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Criminal Records Check and Disqualifying Offenses

Note:  Criminal records check reports cannot be requested until September 20, 2019 as BCI will add “Notary Applications” as a reason code for requesting a criminal records check on that date.


Obtaining a Criminal Records Check

A non-attorney must file an Ohio criminal records check, no more than six months old, with an application for a new notary commission or when renewing a notary commission. A national/federal background check is not required but it is acceptable in lieu of a state records check. The Secretary of State’s Office must reject an application if the criminal records check lists a disqualifying offense or is older than six months.

To obtain an Ohio criminal records check report, an applicant must complete a form and complete a fingerprint impression sheet at an authorized agent of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.  Click here for a link to the authorized agents from the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

Upon completion, the criminal records check report is sent directly to the applicant to be later uploaded to the Secretary of State’s online filing system. 

Disqualifying Offenses

To be qualified to be commissioned as a notary public, a person must not have been convicted of, pleaded guilty or no contest to a disqualifying offense.  A disqualifying offense is a crime of moral turpitude as defined in section 4776.10 of the Revised Code or a violation of Chapter 2913 of the Revised Code.  If an applicant’s report lists a disqualifying offense, the application must be rejected by the Secretary of State; therefore, the applicant must not complete the education and testing program.     

A notary public must immediately inform the Secretary of State's Office if, at any point, during the notary public's term, the notary is convicted of, pleads guilty or no contest to a disqualifying offense.