Notary

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HOW TO BECOME A

NOTARY PUBLIC

What a Notary Public does
A notary public is an officer of the State of Georgia who has the power and authority to:

  • Witness or attest signatures or executions of deeds and other written instruments
  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • Witness affidavits
  • Take verifications
  • Make certified copies of documents

Qualifications
To be eligible to become a notary public of the State of Georgia, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • A resident of Georgia
  • A resident of Columbia County
  • A resident of state bordering Georgia who carries on a business or profession in Columbia County or who is regularly employed in Columbia County
  • Able to read and write the English language

How to apply for a Notary Public appointment
To apply for appointment as a notary public:

  • You must obtain and complete an application provided by the Clerk of Columbia County Superior Court. The Clerk of Columbia County Superior Court is Cindy Mason. See below for information about contacting or locating the Clerk's office or other questions you may have about applying to become a notary public.
  • You are required to sign and swear or affirm to the truthfulness of the information you provide on the application.
  • In addition to the information shown above, you are required to state on the application form all criminal convictions you have had including any plea of nolo contendre, except minor traffic violations.
  • Endorsements of two persons who are not your relatives, who are least 18 years old and who reside in Columbia County, stating that you are a person of integrity, good moral character, and capable of performing notarial acts.
  • The application (or renewal) fee for a notary public is $39.00. The Clerk of Columbia Superior Court accepts cash, money orders or checks.
  • Click on the following link to obtain an application:

                    COLUMBIA COUNTY APPLICATION FOR NOTARY PUBLIC COMMISSION

 

 

Commission
The Clerk of Columbia County Superior Court is required by law to review your application and either grant or deny a commission.

  • The Clerk of Columbia County Superior Court may deny your application if you have been convicted of any crimes or entered a nolo contendre plea to any crime other than a minor traffic violation, or if you have ever had a notary commission revoked, suspended or restricted
  • The Clerk will issue you a certificate of appointment at the time you are commissioned as a notary public
  • Upon issuing a certificate of appointment, the Clerk notifies the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority, a state agency responsible for maintaining a statewide registry of notaries public, which will send you an official identification card showing you are a notary and the term of your appointment.

Term of Office
A notary public serves a term of office for four years from the date of the commission

  • The commission may be revoked at any time if a notary violates any notary public law, performs any illegal notarial act, or is found to have submitted an application or endorsement for a notarial commission containing substantial or significant misstatement or omission of fact
  • Renewal of a commission may be done in person at the end of the term of office

Seal of Office

  • For authentication of notarial acts, a notary public is required by law to provide a seal of office
  • The seal shall contain your name, the words "Notary Public," "Georgia," and "Columbia County"
  • The seal may either an embossing device or a rubber stamp
  • All notarial acts must be documented by your notary seal

Fees of Notaries
The fees a notary may charge the public for performing notarial acts are:

  • Administering an oath -- $2.00
  • Each attendance on any person to make proof as a notary public -- $2.00
  • Every other certificate -- $2.00
  • It is not lawful to charge more than $4.00 for each service performed. The $4.00 fee includes a $2.00 fee for performing the notarial act and $2.00 for attendance to make proof as a notary public and certifying the same
  • A notary public is not required to charge fees for notarial acts
  • You must inform the person requesting the notarial act in advance of the fees that will be charged

For more information concerning commissioning of notary publics, visit the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority's site at http://www.gsccca.org/Projects/aboutnp.asp (The Georgia Superior Courts' Cooperative Authority).

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