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Don’t Confuse Your Official Stamp With A Commission Expiration Date Stamp!

The official notary seal is the symbol of office that is universally expected on notarized documents. Notary seals can vary in size, dimension, and the information they contain. Certain states require their notaries to include their commission expiration date, along with their official notary seal, in the notarial certificate. A commission expiration date stamp is a useful way to add information, but a commission expiration date stamp is not an alternative to a notary’s official seal.


Commission expiration date stamps are extremely convenient and helpful.


These stamps are used mostly by notaries who are required by law or rule to include certain information on the notarial certificate. State law can require that only certain information may appear on the stamp, but elsewhere in the law are listed additional information elements that must be included on the notarial certificate. Instead of the notary writing-in all the additional information by hand, a commission expiration date stamp is used.


Here is an example of a commission expiration date stamp, used in conjunction with an embossing seal imprint.



Notice how the commission expiration date stamp contains information that is not on the embossed seal print.


A commission expiration date stamp is not an alternative to an official notary seal.

Unfortunately, some notaries who obtain a commission expiration date stamp mistakenly think it’s a less-expensive alternative to an official stamp. In the most extreme cases, some have actually notarized documents using only a commission expiration date stamp. This is a serious error that may result in sanctions against the notary or worse- cause the notarized document to be questioned or rejected.


There are two ways to avoid making this mistake. One, be well aware of your state’s official notary stamp requirements and exactly what information must be displayed on your official stamp. Two, put your trust in a stamp manufacturer with expertise in producing official notary stamps.