In order to become a Notary Public in the State of New York, one must pass an exam.  However, if you are an attorney admitted to the bar of the State of New York, you can become Notary Public without taking the test.  That being said, just because you are an attorney in the state, doesn't mean that you are automatically a Notary Public.  In order to become a notary and be able to notarize document, attorneys must still fill out an application and pay a fee.

The process of applying to become a Notary Public as a New York attorney is very simple, but for some reason it is very difficult to find information about how to complete the application online.  Below are the very simple steps for how New York attorneys can become Notary Publics without taking the examination.

How to Apply

The first step is to call the Division of Licensing and request a Notary Public application. Unfortunately, at this time there is no way to obtain the application online and you can only get the application by requesting that a paper copy be mailed to you.

The main number for the main office of the New York Division of Licensing is (518) 474-4429.  Their offices are open 9:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. through 4:45 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. (They are obviously closed for the typical State and Federal holidays.)

If you want to receive your application as soon as possible, you can also request an application from one of the Division of Licensing's local offices.  (The closer the office, the quicker you will likely receive the application in the mail.  The local offices' phone numbers are as follows:

  • New York City (212) 417-5747
  • Albany (518) 474-4429
  • Binghamton (607) 721-8757
  • Buffalo (716) 847-7110
  • Syracuse (315) 428-4258
  • Utica (315) 793-2533
  • Hauppauge (631) 952-6579

After you have received the application in the mail, simply complete it and mail it back to the Division of Licensing with a check or money order for the $60 fee.

Acting as a Notary

Once the application has been processed, you will receive a copy of your Notary Public card in the mail.  The card will have your ID number, which is necessary for notarizing documents. 

Once you have your notary ID number, you can buy a notary stamp.  The state does not provide or sell stamps, but you can order a stamp from most office supply stores.

However, if you do not want to spend money purchasing a stamp, please note that a notary stamp is not required to notarize documents in New York.

In order to notarize a document without a stamp, you must simply write your notary ID number, the county you are licensed in (typically your county of residence), and the date your commission expires.  All of this information will be contained in your notary card.

The New York Notary Public term of commission is four years and must be renewed with payment of a renewal fee after your four year commission expires.

In the event that you move during the course of your commission, be sure to notify the Division of Licensing of your change of address so that they can provide you will the necessary documentation and reminder when your commission expires and so that they can contact you if any of the documents you notarize ever come into question.