Notaries are commissioned by the State Treasurer for a period of five years. Notaries must also be sworn in by the clerk of the county in which he or she resides. One can become a notary in the state of New Jersey if he or she: (1) is over the age of 18; (2) is a resident of New Jersey OR is regularly employed in New Jersey and lives in an adjoining state; (3) has never been convicted of a crime under the laws of any state or the United States, for an offense involving dishonesty, or a crime of the first or second degree, unless the person has met the requirements of the Rehabilitated Convicted Offenders Act (NJSA 2A:168-1). Notary applications must be endorsed by a state legislator.
Notaries in the state of New Jersey serve as impartial witnesses to the signing of documents, attests to the signature on the document, and may also administer oaths and affirmations. Seals are not required; many people prefer them and as a result, most notaries have seals in addition to stamps. Notaries may administer oaths and affirmations to public officials and officers of various organizations. They may also administer oaths and affirmations in order to execute jurats for affidavits/verifications, and to swear in witnesses.
Notaries are prohibited from pre-dating actions; lending notary equipment to someone else (stamps, seals, journals, etc.); preparing legal documents or giving legal advice; appearing as a representative of another person in a legal proceeding. Notaries should also refrain from notarizing documents in which they have a personal interest.
By statute, New Jersey attorneys may administer oaths and affirmations.
New York notaries are empowered to administer oaths and affirmations (including oaths of office), to take affidavits and depositions, to receive and certify acknowledgments or proof of deeds, mortgages and powers of attorney and other instruments in writing; to demand acceptance or payment of foreign and inland bills of exchange, promissory notes and obligations in writing, and to protest these (that is, certify them) for non-acceptance or non-payment.
New York Notaries are not authorized nor empowered to perform weddings, their notarization of a Last Will & Testament is insufficient to give the Will legal force, and they are strictly forbidden to certify "true copies" of documents.
Every County Clerk's office in New York must have a notary public available to serve the public free of charge during normal business hours.
Admitted Attorneys to the New York State Bar are automatically eligible to become notaries in the State of New York. While this is true, they must complete a New York Notary application through the Secretary of State and pay the required $60 fee. They must also renew the commission every four (4) years.
New York notaries initially must pass a test and then renew their status every four (4) years.