How to Become a Missouri Notary
The Missouri Notary Process:
Are you interested in becoming a Missouri notary? Are you interested in generating extra income as a notary, starting your own Missouri notary business, adding a Missouri notary title to your resume, or helping to notarize documents for people in your community? The state appoints Missouri notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. The process to become a notary in Missouri straightforward, and as long as you meet the state notary law requirements listed below, you can apply to become a Missouri notary.
The American Association of Notaries can help you with the Missouri notary application process from start to finish, and when your application is approved, we can manufacture your notary stamp and notary supplies. We can also support you during your Missouri notary commission term to ensure that you fulfill your notary duties accurately. The American Association of Notaries has been helping Missourians become notaries since 1994. With our help, you too can become a notary!
This guide will help you understand:
- Who can become a Missouri notary
- The process to become a Missouri notary
- Basic Missouri notary duties
Qualifications to become a notary in Missouri:
To become a notary in the state of Missouri, a notary applicant must meet the following qualifications:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a registered voter of the county within and for which the applicant is to be commissioned, or a resident alien of the United States.
- Have a residence address in the county within and for which the applicant is commissioned,
- Be able to read and write the English language.
- Not have had a commission revoked during the past ten years.
The process to become a notary in Missouri:
To become a Missouri notary public and receive a Missouri notary public commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the qualification requirements listed in the next section.
- Read the Missouri Notary Public Handbook.
- Complete an online notary training course or take a written notary training course provided by the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.
- Complete an Application for a Commission as a Notary Public form electronically or by mail at the Secretary of State’s website.
- Pay the $25 application filing fee.
- Purchase a $10,000 Missouri notary bond.
- Appear in person within ninety days from the date the commission is issued before the county clerk or deputy and present a $10,000 surety bond, take the oath of office, and submit a handwritten specimen of his or her official signature. The county clerk or deputy will then present the notary with his or her commission certificate.
Note: Failure to qualify within 90 days will result in the commission being canceled.
Can a non-resident become a notary in Missouri?
Yes, a nonresident of Missouri may apply for a commission as a notary public. A nonresident must also meet certain legal requirements in order to qualify:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Be employed in Missouri and use the notary seal in the course of their employment only.
- Have an employee address in the county for which they are commissioned.
- Be able to read and write the English language.
- Not have had a commission revoked in any state during the past ten years.
- Authorize the Secretary of State as their agent and representative to accept service of any process or service of any notice or demand required or permitted by law to be served upon them.
To apply for a nonresident notary commission, go to the Secretary of State’s website.
Is a Missouri notary bond required to become a notary in Missouri?
Yes. A surety bond in the amount of $10,000 is required for new and renewing notaries public. The surety bond must be issued by a company qualified to write surety bonds in Missouri. Click here to purchase a Missouri surety bond or call our office at 800.721.2663.
Do I need a Missouri notary errors & omission insurance?
A Missouri errors and omissions insurance policy is optional. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Missouri notaries public obtain errors and omissions insurance for their personal protection against liability. Errors and omission insurance is designed to protect notaries public from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial damages to the public or a document signer. An E&O policy covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a Missouri notary public selects. To purchase this insurance policy, please visit our website at www.missourinotary.com or call 800.721.2663.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Missouri?
To become a notary public in Missouri, a notary applicant is required to pay an application filing fee of $25 at the time of completing the application for commission as a notary public or reappointment on the Secretary of State’s website. A notary applicant must also pay the cost of obtaining a $10,000 surety bond, a notary stamp, and a notary record book.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Missouri?
The term of office of a Missouri notary public is four years commencing with the date specified in the commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void: (1) by resignation; (2) by death; (3) by revocation; (4) when the notary public ceases to reside or employed in Missouri; or (5) when the notary is no longer a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Missouri?
Missouri notaries public have statewide jurisdiction, and they must be physically within the geographic borders of the state of Missouri.
Who appoints Missouri notaries public?
The Missouri Secretary of State appoints Missouri notaries public. To contact the Missouri Secretary of State, use the following information:
Missouri Secretary of State
Notaries & Commissions Units
Kirkpatrick State Information Center
PO Box 784
(600 W. Main Street, Room 322)
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(866) 223-6535 or (573) 751-2783
How do I renew my Missouri notary commission?
There are no provisions in the notary statute for renewals. Missouri notaries can renew their notary commissions within 60 days before their current commission expiration dates. A Missouri notary public must apply for reappointment and follow the same procedures required for a new appointment.
Are there any exams or notary course requirements?
Yes, each new applicant seeking a commission as a Missouri notary public, including a Missouri notary public reapplying for a subsequent commission must: (1) read the Missouri Notary Public Handbook and (2) take the online notary training course or the written notary training course provided by the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Missouri?
Yes. Missouri law requires all Missouri notaries public to use either an engraved embosser seal or a black inked rubber stamp seal on the document being notarized (RSMo 486.285).
Required Elements: The official seal of a Missouri notary public must include the following:
- The name of the notary public exactly as it appears on his or her commission
- The words "Notary Public"
- The words "State of Missouri"
- The words "Notary Seal"
- The commission number assigned by the Secretary of State
The print on the embosser or stamp must be in type not smaller than eight-point type. The official notary seal may also contain the expiration date of the notary’s commission and county of commission. The official notary seal is the exclusive property of the notary, and the seal may not be used by any other person or surrendered to an employer upon termination of employment. The Great Seal of the State of Missouri cannot be used on the notary stamp. An electronic seal may be used in lieu of an embosser seal or rubber stamp on documents that are electronically notarized, provided it meets the statutory requirements.
