A notary public is an individual commissioned by a state government to administer oaths and witness signatures on official documents. Each notary has a notary number. This number is the number of the notary's commission. If you are a notary, your notary number should be on your commission letter, notary stamp, and any documents you have notarized.
Notaries witness signatures on a wide variety of documents, including immigration forms submitted to the U.S. government, titles to real property, power of attorney forms, handgun permits, and forms to designate a beneficiary for a retirement account. A notary can administer an oath, witness a signature, certify a deposition, and many more such actions. A notary verifies the identity of the person signing the document or taking the oath. A notary receives their commission number and powers from their state's Secretary of State.
Read More: How Can I Verify a Notary Public Commission?
The purpose of a notary commission number is to identify the notary to the state government. If you are a notary, your state's Secretary of State office should have sent you a letter to inform you of the term of your commission. This letter should contain your notary commission number. If you have lost this letter, you may still be able to look up your notary commission number online through your state's Secretary of State office.
Here are some steps to take to find your notary number:
Check the commission certificate issued by your state's Secretary of State office. The commission number is on this document.
If you have a copy of any documents you have recently notarized, review these copies. Every document you notarize should contain your name and commission number.
Check your notary stamp. Your commission number should be on the stamp.
Search the online database of notaries for your state. Each state's Secretary of State office will have a different web address. Each state requires different information to look up a notary. In California, the notary's full name should be enough, although knowing their address may help. In Texas, the notary's full name is a good start. You may also need the notary's zip code and county. North Carolina allows notaries to look up their notary number with their last name and the last four digits of their Social Security number. In South Dakota, you can search using the notary's first and last names, their county of commission, or the city of commission. Hawaii allows a notary number search with a name, city, or zip code.
You can also call your state's Secretary of State office. They will be able to use your name and address to find your commission number. If your commission term has expired, with or without a pending renewal, the Secretary of State should still be able to locate your commission number. If your appointment as a notary has been terminated because of wrongdoing, the Secretary of State should be able to locate your old commission number.
If a notary has passed away, a customer or the person who will dispose of the notary's tools should be able to locate the notary's commission number by requesting the number from the Secretary of State. If you have recently applied to be a notary but have not received a commission letter yet, you do not have a notary commission number yet. Your state's Secretary of State office should be able to locate any important information regarding your application in the meantime.
It is a good idea to tuck a copy of your commission certificate in an envelope at the back of your notary journal. This allows you to find your number easily. You can also show customers official proof of your commission quickly.