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How To Become A Notary Public In North Dakota

If you're 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 ND | General Notary Public Information

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North Dakota Notary Process

What is the process to become a Notary Public in North Dakota?

If you want to apply to become a North Dakota Notary, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Make sure you meet all of your state’s requirements (see below).
  2. Complete an application form.
  3. Bring the form to a commissioned Notary. They will administer your oath of office and notarize your signature on the requirements affidavit section.
  4. Buy a $7,500 surety bond and complete the Notary Bond form.
  5. Submit your application, bond and $36 fee to the Secretary of State.
  6. Receive your Certificate of Authorization and Verification Form from the Secretary of State.
  7. Buy an official Notary seal. You'll need to preset your Authorization to your stamp vendor.
  8. Place an impression of the stamp on the Verification Form. Return it to the Secretary of State before the date on the Form.
  9. If approved, the Secretary of State will issue your Notary commission.
  10. Get a Notary journal to record your remote online notarizations. Journals are optional, but strongly recommended, for traditional notarization.
  11. Consider getting errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).

How long does a North Dakota Notary commission last?

The term of a Notary commission in North Dakota is four years.

How much does it cost?

There is a $36 fee to apply for a Notary Public commission. Additional costs for your surety bond will vary depending on the vendor you choose to work with.

Supply package prices also vary among vendors and some may come with hidden fees. 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 supplies will I need?

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

If you've notified the Secretary of State that you plan to offer Remote Online Notarization services, you must also keep a tamper-evident journal of those transactions (digital or tangible). While not required by law, the state strongly recommends that Notaries maintain a permanently bound record of all traditional notarial acts in a journal, too.

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, a guide for checking ID credentials 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 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.

When purchasing a hardcopy 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.

What is a surety bond and do I need one?

North Dakota Notaries are required to have 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.

Do I need to take Notary training or pass an exam?

No. A Notary class or training is not required. Passing a test is not required to apply for a North Dakota Notary commission.

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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. You must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
  • Able to read and write English
  • A resident, employee in, or live in a border county that extends reciprocity to Notaries

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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. You may not notarize a document if you or your spouse will directly benefit from the transaction.

How to become a Remote Online Notary in North Dakota

As of August 1, 2019, remote online notarization (RON) is allowed in ND and Notaries must keep a journal of all RON acts performed.

Before you start offering this service to remotely located signers, you must notify the Secretary of State and identify the technology provider(s) you intend to use.

The Secretary of State may adopt rules about RON at a later date and we will update this section at that time.

We've also published an article with more general information about RON and what's happening across the country.

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. The Secretary of State will notify you at least 30 days before your 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?

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