To become a Maine notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:
- Be 18 years old or older
- Be a resident of the State of Maine or a resident of an adjacent state who is regularly employed or carries on a trade or business in Maine
- Be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language
- Not have had a notary commission revoked or been suspended for official misconduct in Maine or any other jurisdiction during the previous five-year period
- Not have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for one year or more, or of a lesser offense incompatible with the duties of a notary public during the previous ten-year period
Obtaining a Maine notary public commission requires completion of these steps:
- The applicant must meet the eligibility requirements.
- The applicant must obtain the signature of a registered Maine voter who can attest to his or her ability to perform the duties required of a notary public.
- The Municipal Clerk or Registrar of Voters of the applicant’s municipality must also verify the applicant’s residency by signing and sealing the application form.
- The applicant must pass a written exam prescribed by the Secretary of State.
- The applicant must properly complete and submit an application form to the Secretary of State with a filing fee of $50. To download the application form, go to -
- The applicant must take the oath of office (Certificate of Qualification) before a Dedimus Justice within 30 days from the date of his or her appointment, which the Dedimus Justice will assign the Certificate of Qualification that will need to be sent to the Secretary of State within 45 days of the date of appointment.
Non-Resident Maine Notary:
Permitted only for New Hampshire residents. A resident from New Hampshire may apply if such a person is regularly employed or carries on a trade or business in the state of Maine. A New Hampshire resident must meet the same qualifications as a Maine resident and submit an Affidavit of Employment-Applicant and an Affidavit of Employer-Employer with his or her notary application to the Secretary of State.
Maine Notary Bond:
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 Maine notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance.
There is a $50 filing fee required by the state for new and renewal notary applications.
Maine Notary Term:
Seven years for residents of the state of Maine, and four years for New Hampshire residents.
Notary Commission Renewal:
Notaries must complete the renewal process online within 45 days before the commission expires or within 20 days after the commission expires. The renewal process begins with passing an online notary examination. After passing the notary exam, the notary will be required to print the renewal application. The renewal application has to be notarized, the notary’s residency has to be verified, the notary must appear before a Dedimus Justice to take his or her oath of office, and then all the materials must be returned to the Secretary of State to complete the renewal process. The Secretary of State’s renewal application online website is http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/notary/notaries.html
Required. New applicants and renewing notaries must pass a notary examination prescribed by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State provides study materials upon request without charge.
Maine Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:
None Required. The Secretary of State highly recommends that Maine notaries use a notary seal on documents leaving Maine. A notary may use an embossed or ink stamp notary seal, which should include the following elements:
Required elements - Notary Public's name exactly as it appears on the Certificate of Office, which is the way the Notary Public must always sign documents. The seal must also have the words “Notary Public” and contain either the words “Maine” or “ME” or the Great Seal of the State of Maine. The notary seal is the exclusive property of the notary, and it must not be surrendered to an employer upon termination or resignation.
Maine notaries are only required to maintain a notary journal of all marriages performed. The Department of the Secretary of State of Maine and the American Association of Notaries strongly recommend that Maine notaries record every notarial act they perform in a notary journal for their records and protection from liability. A notary journal is the exclusive property of the notary, and it must not be surrendered to an employer upon termination or resignation. For Maine notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling (800) 721-2663 or visiting our website at www.usnotaries.com
There is no statutory fee schedule in Maine that notaries must follow, nor is there a prohibition against notaries charging a reasonable fee for the performance of a notarial act. However, if notaries charge for their notarial services, the fees cannot be unreasonable or unfair. Notaries who charge for their notarial services should establish a fee structure or schedule so that persons seeking their notarial services will be able to predict the fee.
A Maine notary has the authority to:
- Take acknowledgments
- Take oaths and affirmations
- Solemnize marriages
- Certify copies of non-recordable documents
The Secretary of State has not adopted rules and/or procedures for electronic notarizations. However, the State of Maine has enacted the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act, 10 MRSA 9401 thru 9419, which authorizes a notary’s electronic signature.
Required. If a notary public has a change of address or other contact information, the notary must notify the Secretary of State within 10 days of the date of the change on the form provided by the Secretary of State. Notaries may also update their address or other contact information by using the Total Notary Solution-Online Renewal and Profile Update Service. To update a notary’s profile information click: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/notary/notaries.html
Required. If a notary public changes his or her name, the notary must notify the Secretary of State within 10 days from the date of the name change. The notary must provide to the Secretary of State proof of the name change through a copy of an appropriate document such as a marriage license, divorce decree, or Probate Court document. If a notary wants a new commission certificate with the new name, the notary is required to submit to the Secretary of State his or her current commission, along with a request for the new certificate.
Not required. The American Association of Notaries highly recommends that if a notary public undergoes any of these significant events during the current notary commission term, he or she send a letter of notice to the Secretary of State, along with his or her notary commission. In such cases, notaries must destroy their notary seals and deposit their notary journals in the custody of the Secretary of State.
A notary public may not:
- Prepare, draft, select, or give advice concerning legal documents
- Perform acts that constitute the practice of law
- Use the phrase “notario” or “notario publico” to advertise notary services
- Charge notary fees that are unreasonable or unfair
- Notarize a document without the signer being in the notary’s presence
- Use his or her office or notary seal to promote or endorse a product, service, or contest
- Notarize a document if the notary has a beneficial interest or conflict of interest
- Notarize a document to which he or she is a party
- Use a signature stamp
- Make meaningless or frivolous notarizations
- Act both as a witness and as a notary public for the same transaction
- Notarize for family members such as a spouse, parent, sibling, child, spouse's parent, spouse's sibling, spouse's child or child's spouse
- Sign a notarial certificate under any other name than the one under which the notary was commissioned
- Certify copies of documents recordable in the public records
Notaries public who commit official misconduct may be subject to criminal liability, which may include the revocation of their notary public commissions.
to view your state's notarial certificates.