When choosing online notary classes, it is very important that you determine whether the class is approved by your jurisdiction’s notary commissioner. To do this, do not rely on claims by course providers that the course qualifies you to become a notary. Instead, contact the government office that commissions notaries in the area where you live and get a list of all approved offline and online notary classes. In addition to making sure that the course has all necessary approvals, it's often a good idea to compare course costs as well as the online learning environments offered by individual providers before committing to a particular course.
Many jurisdictions require notaries to complete an educational program prior to being commissioned. In some areas, such as the United Kingdom, notaries must hold a law degree. In the United States, the legal powers of a notary are generally limited to acting as a witness to signatures on important documents and taking oaths from document signers, although some states grant notaries additional powers, such as the ability to officiate at weddings. As one of the most important functions of a notary is to prevent document fraud, many states now require an aspiring notary to complete formal training so as to avoid becoming an unwitting party to a fraudulent transaction.
Not all jurisdictions require notaries to complete a training program. If you live in one of these areas, you may wish to take online notary classes anyway. If you decide to do this, you'll want to make sure that the course you take is either a generic class that teaches you skills that can be used in any jurisdiction or that is designed to train you in notary laws and regulations within the jurisdiction in which you wish to practice. Some jurisdictions may even sponsor their own online notary classes that may not only be inexpensive, but may also contain the most up-to-date information on rules and regulations from notaries in your area.
Some professional associations for notaries offer online notary classes that both prepare you for licensure and to earn advanced certifications. Professional certification as a notary can sometimes be helpful when seeking employment and can enhance your credibility. Contact the professional association for notaries in your jurisdiction to find out about their course offerings and whether it is possible to earn additional credentials or to complete continuing education courses through online notary classes.