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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.

Requirements to be a Notary in Maine
Maine Notary Process
What Can I Do With My Maine Commission?
General Notary Public Information

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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

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Maine Notary Process

What is the process to become a Notary Public?

Secretary of State
Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions
101 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0101

  1. Make sure you meet all of your state’s qualifications:
    • 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
  2. Complete your application and the included open-book exam. Submit your application and $50 commission fee to:
  3. Once your application has been processed, a certificate of office and certificate of qualification will be mailed to you. You have 30 days from your date of appointment to appear before a Dedimus Justice to be sworn into office, and 45 days from the date of appointment to return the completed certificate to the Secretary of State. Dedimus Justices can be located through the Secretary of State’s website or in the “Maine Register” in most town offices and libraries.
  4. Purchase your Notary seal (inking stamp or embosser) (optional)
  5. Purchase your journal (record is required for marriages, optional for other notarial acts)
  6. Purchase errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended)
  7. Begin performing notarizations for the public
  8. If you determine you need additional training, seek out continuing education or consult Notary experts for guidance

What is the process to renew my commission as a Maine Notary?
  1. Be sure you continue to meet the qualifications to become a Notary.
  2. Complete the online renewal process available on the Secretary of State’s website, including a 30-question exam.
  3. Pay the $50 renewal application fee by credit card.
  4. Once the process is complete, you will be provided with an oath of office form and additional instructions to download.
  5. To complete the renewal, the applicant 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.
  6. Purchase your Notary seal (inking stamp or embosser).
  7. Purchase your journal (Record is required for marriages, optional for other notarial acts).
  8. Purchase errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).
  9. Begin performing notarizations for the public.
  10. If you determine you need additional training, seek out continuing education or consult Notary experts for guidance.
Which state government office handles Notaries?

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

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. (See below)

What kind of equipment 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.

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What Can I Do With My Maine Commission?

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.

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General Notary Public Information

What is a Notary Public?

A Maine Notary is appointed by the Secretary of State to be an impartial witness to the signing of important documents. Maine Notaries are authorized to administer several official acts, including oaths, affirmations, acknowledgments and officiating weddings.

Why become a Notary?

Notaries perform an important role in preventing fraud and ensuring the integrity of transactions by verifying the identity of document signers. It’s common for employees of many businesses that deal with signed document transactions on a regular basis — such as financial institutions, law firms or corporations — to become Notaries. Some entrepreneurs become commissioned Notaries as a part-time or full-time business for themselves, traveling to a signer’s home or place of business to notarize documents for a fee.

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.

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