Notary Public is a state-appointed official who administers oaths and serves as an impartial witness when important documents are signed.  A notary public most commonly administers oaths and affirmations, takes affidavits, and receives and certifies acknowledgements or proof of written instruments such as deeds, mortgages and powers of attorney.  The term of a Notary Public is four years.

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To officially verify a signature of a Notary who signed a document, the notary's signature must be authenticated by the County Clerk of the County where the notary is qualified or has filed a character card.  Please visit our page on Authentications for more details of the procedure.

If you have further questions about Notary Public Commissions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact our Notary Department at  or 914-995-3070.

Becoming a Notary
While the Office of the Westchester County Clerk maintains records of all notaries public commissioned in Westchester County, we do not administer the application process.  Instead, you must apply to the New York State Department of State Division of Licensing. In order to do so, you must be at least 18 years old, be a citizen of the United States and either be a resident of the state of New York or have an office or place of business in New York state.  If you meet the requirements to become a notary public*, you must: (1) pass the notary public examination; (2) submit a complete original application; and (3) submit a $60.00 fee to the Department of State. To prove that you have passed the notary public examination, you must submit your "pass slip" showing you have taken and passed the exam.  View and download the Notary Public application for instructions.

* An individual who is currently a member of the New York State Bar or a court clerk of the Unified Court System, appointed to that position after taking a Civil Service promotional examination, may be appointed a notary public without an examination.  Contact the New York State Department of State with any questions regarding application to be a notary public under these provisions.

Notary Exam and Study Booklet
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Notary Public Exam is no longer a walk-in exam.   Please check the NYS Department of State website to view the currently scheduled exam dates and locations. Please be sure to download a copy of the Notary Public License Law Booklet or visit the Office of the Westchester County Clerk, 110 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 330, in White Plains to obtain a copy of the Notary Public License Law Booklet free of charge.

For more information on the notary public examination, go to New York State Department of State or call (518) 474-4429. Be sure to bring the following:  A government issued identification such as a driver's license, a #2 pencil, and a $15.00 examination fee payable by check, money order, MasterCard or Visa. Cash will not be accepted.

Renewing Your Notary Public Commission
Effective June 30, 2023: Renewals of Notary Public Commissions Must be Submitted to the NYS Secretary of State

NYS Executive Law Section 131 has been amended, effective June 30, 2023, to require renewals of notary public commissions to be submitted to and processed by the NYS Secretary of State. Renewal commissions can no longer be accepted by the County Clerk. Renewal applications must be made online at or by mail to NYS Dept. of State Division of Licensing Services, P.O. Box 22001, Albany NY 12201-2001 or 1 Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, 6th Floor, Albany, NY 12231.

Filing a Character Card in Another County
As a notary public commissioned in New York State, you may act as notary public anywhere in New York State.  However, only the clerk of the county in which you are qualified, or in which you have filed an Official Character Card, will have your signature on file. Therefore, if your signature needs to be authenticated, only a County Clerk with your signature on file can authenticate it.  There is a fee of $5.00 for your county of qualification to issue an Official Character Card. Once received, submit this to the County Clerk in the county where you wish to have your signature on file. There is a fee of $10.00 to file the character card in another county.

Checking the Status of a Notary License
In order to check on the status of a notary public license, please visit the New York State Department of State website where you will be able to perform a search for Licensees and Registrants.  Please be advised that it can take up to four months to receive a Notary Public identification card from the Department of State. The quickest way to confirm that your renewal has been processed by our office is to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your renewal form so that a receipt will promptly be mailed to you.

If you have further questions about Notary Public Commissions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact our Notary Department at  or 914-995-3070.