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How To Become A Notary Public In North Dakota

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

North Dakota Notary Process

Requirements to be a Notary in North Dakota

General Notary Public Information

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North Dakota 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. Complete your application form. The form includes an oath of office and an affidavit stating that you meet state qualifications to be a Notary. Sign both in the presence of a commissioned Notary Public.
  3. Buy your $7,500 surety bond.
  4. Submit your application and $36 commission fee to the Secretary of State.
  5. The Secretary of State will issue a certificate of authorization after your application is processed.
  6. Buy your Notary stamp. Present the authorization certificate to the vendor you choose. 
  7. Place an impression of the stamp on the certificate of authorization. Return it to the Secretary of State’s office to have your official Notary commission issued.
  8. Buy a Notary journal and consider getting errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).
  9. If you determine you need additional training, seek out continuing education or consult Notary experts for guidance.

How long does a North Dakota Notary commission last?

The term of a North Dakota Notary commission is six years.

How much does it cost?

There is a $36 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 North Dakota Notary commission.

Do I need to take an exam?

No, an exam is not required.

What kind of supplies will I need?

North Dakota Notaries must use a photographically reproducible stamping device for all notarial acts for paper documents.

While not required by law, the state strongly recommends that Notaries maintain a permanently bound 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, which becomes extremely helpful if you are 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?

North Dakota Notaries are required to purchase a $7,500 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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Requirements to be a Notary in North Dakota 

Who can become a Notary?

A Notary Public applicant in North Dakota must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
  • Must be a resident of North Dakota, have a place of employment in North Dakota or reside in a county of a state that borders North Dakota and extends reciprocity to North Dakota border residents regarding Notary commissions.
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Not disqualified to receive a commission under legal grounds for revoking a Notary commission

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General Notary Public Information

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Secretary of State is responsible for commissioning Notaries Public in North Dakota.

May I become an North Dakota Notary if I am not a U.S. citizen?

Yes. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to become a North Dakota Notary Public. You must, however, be a permanent legal U.S. resident and meet all other application requirements.

Where will I be able to notarize?

A North Dakota 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 Notary Public commission?

The renewal process is the same as the process you completed for your initial commission. A reminder notice will be mailed to you approximately 30 days prior to the date your current commission is due to expire and you may renew your commission at that time.

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