GOVERNOR’S REFERENCE MANUAL FOR NOTARIES
What is a Notary Public?
A notary public is a public officer appointed and commissioned by the Governor whose function is to administer
oaths; to take acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments; to attest to or certify photocopies of certain
documents; and to perform other duties specified by law.
Qualifications and Requirements for Appointment
You may only be commissioned in your legal name (or a nickname of your legal name).
John Quinton Public could be commissioned in the names:
John Quinton Public
John Q. Public
J. Quinton Public
J. Q. Public
You must sign notarial certificates in your commissioned name, and your notary seal
must bear that name. No variation from the commissioned name is permitted.
You must be at least 18 years of age.
You must be a legal resident of Florida. There is no certain length of time required to
establish residency. However, if the Governor’s Office requires proof of residency, the
following methods, along with the applicant’s intent to reside in Florida, would be
acceptable: a Florida driver’s license; a Florida vehicle registration document; a voter’s
registration card; or a recorded Declaration of Domicile.
If not a U.S. citizen, you must submit a recorded Declaration of Domicile. This affidavit
is available at your county clerk’s office.
If ever convicted of a felony charge, you must have your civil rights restored.
If ever convicted of a felony or if ever charged with a felony and adjudication was
withheld on the charge or the sentence was suspended, you must submit several
(1) a written statement regarding the nature and circumstances of the charges;
(2) a copy of the Judgment and Sentencing Order, or a comparable court document;
(3) if convicted, a copy of the Certificate of Restoration of Civil Rights (or pardon). The
name of this document may vary depending on the state where the conviction occurred.
This information is required for all felony convictions whether the charges were brought
by the State of Florida, another state, or the United States. If adjudication was withheld
and civil rights were not forfeited, the written statement and court documents are
To obtain information about the restoration of civil rights, you may contact:
Office of Executive Clemency
2601 Blair Stone Road
Building C, Room 229
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2450
Submission of all the required information does not guarantee appointment. Decisions
are made on an individual basis.
You must take the constitutional oath of office.
You must swear or affirm that you have read the notary laws and will obey them.
You must complete a three hour notary education course if you are a first time applicant.
§668.50(b), Fla. Stat.