How to Become a Notary in Missouri


To become a notary in Missouri, you must:


  1. Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the next section.
  2. Read the Missouri Notary Public Handbook.
  3. Complete a state approved online notary training course or take a written notary training course provided on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.
  4. Complete the Application for a Commission as a Notary Public form online or submit the completed application by mail to the Missouri Secretary of State. (The application submitted online or by mail must include the certificate of the state approved notary training or the completed Secretary of State’s Office Written Notary Training Course form.)
  5. Pay the $25 application fee.
  6. Purchase a $10,000 Missouri notary bond after you receive your commission letter from the secretary of state. 
  7. Personally appear before the county clerk or deputy of the county in which you have been commissioned within sixty days from the date the commission is issued and present a $10,000 surety bond, take the oath of office, and submit a handwritten specimen of your official signature. The county clerk or deputy will then present you with your commission certificate.
  8. Mail your oath and bond to the Secretary of State's Office within seven days of the oath.

Click here to start the notary application process in Missouri.

Very Important Notice: A notary public who fails to qualify before the county clerk within sixty days from the date the commission is issued is required to reapply for a notary public commission.

Who can become a notary public in Missouri?


To become a notary public in Missouri, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:  

  1. Be at least eighteen years of age.
  2. Reside or have a regular place of work or business in the state of Missouri.
  3. Reside legally in the United States.
  4. Read and write English.
  5. Pass the examination required in RSMo §486.630.


The secretary may deny a notary application if the individual:

  1. Had a notary commission revoked during the past five years.
  2. Has been found guilty (or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere) in a criminal prosecution under the laws of any state or of the United States of any felony or any offense involving dishonesty or moral turpitude during the past five years.

This Missouri notary guide will help you understand:


  1. Who can become a notary in Missouri.
  2. How to become a notary in Missouri.
  3. How to become an electronic notary in Missouri.
  4. How to become a remote online notary in Missouri.
  5. The basic duties of a notary in Missouri.

How do I renew my notary commission in Missouri?


You can renew your Missouri notary commission within six weeks of the expiration date of your current notary commission. To renew, follow the same steps listed in the “How to Become a Notary” section.

Click here to start the notary renewal application process in Missouri.

Who appoints notaries in Missouri?


The Missouri Secretary of State has the authority to appoint individuals as notaries in the state of Missouri. The secretary of state also has the authority to reject notary applications and suspend or revoke a notary commission.

Missouri Secretary of State
Notaries & Commissions Unit
State Information Center
PO Box 784 
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Notaries & Commissions Unit
State Information Center
600 West Main, Room 322
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Toll free: 1-866-223-6535
Telephone: 573-751-2783
Fax: 573-751-8199

Can a non-resident of Missouri apply for a commission as a notary public?


Yes. A non-resident of Missouri may apply for a Missouri notary public commission. A non-resident must meet certain legal requirements in order to qualify:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Have a regular place of work or business in Missouri and use the notary seal in the course of their employment in Missouri.
  3. Reside legally in the United States.
  4. Be able to read and write English.
  5. Pass the examination required in RSMo §486.630.

If you meet the above qualifications, complete the non-resident notary application on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website. Once you receive your commission letter from the secretary of state, call our office at 713-644-2299 to order a $10,000 notary bond and notary supplies. You will need the notary bond to complete the application process at the county clerk’s office.

How long is a notary public's commission term in Missouri?


The commission term of a Missouri notary public is four years.

Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in Missouri?


Yes. All new notary applicants and renewing notaries public seeking a Missouri notary public commission are required to:

  1. Read the Missouri Notary Public Handbook.
  2. Complete an online training course or take a written training course provided by the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.

The American Association of notaries offers an online course approved by the Missouri Secretary of State at: https://www.missourinotary.com/notary-course.

How much does it cost to become a notary public in Missouri?


