I Have My New Certificate. What Is The Next Step?

Recording Your Commission

After an applicant receives his or her commission, but before he or she can use it, the applicant must take an oath, which is endorsed on the commission. In Williams County, that oath must be taken at the office of the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas. The Clerk records the commission, and receives a $5 fee for so doing. If a certified copy of a notary commission is needed, it can be obtained from the clerk for $2. As a part of the Secretary of State's processing of the applications, the Secretary of State also maintains a record of notary commissions.


Each notary must obtain a seal at his/her own expense. The seal may be either a stamp or an embosser. An embosser crimps the paper, the stamp inks it. The seal consists of the Ohio state seal within a circle one inch in diameter. It shall be surrounded by the words "notary public," "notary seal," or words to that effect, the name of the notary public, and words "State of Ohio." The notary's name may be omitted from the seal if the name is legibly printed, stamped or typewritten near the notary's signature. The seal is not required to have a county name on it, as any Ohio notary commission is good in any Ohio county. the seal can be purchased at the office supply store of your choice.

Change of Name

If a notary legally changes his or her name by marriage, divorce or any other reason, he or she may either:

  1. Continue to use his or her existing commission after a name change. At the normal renewal date, the notary would change his or her name. However, the notary must sign their new name but indicate the name in which the commission was issued in parentheses or with the words "formerly known as" after the name on each document notarized;
  2. Amend their notary by going to the Secretary of State website. Under Notary Commission, select Amending Notary Information. In the middle of the page is an Application to amend Notary Public Information. Please print the PDF, complete and forward to the Ohio Secretary of State with payment pursuant to the directions set forth online.

Expiration of Commission

Performing any act as a notary public knowing one's term of office has expired will result in forfeiture of not more than $500 and permanent ineligibility for reappointment (R.C. § 147.11). In the event your commission has expired but you have not performed any act as a notary public, it may be possible to renew your notary without re-testing. Please contact the Court Administrator immediately for further information.