Tennessee Notary FAQs

What are the requirements to become a notary in Tennessee?

To become a notary in Tennessee, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Reside in Tennessee or maintain a principal place of business in the state
  • Be able to read and write in English

What disqualifies you from becoming a Tennessee notary?

You cannot become a notary if you:

  • Serve in the military
  • Are a member of Congress or hold an office of profit or trust under any foreign power, other state or the United States
  • Have been convicted of bribery, larceny or certain other offenses unless your rights of citizenship have been restored
  • Have unpaid judgments to the United States, Tennessee or any Tennessee county
  • Owe money to the state or federal treasury

What are the steps to becoming a Tennessee notary?

  1. Purchase our Tennessee notary package, which includes your state-required notary bond, a custom notary stamp and detailed instructions on how to complete the application process.
  2. Visit the Tennessee County Clerk website and select your county to access an online application. If “Notary Application” is not listed under your county’s available online services, use the provided County Clerk contact information to request an application.
  3. Submit the completed notary application to your County Clerk’s office along with the $12 state application fee.
  4. Be elected by the county legislative body (county commission) in the county in which you reside or maintain your principal place of business.
  5. Provide proof of your $10,000 surety bond (included in our basic Tennessee notary package) to the County Clerk. Next, the County Clerk will submit your documents to the Secretary of State’s office. The Secretary of State will issue your official notary commission and return it to the County Clerk’s office for you to pick up.
  6. Email your notary commission certificate to us at info@notaryofamerica.com so we can manufacture your custom notary seal.
  7. Obtain a notary seal (included in our basic Tennessee notary package). The notary seal is a circular, inked rubber stamp. Your name will be at the top, the name of the county in which you were elected at the bottom and the phrase “State of Tennessee Notary Public” or “Tennessee Notary Public” in the middle.

Keep in mind that the steps to becoming a notary can vary from county to county. To learn the exact steps you need to take, please contact your local County Clerk’s office.

Do I need to keep a notary journal?

Yes. Tennessee requires notaries to document all of their notarizations in a well-bound book, also known as a notary journal.

How long will my Tennessee notary commission be valid?

Your notary commission is valid for four years. Your term begins when the governor appoints you as a notary. If you choose to serve as a notary for another term, you must renew your commission before your current term ends.

To renew your notary commission, you will follow the same process that you completed when obtaining your original commission. The Tennessee Secretary of State, Division of Business Services, Notary Section, will issue your renewed commission to your County Clerk.

Do I need to take a notary education course?

No, Tennessee notary applicants are not required to take a notary education course. Visit the Secretary of State's website to find helpful information and resources on becoming a Tennessee notary.

Do I need a $10,000 notary bond?

Yes, Tennessee notary applicants must purchase a notary surety bond of $10,000. The notary bond is valid for your entire four-year term and protects your clients from any errors, misconduct or fraud that may result from your notarizations.

Do I need to purchase errors and omissions insurance?

You are not required to purchase errors and omission insurance, but it is highly encouraged. If a client files a claim against you over an alleged mistake or omission, an errors and omissions policy would protect you according to the coverage that you selected. Without errors and omissions insurance, you can be held personally liable in the event of a lawsuit.