Patriot Info Blog America How to Be a Notary in Iowa

How to Be a Notary in Iowa

Title: How to Be a Notary in Iowa: A Comprehensive Guide


Becoming a notary public in Iowa can be a rewarding career choice, allowing you to provide essential services to your community and contribute to the legal system. This article aims to guide you through the necessary steps to become a notary in Iowa, including the requirements, application process, and frequently asked questions (FAQs).

I. Requirements for Becoming a Notary in Iowa:

1. Age and Residency:
To become a notary in Iowa, you must be at least 18 years old, and either a resident of Iowa or employed in the state.

2. Legal Eligibility:
You must not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit.

3. Application and Background Check:
Complete the application process and undergo a background check to ensure your suitability for the notary role.

4. Notary Education:
Iowa does not require mandatory notary education; however, it is highly recommended to attend training courses or seminars to gain knowledge about notarial duties and responsibilities.

II. Application Process:

1. Obtain an Application:
Download the notary application form from the Iowa Secretary of State’s website or request a physical copy.

2. Complete the Application:
Fill out the application accurately, providing your personal information, including your name, address, and contact details.

3. Obtain Signatures:
Collect the required signatures, including your own and those of two registered Iowa voters who can vouch for your character and qualifications.

4. Submit the Application:
Mail the completed application, along with the necessary fee, to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office.

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5. Take the Oath:
Once your application is approved, you will receive a notary commission packet. Visit a local courthouse or county recorder’s office to take the oath of office and receive your commission certificate.

III. Notary Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Acknowledgments and Jurats:
As a notary in Iowa, you will be authorized to perform acknowledgments (verifying a person’s identity and confirming their voluntary signature) and jurats (certifying that an individual made a statement under oath).

2. Maintain Records:
Keep a journal of all notarial acts performed, recording the date, type of notarization, names of individuals involved, and any fees charged. This journal provides a useful record and protects against potential legal disputes.

3. Use an Official Seal:
Obtain an official notary seal, which should contain your name, the words “Notary Public,” “State of Iowa,” and your commission expiration date. The seal must be used on all notarial acts.

4. Renewal:
Notary commissions in Iowa are valid for a period of three years. Approximately three months before your commission expires, you will receive a renewal notice from the Secretary of State’s office.


Q1. How much does it cost to become a notary in Iowa?
The application fee for a new commission is $30, and the surety bond fee is typically around $5. Additionally, there may be costs associated with obtaining the notary seal, education courses, and maintaining a journal.

Q2. Can I notarize documents for family members or close friends?
Notarizing documents for immediate family members or close friends is generally discouraged, as it could raise concerns about impartiality and conflicts of interest. It is best to refer them to another notary to maintain professional integrity.

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Q3. Can a notary refuse to notarize a document?
Yes, notaries have the right to refuse notarization if they have a reasonable belief that the document is fraudulent, incomplete, or if the signer is not willing or able to provide proper identification.

Q4. Are remote online notarizations (RON) allowed in Iowa?
Yes, Iowa law permits remote online notarizations. However, notaries must comply with specific rules and regulations, including using an approved platform and completing additional training.


Becoming a notary in Iowa is a straightforward process that involves meeting certain requirements, submitting an application, and taking an oath. By fulfilling your notarial duties responsibly, you can play a vital role in the legal system, ensuring the integrity and authenticity of important documents within your community.

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