How to Become a Notary Public

To become a notary public, a person must:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age;
  2. Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States;
  3. Be 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. Be 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 legal name in which he or she will notarize documents. The application has 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.

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). Upon receipt of the required completed documents and filing fee, the Secretary of State will issue a certificate of authorization to the applicant to purchase a notary stamp. The authorization allows a vendor chosen by the applicant to manufacture an official notary stamp.

After the applicant obtains his or her official notary stamp from the vendor, an impression of the stamp must be affixed to the certificate of authorization that was issued by the Secretary of State. It must be returned to the Secretary of State's office and after it is received and approved, the Secretary of State will issue an official notary commission to the applicant. It is important that the notary not begin his or her duties and execute any notarial functions until the notary has received the certificate of commission. These acts may be performed only after the effective date of the commission that appears on the certificate.