Maryland 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 Maryland.

 

Maryland Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as: taking depositions, protesting instruments, acting as a witnessing, administering oaths or affirmations and taking acknowledgements. A notary can also be referred to as a signing agent. The Notary Manual is perfect for Maryland notaries who need a better understanding of their role.

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 Maryland?

You must complete and submit a Notary Application with a $10 filing fee to the Secretary of State. Notaries who are reapplying have a $6 fee. When your application has been reviewed and the State Senator recommends the applicant, the Secretary of State will issue a commission in the county that you reside. You must appear before the Clerk of the Circuit Court within 30 days to take an oath of office and pay a $11 filing fee for your commission.

Who can become a notary in Maryland?

  • Must be 18 years of age of older
  • Must live or work in Maryland
  • Must be a resident of the senatorial district you are appointed
  • Non-residents must be a resident of a state that allows Maryland residents working in that state to serve as a notary in that state
  • Must be of good moral character and integrity

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Maryland.

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?

It is suggested that you understand how to perform notarial acts and what responsibilities apply to you as a notary. This knowledge is best obtained by reviewing the duties and responsibilities of a notary public in Maryland which can be found in the Notary Manual.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

There is no requirement for Maryland 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 $10 for new notaries
  • Renewing notaries have a filing fee of $6
  • $11 filing fee for your official commission certificate
  • 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 required on all official documents. Your notary seal must contain the following information: Name, Notary Public, County or City, Maryland and Expiration Date.

  • Notary Records Journal

It is mandatory to keep a recorded journal of all notarial acts. 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 Maryland is valid for four years and should be renewed two months prior to your commission expiration date.