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How to Become a Notary Public in Missouri

To become a Notary Public in Missouri, applicants must follow these steps:

  1. Meet all of your state's qualifications (see below).
  2. Read the Missouri Notary Public Handbook and take the state-approved Notary training course.
  3. Take and pass the exam.
  4. Complete the Application for Commission as a Notary Public form online or by mail.
  5. Submit your application, completion certificate and $25 fee to the Secretary of State. The state will send your commission to your county clerk's office.
  6. Get a $10,000 surety bond.
  7. Upon being notified by the county clerk, you must file your bond and take your oath of office in person within 60 days.
  8. Within seven days of the date of the oath, mail your bond, oath of office and signature to the Secretary of State.
  9. Buy your Notary seal and Notary journal.
  10. Get E&O insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).

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In This Guide: Missouri Notary Process | MO Notary Requirements | General Notary Public Information

More Details About the Missouri Notary Process

The Missouri Secretary of State has different requirements for traditional, electronic and remote online Notaries. Find more information about applying for a traditional MO Notary Public commission below.

How much does it cost?

There is a $25 fee to apply for a Notary Public commission in Missouri. Additional costs for bonds, Notary tools and education courses vary depending on vendors. There are county fees for filing your bond, signature and commission.

The total cost of commissioning can differ depending on whether you are a new or renewing Notary. 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 MO Notary application?

The Missouri Secretary of State recommends allowing four to six weeks for the processing of a Notary Public application.

How long does a Notary commission last?

The term of a Missouri Notary commission is four years.

Requirements to be a Notary in Missouri

Learn how you can qualify to become a Notary in the Show-Me State.

Who can become a Notary?

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

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a permanent resident alien of the U.S.
  • Be a resident of the MO county where they are applying, or have a work address in that county
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Have no felony convictions

What kind of training will I need?

Prior to submitting an application, the applicant must read the Missouri Notary Public Handbook and complete an online or written Notary training course.

Do I need to take an exam?

Yes, Notary applicants must take and pass an exam. A score of 80% or higher is required to pass.

What kind of supplies will I need?

Missouri Notaries must use an engraved embosser, or a black-inked rubber stamp seal, and a journal for all notarial acts for paper documents. The seal must contain the following information in print in at least eight-point type:

  • Your name as it appears on your commission
  • The words "Notary Seal"
  • The words "Notary Public"
  • The words "State of Missouri"
  • Your commission number assigned by the Secretary of State
  • Your commission expiration date (optional)
  • Your county of commission (optional)

The information in the seal must be surrounded by a border in a rectangular or circular shape no larger than 1/16". The Missouri Notary Public Handbook includes more information regarding what your stamp should look like.

Every Missouri Notary must keep a permanently bound journal of their notarial acts containing numbered pages. Simple notebooks or glue-bound journals are not acceptable in Missouri. A journal with 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.

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

Within 45 days of appointment, Missouri Notaries are required to purchase a $10,000 surety bond from an authorized company to protect signers against financial damages resulting from the Notary's negligence or misconduct. It's important to understand that the bond does not protect you from financial liability. You must repay the surety company if you fail to notarize in compliance with state laws.

The best way for Notaries to protect themselves against possible legal costs is to purchase errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy. Though not required by law, it is still strongly recommended. An E&O policy covers a Notary's legal fees and damages up to the amount of the policy.

General Notary Public Information

Have more questions about being a Notary? Read on below.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Missouri Office of Secretary of State, Commissions Division, handles Notaries and is located in Jefferson City, MO.

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

You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to become a Missouri Notary Public. You must, however, be a legal resident of the state and meet all other application requirements.

I work in MO, but I do not live there. Can I still notarize in the state?

A resident of another U.S. state may apply for a Missouri Notary commission as long as the applicant work in the state and uses the Notary seal only in the course of employment. A non-resident must have a work address in the MO county where commissioning is sought and authorize the Missouri Secretary of State to accept services of process or other legal notifications on the applicant's behalf.

Where will I be able to notarize?

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

Who can I notarize for?

A Missouri Notary can notarize for any member of the public with a few exceptions. Notaries are prohibited from notarizing their own signatures or that of their spouse, domestic partner, ancestor, descendant or sibling of the principal, including in-laws, step-relatives and half relatives.

What fees can Missouri Notaries charge per notarization?

Missouri allows Notaries to charge $5 for most notarial acts; $1 per page for a copy of certification. You may charge an additional fee for travel, but the signer must agree to it in advance. If you choose to charge for notarial acts, you must display an English-language fee schedule in at least 12-point type. This must be on display at your place of work or business or presented to signers if you're outside your regular place of work or business.

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

Any changes to your address or name must be reported to the Secretary of State within 10 days of the change. To update your information, you must send the SOS a tangible receipt, signed notice of the change with both your old and new addresses (or old and new names), and a $5 fee. For address changes, you must suspend performing notarial acts until you've received confirmation of the address change from the SOS and notified the surety of the change in writing.

Notaries who change their names by court order or marriage are required to use their former name in notarial acts until they've received confirmation from the Secretary, obtained a seal with their new name and notified the surety of the change in writing.

What is the process to renew my Missouri commission?

There isn't an official renewal process in Missouri. You must apply as though you are being commissioned for the first time. The earliest you can start the process is six weeks before your current commission expires.

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

As of August 28, 2020, Missouri authorizes remote online notarizations (RONs). Learn how to become an MO remote online Notary in this step-by-step 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 Missouri Notary Supply Package.