Effective October 1, 2015


33.00 This rule covers the procedures for obtaining or renewing a Notary Public Commission.


33.01 The Court shall designate one or more members of the court staff as persons responsible for acquiring and maintaining notary examination study materials and exam forms for applicants, as well as administering the notary test. These staff members shall insure that the Court is utilizing the most current application forms that are issued by the Notary Public Commission Office of the Secretary of State of Ohio.

33.02 Fees. The process for both first-time applicants and those wishing to renew an existing or former Notary Public Commission requires separate payments of four distinct fees to four separate entities.

The first fee is made payable to the “Morrow County Common Pleas Court”, in the amount of $15.00. It is an administrative fee paid to the court staff member overseeing the administration of the notary test, or to another court staff member as authorized by the Court.

The second fee is made payable to “Ohio Secretary of State” in the amount of $15.00. This is the filing fee for the “Application for Notary Public”, and is set by statute in Ohio Revised Code Chapter 147.37. The check or money order for the second fee will be forwarded to the Secretary of State’s office by the Court upon approval of the results of the examination and of the criminal background check.

The third fee is for the criminal background check, which is required of all persons, new or renewal. The third fee is set by the entity which performs the criminal background check. (see Local Rule 33.04)

The fourth fee is for the registration of the Notary Commission Certificate, which is paid at the Morrow County Common Pleas Clerk of Courts office. The fee is $6.00, and is set by Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2303.20, sections M and R.

33.03 The Court’s written examination shall be administered to all applicants for new commissions. For renewal of commissions, the written examination shall be administered to coincide with the ten-year anniversary of the commencing date of the first commission, and then administered every ten years thereafter.

An applicant who fails to pass the written examination may re-apply after thirty (30) days. If the applicant fails a second time, the applicant may apply a third and final time after at least one hundred-eighty (180) days have elapsed after the date of the second exam.

33.04 All applicants for a notary public commission, new or renewal, shall be required to submit to a criminal background check. Applicants must first obtain the proper form from the Morrow County Common Pleas Court. To submit to a criminal background check within the county, the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office can be contacted at (419) 946-6991. Locations to report in person outside of Morrow County can be found at: (Click on “Webcheck locations” listed at the bottom of the page under the category of “Services”.) The Court has no control of when it receives the results of a criminal background check; it may require more than two weeks for the results to be sent to the Court for review.

33.05 The Court will not sign applications for notary public commissions without reviewing both the results of the written exam and the results of the criminal background check. The determination is whether or not the applicant is of good moral character, is at least eighteen years of age, and possesses the qualifications necessary to properly discharge the duties of notary public.

Every Morrow County resident who has a valid notary public commission shall be responsible for monitoring the expiration date of their commission, and must not rely upon the Court or the Clerk’s Office for advance notice that the commission certificate is about to expire. Because the process of obtaining the results of a criminal background check is not under the control of the Court, the Court will not be held liable for any adverse ramifications associated with the lapse of one’s commission.

33.06 An attorney-at-law who is applying for a lifetime notary commission must submit written proof to the Common Pleas Court that he/she is an attorney-at-law admitted to the practice of law in Ohio, including their attorney registration number.

Attorney applicants for a notary commission will not be required to pay the court administration fee, and will not be required to submit to a criminal background check solely for the purpose of applying for a notary commission.

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