Maine Notary Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a new notary public? This is a list of our most frequently asked questions about becoming a notary
and what supplies you will need in the state of Maine.

 

Maine Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as performing marriages, certifying copies of documents, taking oaths or affirmations and taking acknowledgements. A notary can also be referred to as a signing agent. The Notary Public Handbook is an excellent reference for notaries in Maine.

See our How to Become a Notary Infographic for an easy breakdown of the steps you will need to take.

How do I become a notary in Maine?

You must complete the Application for Appointment form and submit it to the Secretary of State with a $50 filing fee. With this application, you must have the signature of a registered Maine voter that can attest to your abilities to perform as a notary. Your application must be signed and sealed by the Municipal Clerk or Registrar of Voters as a way to verify your residency. When you are finally approved, you will need to take an oath of office within 30 days of the start of your appointment.

Who can become a notary in Maine?

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a resident of Maine or a resident of New Hampshire that is regularly employed in Maine
  • Must be able to demonstrate a proficiency in English
  • Must not have has a commission revoked or been suspended for misconduct in during the previous five years
  • Must not have been convicted of a crime that resulted in imprisonment for one or more years
  • Must not have been convicted of a lesser offense that is conflicts with the duties of a notary during the previous 10 years

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Maine.

Who can I notarize for?

You can notarize for any member of the public who makes a sensible request and meets all the requirements for notarization. For Example: Must have proof of identity and be physically present.

What kind of training do I need?

New and renewing notaries are required to pass a test that is administered by the Secretary of State. Study materials are available for free upon request.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

There is no requirement for Maine notaries to obtain a bond. Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O) is optional, but it is recommended for your own protection.

What are the upfront costs?

  • Application filing fee is $50
  • Bond and insurance prices vary based on vendor
  • Prices on Notary Supplies may vary (Notary seal stamps and embossers)

What type of equipment will I need?

  • Notary Seal Stamp or Embosser

Using a stamp or seal is optional, but highly recommended to be used on official documents. If using a notary seal, your seal must include the following information: Notary Name, Notary Public, Maine and Commission Expiration Date. The state of Maine crest is also featured on the stamps.

  • Notary Records Journal

It is mandatory to keep a recorded journal of all marriages that you perform. A records journal is the best way to keep all notarial acts secure and organized in a bound book with numbered pages.

Should I get business cards or marketing materials?

Although not a requirement, if you believe it is helpful for your business to have these, then it is a good idea. If you work for a company as a notary singing agent, then discuss with them if this would be necessary.

Is there legal risk?

Yes, being a notary grants you certain permissions and responsibilities and there is the need for insurance which was noted earlier.

How much legal risk will I face?

Risk should be assessed on a case by case basis, but being a notary signing agent comes with the responsibility of fully understanding the risks involved. Having E&O Insurance can potentially reduce your exposure to risk.

How long does my commission last?

Notary commission in Maine is valid for seven years. If you are residing in New Hampshire and have been approved for notarizing in Maine, your commission will only be valid for four years.