Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés today reminded Pennsylvania notaries public that changes to the notary law include an education requirement for current as well as new notaries.
“We want to ensure that all currently commissioned notaries know they must complete the education component before they apply to renew their commission,” Secretary Cortés said.
The Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) will go into effect on October 26, 2017.
All current notaries who will be renewing a commission on or after that date must complete a 3-hour notary education course
(PDF) within the six months before they apply for renewal. The requirement also applies to anyone seeking a new commission as a notary.
A certificate of course completion must be included with all applications for appointment or reappointment submitted on or after October 26.
In addition, new notaries will be required to take and pass an examination before receiving their commission. Current notaries will not be subject to the examination requirement unless their commission has expired or lapsed. If a current notary’s commission expires for even one day, that notary will be required to take and pass the examination.
The examination will be a computer-based test offered at Pearson VUE
test centers in nearly all Pennsylvania counties. The cost is $65 per test. Notary applicants will have six months from the time they are authorized to sit for the exam to successfully pass the test. They may take the test as many times as needed.
RULONA changes also include revisions to the list of authorized notarial powers, a redesigned notary stamp, updated requirements for the notary journal or register, and the option to keep the journal in an electronic format. Currently commissioned notaries may continue to use their current notary stamps and registers until their existing commission expires.
The notary division of the department’s Bureau of Commissions, Elections, and Legislation commissions more than 80,000 notaries in Pennsylvania.
Please see the Department of State’s most recent press release on the matter at http://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/State-Details.aspx?newsid=236.
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions about the new law.
Martha H. Brown | Assistant Counsel
Department of State | Office of Chief Counsel
401 North Street, Room 306 | Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717.783.0736 | Fax: 717.214.9899