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Welcome to Lake County, Ohio – General Division Courts – Notary Public

New Notary Public Law Change, Effective 09/20/19

To Renew Your Notary Public Commission

  • 1.  You must be a resident of Ohio.
  • 2.  You must be at least 18 years of age.

You may begin the renewal process 90 days before your due date.

Bring with you to the Lake County Bar Association office on the 2nd floor of the Courthouse West Annex proof of your commission and a photo identification. The fee will be $45.00 and we accept cash or check. The office is open Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

You are required to take a 1 hour review class before your commission is renewed. The class will be  scheduled after you submit your application to the bar association.

You are also required to obtain a criminal records check that is not more than 6 months old. The secretary of state shall provide a link on its official website to information provided by the Ohio Attorney General’s office about the location of the authorized agents of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation that can complete this function.  

There is NO GRACE PERIOD. If you are expired, you will need to start the process for a new notary application.

To Become a Notary in Ohio

  1. You must be a resident of the state of Ohio.
  2. You must be at least 18 years of age.

You can come to the Lake County Bar Association office on the 2nd floor of the Courthouse West Annex, Monday thru Friday, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. to apply. Bring your photo I.D. The application fee is $130.00 and includes a manual and 2 opportunities to take the exam. We accept cash or check. Before taking the exam, you must attend a 3 hour instruction class at Lakeland Community College. The exam is scheduled the 1st Saturday of each month.

You are also required to obtain a criminal records check that is not more than 6 months old. The secretary of state shall provide a link on its official website to information provided by the Ohio Attorney General’s office about the location of the authorized agents of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation that can complete this function.

The changes noted above will be effective on 9/20/2019 and supercede any information below to the contrary.

Notary Public

A notary commission is not to be confused with a license to practice law. In fact, a notary public is specifically prohibited from practicing law, unless, of course, the notary public is an attorney. Attorneys at law, once commissioned, are notaries as long as they are in good standing with the Ohio Supreme Court and have a residence or primary practice in Ohio.

Application for appointment as a notary public may be made at the office of the Lake County Bar Association, located in the Lake County Courthouse. You may call the Bar Association at (440) 350-5800, (440) 918-2180, or (440) 350-2180, for hours and fees, or (440) 350-2639 for recorded information.  The LCBA website is: www.lakecountyohiobar.com.  Applicants must be and remain a REGISTERED VOTER and a RESIDENT of LAKE COUNTY to apply for and be appointed a notary public in Lake County. However, a notary public, once appointed, has authority on a statewide basis.

Rule VII.G., of the Rules of Practice of the Lake County Common Pleas Court, provides:

“Every person desiring to secure from a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas a certificate as to his or her qualifications and ability to discharge the duties of the office of Notary Public shall take an examination to be conducted by a committee of six members of the Bar appointed by the Presiding Judge, unless otherwise examined by a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in their discretion. The members of such committee shall be appointed to serve a period of one year or until a successor is appointed. Said examination may be oral or written as said committee shall determine, and be conducted on the first Saturday of each month and such other times as the committee may determine. One or more of the committee may act on behalf of the committee, as it shall determine and subject to Court approval. Within ten days after the examination, the committee shall report in writing to the Court as to whether or not the applicant possesses the qualifications to discharge the duties of the office of Notary Public. Said committee may make a reasonable charge to defray costs and expenses of giving the examination, subject to approval of the Court.”

A Notary Public is a public officer, appointed under authority of state law, with power to attest to the genuineness of any deeds or writings, in order to render them available as evidence of the facts they contain. In Ohio, the office is created by statute. The Ohio Constitution and state law provide that no person may be appointed to public office in Ohio unless he or she is a citizen of Ohio, eighteen years of age or over, and qualified to vote at every election in the county in which he or she resides. “Qualified to vote” refers to being properly registered to vote in the precinct where the citizen resides.