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How to Become a Notary Public in South Dakota

To become a Notary in South Dakota, applicants must complete the state's process:

  1. Make sure you meet all of your state's qualifications (see below).
  2. Buy a Notary seal and affix an imprint of the seal on the Notary Public Application.
  3. Get a $5,000 surety bond.
  4. Send your completed application form and $30 commission fee to the Secretary of State.
  5. Buy your journal (optional, but strongly recommended).
  6. Get E&O insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).
  7. Take Notary education courses for guidance (optional, but strongly recommended).

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In This Guide: South Dakota Notary Process | SD Notary Requirements | General Notary Public Information

More Details About the South Dakota Notary Process

Find more information about the SD Notary Public application process below.

How much does it cost to become an SD Notary?

There is a $30 fee to apply for a Notary Public commission. Additional costs for bonds, Notary tools and education courses vary depending on vendors. There are county fees for filing your bond, signature and commission.

Supply package prices vary among vendors. New Notaries may need more how-to assistance than experienced Notaries. Books, training and live expert assistance are often must-haves for most new Notaries.

How long does it take to process my SD Notary application?

The South Dakota Secretary of State recommends allowing 10-19 days for the processing of a Notary Public application.

How long does a Notary commission last?

The term of a South Dakota Notary commission is six years.

Requirements to be a Notary in South Dakota

Wondering how you can qualify to become a Notary in the Mount Rushmore State? Read on below.

Who can become a Notary?

A Notary Public applicant in South Dakota must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a permanent resident of South Dakota, or of a county bordering SD and work within the state
  • Have no felony convictions

Is there required training or an exam to be a South Dakota Notary?

No training course or exam is required, but it is recommended that new Notaries take an education course before beginning their notarial duties.

What kind of Notary supplies will I need?

In terms of supplies, South Dakota Notaries must use a seal while a journal is optional. A seal may be a rubber stamp or a physical device capable of affixing to or embossing on a tangible document. The seal shape must be a circle, square or rectangle and contain a border surrounding the following information:

  • Your name as it appears on your commission
  • The words "South Dakota"
  • The words "Notary Public"
  • The word "seal," if you use a rubber stamp seal

The words "My commission expires" with your commission expiration date must be displayed outside of the border. This information can be in writing, printed or imprinted using a separate stamp.

While not required for most notarizations, the Secretary of State strongly recommends that Notaries maintain a record of all notarial acts in a journal. When purchasing a journal, there are a few important features to which you must pay close attention. A journal with numbered pages and tamper-proof sewn construction allows Notaries to identify missing pages in their journals, which becomes extremely helpful if you're ever named in a lawsuit. Simple notebooks or glue-bound journals are not acceptable in South Dakota.

Do I need a surety bond or insurance?

South Dakota Notaries must purchase a $5,000 surety bond to protect signers against financial damages resulting from the Notary's negligence or misconduct. A surety bond is a financial guarantee that the Notary will fulfill their obligations to notarize in compliance with state laws. This Notary bond specifically protects the public and not the Notary. Any damages paid from the bond go to cover any signer's losses and must be paid back to the surety company by you.

Notaries can insure themselves against possible legal costs or damages by purchasing a separate, optional errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy. Though not required by law, an E&O policy covers a Notary's legal fees and damages up to the amount of the policy.

General Notary Public Information

Here are answers to the most common questions about Notaries in South Dakota.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The South Dakota Secretary of State, Notary Administrator, located in Pierre, SD, issues Notary Public commissions.

May I become a South Dakota Notary if I am not a U.S. citizen?

Yes. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to become a South Dakota Notary Public. You must, however, meet all other application requirements.

Where will I be able to notarize?

A South Dakota Notary can perform notarial acts anywhere within the state's borders.

Who can I notarize for?

You are licensed to notarize for any member of the public, as long as the request meets all statutory requirements for notarization. You're prohibited from notarizing your own signature.

How much can SD Notaries charge for their services?

South Dakota Notaries may charge a maximum fee of $10 per notarial act.

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

Any changes to your address must be reported to the Secretary of State. You can do so by completing and submitting a Notary Change Form.

For name and/or seal changes, you have three options: 1) Continue using your existing seal with your former name, 2) Continue using your existing seal and writing "presently" or "now" with your new name, or 3) Update the name on your commission.

To update the name on your commission, get a new seal with your new name and imprint it on the Notary Change Form. The Secretary of State will issue a Notary Public Name Change Certificate at no additional filing fee. You must receive confirmation from the Secretary before performing notarial acts with your new information.

How can I renew my Notary Public commission?

The process for renewing as a South Dakota Notary is the same as applying for a new commission in the state (see above).

What do I need to know about remote online notarization in South Dakota?

As of July 1, 2019, remote notarization is allowed in South Dakota for paper documents, commonly referred to as Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (RIN). Remote Notaries can only perform RINs for signers they personally know. To become an SD remote Notary, follow the steps in this guide.

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: Aug 30, 2022

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Get everything you need with a full South Dakota Notary Supply Package.