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Become a Kentucky Notary

Abbreviation: KY   |   15th State   |   Statehood: June 1, 1792   |  
To become a Kentucky notary you must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Be a resident of the county from which the applicant makes his/her application or be principally employed in the county from which he/she makes the application
  • Be of good moral character
  • Be capable of discharging the duties imposed upon him/her by law
  • Receive the endorsement of the officer approving the application
  • Not have been convicted of a felony
In order to receive a Kentucky notary public commission, a person must:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements
  • Properly complete and submit a notary application form to the Secretary of State with a filing fee of $10
  • If the Secretary of State approves the application and makes the appointment, the certificate of appointment will be sent to the county clerk of the applicant’s residence or the county indicated on the application
  • After receiving notice of the appointment, the applicant has 30 days to go to the county clerk’s office to take the oath of office, post the bond, and file and record the certificate of appointment.
  • If the applicant fails to take the oath of office and post bond within the 30-day filing period or a reasonable time thereafter, the applicant’s office becomes vacant.
  • If the applicant still wishes to be appointed a notary, he/she will have to send another completed application and pay another $10 to the Secretary of State. Click here to download the application form -
Non-Residents Kentucky Notary:
Permitted. Non-residents must be employed in the state of Kentucky and must meet the same qualifications as Kentucky residents.
Kentucky Notary Bond:
Required. A notary bond is required for new and renewing notaries. The amount of bond varies in each county. To determine the amount of bond required in the county where the notary public will be appointed, the notary must contact his/her county clerk for specific information.
Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from the misconduct of the notary public. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommend Kentucky notaries public to insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of a Notary Errors and Omissions insurance.
Filing Fee:
A $10 filing fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.
Kentucky Notary Term:
4 years.
Statewide. The notary public may perform notarial acts in any county of the state of Kentucky by filing in the county clerk’s office in such county his/her written signature and a certificate of the county clerk of the county for which he was appointed, setting forth the fact of his/her appointment and qualification as a notary public, and paying a fee to the county clerk.
Secretary of State
Notary Branch
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 158
PO Box 821
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
(502) 564-3490
Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary may apply 4 weeks before the commission expiration date by completing a renewal application form.
None Required.
Kentucky Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:

If a notary public is going to use a seal of office, the following elements are required: the notary public’s name and the title of the notary public such as “Notary Public—State at Large,” or “Notary Public—Special Commission.” It should be noted that some states require a seal or stamp especially when notarizing a deed or other documents which may need to be recorded out of state, the notary may need a seal or stamp to comply with the recording requirements of an out of state. For such states, the notary public may be required to include the notary’s commission number and the expiration date on the executed notarial certificate.

Note: The notary commission number and expiration date are optional

Record Book:
None Required. The Kentucky Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries strongly recommend that Kentucky notaries public record every notarial act they perform in a notary journal for their records and protection from liability. A notary public is required to record in a well bound and indexed book all protests. The notary journal should be bound with pre-numbered pages to deter unauthorized removal of pages. Upon death, resignation, or removal, the notary records must be deposited with the county clerk’s office in the county indicated on the notary’s application. For Kentucky notary supplies contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663 or visiting our website at
Notary Fees:
Notary fees are set by state law. A notary public is allowed to charge for each notarial act, but not more than:

  • Acknowledgment $0.50
  • Oath or affirmation $0.20
  • $0.75 for recording same in book to be kept for that purpose,
  • $0.25 per each notice of protest
Note: Documents relating to veteran’s benefits—no fee
Kentucky notaries public have the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • Protest instruments
  • Attest documents
Name Change:
Kentucky notaries public must notarize under their commissioned name; however, notaries may put their new name in parenthesis.
Upon death, resignation, or removal, the notary’s records must be deposited with the county clerk’s office in the county indicated on the notary’s application.
Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • Prepare, draft, select, or give advice concerning legal documents
  • Charge a fee for preparation of immigration documents or represent someone in immigration matters
  • Overcharge notarial fees
  • Notarize a document without the signer being in the notary’s presence
  • Notarize his or her own signature
  • Notarize a document in which he or she has a beneficial interest
  • Overcharge fees for notary services
  • Sign a notarial certificate under any other name than the one under which the notary was commissioned

Note: A notary public should avoid notarizing for family members

A notary public who fails to take his/her oath of office and provide a bond within the 30 day period may be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1000.
Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

Revised: August 2013

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety. American Association of Notaries is owned by Kal Tabbara, a licensed insurance agent.