A notary public performs an important role in our legal system by giving confidence to the public that important legal documents, such as property records, are authentic. Each state establishes its own rules and regulations for becoming a notary. After you have successfully complied with these rules, the state's notary-regulating office will issue a commission for you to act as a notary. Almost all states require a notary to use an ink stamp to notarize documents. In those states that require the ink stamp, you will have to create an ink stamp according to your state's requirements and with your unique commission information.
Locate your state's requirements for the type of ink stamp to be used on notarized documents. The requirements are often posted on the Website of the Secretary of State and published in the state's notary handbook.
Determine the ink stamp specifications regarding size and shape. There will be minimum and maximum standards for the length and width for rectangular stamps, and diameter standards for circular stamps. There may also be requirements for the stamp's border, such as having a serrated or milled edge.
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Determine the contents required for the stamp. This will typically require your state's seal along with the words "Official Seal" or "'Notary Public." Your name, address and commission information will also be included.
Locate an office supply vendor that specializes in making notary public ink stamps and specifically ask if the vendor is familiar with your state's requirements. A reputable vendor will require you to send a copy of your commission letter, which will verify your identify and most likely include the exact information which is to be included on the stamp.
Test your ink stamp as soon as you receive it from the vendor. State rules will require that the ink stamp make a clear impression so that all words and numbers are clearly readable. If the impression is blurred or smears in any way, return the stamp and request a replacement.
- All states requiring the use of an ink stamp mandate that you keep your stamp under your control at all times, and in a locked and secure location when not in use.
- Even if your employer paid for your stamp and posted the bond for your commission, your notary stamp is yours and you should not surrender it to your employer under any circumstances, including termination of your employment.
- Notaries are not required to use ink stamps in Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island or Vermont.