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Everything You Need to Know About Your Notary Seal Stamp or Seal Embosser

General Seal Information

What is a Notary Seal?
Difference Between Stamps and Embossers
How to Get a Notary Seal
When To Use Your Notary Seal

Seal Stamps

How To Use
Re-Inking Instructions


Tips For Using Your Notary Seal

Notary Seal Tips

About Your NNA Seal Order

Order Status / Where Is My NNA Seal?
Returns & Refunds

Seal Embossers

General Information
Assembly Instructions

General Seal Information

What is a Notary Seal?

As a Notary, your official Notary seal stamp or seal embosser is your most-used tool. The Notary seal is the impression of the Notary Public inked stamp or crimping embosser. It is used to authenticate the Notary's signature and make the notarial act official. The imprint of the Notary seal contains the Notary Public's commission information.

Difference Between Stamps and Embossers

The term "Notary seal" is often used interchangeably with stamp and embosser. Some states refer to seals as "stamps" while other states use "seal" to reference an embosser.

Notary Stamp: Notary seal stamps are inked rubber stamps that imprint state-required information — usually the Notary Public's name, state of commission and date of commission expiration. Notary stamps are usually rectangular, but some states require a round stamp. Each state maintains its own requirement for the stamps used by its Notaries. Below are some examples of inked rubber stamp imprints.

Style Stamp - BlueInked Rubber Stamp - Rectangular (Style Stamp - Rectangular) (Sample Impression)

Style Stamp - RoundInked Rubber Stamp - Round (Style Stamp - Round) (Sample Impression)

Notary Embosser: Notary embossers are a metal clamping device that produces a raised indentation of the Notary Publics commission information (usually name and state of commission). Notary embossers are round in shape and, prior to most states adopting the inked rubber stamp, were the traditional method for documenting a notarization. Some states still require a raised embossed seal, but embossers are more commonly used in conjunction with the inked rubber stamp. Embossed seals are not photographically reproducible alone, but can be with an embossment inker. Below is an example of a seal embosser.

Seal Embosser Seal Embosser (Sample Impression)

At some point, you may encounter the presence of "L.S." on a certificate. "L.S." is the abbreviation of the term Locus Sigilli, which means "place of the seal." It appears on some documents to indicate where the Notary's seal should be placed. Seals should be placed near "L.S." on a certificate and not over the words.

How to get a Notary Seal

Each state has its own set of requirements in order to receive a Notary seal. Our Seal & Stamp requirements page contains a state-by-state guide on which documents are needed and what to do with those documents. In most cases, you need to be a commissioned Notary Public prior to receiving your seal.

When to Use a Notary Seal

Each state has its own unique set of rules and regulations when performing a notarization. NNA members can visit our online US Notary Reference Manual for much more information regarding your state. You can use your Notary seal until your commission expiration date. Once your Notary commission expires, you must properly dispose of your Notary seal.

Notary Seal Stamps

Using Your NNA Stamp

Make sure your document is on a firm, flat surface for stamping. Stamping documents on stacks of paper, files or magazines may produce an unacceptable image on your document that may later be rejected.

  • Place the printing surface of your stamp flatly on your document
  • Hold your stamp with your thumb and fingers; do not press down with the palm of your hand
  • Quickly press and release

The image should CLEARLY show all the letters and numbers, the stamp border and the state seal, if included.

Not recommended for onion skin or mylar documents.

Warning: Your stamp is heat sensitive and must be stored at room temperature. Exposing your stamp to heat will cause damage and poor impressions. Keep exposed lettering from sharp surfaces.

Cleaning Your Stamp

Apply and remove a piece of clear tape to the raised letter surface of your stamp to collect dust and dirt. If your stamp includes a removable cover, be sure to replace the cover immediately after using your stamp.

Re-Inking Instructions

Download our inking instructions for your Notary stamp. If you need to purchase re-inking fluid for your Notary stamp, please visit our Notary Seal Accessory page.

Important: If you have a pre-inked stamp, use oil-based ink only when re-inking your stamp. Using any other type of ink may damage your stamp and cause your impression to bleed.
If you have a self-inking stamp, replacement ink cartridges should be used. This will ensure your stamp consistently delivers clean, uniform impressions every time.

Notary Seal Embossers

General Information

The embosser is designed for quick, one-hand operation. Our embossing mechanism reduces the amount of effort required, making each embossment an easy one. Keep your seal locked when not in use to ensure the embosser seal gives a clean and sharp impression. Each embosser is made to meet your state's guidelines.

Please Note: Embossers are extremely heat sensitive and must be kept out of direct or extreme heat. Exposure to heat will cause the seal to malfunction.

Assembly Instructions

Download our assembly instructions for your Notary seal embosser. In just three short steps, you will be ready to perform notarizations!

About Your NNA Seal Order

Order Status

You can check the shipping status for any order you have placed by checking your Order History from your NNA online account.

Most Notary seals require commission verification before they are shipped (check your state's requirements). Notary seals and embossers are custom-made to your state's specifications with the information shown on your commission paperwork. Once all required information has been verified, it takes approximately 2 business days to manufacture and ship a seal stamp.

If you have any additional questions regarding the status of your seal, please contact the NNA.

Returns & Refunds

NNA seals are guaranteed for the life of your commission. If incorrect supplies are ordered, exchanges will only be made if supplies are returned within 30 days in their original condition. No refunds are provided for "personalized" supplies, such as stamps and embossers. If you have additional questions, please email the NNA or visit our Returns FAQs.

Tips for Your Notary Seal

Make every notarization a perfect one. Tips and hints from the NNA's Hotline are included. The NNA Hotline is a service in which you can get answers to all your notarization questions, and is included in NNA membership.

Fixing A Bad Seal Impression
NNA Hotline Tip: Embossers
NNA Hotline Tip: Using Smaller Stamps
What To Do With Old Notary Seals
More NNA Hotline Tips

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