How to Get a Justice of the Peace License

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Though the licensing process differs from state to state, it follows a similar route in most. You need to be sure you meet a few minimum requirements, and then it's a matter of filling out and returning the required forms, along with any fees, and waiting for the appointment to be approved. The terms of a Justice of the Peace appointment also differ from state to state, so be sure to find out how long your appointment lasts and the process required to renew it.

  • Research your state's requirements, via the Secretary of State's office for the state in which you live. In some states (such as Massachusetts), the Justice of the Peace position is an elected office which does not require any special licensing. In most, however, getting a Justice of the Peace license is a prerequisite for being appointed to a position.

  • Make sure you meet the minimum requirements. In most cases, the minimum requirements are that you be a legal resident of the state, that you have been a registered voter for some number of years (three is common), and that you have no criminal history.

  • Get your documents in order. The necessary documents will differ from state to state. In New Hampshire, for example, you will need an application from the Secretary of State's office and a State Police Records Check Form, as well as three endorsements for your application; two must be from New Hampshire Justices of the Peace and one from a registered voter in New Hampshire.

  • Submit your documents with your fees. After filling out the necessary forms, submit them with the required fees to your Secretary of State's office.

  • Take the oath. It will take 8 to 10 weeks for the application to go through the confirmation process. Once you receive notice that you have been commissioned, you need to take your oath of office, usually in the presence of two notaries public or two Justices of the Peace, who will also sign your oath of office. Return the signed oath to the Secretary of State's office. Keep your commission for your own records.

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