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Notaries Public

Alabama Code Sections 36-20-70 to 36-20-75 govern the employment of notaries public in Alabama. Please click here to view recent revisions to the notary law made by Act 2023-548. Under the law, notaries public have authority to do the following:

  1. Administer oaths in all matters incident to the exercise of their office.

  2. Take the acknowledgment or proof of instruments of writing relating to commerce or navigation and certify the same and all other of their official acts under their seal of office.

  3. Demand acceptance and payment of bills of exchange, promissory notes, and all other writings which are governed by the commercial law as to days of grace, demand, and notice of nonpayment and protest the same for nonacceptance or nonpayment and to give notice thereof as required by law.

  4. Exercise such other powers, according to commercial usage or the laws of this state, as may belong to notaries public.

Ala. Code § 36-20-73.

Notaries apply with and are appointed and commissioned by the probate judges of the various counties for terms of four years. Ala. Code § 36-20-70. Beginning September 1, 2023, the law sets minimum application requirements and mandates that both new and renewal applicants complete a pre-commission training program prepared by the Alabama Probate Judges Association and the Alabama Law Institute. Ala. Code § 36-20-70(c),(e). Please contact the Alabama Probate Judges Association and the Alabama Law Institute for further information about the training program.

For specific information about being appointed and commissioned a notary public, including application, bond, and fee requirements, please contact the probate judge for your county. Click here to obtain contact information for your county probate judge.

Probate judges report to the Secretary of State the name, county of residence, date of issuance, and date of expiration of the commission of each notary public appointed and commissioned under applicable law. Ala. Code § 36-20-70. The records filed with this office regarding the appointment and commissioning of notaries are a matter of public record and are available for review by the general public. You can browse the list of commissioned notaries by clicking here.

Also beginning September 1, 2023, Alabama Code Section 36-20-75 governs the warning, restriction, suspension, or revocation off a notary commission, establishes grounds therefor, and creates Class C misdemeanor and Class D felony criminal penalties. This section further provides for reports of violations of the notary law to be made in the form of an affidavit to the commissioning probate judge or the Secretary of State to forward for criminal investigation to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, in coordination with local law enforcement, with referral, as appropriate, to the local district attorney for criminal prosecution. The commissioning probate judge is separately authorized to order the surrender and destruction of a notary commission and seal, along with other appropriate injunctive relief.

Alabama Attorney General opinions concerning notary law are available through the Office of the Attorney General’s website.

For additional information, contact:

Government Support
(334) 242-5325