Can a Felon Become a Notary?

There is still time to become the person you have always wanted to be.

Becoming a notary may have always interested you. A notary is by definition a person that serves as an impartial witness to the public.

Specifically, a notary signs important documents such as deeds, wills, and powers of attorney. To be in the position of a notary you must be appointed by a state government.

Keep reading to find out if you can become a notary as a convicted felon.

can a felon become a notary

What is a Notary?

A notary is an official witness for documents that require such a service. This person must be impartial to the situation. They are typically appointed by the government.

There are many types of documents that require a notarized signature. A person’s will is something that requires a notarized signature. There can be no bias. The witness must be completely impartial. Impartiality is the foundation of a notary’s trust. In fact, they are bound to not act on any situation in which they have a personal interest.

can the felons become notary guide

There must be an establishment of trust between a notary and the government. Many documents that a notary will deal with are in regard to life-changing manners. These documents can deal with matters such as divorce or death. These documents can grant the power of attorney or handle property ownership.

The point of notarization is to work against fraud. It also helps to prove that a signature was done willingly and honestly.

There are a few skills a person must have to be a notary.

Organization skills are crucial if you are a notary. This is so that all of the signed, official documents, are kept in order and are accessible at any time. Being able to pay attention to details is important as well. This ensures accurate completion of all documents.

Having good time management skills is beneficial no matter what job it is that you are working. This is especially true as a notary though. This shows you respect a person’s time as well as their sensitive documents.

A notary must have strong communication and interpersonal skills. This is because they work with a wide variety of individuals who are in need of their service. Being honest and holding integrity to be impartial in all situations is also a must.

Having knowledge of current rules and regulations in notarization should not be taken lightly. This will help to ensure everything is done accurately. This is a top priority because of the sensitivity of documents needing notarization.

Training Requirements

can the felon become notary

There are a few requirements one must tend to before becoming a notary. The laws may vary from state to state. You must be a legal resident in the state that you are attempting to be a notary in.

First, a person must have a high school diploma for a GED

In some state’s notary training is a requirement. To mention a few, California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, and Montana, are some states that will require training! Training is a strong recommendation even in states where it is not a requirement.

Training courses typically last only three to six hours. You can find local training by checking at the closest secretary of state. If a training course is not approved by the state it is not proper training. The secretary of state can also tell you if training is a requirement or not.

Some states require someone to take and pass an exam to be a notary. To name a few, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, and Nebraska and some states that an exam must be passed.

Taking a notary exam will require an application, fingerprinting, and a background check.

Typically, a notary will take on a four-year term and must renew it when that time is up.

Chance for a Felon?

can the felons become notary

A background check will take place on all of those who take a notary exam.  Even if a particular state does not require passing an exam to be a Notary, the application will include questions about criminal convictions. It is important to be honest regarding any questions about your criminal history.

A background check will typically go back as far as ten years, this will be revealing any convictions whether felony or a misdemeanor.

Unfortunately, if you have a felony conviction it will disqualify you from becoming a notary in most states. This is because of the work dealing with sensitive documents. This should not deter you from actively seeking a job.

In some state’s disqualification is not forever. In Florida, if a felon’s rights have been restored, they can also become a notary.

Job Opportunities

can felon become notary

Just because you may not be able to become a notary does not mean that there are not many other opportunities out there.

There are many companies that work towards making life after prison easier. Some companies offer specific training or programs for felons.

There are movements and pledges that some companies choose to take part in. There is a movement by the name of Ban the Box. This movement aims to eliminate the question regarding criminal history on applications. Resulting in the applicant feeling as though they are not being judged solely based on the fact that they have a record.

There are jobs in many industries available for felons. You should not let one job not being available stop you from getting a different one


A notary is an official witness for documents that require such a service. This person must be impartial to the situation. They are typically appointed by the government. Requirements to become a notary vary from state to state.

Unfortunately, if you have a felony conviction it will disqualify you from becoming a notary in most states. This is not true for all though!

Don’t let this discourage you from continuing your job search! Your criminal record does not have to define you!

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