Your Cookies are Disabled! sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

How To Become A Notary Public In Maine

If you are interested in becoming a Notary Public in Maine, this practical guide will answer many common questions. Learn about notarial duties, and find out how you can become a commissioned Notary. Once you are ready to begin the process of becoming a Maine notary or renewing your Maine commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

Maine Notary Process | Requirements to be a Notary in Maine | General Notary Public Information

Start your Notary career now.

Get everything you need with a full Maine Notary supply package.

Maine Notary Process

What is the process to become a Notary Public?

  1. Make sure you meet all of your state’s qualifications (see below).
  2. Complete your application and the included open-book exam.
  3. Submit your application and $50 commission fee to the Secretary of State.
  4. Receive your Certificate of Office and Certificate of Qualification from the state. Take note of your date of appointment for the next steps.
  5. You must appear before a Dedimus Justice to be sworn into office within 30 days.
  6. You must return the completed certificate to the Secretary of State within 45 days.
  7. Buy a Notary journal (required for marriages, optional for other notarial acts)
  8. Buy a Notary seal and consider getting errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).
  9. If you determine you need additional training, seek out continuing education or consult Notary experts for guidance.

Where can I find a Dedimus Justice?

Dedimus Justices can be located through the Secretary of State’s website or in the “Maine Register” in most town offices and libraries.

How long does a Maine Notary commission last?

The term of a Maine Notary commission is seven years for a Maine resident, and four years for a New Hampshire resident.

How much does it cost?

There is a $50 fee to apply for a Notary Public commission. Additional costs for bonds, Notary tools and education courses vary depending on vendors.

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.

What kind of training will I need?

A training course is not required to apply for a Maine Notary commission.

Do I need to take an exam?

Yes. The application form includes a written, open-book exam that must be completed and passed by the applicant. Note that there is a different application and testing process when renewing your commission.

What kind of supplies will I need?

Though not required by law, Maine Notaries may choose to use a rubber stamp inking seal or an embosser for all notarial acts. Either an inking stamp or embosser must be used as the official seal.

Maine Notaries are required to keep a record of any marriages they perform. The Secretary of State also strongly recommends that Notaries maintain a record of all notarial acts in a bound, consecutively numbered journal.

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. For example, if you are a mobile or retail Notary, an ID checking guide is recommended because you are constantly dealing with different people, as opposed to someone who notarizes in the same setting for the same group of people day after day.

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 Maine.

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. A second seal can help you avoid downtime if your seal is ever misplaced, and an embosser can help add an additional layer of fraud prevention security.

What is a surety bond and do I need one?

As a Maine Notary, you are not required to purchase a surety bond to protect signers against financial damages resulting from your negligence or misconduct. A surety bond is a financial guarantee that you will fulfill his or her obligations to notarize in compliance with state laws. This specifically protects the public, not the you. Any damages paid from the bond go to cover any signer’s losses and must be paid back to the surety company by you.

You can insure yourself 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 would cover your legal fees and damages, up to the amount of the policy.

Back to Top

Requirements to be a Notary in Maine

Who can become a Notary?

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

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must be a resident of Maine or an adjacent state who is regularly employed or carries on a business in Maine. Self-employed New Hampshire residents must submit a notarized affidavit that their business is physically located in Maine and authorized to do business in the state. New Hampshire applicants working for a Maine company must submit a notarized affidavit they are employed in Maine and the applicant’s employer must submit a notarized affidavit that the business is physically located in Maine and authorized to do business in the state.
  • Must demonstrate proficiency in English
  • Must not have had a Notary commission revoked or suspended or official misconduct in Maine or any other jurisdiction for five years prior to application
  • Must not have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for one year or more, or of a lesser offense incompatible with the duties of a Notary, during the 10 years prior to application for the Notary commission

Back to Top

General Notary Public Information

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Maine Department of the Secretary of State, Notary Public Section, located in Augusta.

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

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

Where will I be able to notarize?

A Maine 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.

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

Before starting the renewal process, be sure you still meet the qualifications to become a Notary. You'll need to complete the online renewal process available on the Secretary of State’s website, including a 30-question exam and pay the $50 renewal application fee.

Once the process is complete, you will be provided with an oath of office form and additional instructions to download. You must (a) have the municipal clerk or registrar of voters validate the application for residency, (b) have the form notarized, (c) appear before a Dedimus Justice to take the oath of office and (d) return the application and “Certificate of Qualification”(oath of office) to the Secretary of State’s office by the deadline.

Back to Top

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.

Are you ready to get started?

Get everything you need with a full Maine Notary Supply Package.