Notary Commissions and Certifications / Apostilles
Online access to information about notaries public whose commissions were issued within the last five years.
Becoming a Notary
To be eligible to become a notary public, one must be at least 18 years of age and a legal resident of Florida. If granted a commission, legal residency must be maintained throughout the four-year term of the commission.
Anyone interested in becoming a notary public needs to complete an application packet which may be obtained from one of the bonding agencies that has been approved to electronically submit application information to the Division of Corporations, Notary Commissions Section or downloaded from our site.
Completed forms DS-DE 77 and DS-DE 76 from the application packet must be returned to the Division through one of the approved agencies, along with a $39 check or money order made payable to the Department of State. We do not accept cash. Once the notary public commission is issued, it will be returned to the sending agency for distribution to the notary.
Furthermore, Florida Law now provides that 'A first-time applicant for a notary commission must submit proof that the applicant has, within 1 year prior to the application, completed at least 3 hours of interactive or classroom instruction, including electronic notarization, and covering the duties of the notary public.' (Ch. 2000-164, F.S.) This requirement may be satisfied by completing, at no cost, the course offered by the Florida Department of State and the Governor's Office on the internet at http://notaries.dos.state.fl.us/education/index.html. The course is also offered by certain state-authorized private organizations. After completing the course, you will receive an individual certificate of completion which can be submitted with the application.
Changing Name During Term of Notary Commission
Any notary public who lawfully changes his name during the term of the commission must request an amended commission from one of the bonding agencies that has been approved by submitting
A notice of name change form must be sent to the Division via electronic transfer.
Note: Once an amended commission has been requested, the notary public may continue to perform notarial acts in his former name until the amended commission is received.
Upon request and receipt of notarized documents and accompanying funds, the Division of Corporations, Apostille/Certification Section issues Apostilles and Certificates of Notarial Authority. An apostille is a simplified certification issued by the Secretary of State which can be attached to public documents that are to be used in any country that has signed the 1961 Hague Convention. With the apostille, the document is entitled to recognition in the country of intended use, and no further authentication or legalization by the embassy or consulate of the foreign country where the document is to be used is required.
Chapter 117, Florida Statutes, covers appointment, application, suspension, revocation, application fee, bond, and oath; administration of oaths; marriages; acknowledgments; use of notary commission; unlawful use; notary fee; seal; duties; employer liability; name change; advertising; photocopies; penalties; validity of acts prior to April 1, 1903; law enforcement officers and correctional officers; certification of notary's authority by Secretary of State; false or fraudulent acknowledgments; penalty; prohibited acts; and validity of acts, seals, and certificates prior to January 1, 1995. Chapter 118 covers Florida international notaries.
The Notary Section of the Governor's Legal Office
The Notary Section of the Governor's Legal Office is responsible for educating and assisting notaries throughout the State of Florida and is located in Room 209 of the Capitol Building. The telephone number is (850) 922-6400. Their office publishes The Notary View newsletter, which can be downloaded in Adobe Acrobat PDF format for viewing or printing at your site. (obtaining the Adobe Acrobat Reader)