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General Notary Forms and Information

In Georgia, notaries public are commissioned for a four-year term by the Clerk of Superior Court in their county of residence. Georgia also allows residents of neighboring states to apply to become notaries public. These out-of-state residents must own a business in Georgia or be regularly employed in Georgia and must apply with the Clerk of Superior Court in the county where they own a business or are employed.
Note: Only out-of-state residents may apply in their county of employment; Georgia residents may only apply in their county of residence.

Fee:
The fee for a new notary appointment or for reappointment is $37.00.

Jurisdiction:
Georgia notaries public may perform notarial acts anywhere within the State of Georgia.

Qualifications to become a notary in Georgia:

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • Be a citizen of the United States or a legal resident of the United States.

  • Be a legal resident of the county in which he or she applies (or, if a non-Georgia resident, you must reside in a state bordering Georgia and carry on a business or profession in Georgia or be regularly employed in the Georgia county of application).

  • Have, and provide at the time of application, the applicant's operating telephone number.

  • Be able to read and write English.

Notary Training: Georgia does not require mandatory training; however, a free web-based training course is highly recommended. This course explains Georgia notary law, and presents basic notary procedures. Click HERE to access the training course. The course is not required in order to receive a commission.

The Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority, in conjunction with the American Society of Notaries, offers "The Georgia Notary Handbook." This is an excellent reference book for Georgia notary law, notary procedures and best practices, and includes forms and definitions. To purchase a handbook, either use our Notary Handbook Online Order System or fill out the Notary Handbook Mail-In Order Form

New Applicants:
Overview:

  • Complete a notary application and bring it to the Clerk of Superior Court in your county of residence. (Note the neighboring-state resident provision above.)

  • Pay the application fee and take the oath of office.

  • The clerk's office issues a notary certificate of appointment.

  • Purchase a notary seal (metal emboss type or rubber ink stamp) from an office supply store or from a notary trade association.

Click here for the Georgia Notary Public Application Form for New Appointments or Reappointment

Renewing Notaries Public:
A renewing notary is defined as someone who holds an active notary commission in the county of application.
Overview:

  • Complete a notary application and bring it to the Clerk of Superior Court in your county of residence. (Note the neighboring-state resident provision above.) Some counties allow notaries to renew by mail. Contact your Clerk of Superior Court's office for specific details.

  • Pay the application fee and take the oath of office.

  • The clerk's office issues a notary certificate of appointment.

  • Purchase a notary seal of office (metal emboss type or rubber ink stamp) from an office supply store or from a notary trade association. Note: You may use your existing notary seal/stamp if the information on the seal matches exactly the information on the new commission.

Click here for the Georgia Notary Public Application Form for New Appointments or Reappointment

Information about the GSCCCA Notary Division
In 1997, the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA) assumed the role of maintaining the state-wide central database of notaries public from the Georgia Secretary of State.

The Authority was recognized in 1998 by the U.S. Department of State as the only state agency authorized to issue apostilles (certifications of public documents for use in a Hague Treaty Convention 12 country) for documents originating in the State of Georgia.

Noteworthy
Georgia Notary Public Application Form for New Appointments or Reappointment
Free Web-Based Notary Training Course
Notary Public Search Index
Georgia Clerk of Superior Court Contact List
GSCCCA Notary Division Hours of Operation

FAQ

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Notary Public FAQ

The following is general information based on our experience in administering Georgia's notary public laws. Georgia Notary Law is located in Title 45 Article 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA). Access the online version of the OCGA through the Georgia General Assembly website located at http://www.legis.state.ga.us/. Questions regarding the application of laws to a particular situation should be addressed to private legal counsel.

  1. What are the qualifications to become a notary in Georgia?

    An applicant must:

    • Be at least 18 years old.
    • Be a citizen of the United States or a legal resident of the United States.
    • Be a legal resident of the county in which he or she applies (or, if a non-Georgia resident, he or she must reside in a state bordering Georgia and carry on a business or profession in Georgia or be regularly employed in the Georgia county of application).
    • Have an operating telephone number and provide it at the time of application.
    • Be able to read and write English.
  2. How do I become a notary?

    Georgia notaries public are commissioned for four-year terms by the Clerk of Superior Court in their county of residence (with a neighboring state resident exception, see FAQ # 8).

