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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, and find out how you can become a commissioned Notary. Once you are ready to begin the process of becoming a Missouri notary or renewing your Missouri commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

Missouri Notary Process

Requirements to be a Notary in Missouri

General Notary Public Information

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Missouri 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. Read the Missouri Notary Public Handbook.
  3. Complete a Notary training course approved by the Secretary of State.
  4. Complete an application form.
  5. Submit your application, a certificate showing completion of state-approved training and the $25 fee to the Secretary of State Commissions Division.
  6. The state will send your commission to your county clerk.
  7. You'll recieve notice from the county clerk's office that you have 90 days to appear in person to file your bond and take your oath of office.
  8. Purchase your Notary seal and journal
  9. Purchase errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended)
  10. If you determine you need additional training, seek out continuing education or consult Notary experts for guidance

How long does an Missouri Notary commission last?

The term of an Missouri Notary commission is four years.

How long does it take?

The Missouri Department of State recommends allowing 4 to 6 weeks for the processing of a Notary Public commission application.

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

Yes. 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.

What kind of training 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 use of the embosser is optional.

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.

Though no longer required by law, every Missouri Notary may keep a permanently bound journal of his or her notarial acts containing numbered pages.  When purchasing a journal, there are features to which you must pay close attention. 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.  Simple notebooks or glue-bound journals are not acceptable in Missouri.

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.

How much does it cost?

There is a $25 fee to apply for a Notary Public commission. 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 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.

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

Notaries can insure themselves 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 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
  • Registered voter in county of application or permanent resident alien (must submit copy of green card)
  • Be a resident of county of application
  • A resident of another U.S. state may apply for a MO Notary commission as long as the applicant works in MO 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 MO Secretary of State to accept services of process or other legal notifications on the applicant’s behalf
  • Must be able to read and write in English
  • No commission revocation in the previous 10 years
  • A person convicted of a felony may not be able to become a Notary Public in MO

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General Notary Public Information

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Missouri Office of Secretary of State, Commissions Division, 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?

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 Missouri Notary?

Review the application process and instructions on the Department of State’s website. Reapplications should be submitted no earlier than one month prior to commission expiration.

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