A Notary Public is a public official whose powers and duties are defined by statute. A Notary has the power to acknowledge signatures upon personal knowledge or satisfactory proof, administer oaths, record and/or transcribe depositions, and confirm the authenticity of signatures on affidavits. A Notary’s powers and duties can be exercised in all counties in the State of Tennessee.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, a resident of the county, or maintain a principal place of business in the county from which they are elected.
How to Become a Notary Public
- Application and Fee
Applicants may either complete the online application at the link above, or download and print the Application for Notary Public . Mail the completed, notarized application along with the fee of $12.00 payable to “Knox County Clerk” to: Knox County Clerk’s Office Notary Division, P.O. Box 1566, Knoxville, TN 37901.
Those who prefer to apply in person may do so at any of the Clerk's Office Locations . Please bring the completed, notarized application and fee of $12.00. The Knox County Clerk’s office can notarize the applicant’s signature while in our office for an additional $5.00 fee. Monthly deadlines for applications vary from month to month based on the meeting schedule of the Knox County Commission, but it is always the Thursday before the Commission meeting. Please review this calendar of deadlines for more information.
- Obtain Commission Dates
Following the commission meeting, the Clerk's office forwards elected notary applications to the Secretary of State's Office. The Secretary of State will assign commission dates and print Notary Certificates of Commission for each applicant. To search for a Notary Commission by name, please visit the Secretary of State’s website here: Notary Commission Search Please review this calendar of expected commission delivery dates to get an idea about when to expect your certificate of commission to be returned to this office. We will email those applicants who provided an email address to notify them that their certificate has been delivered. By responding to the email, applicants will have the opportunity to choose an office they wish to have their certificate to be delivered. Applicants that do not provide an email address with their application may call our office at (865) 215-2383 or (865) 215-3619 on or after the expected delivery date to receive their commission dates and choose an office to have their certificate to be delivered.
Once the commission dates are obtained, please contact any surety company authorized to do business as a surety in Tennessee, and purchase a Ten Thousand Dollar ($10,000.00) surety bond. The bond is payable to the state and conditioned on the faithful performance of the duties of a notary public.
After securing the bond, notaries must make a personal appearance at the office they choose for their certificate of commission to be delivered. At the office, the applicant will take the oath of office and file their surety bond. The fee to file this bond with the Knox County Clerk is $2.00. Please note: You are not authorized to act as a notary public until you received your commission from the Governor, filed your bond, and taken the oath of office.
Additional Notary Services
The Knox County Clerk’s Office authenticates and certifies notaries public for apostilles, applications for adoption, court action, and various other purposes. There is a $5.00 fee for each document needing authentication or certification.
This service is available at all Knox County Clerk locations, and we encourage individuals needing this service to contact our office prior to arriving at a location. Please email the following information to email@example.com:
- Notary’s name(s)
- Commission expiration date(s)
- Name of the office you wish to visit.
Contacting this office prior to your visit will shorten your wait time in our office as it is sometimes time consuming to retrieve the relevant records. Please contact us with this information at least 4 hours prior to your planned visit.
Please note: the Knox County Clerk’s office can only provide this service for notaries that were elected from Knox County.
The Knox County Clerk’s Office can notarize various documents for a fee of $3.00. Please provide a government issued photo identification, such as a Tennessee Driver License.
Change of Address
If you move your residence or principal place of business out of the country from which you were elected (Knox County) and commissioned to another county in Tennessee, you are required to notify this office and pay a fee of $7.00. Please see the change of address form below.
Change of Name
If your last name changes, you should contact the insurance agent that issued your notary bond. They will issue a rider for your bond. You must then submit the rider to this office along with a fee of $7.00. Additionally, you must provide the clerk's office with the legal document which changed your name. This could be a marriage certificate, certified copy of the final divorce decree, or a certified copy of the court order changing your name. You will also need to return your current notary commission to the Knox County Clerk when applying for a name change.
Forms and Resources
The Knox County Clerk's Office accepts cash, checks, and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express). We cannot accept credit cards for Passport services. A fee of 2.5% is assessed by the electronic processing company on all credit and debit card transactions. This fee does not go to the Knox County Clerk's Office. When you submit a check, you are authorizing electronic movement of funds from your account to the Knox County Clerk's account for payment of your transaction. There is a $30.00 NSF fee on all returned checks that are processed electronically. For those checks that are not processed electronically, the following statutory penalties will apply: the amount of the check on any amount owing less than or equal to twenty dollars, $20.00 on any amount owing greater than twenty dollars but less than two thousand dollars, and 1% on any amount owing greater than two thousand dollars. (T.C.A. § 9-1-109)