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Can I use a Notary stamp that's missing my middle initial?

I ordered a stamp from a company that failed to include my middle initial of “K”.  Can I write the “K” in in my seal impressions, or do I need to order a new seal?K.H., North Carolina

No, you cannot write in your middle initial in the seal impression after stamping it and you’ll have to purchase a new seal. The name on your notarial seal must be exactly as it appears on your commission (GS 10B-37[b]). If your commission was issued to you with your middle initial, the seal must contain the middle initial.

Hotline answers are based on the laws in the state where the question originated and may not reflect the laws of other states. If in doubt, always refer to your own state statutes. – The Editors

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32 Comments

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Desiree

08 Feb 2021

I'm in CA. I know I cannot use abbreviations in my journal. However, I would like to order a date stamp to use, which abbreviates the month. Is this ok to use? I cannot find a stamp that just uses numerals. Thank you.

National Notary Association

12 Feb 2021

Hello. Since the CA SOS has directed that no shortcuts such as ditto marks should be used in a journal entry, to be on the safe side we recommend that you do not use an abbreviated date stamp.

cdeborahmt6@aol.com

15 Aug 2021

Do I have to use my middle name for the notary stamp? My middle name is long, could I use my initial?

National Notary Association

17 Aug 2021

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Andrea I. Nemesszeghy

03 Mar 2022

My original notary included an initial for my middle name. When I renewed it they used my full middle name. I am in the state of Alabama. Will I need a new seal impression with my full middle name?

National Notary Association

22 Apr 2022

Yes, the name on the seal should be the same as on the commission certificate.

Julia Jasiunas

04 Sep 2022

Hi, I just completed my 6 hour course and only put my first and last name on the certificate. I have two middle names on my driver's license. Is this acceptable? I would prefer to only use my first and last name. Please advise. Thank you!

National Notary Association

07 Sep 2022

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

Cyann Caldwell

21 Oct 2022

My notary & stamp includes my middle name. When notarizing, do I also have to sign using my middle name or can I leave the middle name off?

National Notary Association

21 Oct 2022

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Cyann Caldwell

21 Oct 2022

Yes, I am commissioned in Oklahoma.

National Notary Association

24 Oct 2022

Hello, thank you. The name you write on a Notary certificate must exactly match the name on your official Notary commission.

Landry

23 Oct 2022

Hello. I am in NYS. do I need to have my middle name on my notary application?

National Notary Association

13 Dec 2022

You do not need to have your middle name on the Notary application. Specifically, the instructions on the application indicates the following: “The name printed in which you wish to be commissioned must conform exactly to the signature that will be used as a notary public. Initials may be used, as in John A. Doe or J. Arthur Doe, but NOT J. Doe or J.A. Doe.”

Damary Torres

15 Jan 2023

On my iowa commission certificate it has my middle initial. When i ordered my stamp and i got to ad my middle initial cam I request a name change to remove middle initial on my certificate?

National Notary Association

24 Jan 2023

Hello. The Iowa Secretary of State's website has the following statement about name changes: "If you change your name, you may use your new name or continue using your former name through the end of your term. If you use your new name, inform the Secretary of State’s Office immediately of the change. Occasionally, a third party requests certification of a Commission. The Secretary of State cannot certify a commission when the notary’s name has changed and is different than what the records reflect. If you move, inform the office of your new home address. If you change employers, notify the office of the your new employer and new address."

Quita

21 Jan 2023

Hello, I am in NC and used my middle name on my notary application, how would I change this to just use my first and last?

