How to become a Montana Notary

Abbreviation: MT   |   41st State   |   Statehood: November 8, 1889 |
To become a Montana notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
  • Be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in Montana
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Have not been convicted of a felony or crime involving fraud, dishonesty, or deceit within the last 10 years unless the individual’s full rights have been restored
  • Have not been found in any legal proceeding or disciplinary action within the last 10 years to have acted fraudulently, dishonestly, or deceitfully
  • Never have had a notary commission denied, revoked, or restricted in any state within the last 10 years
Obtaining a Montana notary public commission requires completion of these steps:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements
  • Complete a notary training course approved by the Secretary of State
  • Properly complete a notary application online or print and submit a notary application form to the Secretary of State with a filing fee of $25, oath of office, and a $10,000 bond within 30 days before or after the effective date of the surety bond or the expiration of the previous commission. Click here to download the application form.
Non-Resident Montana Notary:
Not permitted. The Montana Secretary of State will not commission non-residents. However, North Dakota notaries and Wyoming notaries may perform notarial acts in Montana, especially if they are employed in Montana.
Montana Notary Bond:
Required. A bond in the amount of $10,000 is required for new and renewing notaries public.To purchase a Notary Surety Bond, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling (800) 721-2663 or visiting our website:
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 Montana notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance. To purchase a Notary Errors and Omissions Insurance policy, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling (800) 721-2663 or visiting our website:
Filing Fee:
A $25 filing fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.
Montana Notary Term:
Four years.
Statewide. In some case, Montana notaries may perform notarial acts in either of two adjoining states—North Dakota and Wyoming; however, Montana notaries must always follow the laws and rules of Montana.
Montana Secretary of State
Notary Division
P.O. Box 202801
Helena, MT 59620-2801
(406) 444-5379 or (406) 444-1877
Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary may not renew his or her commission more than 30 days prior to the commission expiration date or 30 days after the commission expiration date expires. If a notary fails to renew his or her notary commission in a timely manner, the notary will be required to re-take a notary training program.
Required. All first time applicants for a Montana notary commission must complete a training notary program approved by the Secretary of State.
Montana Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:

Type – rubber-inked stamp

Color — blue or black

Shape – All notaries with a commission expiration date of October 1, 2013 or later are required to have an ink stamp unit, rectangular in shape and approximately 1” x 2 ˝” in size. The rectangular border is required.

Required elements

  • Have a circular seal to the left that includes the words “notarial seal,” the words “State of Montana,” and the notary public’s name as it appears on the notary’s certificate of commission;
  • Have a block of text to the right of the seal that includes: the notary public’s name as it appears on the notary’s certificate of commission;
  • The words “Notary Public for the State of Montana;
  • The words “Residing at” immediately followed by the name of the city or town and state where the notary public lives;
  • The words “My Commission Expires” immediately followed by the notary public’s commission expiration date, expressed in terms of the month(spelled out), day, and four-digit year;
  • Have a plain rectangular border enclosing the text and seal; and
  • Be in the general format illustrated in the Montana Notary Public Handbook.

Note: Upon resignation, death, or revocation or expiration of the notary’s commission, the notary (or his or her representative) must disable the notary seal in a manner that renders it unusable.

Record Book:
Required. A notary public shall maintain one or more journals on a tangible medium or in an electronic format to chronicle all notarial acts. The format of a journal maintained on a tangible medium must be a permanent, bound register designed to deter fraud. A journal maintained in an electronic format must be in a permanent, tamper-evident electronic format that complies with the rules adopted by the Secretary of State. For Montana notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling (800) 721-2663 or visiting our website at

Note: Montana notaries must retain a notary record book 10 years after the performance of the last notarial act. A notary must promptly notify the Secretary of State’s office upon discovering that the notary’s journal is lost or stolen. Notaries who perform remote notarization must keep a copy of the recording of the entire communication and a notarization of the identification used for a period of 10 years from the date of the notarization. Alternatively, a notary may transmit the recordings to a repository approved by the Secretary of State.

