Notary Seal Types

By Juel Andrea

Among the many types of notary seals are embossers, hand-held ink stamps of various shapes and foil stamps. Many of the ink seals are self-inking stamps, but some require an ink pad. The seal type is at the discretion of a notary public as long as it falls within the guidelines of a notary's state. Each state has its own requirements.

Ink Seal Stamps

Ink stamps include the classic handle stamp.

Ink seal stamps are the most common seal type, according the National Notary Association. Basic models of Ink seal stamps include those with a handle. These are often wood block stamps requiring ink pads. Other ink stamps include hand-held self-inking models including see-through stamps. See-through stamp seals allow a notary to see exactly where the stamp will impress the document. These are handy for preparing clean documents where the seal is applied directly on a certain line or within a box.

Embosser Seal Stamps

Embosser seal stamps are the original notary seal type.

Embosser seal stamps are the classic seal stamp type. Embossers have the notary seal carved into a metal disk. The kind of seal limits stamp placement because the range is determined by how far the device can reach onto the document. Some embossers make a raised impression on a document while others are inked to leave both an ink and raised impression. The embosser seal type is the most formal type of seal.

Foil Seal Stamp

Foil seal stamps are adhesive stickers embedded with a notary's seal. Although this kind of seal can look attractive on a document, it is the least secure kind of seal. Not only can it fall off a document, it can be transferred to other documents a notary did not verify and notarize.

About the Author

Juel Andrea graduated Phi Beta Kappa with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English from the University of California, Berkeley. She then went on to receive a master's degree in education from the University of Virginia. First professionally published in 1992, Andrea's work has appeared in "Bankers," "Conde Naste Travel" and "Today's Christian Woman."