Becoming a Notary Public
Notaries are issued by the New York State Department of State. If you are interested in obtaining additional information on the notary process, test sites and requirements, please call 716/847-7110 or go to http://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/notary/notary.html.
Notary Renewals may be renewed through the County Clerk's Office of your residence at the end of the 4 year license term of a notary.
Following successful completion of the notary public test, the applicant must mail the application to the New York State Licensing Commission: P.O. Box 22001, Albany, NY 12201, along with a check for $60. Upon review of the application and the issuance of a notary license, the license is valid for a 4 year period.
At the end of the 4 year license term of a notary, the notary commission may be renewed through the County Clerk's Office of your residence. The renewal requires your residential address (post office boxes are unacceptable) and full signature. The signature on the oath card must be notarized. The renewal application and oath card, along with a check for $60.00 payable to the Erie County Clerk, must be presented at the Clerk's Office in person or by mail prior to the expiration of the current commission.
Notary identification cards will be mailed by the Albany office of the Department of State in about 2-6 months from the date of renewal. The new term of office can be used as soon as payment is made. The notary does not have to wait until they receive the new identification card in the mail.
Renewals received six months or more from the last expiration date cannot be processed. The notary must be retested prior to getting a new commission.
If you wish to also file your commission in another county you must purchase an official character from the Erie County Clerk's Office for $5.00. The filing fee in the other county is an additional $10.00.
If your address or other personal information changes, you must notify the State Licensing Commission in Albany. There is a $20.00 fee to amend your file. The Licensing Commission can be reached at 518-474-4429. If your county of residence changes during a term, an oath of office will not be sent to the new county until the Notary renews his or her term with the new County Clerk.
If a name change occurs during a two year term, the name commissioned under the county commissioned does not change until the present term expires. If a name changes due to marriage, a notary must sign her name as commissioned, then, in parentheses, sign her marriage surname. If a name was changed for another reason, the notary must sign the name as commissioned, then draw a line through the name(s) that no longer apply and sign the new name in parentheses. A notary must continue using the seal/stamp as commissioned up to and including the expiration date.
Commissioner of Deeds
A person can apply to become a Commissioner of Deeds by calling Buffalo City Hall (716-851-5431), Lackawanna City Hall (716-827-6452), or Tonawanda City Hall (716-695-8318). The application must be returned to the City Clerk with a $20.00 fee. The application requires approval of the City Council, and is then sent to the County Clerk's Office. The County Clerk's Office sends oath and signature cards to the applicant which must be signed, notarized and returned to the County Clerk's Office with a $10.00 fee.
In some cases, documents require Authentication by the County Clerk's Office. An Authentication certifies that the signature of the notary or commissioner of deeds is genuine. The authentication can only be obtained from the County Clerk with whom that particular signature is filed. There is a $3 fee per Authentication, and they can be obtained at the Customer Service desk at the County Clerk's Office. Vital records (Birth, death, marriage) require a raised seal with the stamped signature of the Registrar of Vital Records for Authentication.