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Hotline Tip: How Do I Properly Dispose Of My Outdated Notary Seal?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesI recently renewed my commission and received my new Notary seal. How do I go about properly destroying my old Notary seal? – J.N.

If the outdated item is a self-inking seal, you should deface the rubber part of the seal in a way that renders it unable to make an impression. I many cases a sharp object would suffice. An embosser must also be defaced so it is unable to make an impression. In this case it is necessary to use a tool or method that is capable of obscuring the embosser plates.

There is no statute addressing specifically how to destroy your seal, so your goal is to simply ensure that the seal is no longer useable, thereby preventing theft and/or fraud.


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Linda Lopez

29 Mar 2015

My husband was a notary and he just passed in Jan. What do I do with his notary things that have not expired?

National Notary Association

01 Apr 2015

Hello Linda. We're sorry for your loss. In order to answer your question, can you please tell us what state your husband was commissioned in? If you need a response quickly, you can also contact our Hotline counselors at

Catherine Wilson Puhala

15 Jun 2015

My father was a Notary Public in Kanawha County, WV. He has been deceased since December, 1978. His seal is the old type that actually makes an imprint. No date is contained on the imprint. Is it of any value and if not, how should I dispose of it?

National Notary Association

16 Jun 2015

Hello Catherine. We don't know if the seal is of any value as an antique. If you wish to dispose of it, you would need to disassemble or deface the seal so that it could not be used by another person after disposal.

Lillian Sims-Travers

19 Jun 2015

I recently updated my last name due to marriage. I ordered & received my new stamp and my old one needs to be returned. It doesn't expire until Oct. 3, 2015. Do I just deface the rubber imprint and return it to NNA or just deface the stamp, so it can't be used?

National Notary Association

22 Jun 2015

Hello. Please contact our Customer Care team at to confirm if you need to return the obsolete stamp.

Johnette Jeffcoat

21 Jul 2015

My Notary Seal was stolen from my vehicle. I will order a new one but wondered if I should report this to someone.

National Notary Association

28 Jul 2015

Hello. You may wish to report the theft to local law enforcement and get a copy of the report for your records. That way, if someone attempts to fraudulently use your seal, you will have evidence that it was stolen. You may also wish to contact your state Notary-regulating agency and report the theft to them.


06 Sep 2016

Where can I securely recycle my expired notary stamp? I live in Colorado.

National Notary Association

12 Sep 2016

Hello. Colorado requires that an expired seal be delivered to the Secretary of State's office when the Notary's commission expires and will not be renewed. (CRS 12-55-115[2])

CM Rohlin

07 Oct 2016

I've been looking on the internet to find out if New York State requires me to return my expired seal but i can't find out anything. Can you help?

National Notary Association

10 Oct 2016

Hello. The use of a seal is optional in New York, so there are not any state requirements regarding disposal of an expired seal. If you throw away your seal, we recommend first making sure the seal can't be re-used (for example, by cutting the rubber stamp) before throwing it away. Always be sure take proper safety precautions when using sharp tools or other objects to render an expired seal unusable.


09 Dec 2016

The previous office manager was a notary and the company payed for her stamp.. by law would we need to return to her or dispose of it?

National Notary Association

09 Dec 2016

Hello. A Notary's stamp is the property of the Notary regardless of who pays for it. Only the Notary may use the seal and the seal must remain in sole possession of the Notary if the Notary changes jobs, even if the company paid for the seal. A company may not retain possession of an employee's seal if the Notary changes jobs.

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