauge: Effective June 21, 2023, Licensing Customer Service Center will be closed until further notice. Licensing examinations will continue to be held as scheduled.

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

 

Utica: This office is closed until further notice. Licensing examinations will continue to be held as scheduled

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