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How To Become A Notary Public In New Hampshire

If you are interested in becoming a Notary Public in New Hampshire, 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 New Hampshire notary or renewing your New Hampshire commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

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

 

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Requirements to be a Notary in New Hampshire 

Who can become a Notary?

A Notary Public applicant in New Hampshire must meet the following requirements:

  1. Must be at least 18 years old
  2. Must be a resident of New Hampshire and be endorsed by two New Hampshire Notaries in good standing and a person registered to vote in the state
  3. The Governor also has discretion to disqualify an applicant based on previous criminal convictions. Applicants must sign a written statement under oath whether they have been convicted of a crime that has not been annulled by a court, other than minor traffic violations
  4. Applicants must complete a State Police Records Check Form

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New Hampshire Notary Process

What is the process to become a Notary Public?
  1. Make sure you meet all of your state’s qualifications:
    • Must be at least 18 years old
    • Must be a resident of New Hampshire and be endorsed by two New Hampshire Notaries in good standing and a person registered to vote in the state
    • The Governor also has discretion to disqualify an applicant based on previous criminal convictions. Applicants must sign a written statement under oath whether they have been convicted of a crime that has not been annulled by a court, other than minor traffic violations
    • Applicants must complete a State Police Records Check Form
  2. Complete your application form. Submit your application and $75 commission fee to:
    • Department of State
      State House - Room 204
      Concord, N.H. 03301
  3. Once your application has been processed, your commission, oath, index card and other information will be mailed to you.
  4. Sign and take your oath of office in the presence of two Notaries Public OR two justices of the peace OR one Notary Public and one justice of the peace. Those who sign your oath should also sign your commission.
  5. Return the oath to the secretary of state's office as soon as possible.
  6. Keep the commission for your records. Sign the index card as required and mail to the Superior Court of the county in which you reside.
  7. Purchase your Notary seal (inking stamp or embosser)
  8. Purchase your journal (optional)
  9. Purchase errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended)
  10. Begin performing notarizations for the public
  11. If you determine you need additional training, seek out continuing education or consult Notary experts for guidance

What is the process to renew my Notary Public commission?

The renewal process is the same as the process you completed for your initial commission. A renewal application will be mailed to you approximately three months prior to the date your current commission is due to expire. Renewal applications are not available online.

How long does a New Hampshire Notary commission last?

The term of a New Hampshire Notary commission is five years.

How long does it take?

Review and approval of applications takes from eight to ten weeks.

How much does it cost?

There is a $75 fee to apply for a Notary Public commission. Additional costs for 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 New Hampshire Notary commission.

Do I need to take an exam?

No, an exam is not required.

What kind of equipment will I need?

New Hampshire Notaries must use either a rubber stamp inked seal or an embosser for all notarial acts for paper documents.

While not required by law, it is strongly recommended that Notaries maintain a record of all notarial acts in a 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.

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.

What is a surety bond and do I need one?

New Hampshire Notaries are not required to purchase a surety bond 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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What Can I Do With My New Hampshire Commission?

Where will I be able to notarize?

A New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire Notary is appointed by the Governor to be an impartial witness to the signing of important documents. New Hampshire Notaries are authorized to administer several official acts, including oaths, affirmations and acknowledgments.

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.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

While the Governor appoints Notaries, the New Hampshire Office of the Secretary of State, located in Concord, regulates and maintains records on them.

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

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

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