How to Become a Notary Public

To become a notary public, a person must be:

  1. At least 18 years of age;
  2. A citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States;
  3. A resident of North Dakota, have a place of employment or practice in North Dakota or reside in a county that borders North Dakota and which is in a state that extends reciprocity to a notary public who resides in a border county of North Dakota. (If the applicant resides in a county bordering North Dakota, the applicant appoints the Secretary of State as the agent for service of process, for all purposes relating to notarial acts, including the receipt of correspondence relating to notarial acts); and
  4. Able to read and write in English.

If a person meets the above requirements, he or she may apply for a notary public commission by filing the following documents with the Secretary of State:

  1. Notary Application (SFN 11001) – The application should be in the notary's name in which he or she will notarize documents. The application includes a section in which the applicant must sign an affidavit stating that he or she meets the qualifications to be a notary public. As a part of the application, the notary is required to take an oath of office because the notary becomes an officer of the state when commissioned. Both the affidavit and oath must be signed in the presence of a commissioned notary public.
  2. Notary Bond (SFN 19355) – The notary bond must be in the amount of $7,500 conditioned on the faithful discharge of the duties of the office and must cover notarial acts performed during the term of the notary public's commission.

The application fee is $36 payable to the Secretary of State. Credit card payments made by mail must be accompanied by a completed Credit Card Payment Authorization (SFN 51478).

After the application, surety bond, and application fee have been received and approved, a certificate of authorization will be issued to the applicant allowing the applicant to purchase a notary stamping device from a vendor of his or her choice.  When the stamping device is received back from the vendor, the applicant must affix an impression of the notary stamping device to the verification of notary stamping device form (included with the certificate of authorization), and return the verification form to the Secretary of State's office on or before the date indicated on the verification form.

After the verification form is received and approved, a notary commission will be issued to the applicant.  Receipt of the stamping device from the vendor does not make the applicant a notary public.  When the applicant receives the commission, he or she may begin using the stamping device on or after the commencement date listed on the commission certificate.