How to become a Delaware Notary

Abbreviation: DE   |   1st State   |   Statehood: December 7, 1787 |
How to become a notary in Delaware:
To become a notary in Delaware, a notary applicant must meet all of the following requirements:
  1. Be at least 18 years of age
  2. Be of good character and reputation
  3. Have a reasonable need for a notary commission
  4. Be a legal resident with a street address in Delaware or, if a nonresident, maintain an office or regular place of employment in Delaware
  5. Not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude, unless the felony conviction has been pardoned and all rights have been restored
 
Qualifications for becoming a notary in Delaware:
In order to become a Delaware traditional notary public and receive a Delaware notary public commission, a notary applicant must:
  1. Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
  2. Create or already have an e-mail address as part of the online process because all correspondence will be sent electronically by e-mail.
  3. Establish a notary profile on the Secretary of State website at https://notary.delaware.gov or call (302) 739-4111 and press 3 for assistance or click here.
  4. Submit a notary application using the Secretary of State’s online system.
  5. Pay a $60 application processing fee.
  6. Get the Oath of Office notarized upon receiving the commission certificate and return a copy of the oath to the Notary Public Section of the Secretary of State.
  7.  

    Note: Applicants will receive further instructions and information by e-mail throughout the application process once an application is submitted.The commission certificate will be electronically signed and issued via e-mail within minutes upon the approval of an application.The notary profile was designed to allow an applicant or notary to track application status, manage and update information, and renew commissions.

 
Can a non-resident become a notary in Delaware?
Yes. A nonresident can become a Delaware notary public if the person (1) meets the qualifications as a Delaware resident; (2) is regularly employed or doing business in Delaware; (3) regularly conducts notarial acts in Delaware; (4) provides a valid Delaware business address for the employer or company where service of legal process would be accepted. Under the guideline of §376(b) of Title 8, substituted service shall be effectual if served upon the Secretary of State in the event that the office has been closed or such individual ceases to be regularly employed at the filed Delaware employment address.
 
Is a Delaware notary bond required to become a notary in Delaware?
No. A Delaware notary public does not have to be bonded in Delaware pursuant to the Delaware notary statute.
 
Do I need a Delaware notary errors and omissions insurance policy?
Optional. Errors and omission insurance is designed to protect notaries public from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial damages to the public or a document signer. The American Association of Notaries encourages Delaware notaries to purchase an errors and omissions insurance policy for their protection against liability.
 
How much does it cost to become a notary in Delaware?
To become a notary public in Delaware, a notary applicant’s required expenses include the following: (1) a $60 filing fee to process a new notary application; and (2) a notary seal. Based on the notary’s wishes, additional expenses may include the purchase of: (1) a surety bond; (2) a journal to record all notarial acts performed; and (3) an errors and omissions insurance policy for the notary’s protection against liability.
 
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Delaware?
The term of office of a Delaware notary public is two years for a first-time notary commission, commencing on the date specified in the commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void: (1) by resignation; (2) by death; (3) by revocation; (4) when the notary public ceases to reside in Delaware; or (5) if a nonresident notary ceases to be regularly employed or ceases to do business in this state.
 
Where can I perform notarial acts in Delaware?
A Delaware notary has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county at any location in Delaware. Likewise, a Delaware notary public may not perform notarial acts outside this state.
 
Who appoints Delaware notaries public?
The Governor appoints Delaware notaries public. The Governor may delegate such duties relative to the appointment of notaries to the Secretary of State.

 

Contact information for the Secretary of State is as follows:

 

Delaware Secretary of State
Notary Public Section
401 Federal Street, Suite 4
Dover, DE 19901
(302) 739-4111 and press 3
https://notary.delaware.gov/

 
How to renew your Delaware notary commission:
Delaware notaries public who wish to renew their commission may request a two-year reappointment for $60 or a four-year reappointment for $90. Existing notaries who have not previously created a notary profile must first visit https://notary.delaware.gov/ to create and complete their notary profile. The notaries who created a notary profile will receive an e-mail notification approximately thirty days before their commission expires. To renew a commission, the notary must log in to his or her notary profile and click the “Renew Commission” link, review current information, update the information as required, and submit and pay the non-refundable fee of $60 for a two-year term or $90 for a four-year term.
 
