August 23, 2019

Notary Laws Are Changing: The Real Scoop

The notary laws in Ohio are changing on Sept. 20. The Ohio Notary Modernization Act is a way to standardize the notary public commission process and allow for online and electronic notarization; but to get to this standard, the rules had to change.

Who will be affected?
Anyone applying to become a notary for the first time and any non-attorney notaries who plan to renew their commission in the future will be affected. Attorneys who already have their commission are all set and have nothing to worry about.

Well, what’s all the fuss?
For starters, the changing educational requirements and price increases.

Changes for attorneys
Under the prior law, attorneys only had to complete an application to receive their commission. With the new law, attorneys will have to take a three-hour long notary class before submitting an application to the Ohio Secretary of State to receive their commission. The good news: it will still be a lifelong commission.

Changes for non-attorneys
The educational requirements are essentially the same for non-attorneys: they, too, will have to take a three-hour educational course before submitting an application to the Ohio Secretary of State. Non-attorneys will be required to pass a test before receiving their commission. In addition, non-attorneys will have a continuing education requirement and need to obtain a criminal background check every five years.

Price increase
Along with the new educational requirements, there will be a price increase for becoming a notary. Previously, it was $80; under the new rules, the general public will have to pay $130 for both the notary class and the test, along with $15 for the notary application, plus the cost of the BCI background check, which can cost up to an additional $75. Attorneys will now have to pay $75 for the class and an additional $15 for the application.

Any questions? We’ve got the answers.
The Columbus Bar Association will continue to be a single point of contact to make becoming a notary as efficient as possible, offering the class, test, and access to criminal background checks in one easy location. As Ohio’s oldest and best resource for notaries, we have been processing notary applications for over 60 years and have set the standard for best practices. Requiring that applicants obtain a background check and pass a test before becoming a notary? We did it first. Let our experience be your benefit.

Call us today with any questions you might have at (614) 221-4112; we’re here to help.

Have more questions? Visit our new FAQ page covering questions about the notary process under the new law.