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How to Become a Notary Public in Missouri

If you are interested in becoming a Notary Public in Missouri, this practical guide will answer many common questions. Learn about notarial duties, necessary supplies, and how to get commissioned in the state. Once you are ready to begin the process of becoming a Missouri notary or renewing your Missouri commission, we'll help you through the process.

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

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Missouri Notary Process

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.
  3. Complete a state-approved Notary training course.
  4. Complete an application form.
  5. Submit your application, training completion certificate and $25 fee to the Secretary of State.
  6. The state will send your commission to your county clerk's office.
  7. You'll receive notice from the county clerk that you have 90 days to appear in person.
  8. Get your $10,000 surety bond, file it with the county clerk and take your oath of office.
  9. Buy your Notary seal and Notary journal.
  10. Consider getting errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended)

How long does it take to process my MO Notary application?

The Missouri Department of State recommends allowing 4 to 6 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 (4) years.

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.

What kind of traning will I need?

Prior to submitting an application, the applicant must read the Missouri Notary Public Handbook and complete a computer-based Notary training course or other Notary training in a manner prescribed by the Secretary of State. This also applies to reapplications.

Do I need to take an exam?

There is no state-proctored exam required in Missouri.

What kind of supplies will I need?

Missouri Notaries use a rubber stamp ink seal for all notarial acts for paper documents. You may use an embosser in addition to the required rubber stamp seal, but this is optional.

Though no longer required by law, every Missouri Notary may keep a permanently bound journal of his or her 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.

If you are a mobile or retail Notary, a guide to help check identification 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.

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 financially 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.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Missouri 

Who can become a Notary?

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

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a registered voter in county of application or permanent resident alien
  • Reside in the MO county where are applying, or have a work address in that county
  • Be able to read and write in English
  • Have no commission revocation in the previous 10 years
  • Have no felony convictions

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General Notary Public Information

Which state government office handles Notaries?

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

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 except for themelves. Although state law does not prohibit notarizing for relatives, you may have trouble proviing you are impartial witness.

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.

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 6 weeks before your current commission expires.

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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 Missouri Notary Supply Package.