The New York County Clerk operates a Notary Section (located in Room 141B in the basement at 60 Centre Street, hours 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.), which provides free notarial services for persons executing documents. Each applicant must present a valid photo ID.
In addition, this Section will authenticate notary signatures for notaries who have qualified in New York County or the signatures of public officials on documents, each for a fee of $ 3.00 cash. Commissions of notaries who have qualified in New York County are renewed by submission of an application to the County Clerk of New York County (see below). Certificates of Official Character are issued for a fee of $ 10.00 cash.
Licensing as a Notary/Renewal
Notaries Public are "commissioned" (i.e., licensed) by the Secretary of State of New York State. An applicant for a notary public commission must submit to the Secretary’s Division of Licensing Services an original application and $60 fee. The application includes an oath of office, which must be sworn and notarized. In addition to the application form and fee, the applicant must submit a "pass slip" showing that he or she has taken and passed the notary public examination. Examinations are regularly scheduled throughout the state. An individual who is currently a member of the New York State Bar or a court clerk of the Unified Court System, appointed to that position after taking a Civil Service promotional examination in the court clerk series of titles, while not exempt from the application fee, may be appointed a notary public without an examination. The term of commission is four years. Every person appointed as notary public must, at the time of his or her appointment, be a citizen or permanent resident alien of the United States and either be a resident of New York or have an office or place of business in New York State. See www.dos.state.ny.us.
Notaries Public are commissioned in their counties of residence. After receiving and approving an application for a notary public commission, the Secretary of State forwards the commission, the original oath of office, and the signature of the notary public to the appropriate County Clerk. The County Clerk maintains a record of the commission and signature. The public may access this record and verify the "official" signature of the notary at the County Clerk’s Office.
Approximately three months prior to the expiration of a notary’s commission, the New York County Clerk’s Office will send out a renewal application to the notary. To renew the commission, the renewal application must be completed and properly submitted, as provided in the instructions enclosed with the application, to the New York County Clerk’s Office, together with a fee in the amount of $ 60.00. Acceptable forms of fee payment are money orders from a bank or the U.S. Post Office, attorney checks, and Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. No personal checks will be accepted.
The Department of State will send a reappointed notary his or her replacement identification card within six to eight weeks after the County Clerk’s Office receives a renewal application. The renewed term of commission is for a period of four years.