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How to Become a Notary Public in Delaware

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

  1. Make sure you meet all requirements for a Notary commission (see below).
  2. Have your form of payment (electronic check or credit card) ready before you fill out the application.
  3. Register and apply online. You'll need a valid email address to create your account.
  4. Complete the application form.
  5. Submit the form and $60 fee to the Secretary of State.
  6. Once you receive the commission certificate by email, print and sign it.
  7. Go to a Notary Public to take your oath of office.
  8. Return a copy to the Notary Public Section of the Secretary of State’s office. Instructions will be included in the commission email.
  9. Buy your Notary seal.

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In This Guide: Delaware Notary Process | DE Notary Requirements | General Notary Public Information

More Details About the Delaware Notary Process

Below is more information about the application process for a DE Notary Public commission.

How much does it cost?

It will cost $60 for a new or renewing Notary Public two-year term and $90 to renew with a four-year term.

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.

Some vendors may package items with additional fees — processing fees for example. Training can be included in package prices for new Notaries, although the quality of education can vary. Some providers offer their own Notary courses while others do not have the on-staff expertise to develop and support educational content. Several vendors offer Notaries live question and answer support, and others are not able to offer such assistance.

How long does it take?

It can take one to two weeks to become commissioned as a Notary Public in Delaware depending on your availability and the time the Secretary of State needs to process your application.

How long does a Delaware Notary commission last?

A Notary's first term is two years, but renewing Notaries may request a two-year or four-year term renewal.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Delaware

Learn how you can qualify to become a Notary in the First State.

Who can become a Notary?

A Notary Public applicant in Delaware must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be of good character and reputation
  • Have a reasonable need for a Notary commission
  • Maintain legal residence in the state of Delaware, or be a non-resident who works in Delaware
  • Not have been convicted of a felony unless your rights have been restored
  • Not be convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude

Is there training or an exam required to become a DE Notary?

Delaware does not require a training course or an exam for Notaries.

What kind of supplies will I need?

Delaware Notaries must authenticate all official acts with a black-inked rubber stamp or an embosser. The following information must be on the seal:

  • Your name as it appears on your commission
  • The words "Notary Public"
  • The words "State of Delaware"
  • The words "My commission expires on _______ (date)"

When shopping for seal stamps, quality and durability can vary greatly among vendors. Stamps should not bleed during or after use, as this can cause county officials to reject documents due to smudging.

While a Notary journal is not required by law, Delaware highly recommends Notaries keep one for their own records. 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 simply do not offer the same level of security.

Supplies are sold by most vendors in packages, which can sometimes provide savings. However, not all vendor packages are created equal — they can vary greatly in terms of quality and content. If you are a new Notary or renewing your commission, the types and quantity of notarizations can require different tools of the trade.

What is a surety bond and why do I need one?

The state of Delaware does not require Notaries to purchase a surety bond to protect document signers against financial losses. However, 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.

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General Notary Public Information

Have more questions about being a Delaware Notary? We’ve got you covered.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Delaware Office of Secretary of State, Notary Public Section, located in Dover, DE, issues Notary Public commissions.

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

Yes, provided you meet the other requirements listed previously.

Where will I be able to notarize?

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

Who can I notarize for?

Any member of the public, as long as the request meets all statutory requirements for notarization. The state strongly advises against notarizing any document in which you have a financial gain or beneficial interest. While Delaware law does not specifically prohibit you from notarizing for a spouse or relatives, it's a best practice to refrain from such notarizations in case your role as an impartial witness is ever called into question.

How much can Delaware Notaries charge for their services?

Delaware Secretary of State sets the maximum fee Notaries can charge at $5 per notarial act.

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

If you move, you must update your Notary profile with your new address within 30 days of the change.

For name changes, you can perform notarizations by signing both your old and new names (e.g. "Jane A. Doe now known as Jane A. Smith") until your commission expires or you can update your Notary profile with your new name. Once the Notary Public Section receives notification of the change, it will send you a name change certificate by email at which point you'll be able to get a new stamp bearing your new name. There is no fee to change your name.

In addition to address and name changes, you're required to notify the Secretary of State of an email change. To do so, you must either call the Notary Public Section at 302-739-4111 and press 3 and press 3 or email notary@delaware.gov. Be prepared to answer basic questions about yourself and have your Notary Public ID on hand. The SOS will not request your profile password.

What is the process to renew my commission as a Delaware Notary Public?

Approximately 30 days before your commission expires, you'll receive an email reminder to renew. Renewal applicants may apply for either a two-year term ($60 fee) or a four-year term ($90 fee). You may not renew more than 30 days before your commission expiration date.

Log into your Notary profile at the Secretary of State's website and click the "Renew Commission" link. Review and update your information as directed, then submit and pay for the renewal.

How do I become an electronic Notary in Delaware?

Electronic notarizations are in-person transactions that involve digital documents and electronic signatures. To become a DE electronic Notary, you must be at least 18 years old, demonstrate good character and reputation, present a reasonable need for an eNotary commission, and be a legal resident of Delaware or nonresident who maintains an office or regular place of employment in the state.

Delaware is not accepting eNotary commission applications at this time, as it is in the beginning stages of implementing the eNotary program. We will update this page when more information becomes available.

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

While electronic notarizations are allowed in Delaware, remote online notarization (RON) is not. Check out the NNA Bulletin to learn where RON is legal and how they work.

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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