A Pennsylvania notary was fined and had her notary commission suspended because she did not complete the commissioning process of getting sworn in at the county recorder of deeds office.
Receiving a notice of appointment from the Secretary of the Commonwealth and obtaining a rubber stamp seal from a notary supply company does not mean that you may begin notarizing documents. The Pennsylvania Notary Public Law requires that you appear before the recorder of deeds to record your bond and take the oath of office to be considered a commissioned notary.
You must appear within 45 days of being appointed (receiving that notice of appointment) or your commission will be declared null and void.
Remember to register your signature with the county prothonotary as well. Call the recorder’s office to ask what fee will be charged to take the oath and to record your bond. Call the prothonotary’s office and ask what fee will be charged to register your signature. Several Pennsylvania counties, including Allegheny and Northumberland, require the notary’s seal on the signature card. Ask the clerk in your county prothonotary’s office if this is their requirement.
Follow through on your commission process. Remember you are not officially a notary until you take the oath of office, record your bond at the county recorder of deeds office and register your signature at the county prothonotary’s office.