Notary Public


General Notarial Information

Picture of Cheryl Dinolfo, County Clerk.

The chief notary of every county is the County Clerk. By state law, every Clerk’s Office must provide for the general public’s use of a notary.

The usual and customary 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 notary publics.

Notary Publics are commissioned in their counties of residence. After receiving and approving an applicant for a notary public commission, the New York 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. Notary public renewals are also recorded at the County Clerk’s Office.


Notarial Authentication

Picture of notary paperwork.

Upon request, County Clerks will authenticate the signature of the notary on a document and will attest to the notary’s authority to sign. This is normally obtained when the documents will be used outside of the State of New York. Notaries who expect to sign documents regularly in counties other than that of their residence may elect to file a certificate of official character with other County Clerks in the State of New York.

At times a document that is being used outside of the United States may require an authentication. The New York Secretary of State authenticates public documents. Information on this process can be obtained from New York State's Department of State website, NYS Division of Corporations, State Records & UCC.


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Notary Public Fee

A notary public may charge a fee of $2 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.

By State Law, the Monroe County Clerk’s Office provides for the general public’s use of a notary free of charge.


Notary Public Application Process

Notary publics are commissioned by the New York Secretary of State. An applicant for a notary public commission must submit to the Division of Licensing Services an original application and $60 fee. The application includes an oath of office, which must be sworn and notarized. In addition to the application form and fee, the applicant must submit a “pass slip” showing that he or she has taken and passed the notary public examination (see Notary Public Exam Information). An individual admitted to practice in New York State as an attorney, may be appointed to a notary public without an examination. The term of commission for a notary public is four years.

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 or a certificate of good conduct from the parole board, he or she may be considered for appointment.

Notary Publics 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.

A newly appointed notary public will receive an identification card within one to two weeks of the date that the Division of Licensing Services receives his or her application. The identification card will indicate the notary’s name, address, count and commission term.

A reappointed notary will receive a replacement identification card from the Department of State within six to eight weeks of the date the county clerk receives his or her renewal application. The term of commission is four years.

A notary public may charge a fee of $2 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.


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Notary Public Exam Information

For up-to-date information on the Notary Public Exam, including fees, regulations, test sites and times, please visit the New York State Notary Public License Law website.


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Notary Public Renewal

The renewal application is posted to the notary approximately three months prior to the expiration of his or her term of office. The application must be completed and submitted with a $60 fee to the county clerk where the notary is commissioned. Instructions for proper submission are included with the renewal application. The term of commission is four years.


Out-of-State Residents

Attorneys, residing outside of the State of New York, who are admitted to practice in the State of New York and who maintain a law office within the State are deemed to be residents of the county where the office is maintained. Nonresidents other than attorneys who have offices or places of business in the State of New York may also become notaries. The oath of office and signature of the notary must be filed in the office of the County Clerk of the county in which the office or place of business is located.

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