The cost to become a notary in Missouri includes:

  1. A $25 application fee payable to the Missouri Secretary of State.
  2. The cost of a four-year, $10,000 surety bond. Click here to view our Missouri notary bond price.
  3. The county clerk fee to administer the oath of office.

Other expenses include the cost of purchasing:

  1. An official notary stamp. Click here to view our notary stamp prices.
  2. A notary journal. Click here to view our notary journal prices.
  3. An errors and omissions insurance policy (optional) to protect yourself if you are sued for unintentional mistakes or if a false claim is filed against you. Click here to view our notary e/o policy premiums and coverage amounts.

Do I need a notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to become a notary in Missouri?


A notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is not required to become a Missouri notary public or to renew your notary commission. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that every Missouri notary obtain a notary E&O insurance policy. This insurance protects you from a claim if a client sues you as a notary. A notary E&O policy covers unintentional notarial mistakes and pays for legal fees and damages based on the coverage you select as a Missouri notary public.

Missouri notary errors and omissions insurance policies are available to order online at the American Association of Notaries website: https://www.missourinotary.com/notary-insurance.

Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in Missouri?


Yes. All Missouri notary applicants are required to maintain a four-year, $10,000 notary bond. The bond protects the public from notary errors.

If a member of the public files a claim against a notary’s bond, the bonding company is very likely to sue the notary to recoup the funds it paid on the notary’s behalf. A notary bond does not protect notaries from mistakes they make. This is why notary errors and omissions insurance (commonly known as “E&O” or “E&O insurance”) is vital.

Missouri notary bonds are available to order online at the American Association of Notaries website: https://www.missourinotary.com/missouri-notary-bond.

Do I need to order a notary stamp in Missouri?


The Missouri notary statute requires all notaries public to use either an engraved embosser seal or a black inked rubber stamp seal to authenticate all their official notary acts.

A notary’s official seal can be rectangular or circular in shape and must have a border not thicker than one sixteenth of an inch surrounding the following elements:

  1. The name of the notary public exactly as stated on the commission.
  2. The identification number of the notary public’s commission.
  3. The words "Notary Public."
  4. The words "State of Missouri."
  5. The words "Notary Seal."
  6. The words “My commission expires (commission expiration date).”

The imprint made by the notary seal embosser or notary stamp must be in a type not smaller than eight-point.

Note:

  • Illegible information within a notary’s official seal impression may be typed or printed legibly by the notary public adjacent to but not within the impression, or another impression may be legibly affixed nearby.
  • An embossed seal impression that is not photographically reproducible may be used in addition to, but not in place of, the official seal described in RSMo §486.730.
  • In addition, an official seal must not be affixed over printed or written matter.
  • The embosser seal, the black inked rubber stamp seal, and the electronic stamped seal must be obtained from a registered manufacturer.

The American Association of Notaries offers quality notary stamps and seals at savings of up to 40% or more compared to the cost of the same products elsewhere. Click here to order your Missouri notary stampnotary sealcomplete notary package, and other notary supplies.

What are the steps to replace a lost or stolen Missouri notary seal?


Follow the steps listed below if your notary seal is stolen, lost, damaged, or otherwise rendered incapable of affixing a legible image:

  1. Inform the appropriate law enforcement agency in the case of theft or vandalism.
  2. Notify the secretary of state within ten days of discovering the notary seal is stolen, lost, damaged, or otherwise rendered incapable of affixing a legible image and include a copy (or number) of any pertinent police report. The notification must be by any means providing a tangible receipt, including certified mail and electronic transmission.
  3. Purchase a new notary seal after you receive your new commission certificate.

How much can a Missouri notary public charge for performing notarial acts?