    Overview:

    • Complete a notary application and bring it to the Clerk of Superior Court in your county of residence (note the neighboring-state resident provision).
    • Pay the application fee and take the oath of office.
    • The clerk's office issues a notary certificate of appointment.
    • Purchase a notary seal (metal emboss type or rubber ink stamp) from an office supply store or from a notary trade association.

    Details: Many Georgia counties participate in a web-based notary application process. This process allows the notary to submit the application data directly to the county. The applicant is then instructed to print the application packet, gather any necessary signatures, such as endorsers (i.e. character references), and bring the signed application to the clerk's office for final processing and payment. The web-based application is found on the Notary Public Application Form page. Follow the instructions to select your county and the appropriate application type, either new or renewal. Note: If your county does not appear in the county list, your county does not participate in the web-based process. You must contact your county's Clerk of Superior Court to obtain an application and for any additional details. Click here for county contact information on the Clerks Page.

  3. What is the term of office for a notary public?

    A notary commission is for a four-year term.

  4. What is the fee to become a notary public?

    The fee is $37 for a four-year term whether you are applying as a new notary public or renewing an existing commission.

  5. What type of training or educational materials are available and does Georgia require mandatory training?

    Georgia does not have mandatory training requirements; however, a web-based training course is available free-of-charge at http://training.gsccca.org. This course explains Georgia notary law, and presents basic notary procedures. The course is not required in order to receive a commission but is recommended.

    "The Georgia Notary Handbook" is an excellent reference book for Georgia notary law, notary procedures and best practices, and includes forms and definitions. For more information, click on this link: Notary Handbook Order Form

  6. Can a Georgia notary perform notarial acts in all Georgia counties?

    Yes, a notary public can perform notarial acts anywhere within the boundaries of the state.

  7. Are Georgia notaries required to be bonded?

    No bond is required of Georgia notaries.

  8. May an out-of-state resident become a notary public in Georgia?

    A legal resident of a state bordering the State of Georgia may apply to become a notary public. The applicant must be regularly employed or carry on a business or profession in Georgia, and may only apply to the Clerk of Superior Court in the county of his or her employment. The applicant must be at least 18 years of age, be a citizen of the United States or a legal resident of the United States, be able to read and write English, and provide his or her telephone number at the time of application.

  9. How do I renew my notary commission?

    A notary public may apply for re-appointment using the renewal application form if they hold an active commission in the county of application. Some counties allow notaries to renew by mail. Please contact the county for specific instructions.

    Overview:

    • Complete a notary application and bring it to the Clerk of Superior Court in your county of application.
    • Pay the application fee and take the oath of office.
    • The clerk's office issues a notary certificate of appointment.
    • Purchase a notary seal of office (metal emboss type or rubber ink stamp) from an office supply store or from a notary trade association. Note: You may use your existing notary seal/stamp if the information on the seal matches exactly the information on the new commission.

    Details:

    Many Georgia counties participate in a web-based notary application process. This process allows the notary to submit the application data directly to the county. The notary is then instructed to print the application packet, gather any necessary signatures, such as endorsers (i.e. character references), and bring the signed application to the clerk's office for final processing and payment. The web-based application is found on the Notary Public Application Form page. Follow the instructions to select your county and the appropriate application type, either new or renewal. Note: If your county does not appear in the county list, your county does not participate in the web-based process. You must contact your county's Clerk of Superior Court to obtain an application and for any additional details. Click here for county contact information on the Clerks Page.

  10. How soon prior to term expiration can I renew my notary commission?

    Typically a notary may submit a renewal application no more than 30 days prior to the current term expiration date.

  11. Will I be notified that my notary term of office is nearing expiration?

    If you provide the GSCCCA with an e-mail address, a renewal notification will be sent thirty days prior to expiration. The web-based application has an e-mail address field, or you can complete the "Notary E-mail Request Form" or "Notary E-mail Correction Form" located in the Notary Files and Forms section.

  12. What is the procedure for changing a name, address or phone number during a term of office?

    A notary whose name, address or phone number changes must notify the appointing clerk in writing within thirty days of the change and provide a copy to the GSCCCA. The notice shall be signed by the notary and contain both the old information as well as the new information. A "Notary Public Contact Information Change Form" is located in the Notary Files and Forms section.

