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Keeping Up With Your Notary Commission Part 1

The performance of notarial acts is just one aspect of a Notary Public’s commission.

Notaries have a legal and professional responsibility to “keep up” with their commission status and notary tools. Changes in personal information, criminal history, or eligibility to hold office are all details that must be reported. Similarly, official tools of office such as a Notary’s stamp, embosser or recordbook must be safeguarded and loss of these items must also be reported. Some states even require that a deceased Notary’s survivors or designated agent perform ministerial tasks such as destroying the Notary’s official seal or filing the Notary’s records with the commissioning official.

In this multi-part series, we will be “keeping up” with your role as a Notary Public by discussing the various obligations that your commission consists of, starting with:

Reporting Personal Information Changes

Changes in personal information must be reported to your state’s Notary Public Administrator or official who manages Notary records. Also, do not forget to notify your bonding agency as well. Many states have notary laws and administrative rules in place that specify whether or not a Notary must report changes in personal information.

Notaries can learn about their state’s specific laws and rules by contacting their commissioning official. Most all maintain an information-rich web site with helpful resources for notaries. Changes are generally reported through form submissions. Many states post their forms online or have a completely online reporting process. Did we mention, do not forget to notify your bonding agency?

What Types of Status Changes Must Typically Be Reported?

Any change to your contact information such as your mailing address, your business address, or your telephone number should be immediately reported to your state’s official who maintains notary records. If you were to move out of state and no longer meet the eligibility requirements for being a notary, then you must notify your commissioning official and resign your commission.

In terms of your legal name change, state requirements vary, and some states even have a timeframe within which you must take action. Again, check your state laws and rules for specific instructions.

Stay tuned for more on “Keeping Up” with your notary commission!