Are there any exams or notary course requirements to become a notary or renew your Delaware notary commission?
No. Delaware notary law does not require a course of study or examination to become a notary public in Delaware. However, electronic notaries are required to show that they have taken a course of instruction (whether in the classroom, through distance learning, or online) on how to perform electronic notarial acts in accordance with the standards and guidelines established by the Secretary of State.
 
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Delaware?
Yes. Delaware notary law requires all Delaware notaries public to use a seal that is eitheran engraved embossed seal or a black-inked rubber stampseal to authenticate all notarial acts (§4310[a]). However, state law does not provide the legal specifications required on all notary seals.

 

Required Elements: The Delawarenotary seal must contain the following elements:

  • The notary’s name exactly as it appears on the commission
  • The words “My Commission expires on” and the commission expiration date
  • The words “Notary Public”
  • The words “State of Delaware”
  •  

    Note: A notary public must contact the Secretary of State within ten days if the notary’s seal has been stolen, lost, or damaged. In case of theft or vandalism, the notary must inform the appropriate law enforcement agency.

     
    Is a notary journal required in Delaware?
    No. Delaware notary law does not require a Delaware notary public to record all notarial acts performed in a journal. However, the Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries highly recommend that Delaware notaries record their notarial acts in a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages designed to deter fraud as a protective measure against liability. A Delaware electronic notary public must record all notarial acts performed in an electronic journal. For Delaware notary supplies, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com,call (800) 721-2663, or click here.
     
    How much can a Delaware notary charge for performing notarial acts?
    Delaware notary fees are set by statute (§4311). The maximum allowable fees that a Delaware notary public can charge for notarial acts are listed below:
  • Acknowledgments - $5.00
  • Oaths or affirmations - $5.00
  • Jurats - $5.00
  • Witnessing or attesting a signature - $5.00
  • Protests - $5.00
  • Certifying or attesting a copy - $5.00
  • Electronic notarial acts - $25
  •  

    Note: Delaware notaries shall not charge a fee for notarial services to any person serving in the armed forces of the United States, or a veteran of any war, or the widow or children of a soldier, or soldier’s parents, or widower or other relative of any person in the armed services (§4312). For the violation of this section, the Secretary of State may revoke the commission of such notary and such notary shall not be reappointed within a period of two years.

     
    What notarial acts can a Delaware notary public perform?
    A Delaware notary public is authorized to perform these notarial acts:
  • Taking acknowledgments
  • Administering oaths or affirmations
  • Taking verifications upon oath or affirmation
  • Noting protests of negotiable instruments
  • Witnessing or attesting signatures
  • Certifying or attesting a copy
  • Can I perform electronic notarizations in Delaware?
    Yes. Delaware has adopted the “Uniform Electronic Transactions Act,” which authorizes electronic signatures used by Delaware notaries public. Section 12A-111 states, “If a law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath, the requirement is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform those acts, together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law, is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record. ”Delaware law provides for the commissioning of Delaware electronic notaries. However, the State of Delaware is neither accepting applications for eNotary commissions nor issuing electronic notary commissions at this time. The state of Delaware is in the beginning stages of implementing the eNotary program. As the State approves NTSPs and is ready to begin accepting applications for eNotary commissions, updates will be posted to https://notary.delaware.gov/.
     
    How do I change my address?
    A Delaware notary public whose residence changes during the term of the notary’s commission is required to log into their notary profile and update the information with the Secretary of State’s website. Those appointed as Delaware nonresident notaries must notify the Secretary of State of any change in their Delaware residential or employment address within thirty days of such a change. If there is a problem with the information the notary submitted on his or her notary profile, the Secretary of State will contact the notary.

    E-mail Address Change:
    All Delaware notaries are required to have an active e-mail address because all communications and correspondence, including the commission certificate and renewal notices, will be sent electronically by e-mail. The e-mail address is one field that a notary public cannot update within the notary profile. To update a notary’s e-mail, the notary will need to contact the Notary Public Section at (302) 739-4111 and press 3 or by e-mail at notary@delaware.gov. For security purposes, the Delaware notary will be asked to provide the following identifying information: (1) name as it appears on the notary’s commission; (2) date of birth; and (3) notary profile user ID. The Notary Public Section will not request the notary’s profile password.
     
