Following the implementation of the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) on October 26, 2017:
- Include your full first and last name (full middle name or middle initial is optional) or first initial, full middle and last name on the application
- Include a check in the amount of $42.00 made payable to the "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." NOTE: Please do not staple your check or money order to the application.
- Include proof of having completed a three-hour preapproved mandatory notary education course within six months preceding application. Please be sure that your education was provided by an education provider approved to offer a RULONA-compliant course.
Applicants for initial appointment or reappointment are encouraged to apply online
through the Department of State website. Applications also may be obtained from the Department of State's Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation by downloading an application
or calling 717-787-5280. If not applying online
, the completed paper application, filing fee and proof of education should be sent to the following address:
Department of State
Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation
210 North Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0029
Applicants must use their full first and last name (full middle name or middle initial is optional) or first initial, full middle and last name on the application. Neither initials alone nor a nickname will be accepted.
John R. Doe
John Roe Doe
J. Roe Doe
John “Chip” Doe
Whatever form of your name you use on your application, you must use that same form consistently throughout the duration of your notary commission when performing notarial acts—e.g., a notary commissioned as John R. Doe may not perform notarial acts as John Roe Doe or J. Roe Doe.
The information on the application be legibly written. If your signature is not clearly legible, you must print your name, as you intend to be commissioned, immediately adjacent to your signature on the application and on every document you notarize. Together, your signature and the printed name will constitute your full notarial signature.
Notary applicants for reappointment must continue to meet all of the requirements that initial applicants must meet, including completion of the three-hour education requirement within six months prior to their reappointment. Applications for reappointment should be filed at least two to three months prior to the expiration date of a commission to ensure an uninterrupted commission. Only applicants who apply while their commission is active are exempt from the examination—if a notary applies for reappointment even one day after his or her commission is expired, RULONA requires that the applicant take and pass the examination, even if the notary has already passed the examination previously.
Applicants who are required to take the examination will be provided with information via email on Pearson VUE’s testing procedures and sites, after their application has been reviewed by the Department. Examination results will be electronically reported to the Department by Pearson VUE.
Once the Department of State determines that the notary public applicant has fulfilled the requirements set forth in RULONA, the applicant will be notified of his/her appointment. The notary's commission is sent to the recorder of deeds in the county where the notary public will maintain an office. Within 45 days after his/her appointment, the appointee is required to execute a $10,000 bond, register his/her signature with the prothonotary of the county where the office is located, take and subscribe the constitutional oath of office, and record the bond, commission and oath of office in the recorder of deeds office. If all of these requirements are not met within the 45 day period, the commission becomes null and void and the application process must begin again.
After being appointed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, some notaries public may wish to be able to process certain Pennsylvania Department of Transportation documents, such as titles, registrations and tags. These notaries public must apply for agent services status
with the Regulated Client Services Section of PennDOT's Bureau of Motor Vehicles, 1101 South Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17104. Questions regarding this process should be directed to the Business Partner Programs at (717) 705-1101 or write to the address listed above.
The notary public commission expires four years after the date of appointment. At the end of that term, the notary public may be appointed to another four-year term. There is no limit to the number of consecutive terms that may be served.