Notary Fees:
Notary fees are set by state law. A notary public is allowed to charge for each notarial act, but not more than:

  • Acknowledgments - $10
  • Oaths or affirmations - $10
  • Taking a verification upon oath or affirmation - $10
  • Copy certifications - $10
  • Witnessing a signature - $10
  • Taking a deposition - $3.50 per page

A travel fee may be charged when traveling to notarize at the rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. If the notary is going to charge a travel fee, the notary must: (1) explain to the person requesting the notarial act that the travel fee is in addition to the statutory notarial fees; (2) the travel fee is not determined by law; and (3) the person requesting the notarial act agrees in advance to the amount of the travel fee. Notaries who charge notarial fees must publish their fee schedules in English.

A Montana notary has the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths or affirmations
  • Witness or attest a signature
  • Perform verifications upon oaths or affirmations
  • Take depositions
  • Protest instruments
  • Certify copies of non-recordable documents
Electronic Notarization:
The Secretary of State has adopted some rules and/or procedures for electronic notarizations. The State of Montana has enacted the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (MCA 30-18-101 through 30-18-118), which authorizes a notary’s electronic signature. A notary public who intends to provide electronic notarization services must provide the Secretary of State with the identification of the tamper-proof technology the notary intends to use.
Remote Notarization:
The Secretary of State has adopted rules and standards for Montana notaries who perform acknowledgments or verifications on oath or affirmation by means of a real-time, two-way audio-video communication (remote notarization) if: (a) the signer is personally known to the notary or identified by a credible witness; (b) except for a transaction that is pursuant to a proxy marriage under MCA §40-1-213 or MCA §40-1-301, the signer is a legal resident of Montana; and (c) the transaction involves real property located in Montana, involves personal property titled in Montana, is under the jurisdiction of any Montana court, or is pursuant to a proxy marriage under MCA §40-1-213 or MCA §40-1-301.

Note: The jurisdiction for performing remote notarizations is limited strictly to within the borders of Montana. At this time neither North Dakota nor Wyoming permit remote notarizations; therefore the reciprocity laws do not allow Montana notaries to perform these notarizations outside of Montana.

Address Change:
Required. A notary public is required to notify the Secretary of State within 30 days of a change in address by completing the Contact Information Update form. Click here to download the Contact Information Update form.
Name Change:
Required. A notary public must notify the Secretary of State within 30 days of a name change by completing a Contact Information Update form, provide a rider bearing the notary’s new name and signature, and submit an example of the notary’s new official signature. Click here to download the Contact Information Update form.
Required. A written notification must be provided to the Secretary of State if any of these significant events occurs during the current term of the commission. The notary or the notary’s representative must deposit all notary journals with the Secretary of State and destroy the notary seal.
Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • Notarize a document without the signer being in the notary’s presence
  • Notarize the notary’s own signature
  • Notarize any document in which the notary is named or in which the notary has a direct or financial interest
  • Sign a notarial certificate under any other name than the commissioned name
  • Certify a copy of a record issued by a public entity, such as a birth, death, or marriage certificate, a court record, or a school transcript unless the notary is employed by the entity issuing or holding the original version of the record
  • Engage in false or deceptive advertising
  • Advertise or represent that the notary public, unless also licensed as an attorney in this state, is able to assist persons in drafting legal records, give legal advice, or otherwise practice law
  • Except as otherwise allowed by law, withholding access to or retain possession of an original record provided by a person seeking performance of a notarial act
  • Advertise or use the term “notario” or “notario publico” unless the notary public is an attorney licensed to practice law in this state
  • Notarize the signature of any individual on a record if the notary public is a partner, stockholder, director, officer, or employee of a partnership or corporation and is individually named in the record or if he or she signs the record as a representative of that partnership or corporation
  • Assist persons in drafting legal records, give legal advice, or otherwise practice law without a license
  • Act as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters
  • Represent a person in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to immigration to the United States or United States citizenship or related matters
  • Receive compensation for performing any immigration or immigration related activities
Criminal Offense:
Notaries public who commit official misconduct may be subject to criminal liability, which may include the revocation of their notary public commissions.
Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

Revised: February 2016

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