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Do you want the flexibility of setting your own hours along with the ability to provide a valuable service to your community? Becoming a notary public allows you to do just that.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: To become a notary in Hawaii, you need to be a Hawaii resident, be at least 18 years old, complete a notary application, pass a written exam, obtain a $1,000 surety bond, and file your notary commission documents with the Department of the Attorney General.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through every step of the notary application process in Hawaii, from eligibility requirements to test preparation to submitting your final commission paperwork.

Hawaii Notary Public Eligibility Requirements

Hawaii Residency

To become a notary public in Hawaii, you must be a legal resident of the state. This means having a physical address in Hawaii where you live for most of the year. You’ll need to provide proof of residency when applying for your notary commission, such as a current driver’s license, voter registration card, or utility bills with your Hawaii address.

Minimum Age

Applicants for a Hawaii notary public commission must be at least 18 years old. If you’re under 18, you’ll have to wait until you reach the minimum required age to qualify for a notary appointment.

No Felony Convictions

People with felony convictions on their record are ineligible to serve as notaries public in Hawaii. Before approving a notary application, the state conducts a background check to verify that you don’t have any disqualifying felony convictions.

If a conviction exists, your application will be denied.

Applying to Become a Notary

Complete Notary Application

The first step to becoming a notary public in Hawaii is to complete the application form. You can find the application on the Attorney General’s website or request one by phone or mail. The application asks for your personal information, details on your background, and requires you to take an oath affirming to faithfully execute your duties as a notary.

There is also a $50 application fee that must accompany your application. Be sure to follow all the instructions carefully to avoid any delays.

Obtain Surety Bond

After the Attorney General approves your notary public application, you must obtain a $1,000 surety bond. The bond helps protect the public in case the notary improperly notarizes a document that leads to damages. Shop around with insurance bond companies in Hawaii as rates can vary.

The company will do a background check and issue the bond which gets attached to your application. The surety bond must remain current during your 4-year commission term as a Hawaii notary.

Take the Notary Exam

The final step is passing an exam covering Hawaii notary laws, duties, and ethics. The 1-hour exam has 30 multiple choice questions and you’ll need a 70% score to pass. Exam prep seminars are offered but not required.

Once approved, you’ll receive your commission certificate and can order your required notary stamp or seal. Congratulations, you now have the credentials to start your Hawaii notary public practice!

Preparing for and Passing the Notary Exam

Study the Hawaii Notary Handbook

The first step in preparing for the Hawaii notary public exam is to thoroughly study the Hawaii Notary Public Handbook ( This manual covers all the laws, rules, and procedures governing notaries public in Hawaii.

Read through it carefully, highlighting key points, and make your own study guide to refer to later.

Pay special attention to the section on the Powers and Duties of Notaries Public. This specifies exactly what actions a notary can and cannot perform, including:

  • Administering oaths
  • Taking acknowledgments, verifications and proofs
  • Witnessing signatures

Knowing these rules thoroughly is essential for passing the exam and properly carrying out your duties.

Take Practice Exams

After studying the handbook, reinforce your knowledge by taking Hawaii notary practice exams online. Sites like provide free sample tests with questions similar to the official exam.

Taking these practice exams simulates the actual testing experience and familiarizes you with the types of questions you’ll encounter. Review any incorrect answers and revisit the handbook sections relevant to those topics.

Schedule Your Exam

Once comfortable with the material, you can schedule your official exam either online or by phone through Pearson VUE, the authorized testing provider. There are testing centers on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Island.

The $30 exam fee must be paid when scheduling. Bring valid ID and your appointment confirmation on exam day. If you require any special testing accommodations, submit the appropriate forms in advance.

Pass the Exam

With diligent preparation, you’ll be well positioned to pass the 1-hour, 30 question exam. A score of at least 70% correct (21 or more) is required to qualify for your commission.

Results are given immediately upon completion. If unsuccessful, don’t get discouraged! You can retake the exam after 90 days. Use that time to study even more thoroughly.

Final Steps for Commissioning

File Your Notary Bond

An important requirement before receiving your notary commission is to file a $1,000 surety bond with the Department of the Attorney General in Hawaii. This bond helps protect the public if you make an error or omission in your notarial duties.

To file your bond, complete the notary bond form and have it notarized before submitting it along with your application and oath.

Submit Oath and Application

After completing a notary training course, passing the exam, and filing your bond, it’s time to officially apply for your commission. Submit your completed notary application form, qualification forms, verification of training, and $30 application fee to the Department of the Attorney General.

Processing times are typically 2-4 weeks before receiving your commission certificate and seal.

Receive Your Certificate and Seal

Once your application is approved, the Department of the Attorney General will mail your notary commission certificate printed with your name, commission number, and commission expiration date. You will also receive an official rubber notary stamp seal engraved with your name and commission expiration date to be used when notarizing documents.

Carefully review your certificate and seal to ensure all information is accurate. Once received, you can begin providing notarial acts as an official notary public in Hawaii. Be sure to only conduct notarizations that you fully understand and feel competent performing to avoid errors.


Becoming a Hawaii notary public provides you with a rewarding opportunity to start your own business while providing an important community service. While there are eligibility requirements to meet and steps to follow, this guide has outlined everything you need to know to become a notary.

With your hard work studying for the exam and submitting your paperwork, you’ll soon be ready to commission as a certified notary public in Hawaii!

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