How to become a Kentucky Notary

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

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Be a resident of (or principally employed in) the county from which he makes his application
  • Be of good moral character
  • Be capable of discharging the duties imposed upon him or her by the notary laws
  • Receive the endorsement of the officer approving the application
  • Not have been convicted of a felony
The path to obtaining a Kentucky notary public commission is as follows:

  • The applicant must meet the eligibility requirements.
  • The applicant must 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 as a notary, he or 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-Resident 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 or her county clerk for specific information.
Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that results from his or her official misconduct. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Kentucky notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance.
Filing Fee:
A $10 filing fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.
Kentucky Notary Term:
Four 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 of that county his or her written signature and a certificate of the county clerk of the county for which he was appointed setting forth the fact of his or her appointment and qualification as a notary public. A fee must also be paid 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 four 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 that may need to be recorded out of state, the notary may need a seal or stamp to comply with the recording requirements of that 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 except for protests. 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, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663 or visiting our website at
Notary Fees:
SB 214 removes the fee limitations notaries may charge for their notarial services effective July 15, 2016.

  • Acknowledgment
  • Oath or affirmation
  • For recording same in book to be kept for that purpose
  • Notice of protest
Note: Notarizing documents relating to veteran’s benefits—no fees charge
A Kentucky notaries public have the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • Protest instruments
  • Attest documents
  • Take depositions
Electronic Notarization:
The Secretary of State has not adopted rules and/or procedures for electronic notarizations. However, the State of Kentucky has enacted the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act,Kentucky Revised Statutes, Chapter 369, Section 369.111, which authorizes a notary’s electronic signature.
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
  • 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 or her oath of office and provide a bond within the 30 day period may be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1000. If a notary public fails to take the oath of office within 30 days, his or her office shall be considered vacant, and the notary shall not be eligible for the office of notary public for two years.
Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

Revised: July 2016

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