Traditional and Electronic Notarizations:

The maximum allowable fees that a Missouri notary public may charge for traditional and electronic notarial acts are as follows:

  1. Acknowledgments - $5 per signature
  2. Jurats - $5 per signature
  3. Signature witnessing - $5 per signature
  4. Certified copies - $1 per page certified with a minimum total charge of $3


Remote Online Notarizations:

The maximum allowable fees that a Missouri notary public may charge for remote online notarial acts are as follows:

  1. Acknowledgment - $5 per signature
  2. Jurat - $5 per signature

In addition to the other fees allowed by RSMo §486.960, a remote online notary may charge a remote online notary transaction fee if the notary and the principal agree upon the fee in advance of the notarial act being performed and the notary explains to the person requesting the notarial act that the remote online transaction fee is separate from the notarial fee prescribed in RSMo §486.960.2 and is not mandated by law.


Note: A notary may charge a travel fee to perform a notarial act if:

  1. The notary and the person requesting the notarial act or electronic notarial act agree upon the travel fee in advance of the travel.
  2. The notary explains to the person requesting the notarial act that the travel fee is separate from the notarial fee prescribed in RSMo §486.685 (486.960 for electronic notarial acts) and neither specified nor mandated by state notary law.

A Missouri notary public shall not charge a fee for notarizing the signature on any absentee ballot or absentee voter registration.

Is a notary journal required in Missouri?


Notary journal requirements for each type of notarization in Missouri:

  • Traditional Notarizations - A Missouri notary public is required to keep a chronological journal of notarial acts in a permanently bound journal with numbered pages. A notary public shall maintain only one active permanently bound journal at a time.
  • Electronic Notarizations - A Missouri electronic notary performing electronic notarizations must keep an electronic journal of electronic notarial acts and a record of electronic notarial acts in the permanently bound journal. A notary shall maintain only one active permanently bound journal at the same time, except that a backup of each active and inactive electronic journal shall be retained by the notary in accordance with subdivision (3) of subsection 1 of section 486.950 if each respective original electronic journal is retained. The electronic journal must follow the guidelines outlined in the Missouri Revised Statutes Section 486.950.
  • Remote Online Notarizations - If a notary is registered as a remote online notary, they shall keep an electronic journal of remote online notarial acts as described in section 486.1190; and the notary shall also keep a record of remote online notarial acts in the permanently bound journal. A notary shall maintain only one active permanently bound journal at the same time, except that a backup of each active and inactive electronic journal shall be retained by the notary in accordance with subdivision (3) of subsection 1 of section 486.1190 as long as each respective original electronic journal is retained. The electronic journal must follow the guidelines outlined in the Missouri Revised Statutes Section 486.1190.

A notary journal (also known as a record book, log book, or register book) is your first line of defense in proving your innocence if a notarial act you performed is questioned or if you are requested to testify in a court of law about a notarial act you performed in the past. A properly recorded notarial act creates a paper trail that will help investigators locate and prosecute signers who have committed forgery or fraud. Properly recorded notarial acts provide evidence that you followed your state laws and notary’s best practices.

The American Association of Notaries offers notary journals in tangible and electronic formats.

Click here to purchase a tangible notary journal.

Click here to become a member and access our electronic notary journal.

What information must Missouri notaries record in their notary journals?


Missouri requires notaries to chronicle the following information in their notary journals:

• For Traditional Notarizations:

  1. The date and time of day of the notarial act.
  2. The type of notarial act.
  3. The type, title, or a description of the document or proceeding.
  4. The signature, printed name, and address of each principal.
  5. The printed name and address of each requester of fact.
  6. The evidence of identity of each principal in the form of either:
    (a) a statement that the person is personally known to the notary;
    (b) a notation of the type of identification document, its issuing agency, its serial or identification number, and its date of issuance or expiration; or
    (c) the handwritten signature and the name and address of each credible witness swearing or affirming to the principal’s identity, and for credible witnesses who are not personally known to the notary, a description of the identification documents relied on by the notary.
  7. The fee, if any, charged for the notarial act.
  8. The address where the notarial act was performed, if not the address of the notary’s regular place of work or business.