    In the event of a name change, the notary must provide a new signature sample to the clerk's office. A notary with a new name may begin to officially sign the new name when the appointing Clerk of Superior Court has received the notice; a confirmation of the name change has been received from the appointing Clerk of Superior Court (typically an amended notary certificate of appointment); and a new seal bearing the new name has been obtained.

    Many counties require personal appearance to complete changes to the notary's commission. Please contact the appointing Clerk of Superior Court's office for county-specific instructions. Click the following link for county contact information: Clerks Page.

  13. If I move to another county, do I transfer my commission to that county?

    No. Your commission continues in the county of appointment until your current term expires. You must notify the appointing clerk within thirty days of the change and provide a copy to the GSCCCA. A "Notary Public Contact Information Change Form" is located in the Notary Files and Forms section. Within 30 days of term expiration, you may submit a new notary application to the clerk's office in the new county of residence.

  14. I've lost my seal or it has been stolen. Who do I need to notify?

    Provide written notification to the appointing Clerk of Superior Court with a copy to the GSCCCA within 10 days of loss or theft. The GSCCCA recommends altering the way the notary is commissioned to distinguish between the old seal and new seal. Click here for county contact information.

  15. I've lost my notary certificate of appointment. How can I get a copy?

    Contact the commissioning or appointing Clerk of Superior Court and request a duplicate certificate. Click here for county contact information.

  16. Does Georgia require an embossed (raised seal) or will a rubber stamp be acceptable?

    Georgia accepts either type of seal and makes no distinction between an embossed seal and a rubber ink stamp as long as the four required elements are present:

    1. The name of the notary as it appears on the commission certificate.
    2. The words "Notary Public."
    3. The word "Georgia" or "GA."
    4. The name of the county where the notary was commissioned.
  17. Must a notary use a seal or stamp when notarizing documents?

    Yes. A complete notarial act requires a notary's signature and seal and the exact date of notarization.

  18. Is a document valid if the notary fails to include the expiration date of his or her term of office?

    A document is generally valid if the expiration date is mistakenly left out. The wise notary will always include the expiration date. If no stamp is handy, the expiration date may be handwritten.

  19. May a notary refuse to witness a document?

    A notary may, and should, refuse to witness a signature whenever any question exists as to the identity of the signer, the sanity of the signer, or the voluntariness of the signature. A notary should confirm the identity of the signer based on personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence.

  20. Can I sign as a witness in addition to acting as a notary on a document?

    No. A notary is disqualified from performing a notarial act when he or she is also a party to the document for which notarization is required.

  21. Can a notary notarize documents for relatives?

    Georgia law does not specifically address performing notarial acts for relatives. However, the role of a notary public is to be a disinterested witness. Requests to perform notarial acts for any family member may create serious problems and should be avoided.

    Statutes that may apply:

    O.C.G.A. §45-17-8 (c) a notary shall be disqualified from performing a notarial act in the following situations which impugn and compromise the notary's impartiality:

    1. When the notary is a signer of the document which is to be notarized; or
    2. When the notary is a party to the document or transaction for which the notarial act is required.

    O.C.G.A. §45-17-12 (b) Stipulates that a notary who is an employee of a corporation may act and sign as official witness to the execution by any party of any written instrument executed to or by such corporation.

  22. Does Georgia issue commission numbers to their notaries public?

    No. Georgia does not issue commission numbers to notary public appointments. Any numbers that appear on a notary certificate of appointment are internal database identifiers and are not to be used as state-issued commission numbers.

  23. What is an "endorser" on the notary public application?

    An endorser is in essence a character reference. As part of the notary application, Georgia requires two people to submit an affidavit stating the applicant is a person of integrity and good moral character and is capable of performing notarial acts. The endorser cannot be related to the applicant, must be at least 18 years old, must live in the county of application, and must have known the notary applicant for more than 30 days.

  24. I wish to file a complaint against a notary. What is the procedure?

    The complaint must be filed with the notary's appointing Clerk of Superior Court. Georgia law gives the commissioning Clerk of Superior Court the authority to revoke the notary's commission or deny reappointment. Click here for county contact information.

  25. In Georgia, can a notary public perform marriage ceremonies?

    No. Georgia has not granted notaries public the authority to perform marriage ceremonies.

For further information contact:
GSCCCA/Notary Division
1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 100
Atlanta GA 30345
404-327-6023 (phone)
404-327-7877 (fax)