Becoming a notary is a great way to make extra money while maintaining a flexible schedule. Plus, it’s a fairly simple process. You complete the notary packet, which consists of an application and a required course. You then pay the necessary fees and submit the application.
In order to work as a notary, though, you need a notary license. Also known as a commission, a notary license shows that you have met all the requirements to notarize important legal documents.
A notary license, however, does not last forever. It lasts just four years, and once it expires, you can no longer legally work as a notary. Therefore, you will need to renew your notary license on time to avoid an interruption of work.
To renew your notary license, you need to meet the same requirements as you did when you first got your license:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a legal resident of Florida
- Read, write, and understand English
So how do you renew your notary license? This guide will tell you everything you need to know so you can renew with ease.
Keep in mind that the State of Florida does not have an automatic renewal process. In addition, you will not receive any notices or reminders in the mail. What this means is that you need to be on top of the renewal process. Be aware of when your commission will expire. Generally, the earlier you renew, the better.
However, you need to be careful about the submission dates. If you’re too late, your new commission may not arrive until after your old one expires. This means you could be out of work for some time. There is no way to expedite the process. On the other hand, some states won’t allow you to renew your notary commission too early.
If you plan to continue working as a notary after your four-year commission expires, how do you renew your notary license in a timely manner? The State of Florida recommends that you renew your license no later than six months before it expires. While your renewal will likely be processed much quicker than that, the extra time allows for any delays that may occur.
Delays can occur for the following reasons:
- You answered YES to questions 5, 6, 7, or 8 on the application. Your application will have to be approved by the Florida governor, which can cause delays in processing.
- You have a felony conviction on your criminal record. If you were convicted of a felony during your original commission, then you will not be able to get approved without first obtaining a Restoration of Civil Rights from the Office of Executive Clemency.
Also, keep in mind that you must have been a legal resident of Florida throughout your four-year commission. You will have to resign your commission if you move out of Florida.
How and Where to Renew Your Notary License
The most convenient way to renew your notary license is online. The process is safe and secure and takes just minutes. The Florida Notary Association allows you to easily complete the form online.
You can also print the renewal form. Complete it by hand and mail it to the following address for processing:
Florida Notary Association
P.O. Box 533964
Orlando, Florida 32853
When mailing, make sure to include everything:
- Oath of Office
- Bond Form
- Application & Payment Instruction Page
You will not need to take any continuing education courses unless it has been more than 10 years since you have worked as a notary.
The application process is similar to when you originally applied to become a notary. To fill out the application, you will need to provide your personal information, including Social Security number and driver’s license. You will also have to answer some questions about your residency and criminal background. In addition, you will need to have someone who knows you well (a friend, co-worker, or neighbor, for example) and has known you for at least one year complete the Affidavit of Character. There is also an Oath of Office, bond information page, and several other pages you will need to complete, so be sure to take your time and fill out everything completely and accurately. After all, your notary seal will reflect your printed name, so be aware of proper spelling. None of the pages need to be notarized.
Once you fill out the renewal form, the Florida Notary Association will take care of the rest. We have the fastest processing times in the industry. Processing may take two or three weeks, but generally takes less than 10 business days. It is typically faster when you renew online. Once your notary commission is issued by the state, you will receive your certificate and other materials.
You may wonder: how much does it cost to renew a notary license? While prices can vary depending on which notary appointment company you use, the Florida Notary Association has a renewal package for $109. This package takes the stress out of the renewal process so you can focus on your job. It meets all state requirements and includes everything you need, including:
- State filing fee ($39)
- Notary commission certificate
- $7,500 notary bond
- Official self-inking stamp
Not all packages are created equally, though. Some companies offer more expensive packages that also include insurance, public record books, journals, different stamps, and other items. So make sure you know what you are paying for before you select a package.
By starting early, you should receive all your materials before your commission expires. When you do, continue to use your stamp until your commission expires.
Contact Us Today
Now that you know how and where to renew your notary license, make sure you do it before your commission expires. Need more information? Contact the Florida Notary Association to get your questions answered!