How to become an Oregon Notary

Abbreviation: OR | 33rd State | Statehood: February 14, 1859 |
To become an Oregon notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be a resident of Oregon, or have a place of employment or practice in Oregon
  • Be able to read and write the English language
  • Must not have had a notary public commission revoked during the 10-year period preceding the application date
  • Not be disqualified under ORS 194.340 to receive a commission
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony or of any crime involving fraud, dishonesty or deceit during the 10-year period preceding the application date
  • Must not have been convicted of : (a) impersonating a notary public under ORS 194.990(1)(b); (b) obstructing governmental or judicial administration under ORS 162.235; (c) practicing law without a license;(d) engaged in an unlawful trade practice described in ORS 646.608(1)(vvv); or (e) not have entered into an assurance of voluntary compliance pursuant to ORS 646.632 based on an alleged violation of ORS 646.608(1)(vvvv)
  • Pass the Secretary of State Notary Public examination

To receive an Oregon notary public commission, an applicant must follow these steps:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements
  • Pass a criminal background check conducted by the Secretary of State
  • Complete a notary training course offered by the Secretary of State or an entity approved by the Secretary of State
  • Pass the required Secretary of State’s Notary Public exam through the online system
  • After completing the training and exam, continue on through the Secretary of State’ online system to the application portion (paper applications are no longer available)
  • If the application is approved, the Secretary of State will send the applicant via email a PDF attachment of the Oath of Office, and the applicant will then send the Secretary of State the notarized Oath of Office with a filing fee of $40
  • After receiving the notarized Oath of Office, the Secretary of State will send via email a PDF attachment of the Certificate of Authorization and Commission Certificate
  • The notary public then takes the Certificate of Authorization to a vendor who makes rubber stamps.

To begin the application process, go to the Secretary of State online system:

Non-Resident Oregon Notary:
Permitted. A non-resident applicant of any state may apply for an Oregon notary public commission only if he or she has a place of employment or practice in Oregon. Non-resident applicants will have to provide their employer information and meet the same qualifications as an Oregon resident.

Oregon 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 recommend that Oregon notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance.

Filing Fee:
A $40 filing fees is required for new and renewal notary applications.

Oregon Notary Term:
Four years.


Corporation Division
Notary Section
255 Capitol Street N.E., Suite 151
Salem, OR 97310-1327
(503) 986-2200

Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary public may submit a new application 2 ˝ months before the expiration of his or her current commission. Oregon notaries public with an active commission are exempt from the notary training requirements if they complete and pass the exam and submit their application before their commission expiration date.

Required. State law mandates that new applicants and inactive notaries complete a notary training course, which is offered by the Secretary of State at no charge or by a certified education provider for a fee. After the training requirements, the applicants and inactive notaries must take and pass the Secretary of State Notary Public exam through their online system. Renewing notaries public may skip the notary training requirements; however, they must still pass the Secretary of State Notary exam through the online system.

Oregon Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:

Type — rubber stamp

Color — black or dark ink is recommended, not required. The imprint must be legibly reproduced under photographic methods.

Dimensions — rectangle form measuring 3/4” high and 2-3/8” long formed by a continuous solid or braided line. Within the outline border, the notary stamp shall contain the state seal measuring ˝” in diameter and located in the upper left corner of the official stamp.

Required elements -- notary public’s name and the words “Official Stamp,” “Notary Public--Oregon,” “Commission No, ________,” and “My Commission Expires_____ (Example: January 1, 2018 or two-digit date and four-digit year).” An expired notary stamp must be destroyed. The notary stamp is the exclusive property of the notary public and must not be surrendered to an employer upon termination/resignation.

Record Book:
Required. A notary public must keep and maintain one or more notary journals. A notary journal may not be shared. Notaries public must retain their journals for 10 years after the last notarial act recorded in the journal. The Secretary of State encourages Oregon notaries to maintain and store their notary journals permanently. For Oregon notary supplies, please 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:

  • Acknowledgments - $10.00
  • Oaths or affirmations - $10.00
  • Copy certification - $10.00
  • Witnessing or attesting a signature - $10.00
  • Protests - $10.00
  • Oath or affirmation without a signature - $10.00
  • Taking a deposition, each page - $1.00

A notary public may charge a travel fee, separate from the notarial fee, only if the travel fee amount is agreed upon prior to meeting with the customer. A schedule of fees in English must be prominently displayed or handed to customers prior to notarization. The notary public has the right to refuse the performance of a notarization if the customer does not wish to pay the notarial fee.

