elderly woman signing a document at the office with managers

Becoming a Notary in WA

Earn a WA Notary Certification

Being a notary is an invaluable resource to your professional career. Most contracts and legal documents are required to have a notary stamp to verify the document as valid. When it comes to becoming a notary, there are specific requirements needed to earn the notary certification that vary from state to state. Becoming a notary in WA is easy and convenient with American Safety Council® notary package.

We are a national leader in safety and are widely recognized by our adherence to state and national policies and procedures. Because of this, you can feel confident the tools being provided to you will lead to a successful notary career that is recognized by Washington state law and the Department of Licensing.

Overview of Being a Washington Notary

A Washington notary is a public official who serves as a witness in the signing of important documents to aid in the deterrence of fraudulent acts. This action is called notarization. Notaries are also considered “ministerial officials,” which means notaries are meant to follow the rules and regulations of being a notary public without exercise of significant personal discretion.

Having a notary on hand within an organization is an indispensable asset to have. Typically employees who work for organizations in administrative or legal positions are required to currently be a notary or become one within a certain period of time of being hired. Having a notary act within the office of companies and organizations is especially convenient for the signing and filing of important legal documentation, such as wills, articles of incorporation, and mortgage closings.

When you get a notary package with American Safety Council, you are getting more than the security of working with a nationally recognized organization that is known for its strict adherence to the rules and policies upheld by the state of Washington.

  • We strictly adhere to Washington state law and regularly updates our certification rules and procedures to ensure you have been provided the most up-to-date information possible.
  • You will not just be a notary, you will be a revered and educated member of your organization tasked with upholding the policies and procedures relevant to that of a notary public.
    • Our notary package includes your notary supplies along with your notary certification, including:
      • A state notary bond
      • A customized self-inking stamp (a requirement for a notary in most states)
      • Your frameable notary certificate to showcase your achievement
  • The benefits of using the notary package are abundant. Applying for the package can be done 100% online, with customer support available to you whenever you need it.
  • Along with being able to apply for your notary certificate online, you will receive an all-in-one package to becoming a notary public. No need to hop around other organizations. No need to call anyone else for your documentation. We will provide you with absolutely everything you need for becoming a notary in WA.

Are you already a notary? Keep in mind notary certificates expire every four years and the renewal process could take up to six months, depending on the state. You can renew your appointment of Washington notary and get the tools and information you need here.

senior businessman concentrate on stamping document , approve contract

Steps to Becoming a Notary in WA

Becoming a notary in Washington is quick and easy. You simply need to fill out and submit your application and pay a filing fee before becoming certified by the state. In order to ensure you meet all the Washington state requirements to be a notary public, the following must apply:

  • You must be 18 years of age
  • You must be able to write and speak English fluently
  • You must live in Washington or live in Oregon or Idaho and either work for a company located in Washington or do business in Washington

Filling out the Washington notary public application can be done completely online, but you must ensure you have already received a $10,000 surety bond, also known as a notary bond, that covers the state or business the notary works under if any mistakes happen at the fault of the notary. Our notary package includes your notary bond.

  • After you fill out your application, there will be a prompt to fill out your notary bond application.
  • You will then fill out the information required by the WA Notary Commission Application. Once you’ve made your payment, you will be able to print a copy of your application. You must sign your application and then scan and email it to info@notaries.com, or mail it to the following address:

                     225 E Robinson St. #570
                     Orlando, FL, 32801

  • Your notary surety bond will then be mailed directly to you. Upon receiving that, you must:
    • Sign your bond and make a copy for your records
    • Send your Washington notary application and $30 state filing fee made payable to the Washington State Treasurer by either check or money order
    • Mail your application and bond to the Department of Licensing at the following address:

                     Washington State Treasurer
                     Department of Licensing
                     P.O. Box 9048
                     Olympia, WA 98507

Once your application has been processed, you will receive your Notary Commission Certificate from Washington. Email or fax a copy of your certificate to info@notaries.com and you will be sent the remaining pieces of your notary package, including your self-inking notary stamp. Your supplies will be sent to you within 10 days upon the receipt of your notary certificate.

Steps to Renewing Your Notary in Washington

  • The steps to renewing your notary certification is similar to that of obtaining your notary in Washington the first time, except you only need to complete the final two sections in the application, sections C and D.
  • Be sure to give yourself at least six months to renew your notary certificate. You must renew your notary certificate every four years, so you should start the notary renewal application process when it has been three-and-a-half years since you received your last notary certification.
  • An important addition to your notary application to consider is obtaining Notary Errors and Omissions Insurance, also known as E&O. E&O insurance protects you, as a notary, against any unforeseen lawsuits that could result in financial devastation against a notary if any errors are made at the notary’s fault. This can be purchased as an added benefit to obtaining your notary for the first time, or as a renewal.

Becoming a Notary in WA: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am qualified to become a notary?

In order to become a notary within your state, you must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the state. In the state of Washington, you may also live in either Oregon or Idaho and work within Washington or do business in Washington to become a WA notary. You must also have never committed a felony.

How long does my notary certification last?

The length of your notary certification depends on the state within which you have received your notary certification. In Washington, you must renew your certification every four years.

When should I start renewing my notary certification?

You may start your renewal process as early as 120 days before the end of your notary certification. It takes at least six months for the renewal process to be finalized.

Is it required to have a notary seal and stamp?

While some states may not require a notary seal and stamp, most states do. Those that do not require the stamp and seal highly recommend having them.

Does becoming a notary require taking a training course?

A training course is required in Florida, Missouri and Pennsylvania. A training course is not required in the state of Washington.

Do I need to buy a notary surety?

Yes, you must purchase a surety bond in order to become a notary in any state, though the price will vary. For Washington, you must have a $10,000 surety bond.

Is it required to purchase E&O insurance?

While it is highly recommended to purchase Notary Errors and Omission insurance (E&O insurance), it is not required in any state. E&O protects the notary against any possible lawsuits that may be filed against them, due to a mistake. This is the first line of defense against any future mistakes that may occur before your bond is needed.

Am I under the protection and insurance of my employer as a notary?

No, you are not under the protection of your employer as a notary, even if you use your notary certification for your employer. As a notary, you are solely responsible for any actions you take as you notarize any documents.

What is a notary journal, and is it required for me to have one?

A notary journal is a record you keep of all notarization you make with your certification. This official document is required in most states. However, even in the states it is not required, it is highly recommended.

What services does a notary provide?

The duties of a notary may include notarizing acknowledgments, providing oaths and affidavits, authenticating vehicle identify numbers, bearing witness to photocopies of legal documents being made and verifying the contents in safe deposit boxes. These documents that you notarize verify that they are true and no fraudulent activity had been performed.

Does my employer pay for my notary services?

Yes, your employer may pay for you to become a notary and any services you perform as a notary. If you leave that employer, you will still keep your notary certification.

Can I notarize documents for my family?

No, you may not provide any notary services to your immediate family, including your mother, father, sister or brother. You may provide notary services to your extended family.

Who needs to be present when notarizing a document?

Whoever has signed the document you are notarizing must be present and you must witness the signature of the document. If you do not witness this, you are in violation of the state notary statutes.


Washington State Department of Licensing: http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/notary/index.html