Become a New Ohio Notary Public

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Would you like to become a traditional notary in Ohio? We have everything you need to get there. Follow these 5 easy steps.

Are you an attorney? Click here to learn about the attorney notary application process.

1. BCI background check*

For your convenience, we conduct BCI background checks by in-person appointment and for class registrants during the hour before each notary class. This time is reserved for those registered to attend our classes and no additional appointment is necessary after class registration. The $40 fee is due at the time of service by credit or debit card only. Valid Ohio ID required. With COVID-19 concerns increasing and out of an abundance of caution, we have cancelled all remaining live classes through the end of the year.

*NOTE: The Secretary of State will not accept BCI background check results dated more than 6 months before application submission.

2. Take the notary class and test

Complete a 3-hour notary class and pass the accompanying test. The fee for the class and test is $130 paid at the time of class registration by debit or credit card only. You may download the course guide once you access the online class by selecting “course materials.” If you do not pass the test the first time, you must wait 30 days to retake. No additional fees will be assessed.

New Notary Online Education & Testing
3-hour notary class and test for new notaries. Select this option to complete the required education and testing online.

3. Complete the Secretary of State's application

Complete and submit a New Notary Application electronically to the Secretary of State’s office. That application must include your name, residential address, date of birth, BCI background check results, signature and evidence that you have successfully completed a 3-hour education course and passed the accompanying test through an authorized education and testing provider. A $15 application fee must be paid directly to the Secretary of State with a credit or debit card when the application is submitted.

4. Receive your commission in the mail

The Secretary of State will process your completed application and, if approved, it will issue your commission directly to you after you have affirmed your compliance with the rules. Your commission will expire 5 years from the date it was issued and your commission information will be posted on a public searchable database on the Secretary of State's website.

5. Order your notary stamp and supplies

The Columbus Bar Association has all the notary supplies you need, from stamps and embossers to nameplates and ink. Click here to order your notary supplies.

Still have questions? Please contact us at or (614) 340-2031.

Notary Public Frequently Asked Questions
From your background check and required education and testing to your stamps and supplies, the Columbus Bar Association is Ohio's Notary Public resource center.

Contact Us

Phone: (614) 340-2031