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How to Become a Notary Public in South Dakota

If you are interested in becoming a Notary Public in South 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 South Dakota notary or renewing your South Dakota commission, we'll walk you through each step.

South Dakota Notary Process | Requirements to be a Notary in SD | General Notary Public Information

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South Dakota Notary Process

To become a Notary in South Dakota, applicants must complete the state's process:

  1. Make sure you meet all of your state’s qualifications (see below).
  2. Buy a Notary seal and affix an imprint of the seal on your application form.
  3. Get a $5,000 surety bond.
  4. Send your completed application form and $30 commission fee to the Secretary of State.
  5. Buy your journal (required for marriages, optional for other notarial acts).
  6. Consider getting errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).
  7. If you determine additional training is needed, seek out Notary education resources for guidance.

How long does it take to process my SD Notary application?

The South Dakota Department of State recommends allowing 2 to 10 weeks for the processing of a Notary Public application.

How long does a Notary commission last?

The term of a South Dakota Notary commission is six (6) years.

How much does it cost to become a SD Notary?

There is a $30 fee to apply for a Notary Public commission. Additional costs for bonds, Notary tools and education courses vary depending on vendors. There are county fees for filing your bond, signature and commission.

Supply package prices vary among vendors. 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.

Is there required training or an exam to be a South Dakota Notary?

No exam or training course is required, but it is recommended that new Notaries take an education course before beginning their notarial duties.

Do I need a surety bond or insurance?

South Dakota Notaries must purchase a $5,000 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.

What kind of Notary supplies will I need?

In term of supplies, South Dakota Notaries generally need two things: a seal and a journal.

There are three types of Notary seals to choose from: a rubber stamp ink seal, an embosser, or a self-inking "perma-stamp" seal.

While not required for most notarizations, the Secretary of State strongly recommends that Notaries maintain a record of all notarial acts in a journal.

When purchasing a 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 in their journals, which becomes extremely helpful if you’re ever named in a lawsuit. Simple notebooks or glue-bound journals are not acceptable in South Dakota.

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Requirements to be a Notary in South Dakota

Who can become a Notary?

A Notary Public applicant in South Dakota must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a permanent resident of South Dakota, or,
  • Reside in a county bordering SD and work within the state, and,
  • Have no felony convictions.

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General Notary Public Information

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The South Dakota Department of the Secretary of State, Notary Administrator, located in Pierre.

May I become a South Dakota Notary if I am not a U.S. citizen?

Yes. You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to become a South Dakota Notary Public. You must, however, meet all other application requirements.

What do I need to know about remote notarization in South Dakota?

As of July 1, 2019, remote notarization is allowed in South Dakota for paper documents when the notarial officer personally knows the signer. We’ve published an article to help you better understand what remote notarization is and what you need to know.

Where will I be able to notarize?

A South Dakota Notary can perform notarial acts anywhere within the state’s borders.

Who can I notarize for?

You are licensed to notarize for any member of the public, as long as the request meets all statutory requirements for notarization.

How can I renew my Notary Public commission?

The process for renewing as a South Dakota Notary is the same as applying for a new commission in the state (see above).

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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?

Get everything you need with a full South Dakota/ Notary Supply Package.