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True or False: Can Felons Become Notaries?


The path to becoming a notary public involves a series of steps and requirements designed to ensure the integrity of the notarization process. Among these requirements, one question often arises: Can individuals with a felony conviction become notaries? In this blog, we’ll explore this common query and delve into the nuances surrounding felons pursuing a career as notaries.

Understanding the Role of a Notary

Before we dive into the question of felons becoming notaries, let’s briefly recap the responsibilities of a notary public. A notary acts as a neutral third party to witness and authenticate signatures on various legal documents. Their role is crucial in preventing fraud and ensuring the validity of documents.

State Regulations Vary

In the United States, notary regulations are primarily governed by state laws. This means that the eligibility criteria for becoming a notary can differ significantly from one state to another. Some states may have stringent regulations regarding individuals with felony convictions, while others may have more lenient rules.

Felony Convictions and Notary Eligibility

In many states, having a felony conviction can indeed disqualify an individual from becoming a notary public. Felony convictions often raise concerns about an applicant’s integrity and trustworthiness, which are essential qualities for a notary. However, it’s crucial to note that the severity of the conviction, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the individual’s subsequent behavior can all play a role in the decision.

The Process of Becoming a Notary

To become a notary, individuals typically need to:

  1. Meet Eligibility Requirements: This includes age, residency, and sometimes citizenship requirements.
  2. Complete Education or Training: Some states require applicants to complete notary education or training programs.
  3. Pass a Background Check: A criminal background check is a standard part of the application process.
  4. Pay Fees: There are fees associated with applying for a notary commission.


The question of whether felons can become notaries depends largely on the state in which they seek to be commissioned. While some states may be more forgiving of certain felony convictions, others may have strict regulations that prevent felons from becoming notaries.

If you have a felony conviction and are interested in pursuing a career as a notary, it’s essential to research the specific requirements and regulations in your state. Consulting with a legal expert or your state’s notary regulating agency can provide valuable guidance on your eligibility.

In conclusion, the answer to whether felons can become notaries is not a simple “true” or “false.” It varies depending on state laws and individual circumstances.

Author: Vandana

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