Becoming a Notary in North Carolina
Being a notary can be performed as an extension of one's job, e.g., as an office manager or administrative assistant, or as adjunct work to supplement one's income. Notaries serve as official witnesses to the signing of important documents such as real estate paperwork, wills, and guardianship forms. Because a notary deals directly with customers, understanding the documents' contents and conversing knowledgeably with clients are necessary skills, along with the other qualities mentioned in the table below.
|Requirements||Good communication skills, impartiality, attention to detail|
|Job Growth*||6% for 2018-2028 (office and administrative support workers, all other)|
|Average Salary**||$14.67/hour (nationwide)|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **Payscale
Steps to Becoming a Notary in North Carolina
Once eligibility requirements have been met, some of the steps to becoming a notary in NC can be completed on the computer and on one's own schedule. Training information, the application, and necessary supplies can be found or ordered online; however, the preparatory course and exam must be taken in the classroom.
Step 1: Getting Started
Before starting the notary process, one can find a checklist of eligibility requirements online. These include being 18 years of age, having a high school diploma or equivalent, and being able to communicate in English. Videos elucidating what a notary does and how to become one can be viewed on a computer. In addition, prospective notaries can purchase supplies such as a journal for recordkeeping, a book describing North Carolina regulations, and a notary seal online. The application for gaining a notary commission can also be found online, along with instructions on how to complete the process. In North Carolina, having insurance is not mandatory but, if desired, can be purchased online.
Step 2: Achieving a Notary Commission
Once an individual has determined that he or she is eligible to become a notary in North Carolina, one must take a 6-hour course often available at a local community college. Training and practice tests can be found online, but the class itself and the exam must be taken in person. The schools offering this course and the forms needed to register appear online. One must have the North Carolina Notary Public Guidebook, which can be purchased as a downloadable version. Once the prospective notary has taken the class, passed the exam with a minimum grade of 80%, and had the instructor verify this information in writing, the application must be notarized and mailed with fees to the Secretary of State's office in Raleigh. When the application has been accepted, the candidate is required to take an oath of office at a Register of Deeds.
Step 3: Additional Information
Crucial components of being a notary are the ability to communicate well with others and attention to detail. A notary must be able to determine if the forms to be witnessed are legitimate and if all parties are in agreement. While fluency in English is mandatory, mastery of other languages can increase one's marketability. Finally, the commission for a notary in NC is 5 years; the steps for reappointment and the recommissioning exam can be found online.