Become an Iowa Notary

Abbreviation: IA   |   29th State   |   Statehood: December 28, 1846 |
To become an Iowa notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
  • Be a resident of the State of Iowa, or a non-resident of a state bordering Iowa who has a place of employment or maintains a business in the State of Iowa
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Not be disqualified to be a notary under Iowa Code Section 9B.23
In order to receive an Iowa notary public commission, a person must:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements
  • Properly complete and submit a notary application to the Secretary of State with a $30 filing fee and oath of office -
Non-Resident Iowa Notary:
Permitted. Persons who are residents of a state bordering Iowa whose place of work or business is in Iowa may apply. Such persons must meet the same qualifications as Iowa residents.
Iowa Notary Bond:
None required.
Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from his or her official misconduct. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Iowa notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of a Notary Errors and Omissions insurance.
Filing Fee:
A $30 filing fee is required by the state for new and renewal notary applications.
Iowa Notary Term:
Three years for residents of Iowa; one year for non-residents
Secretary of State
Notary Division
Lucas Building, 1st Floor,
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 281-5204
Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary public may apply 60 days before the expiration of a current commission by completing a renewal application.
None Required.
Iowa Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:

Type – embosser or rubber-inked stamp

Required elements - name of the notary public as it appears on the commission certificate and the words “Notarial Seal,” “Iowa,”“Commission Number” (followed by the commission number), and “My Commission Expires” (followed by the expiration date or a blank line to write in the date). If a notary’s seal is lost or stolen, the notary public must notify the Secretary of State immediately.

Record Book:
None Required. It is strongly recommended by the Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries that Iowa notaries public record every notarial act in a notary journal. For Iowa notary supplies please, contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663 or visiting our website at
Notary Fees:
The notary fees are not addressed in the Iowa notary laws; however, a notary public may charge a reasonable fee for his or her notarial services.
An Iowa notary public has the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths or affirmations
  • Protest instruments
  • Take verifications
  • Witness or attest signatures
  • Certify copies of non-recordable documents
Electronic Notarization:
Permitted. The State of Iowa enacted the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts effective January 1, 2013, authorizing electronic notarizations. Before performing an electronic notarization, Iowa notaries are required to: (1) notify the Secretary of State that they will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records; and (2) identify the tamper proof technology they intend to use for electronic notarizations.
Address Change:
Required. If a notary public changes his or her home or business address, the notary must notify the Secretary of State of the new address by completing the Notary Public Change/Amendment to Application form provided by the Secretary of State. Click here to download the change/amendment form -
Name Change:
Required. If a notary public changes his name, the notary may continue notarizing under his commissioned name through the end of the term; however, if the notary wishes to use his new name, the notary must notify the Secretary of State immediately of the name change by completing the Notary Public Change/Amendment to Application form with a $5 filing fee. Click here to download the change/amendment form -
Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • Prepare, draft, select, or give advice concerning legal documents or otherwise practice law
  • Use the phrase “notario” or “notario publico” if the notary is not an attorney
  • Engage in false or deceptive advertising
  • Act as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters
  • Notarize a document when he or she has a beneficial or financial interest in the document
  • Notarize blank documents
  • Leave a notarial certificate incomplete
  • Notarize a document without establishing the identity of the signer through satisfactory evidence
  • Notarize a document without the signer being present at the time of the notarization
  • Notarize a document when it appears that the signer is being forced to sign the document
  • Notarize a document if the signer does not understand the nature and effect of the document
  • Sign a notarial certificate under any other name than his or her commissioned name
  • Notarize a document that does not have an original signature
  • Notarize a document that does not contain a notarial certificate
  • Certify copies of documents that are public records such as birth or death certificates, court records, and deeds
Criminal Offense:
Notaries public who commit official misconduct may be subject to criminal liability, which may include the revocation of their notary public commission.
Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

Revised: July 2015

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