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NOTARY INFORMATION

A notary public is an officer of the State of Ohio, commissioned by the Secretary of State upon the recommendation of a Judge.  As a notary public, you will hold an important and dignified office and you will be expected to discharge your duties with integrity.

AM I ELIGIBLE TO BECOME A NOTARY?

To become a notary public or to renew your notary commission in Fairfield County, you must be a resident of Fairfield County, 18 years of age or over, and have no felony convictions. Notary applications can be found here.

WHAT IS THE GENERAL PROCESS FOR BECOMING A NOTARY?

Initial Application

1. Complete the application
2. Submit your application with the $25.00 examination fee to Kelly Starkey, Court Services Coordinator, in Room 102 of the Hall of Justice, 224 E. Main St., Lancaster, OH 43130.
3. Once your application and fee are received, a study guide along with a receipt for the $25.00 will be forwarded to you.
4. You will then call to schedule your notary exam.  These exams are generally held twice a month.  Note, though, that no exams are held in April, August, or December. 
5. After you take the exam, you will be informed of your results. 
6. If you pass the exam, the Court will send you additional paperwork that you will need to send to the Ohio Secretary of State.
7. Once you receive your notary commission from the State, you must record it in the Clerk of Court’s Office, also located at the Hall of Justice, to make it valid.  You can do this by mail or in-person. 

Renewal Application

1. Complete the renewal application
2. Submit your application to Kelly Starkey, Court Services Coordinator, in Room 102 of the Hall of Justice, 224 E. Main St., Lancaster, OH 43130.  There is no application fee for renewal applications.
3. The Court will send you additional paperwork that you will need to send to the Ohio Secretary of State.
4. Once you receive your notary commission from the State, you must record it in the Clerk of Court’s Office, also located at the Hall of Justice, to make it valid.  You can do this by mail or in-person. 

HOW DO I RECORD MY NOTARY COMMISSION WITH THE CLERK’S OFFICE?

By Mail

To have your commission recorded by mail, you must have your signature notarized on the back of your commission, and then send your notarized commission along with a $5.00 check or money order made payable to Fairfield County Clerk of Courts and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

     Fairfield County Clerk of Courts
     224 East Main Street, Room 212
     Lancaster, Ohio 43130

In Person

To have your commission recorded in person, bring your commission to:

     Fairfield County Clerk of Courts
     224 East Main Street, Room 212
     Lancaster, Ohio 43130

The fee to have your notary commission recorded is $5.00 if your signature is notarized on the back of your commission. The Clerk of Courts will charge an additional $1.00 to notarize your signature.

WHAT ARE THE COURT AND CLERK OF COURTS' OFFICE HOURS?

The Court and the Clerk of Courts’ Office is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. No appointment is needed.

IF MY NOTARY COMMISSION IS ISSUED IN FAIRFIELD COUNTY, IS IT ONLY VALID IN FAIRFIELD COUNTY?

No.  Your notary commission is valid statewide.  However, a notary is required to apply for and renew the commission in the notary’s resident county.

I AM CURRENTLY A NOTARY AND I NEED TO CHANGE MY NAME AND/OR ADDRESS.  HOW DO I DO SO?

If you are a notary public and your name or address changes, please visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s website at http://www.sos.state.oh.us/. The State has a form that you will need to complete and return by mail to the Secretary of State so that your notary public information can be amended. Your new notary commission must be recorded in the Fairfield County Clerk of Courts by following the steps outlined above.

MY NAME HAS CHANGED SINCE I HAVE OBTAINED MY NOTARY COMMISSION. CAN I STILL NOTARIZE DOCUMENTS?

Notaries whose names have changed during their tenure of office and who have not obtained a commission in the notary’s new name may continue to perform duties as a notary. The notary must, however, indicate the name in which the commission was issued in parenthesis after the new name on each document notarized.

WHEN NOTARIZING A DOCUMENT, MUST AN INDIVIDUAL PERSONALLY APPEAR BEFORE ME IN ORDER FOR ME TO NOTARIZE THE DOCUMENT?

Yes, the affiant must personally appear before the notary and show proper identification.

WHAT IS THE MOST MONEY I CAN CHARGE AS A NOTARY FOR ANY SINGLE SIGNATURE I NOTARIZE?

Currently, a notary may charge up to $2.00 to notarize a signature. 

CAN I NOTARIZE MY SPOUSE’S OR A FAMILY MEMBER’S SIGNATURE?

A notary may take the acknowledgement of a relative, even a spouse, if the notary has no “interest” in the transaction.

MY NOTARY COMMISSION HAS ALREADY EXPIRED. CAN I STILL RENEW MY COMMISSION?

Here in Fairfield County, the Court will renew your notary commission up to six months after your expiration date.
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT WITH ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions regarding the notary process, please contact Court Services Coordinator Kelly Starkey at 740-652-7433 or 614-322-5275, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. You may also e-mail Ms. Starkey at kelly.starkey@fairfieldcountyohio.gov. If mailing any documents, please send to Kelly Starkey, Hall of Justice, 224 East Main Street, Room 102, Lancaster, Ohio 43130.