An Oregon notary public has the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths or affirmations
  • Protest instruments
  • Witness or attest a signature
  • Certify copies of non-recordable documents

Electronic Notarization:
Permitted. Since September 1, 2013, Ohio notaries may notarize electronically; that is, the stamp image and certificate they use may be electronically affixed to the document that is still in electronic form. Before Ohio notaries begin notarizing electronically, they must first notify the Secretary of State of their intention to notarize electronically pursuant to the Ohio Administrative Rules, Chapter 160, Section 160-100-0140, which also sets forth the requirements for electronic notarizations.

Address Change:
Required. When a notary public has a change of his or her contact address, the notary is required by law to notify the Secretary of State by submitting a Notary Information Change form within 30 days. To download the Notary Information Change form, go to

Name Change:
Notaries are required to complete and submit a Notary Information Change form to the Secretary of State within 30 days of the name change. Notaries have two options:

    1. Notaries who wish to notarize under their new name and stamp must complete the Notary Public Commission Change form.
    2. Notaries who wish to continue using their commissioned name and merely want to provide the Secretary of State with a name change notification must complete the Notary Information Change form. To download the Notary Information form, go to

Required. With regard to death, resignation, or removal, notaries or their representative must provide to the Secretary of State a Termination of Notary Public Commission form within 30 days. In case of a resignation, the notary records must be deposited with the Secretary of State within 90 days. In case of a death or removal, the notary records must be deposited with the Secretary of State within 30 days. The notary official stamp must be destroyed. To obtain the Termination of Notary Public Commission form, visit the Secretary of State’s website:

Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • Notarize a document if the notary is a signer or named in the document to be notarized
  • Indorse or promote any product, service, contest or other offering if the notary’s title or seal is used in the endorsement or promotional statement
  • Make representations to have powers, qualifications, rights or privileges that the notary does not have including the power to counsel on immigration matters
  • Use the phrase “notario” or “notario publico” to advertise notary services
  • Act as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters
  • Represent an individual in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, United States citizenship, or related matters
  • Receive compensation for immigration services
  • Notarize a document if the notary cannot establish the identity of the signer through satisfactory evidence of identity
  • Notarize a document if the signer does not personally appear before the notary at the time of the notarization
  • Overcharge for notary services
  • Engage in the unauthorized practice of law
  • Notarize for his or her spouse
  • Notarize any document if his or her spouse is named in it or may directly benefit from it
  • Commit any act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit with the intent to substantially benefit the notary public or another or substantially injure another
  • Use an improper notary stamp
  • Notarize his or her own signature
  • Notarize the signatures of his or her relatives
  • Engage in official misconduct
  • Affix a notary stamp over any signature in a document to be notarized or any writing in a notarial certificate
  • Permit any other person to use his or her notary stamp
  • Execute any certificate he or she knows to the notary to be false

Criminal Penalties:
A notary public who commits official misconduct may be subject to criminal liability and civil liability which may include monetary penalties, imprisonment, or both. The Secretary of State may revoke a notary’s commission or deny a notary application if the applicant or notary public has been convicted of a felony or any crime involving fraud, dishonesty, or deceit. A person commits the crime of obstructing governmental or judicial administration if the person: (a) intentionally obstructs, impairs or hinders the administration of law or other governmental or judicial function by means of intimidation, force, physical or economic interference or obstacle; (b) with intent to defraud, engages in the business or acts in the capacity of a notary public without having received a notary commission from the Secretary of State; or (c) with intent to defraud, engages in the business of or acts in the capacity of an immigration consultant as defined in ORS 9.280 in violation of ORS 9.160. The maximum punishment for acting as a notary public or immigration consultant without authorization includes a one year imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both.

Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

Revised: July 2016

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