I’m not sure if this was a dare

Joe Beda stopped by my office, clutching a stack of documents he had just had notarized, and told me, "Raymond, you should become a notary public."


"It'd be fun."

"Notarizing documents is fun?"

"No, just being a notary public - just knowing that you had the power to notarize documents - would be fun. Besides, you'd be good at it, since you're such a stickler for the rules. I wonder what the qualifications for being a notary public are, anyway."

So I went and looked up the process of becoming a notary public in the State of Washington.

The requirements are deceptively simple: Ability to execute the duties of a notary public (and indeed, requirement to perform said duties upon demand), a $10,000 surety bond, a clean criminal record, and three character references who will affirm that I am "a person of good moral character". That last one might be tricky.

Comments (6)
  1. w.h. says:

    I looked it up in my state at some point, because it does sound neat to have that ability. Easy, except that I’ve got plenty of other things to put $10,000 towards. ;)

  2. Jeffrey E. says:

    It’s much easier in Tx… when I got my notary certificate 2 years ago, all I needed to do was pay $75 to the state and send in a form that was notarized by someone else where I swore that I was not a criminal. No bond is required either… though, it is surely a good idea to have one backing you up. You don’t want to end up getting sued for doing something wrong! I’d say go for it… people give you a lot of respect when they find out you’re a notary.

  3. Joe says:

    $10,000? It’s much easier in NY. I looked it up recently, having had the epiphany that it would be fun to be a notary public – just knowing that I had the power to notarize documents would be cool. I like your friend.

    In any case, it’s easy in NY. You pass an exam, pay a $60 fee, and voila! For $60, it’s probably worth it, though I wouldn’t put down $10,000 for it.

  4. Kelli Zielinski says:

    I think there might be easier ways, too. When I worked at a credit union, I don’t think the notories needed the $10,000 bond – I think the credit union covered it. But that *would* explain why they regulated the number of them pretty closely.

    I wanted to be a notary, but :: sniff :: they would only let me be a lowly teller (well, they let me train employees and be the computer specialist, but no notary for me).

    Which is probably why I defected… :: cough ::

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