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Keeping Up With Your Notary Commission Part II

Notary stamp, embossing seal, and record book requirements vary across states. It is critical for every Notary Public to know his or her state’s specific seal requirements, and adhere to them. The responsible management of your notary seal and record book is an important aspect of “Keeping Up With Your Commission.”


Protect yourself by protecting your notary seal.

The notary seal is your symbol of authority and conveys essential information about your commission. The majority of states require your seal to be imprinted with a mechanical device like an ink stamp or a metal embosser. In states that do not require the use of a seal, notaries still elect to use one anyway for ease and convenience.

Stamp, Embosser Storage

Your stamp or embosser must remain under your sole control at all times. Regardless if it’s your supervisor or a close relative, never let anyone else use these tools. Always securely store your stamp or embosser when not in use.

Seal Loss/Theft

If your notary seal device is lost or stolen, report it to your commissioning authority immediately, and in writing. Check with your commissioning authority for specific reporting procedures. In the case of theft, it will also benefit you to file a police report. Reporting your seal device as stolen may provide you a measure of defense should someone use it to perform a fraudulent notarization. After you have notified your state’s commissioning authority, it will be time for you to order another seal from your bonding agency or notary supply provider.

Seal Disposal

When a Notary Public reaches the end of his or her commission term due to expiration or non-renewal, certain measures should be taken to prevent the fraudulent or incorrect use of expired notary supplies. Ink stamps and embossers should never be used after the commission expiration date, and should be destroyed unless your state requires other action (always contact your state’s commissioning authority to determine the most appropriate course of action).

Stay tuned, we will be “Keeping Up” with your notary record book next time!