 

• For Electronic Notarizations:

  1. The date and time of day of the electronic notarial act.
  2. The type of electronic notarial act.
  3. The type, title, or a description of the document or proceeding.
  4. The signature, printed name, and address of each principal.
  5. The printed name and address of each requester of fact.
  6. The evidence of identity of each principal in the form of either:
    (a) a statement that the person is personally known to the notary;
    (b) a notation of the type of identification document, the issuing agency, the serial or identification number, and the date of issuance or expiration;
    (c) the handwritten signature and the name and address of each credible witness swearing or affirming to the principal's identity, and for credible witnesses who are not personally known to the notary, a description of the identification documents relied on by the notary; or
    (d) in the case of an electronic journal, a recognized biometric identifier, in accordance with the Missouri Revised Statutes Section 486.950.
  7. The fee, if any, charged for the electronic notarial act.
  8. The address where the electronic notarial act was performed, if not the address of the notary's regular place of work or business.
  9. The name of any authority issuing or registering the means used to create the electronic signature that was notarized, the source of this authority's license, if any, and the expiration date of the electronic process.

 

• For Remote Online Notarizations:

  1. The date and time of day of the remote online notarial act.
  2. The type of remote online notarial act.
  3. The type, title, or a description of the document or proceeding.
  4. The electronic signature, printed name, and address of each principal.
  5. The printed name and address of each requester of fact.
  6. The evidence of identity of each principal in the form of either:
    (a) a statement that the person is personally known to the notary;
    (b) a notation of the type of identification document, its issuing agency, its serial or identification number, and its date of issuance or expiration;
    (c) the electronic signature, printed name, and address of each credible witness swearing or affirming to the principal's identity, and for credible witnesses who are not personally known to the notary, a description of the identification documents relied on by the notary; or
    (d) in the case of an electronic journal, a recognized biometric identifier, in accordance with the Missouri Revised Statutes Section 486.1190.
  7. The fee, if any, charged for the remote online notarial act.
  8. The address where the remote online notarial act was performed, if not the address of the notary's regular place of work or business.
  9. The name of the program or software any authority issuing or registering the means used to create the electronic signature that was notarized and the source of this authority's license, if any.

What steps should I take if my Missouri notary journal is lost or stolen?


If your notary journal is stolen, lost, damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable or unreadable, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Inform the appropriate law enforcement agency in the case of theft or vandalism.
  2. Notify the secretary of state within ten days of discovering the notary journal is stolen, lost, damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable or unreadable. The notification must be by any means providing a tangible receipt, including certified mail and electronic transmission, and include a copy or number of any pertinent police report.
  3. Purchase a new notary journal.

How long should I retain my Missouri notary journal?


You must keep the tangible or electronic notary journal for a period of no less than ten years from the date of the last entry you made in your notary journal.

Where can I perform notarial acts in Missouri?


Missouri notaries are authorized to perform notarial acts while physically located anywhere within the geographic borders of the state of Missouri.

What notarial acts can a Missouri notary public perform?


A Missouri notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts:

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Oath and affirmations
  3. Jurats
  4. Signature witnessing
  5. Copy certifications
  6. Any other act authorized by laws of Missouri


An electronic notary in Missouri is authorized to perform the following electronic notarial acts:

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Jurats
  3. Signature witnessing
  4. Copy certifications


A Missouri remote notary using communication technology is authorized to perform only the following two remote online notarial acts:

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Jurats

What type of notarizations are allowed in Missouri?


Missouri law allows the following three types of notarizations:

Traditional notarizations – This type of notarization requires the signer and the notary to meet physically in the same room, within face-to-face proximity of one another. Traditional notarization involves an individual signing a tangible document with an inked pen and a notary public signing and affixing an official seal impression (notary stamp or notary embosser) to the tangible notarial certificate.

Electronic notarizations (in-person) – This type of notarization requires the signer and the in-person electronic notary to meet physically in the same room, within face-to-face proximity of one another; however, the document, the signatures, and the official seal are all in an electronic format.

