A notary sitting at his desk.

In the world of legal documents and official transactions, a notary public is the unsung hero. They are the gatekeepers of authenticity, the guardians of truth and the facilitators of trust. However, the profession of a notary is often oversimplified or misunderstood. Many people think of notaries as mere stampers of documents, but their role is much more complex and crucial.

Choosing a career is not just about the job description or the paycheck. It's about finding a role that aligns with your personality, skills and passions. So, if you're considering becoming a notary, it's essential to understand what the job entails and how it aligns with your personality traits.

What Does a Notary Do?

A notary is a state-appointed official who serves the public in non-contentious matters usually related to estates, deeds, powers of attorney, and foreign and international business. Their primary tasks include verifying the identity of the individuals involved in a transaction, ensuring they understand the documents they are signing, and witnessing the signing of these documents.

The role of a notary can vary significantly depending on the jurisdiction and the specific situation. Some notaries may specialize in real estate transactions, while others might focus on legal documents or international business. Regardless of the specialization, a notary plays a crucial role in preventing fraud and ensuring that transactions are conducted legally and ethically.

What Are the Skills Needed to Become a Notary?

  1. Attention to Detail: Notaries must be meticulous in their work. They need to carefully check identities, scrutinize documents and ensure that all legal requirements are met. A small oversight can have significant legal consequences.
  2. Communication Skills: Notaries interact with a variety of people, from lawyers to business owners to private individuals. They need to be able to explain complex legal concepts in a way that everyone can understand.
  3. Integrity: As a notary, you are a representative of the state and are entrusted with significant responsibilities. You must be honest, ethical and impartial in all your dealings.
  4. Organizational Skills: Notaries often handle multiple tasks at once, from scheduling appointments to managing documents. Good organizational skills are essential to keep everything running smoothly.
  5. Problem-Solving Skills: Not all transactions are straightforward. Notaries may encounter situations where they need to make judgment calls or find solutions to unexpected problems.

Which Personality Types Make the Best Notaries?

Certain personality traits can make an individual more suited to the role of a notary. Using the Big Five personality traits and the TypeFinder personality types as references, we can gain insights into which personalities might excel in this profession.

Big Five Personality Traits of Notaries

  1. Openness: Notaries focus more on practical and concrete matters so high openness is not a necessity for the role. However, they may deal with a variety of documents and transactions, each with its unique requirements and challenges, so being adaptable is important. 
  2. Conscientiousness: This trait is crucial for notaries. They need to be organized, responsible and reliable. They must pay attention to detail and ensure that all procedures are followed correctly.
  3. Extraversion: Notaries don't necessarily need to be extraverted, but they do need to be comfortable interacting with people. They must be able to communicate effectively and build trust with their clients.
  4. Agreeableness: Notaries need to be approachable and easy to work with. They should be able to handle conflicts and disagreements in a calm and professional manner.
  5. Neuroticism: This trait is less relevant to the profession. However, notaries who are low in neuroticism may be better able to handle the stress and pressure that can come with the job. 

You can take our Big Five personality test to see how these traits play out in your life.

TypeFinder Types of Notaries

Certain TypeFinder types may find the role of a notary particularly appealing. For instance, ISTJs and ISFJs, with their strong attention to detail and respect for rules and procedures, may excel as notaries. On the other hand, ENFPs and ESFPs, who are typically more spontaneous and dislike routine, might find the job less appealing.

Take our TypeFinder assessment to find out your unique type.

How to Get Started Becoming a Notary

If you're interested in becoming a notary, start by researching the requirements in your state. You may need to take a course or pass an exam. Consider finding a mentor in the field or shadowing a notary to get a feel for the job. You might also want to take a career assessment, such as the Career Personality Profiler test, the Holland Code career test, or the DISC personality test, to help guide your decision.

Should I Become a Notary?

Every personality has the potential to excel in the profession of a notary. It's about finding the aspects of the job that align with your unique skills and traits. Remember, a career is not just a job – it's a reflection of who you are. So, if you're considering becoming a notary, take the time to understand the profession and how it aligns with your personality. Your future self will thank you. 

Megan Malone
Megan holds an MS in organizational psychology and manages content and brand marketing at Truity. She is passionate about helping people improve their relationships, careers, and quality of life using personality psychology. An INFJ and Enneagram 9, Megan lives quietly in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and two pups. You can chat with her on Twitter @meganmmalone.