The Notary Public serves as an impartial witness to the signing of documents, attests to the signature on the document, and may also administer oaths and affirmations. The State Treasurer appoints a notary public for a five-year period and may renew the appointment for five-year increments. All Notaries Public are sworn into office by the Clerk of the county in which the candidate resides. Complete information is provided in the New Jersey Notary Public Manual.
Prerequisites for a Notary Public Commission:
- Resident of New Jersey or a resident of an adjoining state who maintains, or is regularly employed in an office in New Jersey; and
• 18 years or older; and
• No record of conviction for a crime under the laws of any State or the Federal Government, for an offense involving dishonesty, or a crime of the first or second degree.
Applications and Renewals
To become a Notary Public, you must fill out the Notary Public Application. Applications are available online, by clicking here. There is a fee of $30.00 to apply for or renew your notary online.
Prospective notaries must have their applications signed by a legislator. If you file your application online it will be sent to your legislator electronically. If you choose to file a paper application, you will be responsible for delivering it to your legislator along with a $25.00 check made payable to the New Jersey State Treasurer.
You should receive your Notary Commission forms in the mail within approximately 2 weeks if you applied or renewed online, or from 3-4 weeks if you applied by mail.
Once you receive the Notary Commission Forms, you have *90 days from the date of issuance to appear in person at the Union County Clerk’s Office to be sworn in as a Notary Public. There is a $15 fee for swearing in and it can be paid in cash, check, Visa or MasterCard. Along with the fee, you’ll need to provide valid ID and proof of the commission address.
Status of Notary Public Processing
Should you need to confirm the status of a Notary Public Application, you may submit your request online by clicking here or mailing to:
Division of Revenue
Attention – Notary Unit
33 West State Street, 5th floor
Trenton, NJ 08608-1214
The primary purpose of notarization is the prevention of fraud. The Notary Public acts a witness to the subscription (signing) of legal documents and helps to protect the legal rights of the persons whose signature are being notarized.
Most document notarizations have the following steps:
- The notary asks the signer(s) for government issued photo ID to verify their identity with both a physical description and signature
- The notary begins logging the names and ID information of the signer(s) in his/her official journal.
- The notary checks the document for completeness. This is not a formal legal review, such as would be performed by an accountant or an attorney. Rather, it is a review to ensure that there are no blanks in the document. Should blanks be discovered, the signer must either fill them in or strike them out by drawing a line or “X” through them. This prevents others from altering or amending the document after it has been signed and notarized.
- The notary asks the signer if they understand the title of the document and is signing freely and willingly.
- If the document is an affidavit, the notary will take an oath or affirmation from the signer to ensure truthfulness.
- The signer signs the document in the presence of the notary.
- The notary signs and dates an endorsement and affixes an official stamp and seal to the document. Usually this acknowledgement or jurat section is included at the bottom of the document.
- The notary completes the log entry in his/her official journal detailing the document title, date, time and place of notarization.
The Union County Clerk’s Office will not notarize the following:
- True copies of birth certificates, passports and other official documents
- Documents such as deeds and powers of attorney to be filed in Union County
The fee to notarize a document is $2.50 per notarized signature.
County Clerk Certificates
County Clerk Certificate authenticates that a Notary Public is in good standing within the State of New Jersey. They may be obtained in person, with an appointment, or by mail.
Requirements to obtain a Clerk Certificate include:
- An original document must be submitted with proper notarization
- A check or money order for $5.00 made payable to the Union County clerk must accompany the document
- Mail the original document, the $5.00 payment, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
Union County Clerk’s Office
2 Broad Street – Room 114
Elizabeth, NJ 07207