Notary Eligibility and Training

Notarial Authorities

Under the authority of 10 U.S.C. § 1044a, JAGMAN 0902 and Section 7-9 of the Legal Assistance Manual the following persons may perform notarial acts. Please note that the authority under 10 U.S.C. § 1044a is separate and apart from any authority provided by any state notarial authorities:

(1) All civilian attorneys serving as legal assistance officers;
(2) All civilians employed by the Department of the Navy (DON) supporting legal assistance offices, when notarial acts are performed at locations outside the United States;
(3) All adjutants, assistant adjutants and personnel adjutants, including Reserve members when not in a duty status;
(4) All officers in the grade of O-4 and above;
(5) All commanding, executive, and administrative officers;
(6) All legal and assistant legal officers;
(7) All Marine Corps officers with MOS of 4430 while assigned as legal administrative officers;
(8) All judge advocates, including Reserve judge advocates when not in a duty status;
(9) All limited duty officers (law);
(10) Legalmen;
(11) All Marine Corps legal services specialists E-4 and above, while serving in legal assistance billets, when authorized by the cognizant Marine Corps authorities.

Notary Training

To ensure currency of knowledge and uniformity and consistency in the recording of notary acts in compliance with section 7-9(d) of the Legal Assistance Manual, the following training and certification procedures shall be completed by all persons providing notary services whether civilian, enlisted, or officer. The notary certification training and exam shall be completed by all officers and civilians performing notary services to ensure they maintain current knowledge sufficient to competently perform notarial acts as authorized under the above cited authorities.

Timeline for certification. All officers and all civilian notaries shall complete these requirements every three years. All limited duty officers and legalmen shall complete these requirements upon check-in at each duty station.

Required training and exam. The training and test is available through the Naval Justice School Blackboard. Go to Naval Justice School Blackboard to request an online account. You can then enroll in the course which is located in the Civil Law folder of the course catalog. This self-paced course contains the training necessary to complete the Navy's notary certification requirements. To obtain certification, students must score at least a 75 on the assessment. You will have two opportunities to pass the assessment, and you may use any resource you like in taking the test.

Notary Duties and Responsibilities Form. Following completion of the required training and exam, the Notary Duties and Responsibilities form shall be reviewed and signed.

Certification from the Region Legal Service Office commanding officer, ranking staff judge advocate, or Legal Assistance (Code 16). Upon successful completion of the training and passage of the exam, certificates of training shall be issued by the Region Legal Service Office commanding officer (or his or her designee) or ranking staff judge advocate (pay grade 04 or above) for official certification. Independent duty legalmen, independent judge advocates or independent officers who intend to perform notarial acts shall provide proof of successful exam passage to Code 16 for official certification and directions on obtaining the official OJAG Journal of Notary Acts. The certificate of training shall be prominently displayed in that individual’s workstation. The template for the certificate of training is available from Code 16. Call 202-685-4641 or 202-685-4639 for more information.

Each Region Legal Service Office shall provide a roster of all certified 10 U.S.C. §1044a notaries and all civilian state notaries to Code 16 no later than 1 December of each year. Independent duty staff judge advocates and legalmen performing notary services shall similarly provide updated certification statuses to Code 16 no later than 1 December of each year. Information on state notaries will also include the date the commission was issued, the date the commission expires, the amount and duration of errors and omissions insurance, and the notaries’ state identification number located on his or her seal.

Requests for approval of an overseas civilian to act as a 10 U.S.C. §1044a notary shall be forwarded to the Judge Advocate General, in writing, via Code 16. Any such civilian will be required to complete the notary training and requirements.

Please use the Legal Services Locator to find your nearest legal assistance shop.

Notary Supplies

To order a notary log book from Legal Assistance (Code 16), please call 202-685-4641.

To protect the customer and the notary from a potential challenge regarding the validity of the notarial act, all 10 U.S.C. § 1044a notaries need access to an ink pad so they can take the thumb print of the customer for inclusion in their notary log book.

As a best practice, Code 16 recommends that each 10 U.S.C. §1044a notary have a personalized seal. The seal contains information attesting to the authority of the notarial act by the individual notary. For example:

LT John Smith
Legal Assistance Attorney, RLSO Hawaii
Notary Public
Under the authority of 10 U.S.C. §1044a
Commission Expires: Indefinite

The impression of the seal is normally a rubber stamp. The seal must be visible in a photocopy of the notarized document, must always be secured (as you would your CAC) to prevent fraudulent use by another person and destroyed once authority to act as a notary is terminated.

It is also best practice (but not required) for commands to have a decorative metal 10 U.S.C. § 1044a embosser to further aid in conforming with nonmilitary products (please note: use of "command" embossers bearing the name of the command (e.g. USS Peleliu) is prohibited and cannot be used as a substitute for a proper 10 U.S.C. § 1044a notary seal.

Seals, embossers and ink pads are available for purchase online.