Oregon Secretary of State

Notary System FAQ

​Tutorial, Education and the Test

​No. The only applicants who must take an approved notary education course are those who don't hold a commission at the time of application. If you are a notary now, you may but you don’t have to take a course. 

The Secretary of State course is free. 
Sign up for a self-paced or instructor-led webinar on our Notary Training page.

​Both the training and the test are mandatory, but you do not have to take the training from the Secretary of State's office. There is a list of approved providers on the website​. If you take the training from an approved provider rather than the Secretary of State's office, you will be directed back to us in order to take the test.

​This is the number that is on your certificate of education, which you receive when you have finished a course. It will be a six-digit number preceded by a three-letter prefix, such as SOS, SOT, NNA, ASN, etc.​

​Once you complete the notary public education training, you will receive instructions for retrieving your education number for the test and for printing ​your certificate.

​No. The only address available online is the public records address you identified, which the public can access to contact you if they have a question about a notarization you’ve performed.​​

Applying​​ for a Commission

The email address you usually use will probably work if you have the test number too. If not, call our office at 503-986-2200 and we'll help you find it.​​​

Go to our Web page and take the test​. Once you have the test number, you can click on the link where you took your test, or go back to the notary education page and click on the application link. You'll need your login email from the test program and the test number you received when you passed.​​

​The law says your commission name is your full legal name, as verified by a notary public. If your old commission name doesn't match your legal name, then you must use a different one that does match your identification. Keep in mind that the signature need not completely mirror your name. It simply needs to be the signature you used on your ID, as your legal signature.​​

​There's no need for a signature to precisely mirror the legal name of an individual. According to the law, a signature means "a tangible symbol ... that evidences the signing of a record.” So, a signature may be a mark, printed name, part of a name or anything that shows a “present intent to authenticate or adopt a record.”​​

This is the only address that the Secretary of State will associate with your name to the public upon request. It may be your street address, a mailing address, your employer’s address, whatever address can be associated with you where you can reliably be contacted for legal purposes.​​

If you have a nondisclosure agreement with the Secretary of State from a commission that existed before Sept. 1, 2013, that address is still exempt from disclosure. It won’t be published online. However, just as before, you still need to provide an address we can use to contact you that will be available to the public. There is no such thing as a “secret” notary public. Many people who must be a notary as part of their job use their employer’s address as their public record address.​​

We don't ask for payment at the time of application. Instead, we wait for your notarized oath of office. Only after we have verification of your identity and your sworn statement we can commission you. Because you have to mail, fax, or bring in the oath, you'll need to provide payment by check or credit card number and expiration date.​​

​As soon as you have a notary stamp and journal.​​

​It means a question has come up about information that you provided on your application. Our office will contact you soon to try and clear up any issues.​

Getting the Oath

​Attached to the email was a PDF document that has an oath of office for you to fill out and take before a notary. Print that out, have a notary administer the oath of office, and send the notarized oath to us with payment of the $40 nonrefundable processing fee.​​

No. It's against the law to notarize your own signature or any document you are party to. That also means it's illegal to notarize your own oath. Independent verification of your name, signature and adherence to the oath is essential to prevent the theft of your notarial identity and to ensure your agreement to the terms of your commission.​​

The Certificate of Authorization

​When you receive a confirmation email from the Secretary of State (after you’ve sent in the oath), print out the Certificate of Authorization and take it to a stamp vendor. If you use an online vendor, you can forward the certificate to them in the manner they specify.​​