In Pennsylvania, the Secretary of the Commonwealth may appoint and commission for a term of four years from the date of appointment as many notaries public as are deemed necessary.
A notary public applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements for an appointment:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a resident of or be employed within the Commonwealth
- Be of good character, integrity and ability
A notary public applicant will not be issued a notary public commission unless the applicant:
- Has submitted an application on a form prescribed and furnished by the Secretary of the Commonwealth accompanied by the appropriate nonrefundable filing fee (see next section for more detailed information).
- Has verified that he or she is of good moral character, and is familiar with the duties and responsibilities of a notary public as determined by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
- Has not made a material misstatement or omission of fact in the application.
- Has provided proof of completion of a three hour preapproved notary public course within six months preceding application. (Only if required. See "Mandatory Education Requirement" link below)
- Has not been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or lesser offense incompatible with the duties of a notary public during the five year period preceding the date of application.
- Has not had a prior notary public commission revoked by the Commonwealth or any other state during the five year period preceding the date of application.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth may, for good cause, reject any application subject to the right of notice, hearing and adjudication and the right of appeal. Lack of proof of completion of a three hour preapproved notary public course, where required, will result in outright rejection of an application without the right of appeal.
The following persons are not eligible to hold the office of notary public:
- Any person holding any judicial office in the Commonwealth, except the office of Magisterial District Justice.
- A member of the U.S. Congress, and a person holding an office or appointment of profit or trust under the legislative, executive or judiciary departments of the federal government for which he or she receives a salary, fees or perquisites.
- Any member of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania.
Allow at least 4 to 6 weeks for processing New Notary Public applications