The Department of State plans to begin appointing notaries again on May 15, 2020.
The Department expects to process 150-200 notary applications per day until the backlog of applications accumulated during the shut-down has been completed. This may take several weeks.
Notary applications that have been pending the longest will be processed first. You will receive an appointment email from the Department when your application has been processed.
Call ahead to verify that your commission is available at the county recorder of deeds’ office. Make sure the recorder’s and prothonotary’s offices are open and ask if you need to make an appointment. If your county’s offices are open, you can be sworn in and register your signature to complete the commissioning process.
On May 6, 2020, the Governor approved an extension of the 45 days for notaries to get sworn in and to register their signatures, up to an additional 30 days. The extension applies to all notaries whose 45 days expired from March 1, 2020 until the expiration of this waiver. See the Department’s announcement, “Pennsylvania Extends Appointment Deadlines for Notaries,” at https://www.dos.pa.gov/Documents/2020-05-06-Waiver-Notaries-and-notary-renewals.pdf.
Notaries MUST complete both the bond/oath/commission process and the signature registration process in order to have completed the appointment and commissioning process for the new commission. Failure to do so will make the notary public’s commission null and void.
To read the Department of State’s FAQs concerning notaries, please visit: https://www.dos.pa.gov/OtherServices/Notaries/Pages/default.aspx and click on “NOTICE: Covid-19 Notary Public FAQs.”