Your Cookies are Disabled! sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

Do I need to destroy my Notary seal if I move out of state?

Photo of woman with long dark hair on phone. She is looking at papers in her hand. Text on image reads NNA Hotline Tip.

I have recently moved from Washington state to California. I believe that I am supposed to destroy my seal and keep safe possession of my journal. However, I’m unsure on how to end my commission in Washington, or if I even have to. Please advise what steps I need to take. — M.G., Washington

You are correct, if you move out of Washington state, you must resign your commission with the Department of Licensing in writing and destroy your Notary seal. You must also retain your journals for ten years and notify the Department  of the location where they will be stored.” (RCW 42.45.180 & WAC 308-30-270[2]). You can contact the Department of Licensing at the following address:

Department of Licensing, Notaries Public Program

P.O. Box 9027

Olympia, WA 98507-9027

Phone: 360-664-1550 

For more information about rules for disposing of old Notary seals in other states and  guidelines for rendering obsolete Notary seals unusable, please see our article “What to do with old Notary seals.

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.

View All: Hotline Tips


Add your comment

29 Apr 2024

What if things didn’t go well at California and had to come back to Washington after 1-2 months?

National Notary Association

06 May 2024

Hello. You would still need to resign your commission and destroy your seal if you move out of state. You would not be able to use your old seal after resigning your commission. If you returned to Washington state, you would need to apply for a new Notary commission and seal.

Leave a Comment

Required *

All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.