Qualifications of a Notary Public

   18 years of age
   Citizen of the State of Ohio
   Resident of county in which you are applying
   Good moral character

How to become a Notary Public

To become a notary public, you must pass an exam with a score of 76% or better.  Please study the manual and appendix prior to scheduling an appointment for your exam. The exams are conducted by the Court Administrator by appointments (419-636-3436 or via e-mail at kcoller@wmsco.org). You will need to bring the following with you to the exam.
  Completed application;
   $23.00 for the cost of the application, exam and Secretary of State processing fee.  If paying by check, please make payable to the "Judge's Notary Committee";

Application to the Secretary of State (available at the Court Administrator's office); and

Proof of Identity (driver's license)

How to renew your Notary Public Commission

Prior to the expiration of his or her commission, a notary must request the Secretary of State to renew their commission.  The following must be provided for consideration to renew your notary:
Renewal Application;
$18.00 for the cost of the application and Secretary of State processing fee.  If paying by check, please make payable to the "Judge's Notary Committee"; and
Application to the Secretary of State (available at the Court Administrator's office)
Please contact the Williams County Court Administrator at 419-636-3436 or via e-mail at kcoller@wmsco.org to schedule an appointment to renew your notary.  The renewed commission must be recorded in the same manner as your original commission.
Recording your commission
After an applicant receives his or her commission, but before he or she can use it, the applicant must take an oath, which is endorsed on the commission. In Williams County, that oath must be taken at the office of the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas.  The Clerk records the commission, and receives a $5.00 fee for so doing.  If a certified copy of a notary commission is needed, it can be obtained from the clerk for $2.00.  As a part of the Secretary of State's processing of the applications, the Secretary of State also maintains a record of notary commissions.
Each notary must obtain a seal at his/her own expense.  The seal may be either a stamp or an embosser.  An embosser crimps the paper, the stamp inks it.  The seal consists of the Ohio state seal within a circle one inch in diameter.  It shall be surrounded by the words "notary public", "notary seal", or words to that effect, the name of the notary public, and words "State of Ohio".  The notary's name may be omitted from the seal if the name is legibly printed, stamped or typewritten near the notary's signature.  The seal is not required to have a county name on it, as any Ohio notary commission is good in any Ohio county.  the seal can be purchased at the office supply store of your choice.
Change of Name
If a notary legally changes his or her name by marriage, divorce or any other reason, he or she may:


Continue to use his or her existing commission after a name change.  At the normal renewal date, the notary would change his or her name.  However, the notary must sign their new name but indicate the name in which the commission was issued in parentheses or with the words "formerly known as" after the name on each document notarized;


Amend their notary by going to the Secretary of State website at http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/recordsIndexes/Notary/info.aspx. Under Notary Commission, click on Amending Notary Information.  In the middle of the page is an Application to amend Notary Public Information.  Please print the .pdf, complete and forward to the Ohio Secretary of State with payment pursuant to the directions set forth online.
Expiration of Commission
Performing any act as a notary public knowing one's term of office has expired will result in forfeiture of not more than $500 and permanent ineligibility for reappointment (R.C. 147.11).  In the event your commission has expired but you have not performed any act as a notary public, it may be possible to renew your notary without re-testing.  Please contact the Court Administrator immediately for further information.