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How to Become a Notary Public in New Mexico

If you want to become a New Mexico Notary Public, complete the following steps:

  1. Make sure you meet all qualifications under New Mexico state law (see below).
  2. Buy your seal, journal and $10,000 state-required bond. The company that issues the bond must also provide a power of attorney with the name of the company official who signed the surety bond.
  3. Take the training course and pass the exam.
  4. Complete an application form. Sign the oath of office section in front of a Notary Public and get it notarized.
  5. Submit your application, surety bond, power of attorney, certificate of course and exam completion, and $30 application fee to the Secretary of State.
  6. Within 45 days of your application approval, provide proof of your stamp by sending in the Stamp Registration Form.
  7. Get E&O insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).

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In This Guide: New Mexico Notary Process | NM Notary Requirements | General Notary Public Information

More Details About the New Mexico Notary Process

Here, we cover the cost and length of an NM Notary Public commission.

How much does it cost?

A $30 application fee applies. All documents submitted by mail must be paid by check or money order payable to the New Mexico Secretary of State. The cost of the stamp, journal, bond and other supplies will vary based upon the vendor chosen.

How long does it take to become a Notary?

Once the application and supporting documents are submitted, it can take two to 10 weeks for the state to issue the commission.

How long does a New Mexico Notary commission last?

The New Mexico Notary commission is valid for four years, after which it has to be renewed to continue as a Notary.

Requirements to be a Notary in New Mexico

Learn how you can qualify to become a Notary in the Land of Enchantment.

Who can become a Notary?

To qualify to become a Notary in New Mexico, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the U.S.
  • Be a resident of New Mexico or have a place of employment in the state
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving fraud, dishonesty, or deceit in the last five years
  • Not had a Notary Public commission denied, suspended, or revoked in another state
  • Not be disqualified to receive a commission under Section 22 of the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts [14-14A-22 NMSA 1978]
  • Not otherwise be qualified as a notarial officer; with the exception of a court clerk, deputy court clerk, county clerk, or deputy county clerk
  • Be a judicial officer

New Mexico created a new umbrella term -- notarial officer -- to use when referring to Notaries Public and automatic notarial officers. Automatic notarial officers include judicial officers; county clerks or deputy county clerks while acting within the scope of their job duties; the Secretary of State or full-time member of their staff; and attorneys licensed by the New Mexico bar.

Is training or an exam required to become a Notary?

Applicants for a Notary commission are required to take a course and pass an exam administered either by the Secretary of State or an approved third-party provider. The National Notary Assoication provides a state approved training course and exam. You must score 80% or higher to pass the exam.

Notarial officers, such judicial officers do not need to meet this requirement.

What kind of supplies will I need?

You'll need an official stamp and journal. Stamps must either be rectangular or circular in shape and have the following information:

  • Your name (your first and last name plus an optional initial or additional name)
  • Your commission number
  • Your commission expiration date
  • The New Mexico state seal
  • Any other information required by the Secretary of State

For an embosser, you only need to include your name and the words "Notary Public – State of New Mexico." You will need to purchase your stamp or embosser before applying to become a Notary or renew your commission, as the seal impression is required on the application.

Using a state seal image is prohibited. When shopping for seals, quality and durability can vary greatly among vendors. Ask if the seals carry a lifetime guarantee. In particular, stamps should not bleed during or after use, as this can cause county officials to reject documents due to smudging. If you choose to purchase an embosser, you will also need to purchase an embosser inker to satisfy the requirement that the impression is able to be photocopied. A second seal can help you avoid downtime if your seal is ever misplaced.

New law takes effect June 16, 2023 for a new seal stamp requirement , the Secretary of State will let you use your current stamp until June 16, 2024.

The journal can be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages to record in-person notarizations or electronic that is tamper-evident for digital notarizations.

Do I need a surety bond or insurance?

A $10,000 surety bond is required before you apply to become a Notary Public in New Mexico. A bond protects the public financially from the possibility of a negligent mistake or intentional misconduct by the Notary. Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance is optional. This insurance helps protect the Notary. If you make an unintentional mistake, or a false claim is filed against you, an E&O policy will cover your legal fees and awarded damages up to the coverage you select.

General Notary Public Information

Have more questions about being a New Mexico Notary? We've got you covered. For a quick look at what's changing for New Mexico Notaries in 2022, check out this article.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Secretary of State, located in Santa Fe, NM, is responsible for commissioning Notaries Public in New Mexico.

Where will I be able to notarize?

A New Mexico Notary can perform notarial acts anywhere within the state's borders.

Who can I notarize for?

You can notarize for any member of the public who makes a reasonable request and meets all requirements for notarization, such as personally appearing before you and providing satisfactory proof of identity. You cannot notarize your own signature or perform a notarization if you have a conflict of interest. The state recommends that you avoid notarizing for family members as your impartiality may be questioned.

What fees can New Mexico Notaries charge per notarization?

New Mexico allows Notaries to charge no more than $5 per notarial act. An additional fee for travel can be charged as long as the signer agrees to it in advance and understands the travel fee is separate from the notarial fee. Notaries may charge a maximum of $0.30 per mile when traveling to perform a notarization.

What should I do if I move or change my name?

You must inform the Secretary of State of any name or address changes within 30 days of the change. If you move, you must inform the bond surety in writing and complete the Notary Public Change of Address form. Mail or fax it to the Secretary of State. No fee applies.

To change your name, you will need to fill out a Notary Public Name Change Application. You must provide a rider from the company that issued your surety bond with the new name as well as an impression of the seal with your new name. A $3 fee applies.

What is the process to renew my Notary Public commission?

If you need to renew your commission and it has been expired for more than one year, you will need to purchase a new $10,000 surety bond, take the required training course, pass the exam and submit a new application. If it has not been more than one year since your commission expired, all you will need to do is purchase a new $10,000 surety bond and submit an application. Within 45 days of your application approval, you will also need to provide proof of your stamp by sending in the Stamp Registration Form.

The New Mexico Secretary of State will send a postcard reminder approximately 30 days before the commission expiration.

How do I become an electronic Notary in New Mexico?

Electronic notarizations are allowed in New Mexico and involve digital documents and electronic signatures during an in-person meeting. To become an electronic Notary in New Mexico, you must first hold an existing commission as an NM Notary Public. Then, you must complete a training course approved by the U.S. Department of Education Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and select the electronic technology you intend to use for your services. You must also get an electronic signature and seal. There is no fee to register as an eNotary.

According to the NM Secretary of State's website, the ACCET accreditations are not being offered at this time. We'll update this page once the course is available.

What do I need to know about remote online notarization in New Mexico?

Starting on January 1, 2022, New Mexico Notaries with an active commission may apply to perform remote online notarizations. To apply, you'll need to provide the Secretary of State with the name of your chosen RON provider, take a course and pass the exam. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you become a remote Notary in New Mexico.

If you're not quite ready yet, we have additional resources where you can learn what a Notary is, what they do and why you should become a commissioned Notary.

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Last updated: Oct 25, 2023

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Get everything you need with a full New Mexico Notary Supply Package.