How I became a Notary

Although my prior understanding of what a Notary did was rather limited, I really wanted to add it to my checklist (I think I was mostly interested in the stamps!). It was one of those things that I couldn’t really justify spending the money on because I didn’t know what I would use it for or if I ever would use it. It seemed like a cool thing to list on a resume but I figured it wasn’t something I would ever actually do.

At my last job as a Supervisor, I participated frequently in the hiring process. Part of that required having a specific application filed which had to be notarized. I often referred them to their local bank to get that part done. A short time later, the protocols changed which now required at least two individuals to become a Notary. I jumped at the opportunity (and excuse) to do this. I was incredibly grateful to discover that the company would be reimbursing us for the total cost.

The process of getting your license varies state to state so please refer to your state’s information on the steps to get your license. 

For me, I was able to sign up for a 6-hour course at my local community college. At the end of the class, we would take a short exam and receive an application to send to the state. The cost of my class was $70 and the cost of the book for the class (required!) was $25. I bought my book in advance and read through it before going to class. I took notes as the class went on and discovered the information was not nearly as complicated as I thought it would be. When the time came for the exam, the competitive side of me raced through the test (YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIS!).

Well, I didn’t win my race (I finished 2nd!) but the test was graded right then and there and we were given our scores after everyone had finished. I got 100%! I was incredibly proud of myself and was now able to send in my application to the state.

I was so nervous about filling out this form. I wanted to make sure it was perfect and that there were no mistakes. The application fee was $50 which I mailed by check.

Once your application is approved, they send you an email with the information you’ll need to get sworn in by the state. I forget how long exactly it was said to take to receive the email but it felt like it took FOREVER for the letter to come in.

Finally! it came in and I printed off the paper and went to the courthouse to get sworn in. This also cost a fee (I think $10) and they took me into a room where I was sworn in and given my official certificate.  I’ll have to renew my license in five years and pay the application fee again.

My company also paid for the stamps and supplies and they really got me the works! I received a log book for documenting my notarial acts, a stamp, an embosser, and seals. I quickly put my skills to use (as nervous as I was to complete an official document!).

Although I no longer work at that job, I know that having this skill will be a huge asset in my career. I look forward to getting more practice and becoming more comfortable in performing each notarial act. This was a great learning experience for me and a great opportunity to check off a bucket list item.

Although not everyone will be so lucky, it never hurts to check with your employers to see if they will pay for or reimburse for related schooling, whether it be certificates and licenses like mine or even going back to school! There are many companies that do this for their employees and it’s a great benefit to take advantage of so check with your HR managers to see what opportunities you might have!

Notary License

Until our next adventure,

Brandi Tessner


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I am a 25 year old from Western North Carolina interested in phobias and fears after dealing with Anxiety and Panic Disorder over the last few years. It had such a debilitating effect on my life. I realized how much of life I was missing out on due to fear. I hope that by instilling courage in myself, I can instill courage in others to face their own fears and live life to the fullest capacity!

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