How to Become a Notary in Pennsylvania (PA) Online

Dec 06, 2019

This article discusses who notaries are, what they do, and how to become one online in Pennsylvania. Learn about the different career options that can lead to a notary career as well as the requirements that need to be completed after taking the examination.

Information About Notaries in Pennsylvania

Those who chose to be notaries handle legal or business transactions such as contracts, adoption papers, and powers of attorney. Notaries can work in any building or area within their county of registration. Notaries are given an appointment from their state after completing the required steps. For Pennsylvania, all steps except taking the exam and swearing the oath of office can be completed online.

Notaries can come from a variety of career paths prior to being appointed, and some of these paths include court reporters or legal support workers.

Required Skills Business skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, computer skills
Job Growth (2018-2028)* 6% growth (office and administrative support workers, all other)
Median Salary (2018)* $34,850 (office and administrative support workers, all other)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Steps to Become a Notary in Pennsylvania Online

All information concerning the five steps can be researched and then completed online except for the actual taking of the exam and taking the oath of office, both of which must be done in person.

Step One: Complete the Education Requirement

Following the new law instated on October, 26, 2017 called the Revised Uniform Law on Nortarial Acts (RULONA), the first step to become a notary in Pennsylvania is to complete three hours of approved notary education courses (aka RULONA-compliant courses) within six months preceding the application. These courses can be completed online through a variety of organizations and associations, such as the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries (PAN) and Northampton Community College. The full list of approved providers can be researched on the Department of State of Pennsylvania's website. The applicant then needs to submit proof of completion along with the application.

Step Two: Submit the Application

The applicant needs to file the application from the Secretary of the Commonwealth online or by mail. The applicant also needs to send the required fee for the application. Make sure to attach proof of completion of the education requirements along with the application. This application can take at least four to six weeks to process, but applicants can check the status online.

Step Three: Take the Examination

Once the application is approved, the applicant will receive notification by email regarding testing procedures and sites where the tests are administered by Pearson VUE. The results will also be reported electronically. Once all is completed, the Department of State will notify the applicant of his or her appointment. The actual exam is taken in person.

Step Four: Finalize the Appointment

After receiving the appointment, the soon-to-be notary's commission is sent to the recorder of deeds in the county where the notary will maintain an office. Within 45 days, the notary needs to complete the following tasks:

  • Execute a $10,000 bond, which protects the customers of the notary if any damages are done.
  • Register his or her signature with the prothonotary of the country.
  • Take and subscribe the constitutional oath of office.
  • Submit proof of completion of the above tasks to the recorder of deeds office.

If any of these are not completed within 45 days, the applicant will have to go through the whole process again. More information can be researched online. Some of these can be completed online as well.

Optional Step Five: Apply for Agent Services Status

After the appointment by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, some might like to be able to process certain documentation from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, such as titles, registrations, and tags. This requires a separate application for agent services status that can be completed online through the Regulated Client Services Section of PennDOT's Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This option allows the notary to take on extra responsibilities and tasks while working.

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