A notary public (or notary or public notary) is a public officer constituted by law to serve the public in non-controversial matters usually concerned with estates, deeds, powers-of-attorney, and foreign and international business.
Notary Public's operate under the auspices of the NYS Department of State, Division of Licensing Services. However, the Suffolk County Clerk plays an important role in the Notary Public process.
Upon passing an examination administered by the Department of State, paying the appropriate fees and completing the required paperwork, an Oath of Office card is sent to the Suffolk County Clerk from the NYS Secretary of State. This card is maintained in the Notary Division, where it will be filed.
After a Notary's card is on file the Suffolk County Clerk may be asked to verify the authenticity of a Notary's signature. Authentication of a Notary Public's signature is often required when foreign and other jurisdictions are involved.
Check the status of a Notary
For information on the status of a notary, you may check the NYS Department of State Division Licensing Services website.
The Notary Public Examination
A Suffolk County resident who wishes to become a Notary Public may download the Notary Public Walk-In Examination Schedule and the Notary Public License Law Booklet.
The examination is given in Hauppauge at the New York State Office Building located on Veteran's Highway. An appointment is not necessary; examinations are conducted on a "walk-in" basis.
In order to become a Notary Public, one must be eighteen years of age or older and reside in the State of New York. Out-of-state residents, including attorneys admitted to the NYS Bar, must have their office or place of business within the State of New York to qualify as a Notary Public.
The fee to take the exam is $15.00, due on the date of the exam, payable by check or money order to the "Department of State". Cash is not accepted.
How to renew your commission as a Notary Public
After receipt of a renewal information letter from the County Clerk's Office, a notary who wishes to renew his/her commission must complete and sign the application and Oath of Office card.
A renewal fee of $60.00, check or money order payable to the "Suffolk County Clerk", is due at the time of renewal.
The completed renewal application, renewal card and renewal fee must then be mailed to the Suffolk County Clerk's Office-Notary Division for processing.
The Notary Public may choose to renew his/her commission in person. In this instance, the Notary Division will accept cash as payment.
Notary Public From Other Counties
Any New York State licensed Notary Public may establish himself/herself as a Notary on file in Suffolk County by completing the following procedure:
- Complete an appointment and qualification of Notary Public card. This card must be obtained for a fee of $5.00 from the County Clerk's Office where you reside.
- Pay a $10.00 "set-up" fee. This fee may be paid by cash or check/money order payable to the "Suffolk County Clerk".
- The Appointment and Qualification Card for Suffolk County expires on the same date as the Notary's regular commission. To remain on file in Suffolk County the above procedures must be repeated each time the commission is renewed.