    How do I change my name on my notary commission in Delaware?
    Optional. A Delaware notary public whose name is legally changed during the term of the notary’s commission has two options: (1) choose to sign both names (e.g. Jane A. Doe now known as Jane A. Smith) until the notary’s commission expires; or (2) log into the notary profile and change his or her name. The Notary Public Section will receive notification of the name change and will e-mail a name change certificate so that the notary may obtain a new notary stamp. There is no charge for this service. For a name change, go to: https://notary.delaware.gov/ or click here.

    Death/Resignation/Removal:
    A Delaware notary public, or his or her representative, is required to send a signed letter to the Secretary of State if the notary: (1) no longer maintains residence in Delaware during the term of the notary’s commission; (2) no longer wishes to hold the office of notary public; (3) is deceased; (4) is duty-bound to resign by court order or the Governor’sor Secretary of State’s revocation process; or (5) no longer maintains an office or regular place of employment in Delaware (for nonresident notaries). Every notary who wishes to resign from office or who no longer meets the qualifications for a commission during his or her term of office shall immediately mail or deliver the official commission to the Secretary, who shall cancel the same.In the case of any of the above situations, the notary’s official seal must be immediately destroyed.
     
    Prohibited Notarial Acts:
    These activities by a Delaware notary public provide a basis for administrative disciplinary action:
  • Preparing, drafting, selecting, or giving advice concerning legal documents
  • Performing acts that constitute the unauthorized practice of law
  • Notarizing a document without the signer being present at the time of the notarization
  • Notarizing his or her own signature
  • Notarizing a document for a signer that was legally incompetent (i.e. who failed to understand the document being notarized)
  • Notarizing a document with the intent to deceive or defraud
  • Executing a notarial certificate containing a statement known by the notary to be false or materially incomplete
  • Affixing the notary’s signature and seal to a document that did not contain a notarial certificate
  • Notarizing a document that contains blanks
  • Charging more than the fee prescribed by law for notarial services
  • Notarizing a document when the document signer was not identified by satisfactory evidence of identity
  • Determining the type of notarial act or certificate to be used when a document does not contain one
  • Allowing someone else to use the notary’s official seal to notarize documents
  • Notarizing documents with a notary seal that does not conform to the seal statutory requirements
  • Signing a notarial certificate under any other name than the one under which the notary was commissioned
  • Certifying copies of documents recordable in the public records
  • Notarizing a document in which the notary has a financial or beneficial interest in the document
  • Charging a fee for notarial services to a person serving in the armed forces of the United States
  •  
    Official Notarial Misconduct:
    Delaware notaries public, who commit official malfeasance, may be subject to criminal liability, civil liability, and administrative disciplinary action as follows:

     

    §4307 (f). If any person shall knowingly or willfully make any false or fraudulent statement or misrepresentation in or with reference to any application for a notary commission or any other document required by this Chapter, such person shall be guilty of perjury.

     

    §4312. (a) No notary public shall charge any person serving in the armed forces of the United States, or a veteran of any war, or the widow or children of a soldier, or soldier’s parents, or widower or other relative of any person in the armed services. (b) Whoever violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not less than $10 nor more than $25 and, in default of the payment of such fine, shall be imprisoned for not more than five days.

     

    §4311. Fees for services. (a) The maximum fee a notary public can charge for any paper notarial act is $5. (b) The maximum fee a notary public may charge for any electronic notarial act is $25. (c) The fees prescribed in this section shall be the maximum fees to be charged by any notary public and, upon violation hereof, the Secretary may revoke the commission of such notary and such notary shall not be reappointed within a period of two years.

     

    §4310. Engraving of seal; effect of use of nonconforming seal; electronic notary seal; notary’s official signature; electronic signature. (h) Any notary public failing to comply with the requirements of this section may be removed by the Governor for his neglect.

    Delaware Notary Laws and Regulations:
    Delaware Code, Title 29, Chapter 43, “Notaries Public,” Subchapter I “Office and Duties”
    http://delcode.delaware.gov/title29/c043/sc01/index.shtml

     

    Delaware Code, Title 29, Chapter 43, “Notaries Public,” Subchapter II “Notarial Acts”
    http://delcode.delaware.gov/title29/c043/sc02/index.shtml

     
    Delaware Notarial Certificates:
    Click here to view Delaware’s notarial certificates.

    Revised: January 2018

    Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page. Information this page is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.
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