North Carolina Notary

North Carolina Notary laws are fairly straight forward and easy to understand. To give you full disclosure, I am a North Carolina notary.

By statute, notaries in NC can perform three tasks. These are:

1. Acknowledge Signatures;

2. Administer oaths and affirmations; and

3. Verify or prove signatures.


The requirements to be a NC notary are as follows:

1. Be at least 18 years of age or legally emancipated as defined in Article 35 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes.

2. Reside or have a regular place of work or business in this State

3. Reside legally in the United States.

4. Speak, read, and write the English language.

5. Possess a high school diploma or equivalent.

6. Pass the course of instruction described in Chapter 10B, unless the person is a licensed member of the North Carolina State Bar.

7. Purchase and keep as a reference the most recent manual approved by the Secretary that describes the duties and authority of notaries public.

8. Submit an application containing no significant misstatement or omission of fact. Every application shall include the signature of the applicant written with pen and ink, and the signature shall be acknowledged by the applicant before a person authorized to administer oaths.

9. Obtain the recommendation of one publicly elected official in North Carolina and submit the recommendation with the application. The requirement of this subdivision shall not apply to any applicant who seeks to receive the oath of office from the register of deeds of a county where more than 5250 active notaries public are on record on January 1 of the year when the application is filed."

The course mentioned in the statute is one sanctioned by the state and run through the community college system. You cannot use a course outside this system. Therefore, online courses or courses provided by websites and the like will not be accepted by the Secretary of State.


North Carolina Notaries can charge up to $5.00 per signature. Because notaries perform no other acts, there are no other fees mentioned in the statute.

Term of Office

Term of office is 5 years. You cannot apply for re-appointment prior to 10 weeks before your commission expires. No re-test is required for re-appointment. You will not be sent an expiration notice.


Some interesting differences in NC notary law include:

*Prior to commission, the prospective notary must get the recommendation of an elected official (unless you are in a large county).

*Cannot certify copies of documents as true.

*Attorneys are not required to take the exam but must comply with all other requirements.

To go to the North Carolina Notary SOS site, click here

At the NC Secretary of State site, you will also find applications for appointment, on-line version of the notary handbook, forms and a very helpful FAQ section.