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Do I have to use a certain color of ink when I notarize?

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As a Notary in New Mexico, what color of ink is required for notarization? Blue ink or black?Z.C., New Mexico

New Mexico law does not specify the color of ink to be used by the Notary Public when completing a certificate for a notarial act. However, they do state that permanent ink should be used. When notarizing paper documents, the stamp must be applied in permanent ink and be capable of being photocopied (NMAC[1]).  Best practice is to use blue or black ink.

Some other states have requirements for the color of ink Notaries should use:

Florida requires Notaries officiating weddings to use black ink when completing required information on marriage documents. 

New York Notaries must “print, typewrite, or stamp or affix by electronic means where performing an electronic notarial act in conformity with Executive Law 135-c, beneath the Notary’s signature in black ink” the following (EL 137):

  1. The New York Notary’s name;
  2. “Notary Public State of New York” or, if applicable and preferred, “Attorney and Counselor at Law State of New York”;
  3. Name of county where the New York Notary originally qualified for commission;
  4. The New York Notary’s commission expiration date;
  5. Wherever required, name of county in which the New York Notary’s certificate of official character is filed, using the words, “Certificate filed … County.”
The seal of a Utah Notary must use purple ink.

The requirement for Illinois Notaries to use black ink was repealed in 2013.

For questions about other states not mentioned above, please contact the Notary Hotline for assistance.

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

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained NNA Hotline consultants to help you with all of your notarial questions. Call 1-888-876-0827, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. PST; Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.

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Add your comment

11 Jan 2024

Can you tell me what color ink is preferred in SC?

National Notary Association

19 Jan 2024

Hello. South Carolina does not specify a particular color of ink.

Tatiana Elliot

15 Jan 2024

I’m a Notary Signing Agent

Terry Alcala

15 Jan 2024

As a notary public that has a small business and run an office, can I charge a "service fee" for any type of notarial act performed?

National Notary Association

19 Jan 2024

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

Ha N Vandervorst

18 Jan 2024

Can I use purple ink for my seal in California? is there any strict for using color ink for CA Notaries?

National Notary Association

29 Jan 2024

Hello. While California does not specify a color for seal ink, the state does require that the seal be photographically reproducible: “The seal of every notary public shall be affixed by a seal press or stamp that will print or emboss a seal which legibly reproduces under photographic methods the required elements of the seal” (GC 8207).


21 Jan 2024

Does Georgia have a stamp color requirement? Also, does Georgia require a notary to use an embosser?

National Notary Association

22 Jan 2024

Hello. Georgia does not specify a particular ink color for notarizations. “The embossment of notarial certificates by the notary’s seal shall be authorized but not necessary, and the use of a rubber or other type stamp shall be sufficient for imprinting the notary’s seal. A scrawl shall not be a sufficient notary seal. An official act must be documented by the notary’s seal” (OCGA 45-17-6[a][1]).

Christopher Carter

22 Jan 2024

In Florida, I prefer to use blue ink to distinguish written entries from the printed form. Though marriage docs do require black ink. Our Notary Seal stamps are black ink.

Dawne Baker

22 Jan 2024

NC color allowed?

National Notary Association

22 Jan 2024

Hello. North Carolina does not specify a color of ink for notarizations.

Linda Colombo

22 Jan 2024

Please advise what color of ink is preferred for notarizations in the state of Ohio. Thank you!

National Notary Association

29 Jan 2024

Hello. Documents that are going to be recorded by a county recorder in Ohio must use black or blue ink (ORC 317.114[A]).

omayra alvelo

12 Feb 2024

I prefer blue. When copies are made you can tell which is the original document notarized.

jenny g

04 Apr 2024

what color ink is preferred for notarization in Colorado

National Notary Association

08 Apr 2024

Hello. Colorado's Notary Handbook states, “Colorado law requires notary stamps to be a rectangular shape but does not have any size or color-of-ink restrictions. However, please consider your clients and the public at large before deciding on a size too small to read, a unique color, or any other unusual variant”

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