National Notary Association

24 Jan 2023

Hello. Within 45 days of a legal name change, the Notary must inform the Secretary by fax, email or certified mail, return receipt requested, and must include both the old and the new name. The Notary may continue to use the old name in notarizing until: (a) receiving a confirmation from the Secretary; (b) obtaining a new seal with the new name; and (c) requalifying with the county register of deeds in the new name (GS 10B-51). If a name change occurs at the same time as a move to a new county, the Notary must apply for a new commission within 45 days of the name change, but may continue to notarize using the old name and seal until: (a) receiving a new appointment from the Secretary; (b) obtaining a new seal with the new name and county; and (c) qualifying with the register of deeds in the new county within 45 days of commissioning (GS 10B-53).

meilinealmonte@gmail.com

23 Jan 2023

Hello, Just got my commission certificate, from Florida state, and it has my full name (first, middle, and last name, 3 words, 7 characters each, 21 letters in total). Does my seal/stamp require my full name, or can I at least put my middle initial instead of the entire name? Also when writing my name on a notarial act, will I need to write my name the same as the commission certificate, as in full name?

National Notary Association

24 Jan 2023

Hello. When signing your name for a notarization you must write out your name exactly as it appears on your commission. Please see here for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2015/08/avoid-common-notary-certificate-mistakes

Amanda

03 Mar 2023

Do I have to include my full middle name on my notary application in Virginia?

National Notary Association

14 Mar 2023

Hi Amanda, thanks for your question. According to the Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth's Handbook for Notaries, "The name on the application and commission must exactly match the notary’s state issued identification."

Jovanny

14 Apr 2023

Hello, I have my notary commission with the state of California. I was informed I must place my full legal name on my commission stamp. Unfortunately I have 4 names with 7-8 letters each(30 in total) and makes it difficult to fit my full name and Notary public in the same line. Is there a way I can abbreviate my first and middle name or only use one of my last names instead of both? Thank you.

National Notary Association

22 May 2023

In the Notary application, there are two sections that mention your legal name and commission name. According to the instructions, you can use initials for your first and middle names, but your legal last name must match the last name displayed on your commission. If you're unsure about the process, it's recommended to reach out to the secretary of state since they are responsible for issuing the license. They will be able to provide the most accurate guidance in this matter.

Damon Gardner

10 May 2023

Do I have to use my middle name for my notary stamp and signature? I am in Texas and recently commissioned as a notary and remote online notary. I put my middle name on my application because the application ask for it. My middle name is long, could I use my middle initial if not just my first and last name?

National Notary Association

22 Jun 2023

You must sign exactly as stated on your Notary commission. Specifically, Texas law indicates: “A notary public shall sign an instrument … in the name under which the notary public is commissioned” (GC 406.016[b]). “A notary must sign the notarial certificate using the same name that is listed on the commission issued by the secretary of state. However, as long as the name matches, the signature of the notary may be printed, written, typed, stamped, etc.”

Ashley

17 May 2023

I received my Notary Public Identification card and it states my full name including my middle name. I thought that it would only have my middle initial. When I create my stamp does it have to have my full name as it’s stated? This is for NY

National Notary Association

22 Jun 2023

Yes, your stamp will have to have your full name on it since that it how it appears on your Notary Public commission.

Alex

22 May 2023

Hello, I am commissioned in Arizona. My seal includes my middle initial, however the signature on my application did not include my middle initial. I have read that my signature should include the initial since that is how it appears on my seal, but if I do so, my signature won't match the one I initially sent it. Is there something I should do to fix this?

National Notary Association

22 Jun 2023

When performing a notarization, a Notary Public must sign his or her name exactly as it appears on the Notary application and Notary bond.

jackie@altmanassociates.net

11 Jul 2023

I just became a notary in Maryland. I noticed my certification just has first and last name but I also have a middle name. Is it okay to be missing a middle name? Or not even having middle initial? The first and last name is spelled correctly.

National Notary Association

07 Aug 2023

The Maryland Secretary of State indicates that the name on your Notary Commission must match the name on your governments issued photo ID. However, they do provide the following examples for acceptable formats for how your name can appear: The name on your Notary Public Commission must match the name on your government issued photo ID. If your name is Jonathan James Smith, the following names would be acceptable: 1. Jonathan James Smith 2. Jonathan J. Smith 3. Johnathan Smith 4. J. James Smith 5. J. J. Smith If the last name on your government issued photo ID is hyphenated, then your last name on your notary commission should match that. Nicknames cannot be used. Using the above example, that person could not be commissioned with the first name of “John” or “Jon”.

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