Note: If the notary’s official seal is stolen, destroyed, misplaced, damaged, or otherwise rendered inoperable, the notary must provide a written notice to the Secretary of State immediately. The Secretary of State will issue a new commission number for the notary to order a new notary seal. Notice of the lost, stolen, or misplaced notary seal will be posted on the Secretary of State’s website notifying the general public that the notary seal is invalid and that the number is not an acceptable notary commission number.
Is a notary journal required in Missouri?
Yes. Every Missouri notary public is required to keep a permanently bound journal, containing numbered pages, of his or her notarial acts. Notarial acts connected with judicial proceedings and those acts for which the law requires the public record to be filed within ninety days of execution are not required to be logged in the journal.
However, the Secretary of State recommends that notaries record all notarial acts in a journal. If the notary journal is lost, misplaced or stolen, the notary is required to send a written notice to the Secretary of State immediately. For Missouri notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling (800) 721-2663 or visiting our website at www.missourinotary.com.
How much can a Missouri notary charge for performing notarial acts?
Missouri notary fees are set by statute (RSMo 486.350 and 486.270). The maximum allowable fees that a Missouri notary public may charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- $2 for each signature notarized
- $2 for a certified copy
- $1 for any other notarial act
- $25 for an expedited convenience service fee when traveling to perform a notarial act provided that: (1) the notary explains to the signer that the travel fee is separate from the notarial fee and is not specified or mandated by law, and (2) the notary and the signer agree to the fees before the notary affixes his or her official seal.
Note: Travel fees may not exceed the approved federal mileage rates. A Missouri notary public cannot charge or collect a fee for notarizing the signature on any absentee ballot or absentee voter registration.
What notarial acts can a Missouri notary public perform?
A Missouri notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (RSMo 486.250):
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Take verifications upon oath or affirmation
- Certify a copy of a document
- Perform any other act permitted by law
Can I perform electronic notarization in Missouri
The Secretary of State has not adopted rules and/or procedures for electronic notarizations. However, the State of Missouri has enacted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, Revised Statutes of Missouri, Chapter 432, Sections 432.200 through 432.295. Section 432.250 states, “If a signature or record is required to be notarized, the requirement is satisfied if the electronic signature of the notary public, together with all other information required to be included, is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record.”
In addition, Chapter 486.275 states, “If a signature or record is required to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath, notwithstanding the provisions of section 486.285 to the contrary, the requirement is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform such acts, together with all other information required to be included, is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record.”
The Secretary of State adopted rules to implement the provisions of Section 486.275 regarding the electronic signature of a notary public. Pursuant to 15 CSR 30-110.020(5), “the electronic signature and seal of a notary public shall contain the notary’s name exactly as indicated on the notary’s commission, and the electronic seal must contain all elements of a notary seal required by law and meet all other statutory requirements of this state regarding notary seals.”
Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Missouri?
No. Currently, Missouri law prohibits notaries public from performing remote notarizations. Pursuant to 15 CSR 30-110.020(3), “When a notarial act requires an electronic record to be signed, the principal must appear in person before the notary public.” The Secretary of State’s website specifically states that a notary public cannot notarize a document if he or she witnesses it being signed over a webcam, because in order to notarize a document, the signer and notary must be physically in each other’s presence (15 CSR 30-110.020).
How do I change my address?
All Missouri notaries are required to notify the Secretary of State within 30 days of any change to their residence addresses, resident counties, or employment. A notary public is required to send to the Secretary of State the following: (1) a completed “Application for Notary Change of Address in Same County” or the “Change County of Residence” amendment form; (2) a filing fee of $5.00 either by check or money order made payable to the State Director of Revenue; (3) his or her current commission certificate; and (4) his or her current notary seal.
If a notary changes his or her county residence, the notary must apply for an amended commission for the new county of residence within 30 days of the county change. The notary must be a registered voter in the new county before submitting the application. For a county change, the notary will need to check with the entity that issued his or her surety bond to find out whether he or she will need a rider that indicates the name of the new county of residence. A notary public may file electronically or obtain the amendment form on the Missouri Secretary of State's website.
A nonresident Missouri notary must follow the above-mentioned procedures if there is a change of employment in the same county or in a different county during his or her nonresident notary’s commission. The notary must file the notice of this change in employer or county within 30 days with the Secretary of State.
How do I change my name on my Missouri notary commission?
Missouri notaries are required to notify the Secretary of State within 30 days if they lawfully change their names during the term of their notary commissions (RSMo 486.300). The notary is also required to send to the Secretary of State the following: (1) a completed Change of Name amendment form; (2) a filing fee of five dollars either by check or money order made payable to the State Director of Revenue; (3) a bond rider from the bonding company indicating the name change; (4) the current commission certificate; and (5) the current notary seal. The Secretary of State will notify the appropriate county clerk of the notary’s name change. Click here to download the Change of Name form or update the notary information online.
Missouri notarial certificates:
Click here to view Missouri notarial certificates.
Revised: July 2017
Missouri notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, the American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company (established 1900). Kal Tabbara is a licensed insurance agent in Missouri.