Remote online notarizations (also known as remote notarizations) – The signer appears before a remote online notary via audio-video conferencing technology. This method involves notarizing an electronic document and using an electronic signature, electronic notarial certificate, and electronic notary seal.

What are the steps to become an electronic notary in Missouri?


To become an electronic notary in Missouri, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Be commissioned as a Missouri notary public.
  2. Acquire an approved electronic notary software.
  3. Complete the Online Registration Form on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.
  4. Complete the Online Training Course and Examination.

Click here to view a list of approved notary software vendors that you can contract with to perform electronic notarial acts.

For more information on becoming an electronic notary in Missouri, visit the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.

What are the steps to become a remote online notary in Missouri?


To become a remote online notary in Missouri, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Be commissioned as a Missouri notary public.
  2. Acquire an approved electronic notary software.
  3. Complete the Online Registration Form on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website. You will be prompted to select an approved electronic notary software you intend to use to perform remote online notarizations.
  4. Complete the Online Training Course and Examination.

Click here to view a list of approved notary software vendors that you can contract with to perform remote online notarial acts.

For more information on becoming a remote online notary in Missouri, visit the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.

How do I update my address on my Missouri notary commission?


A Missouri notary public is required to notify the secretary of state within ten days after a change in residence address, business address, mailing address, or change of employer.

  • If your mailing address or residence address on file with the secretary of state changed but you still reside in the same county in which you were commissioned, you can notify the secretary of state by amending you notary commission online or by sending an Application for Notary Change of Address In Same County to the state.
  • If you moved to a county other than the one in which you were commissioned, you can amend your notary commission online or by sending the secretary of state the following:
    1. A completed and  signed Application for Amended Commission of Notary Public Change of Name or Change of County.
    2. An application fee of $5.00.
    3. Your notary commission certificate.
  • If the address of your place of work or business or your employer on file with the secretary of state has changed, you can amend your notary commission online or send the following to the secretary of state:
    1. A signed Application for Change of Employer Resident Notaries.
    2. $5.00 application fee.
    3. Your notary commission certificate.
  • After a work or business address change, do not perform any notarial acts until:
    1. An Application for Change of Employer Resident Notaries has been delivered or transmitted to the secretary of state.
    2. A confirmation of your address change has been received by the secretary of state.
    3. You informed your surety bonding company in writing of the address change.


Note: The secretary of state will send the amended commission certificate to your resident address. Order a new notary seal with the new county name (if applicable).

A non-resident Missouri notary public must follow the above procedures if they have a change of address or change in employment in the same county or in a different county during their notary commission term. Click here to download the non-resident forms.

How do I change my name on my notary commission in Missouri?


A Missouri notary public is required to notify the secretary of state within ten days after a change of name by court order or marriage (RSMo §486.785). You may amend your notary commission online or by sending the following to the Missouri Secretary of State:

  1. A completed and signed Application for Amended Commission as a Notary Public Change of Name or Change of County.
  2. A copy of any official authorization for such name change.
  3. A filing fee of $5.00.
  4. Your notary commission certificate.


After the secretary of state receives all of the required materials and processes the requested name change, the secretary of state will forward your amended notary public commission certificate directly to your residence address. Do not perform any notarial acts using the new name until:

  1. The Application for Amended Commission as a Notary Public Change of Name or Change of County has been delivered or transmitted to the secretary of state.
  2. You received the new notary commission certificate showing your new name.
  3. You purchased a new seal engraved with your new name as commissioned.
  4. You informed your surety bonding company in writing of the name change.

Revised:


December 2023

Legal disclaimer: The information provided on this page is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We do not claim to be attorneys and we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, losses, damages, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss, or consequential loss, out of or in connection with the use of the information contained on any of the American Association of Notaries website pages. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their state’s notary authorities or attorneys if they have legal questions. 

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.