Have you been looking to become a notary in Ohio?
If so, you might want to expedite the process, as notary fees are set to skyrocket this September.
State Set to Take Over
As we reported last year, Ohio notaries are are moving from being commissioned by the county they do business in. It is now moving to the Secretary of State’s office.
Sunshine tried to get more detailed information last year, but a lot of the new rules had not been written at the time, so while the state was helpful and responsive, they just did not have enough information at the time.
A lot of what will go into effect is said to cover the Secretary of State’s office’s expenses.
But, we wonder if the counties’ were taking a loss on notary certification, or if they are just more efficient than the state. Or, maybe the old fees are antiquated and had to be adjusted to meet current demands.
Anything But the Fees
The fee to become a notary is currently $15.
All that and more is going to change on September 20th.
Rate hikes, continued education and background checks run by the state are all on the horizon.
The registration fee will go from $15 to $150. While the renewal moves to $60. On top of that, a new background check will cost the notary an additional $22.
It is yet to be seen how this will affect the mobile notary.
Will the Ohio background check be accepted and replace current background checks? Or will the mobile notary have to get the state background check in addition to any they get now?
Renew Now if You Can!
If you renew before the new law takes effect, you will be grandfathered in.
You will fall under the current rules and regulations for five years.
Starkey (County court services coordinator Kelly Starkey) said those who renew their notary commission before the September deadline will be grandfathered in for five years and continue under existing law. She said once that five-year commission expires, however, they must follow the new laws.Lancaster Eagle Gazette
What About Continuing Education?
If you remember our piece on Ohio Notaries from last year, our biggest concern was about educating notaries. And behind the scenes, we were trying to help the state with this process.
Unfortunately, the state still does not have rules regarding continuing education. We had hoped the state would be more pro-active in this area, but we are going to have to cross our fingers that they will finalize this soon.
We’re not sure if they see how important education is for notaries. And we are not just talking about continued education. There are several areas of education that we find important, and we talked about them in our article linked above.
If Ohio notaries are going to be responsible for new duties, they need those duties conveyed to them in a reasonable manner.
Any Other Good News?
Don’t we wish.
Like most of our business expenses, this is just going to have to be part of the cost of doing business. And at the end of the day, if you have a decent amount of volume for your mobile notary business, the change in cost will probably pale in comparison to other business expenses.
The question would then be the time commitment needed to get current on the new rules and regulations.
If you are a current notary, renew now if you can. The same holds true to those looking to become a notary. Get yourself grandfathered in for the next five years. Let the new system play out before you have to become a part of it.
Attorneys should also look into becoming a notary before the new rules take effect.