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How to Become a Notary in the State of Maryland

by American Association of Notaries
Would you like the title of notary public in the state of Maryland? The information below will guide you step-by-step through the process of becoming a Maryland notary.

To become a Maryland notary, a notary applicant must:

1. Be 18 years of age or older
2. Be living in the state of Maryland or working in the state of Maryland and a resident of a state that allows Maryland residents working in that state to serve as a notary public in that state
3. Be of known good character and integrity

If you meet the above qualifications, you can apply to become a Maryland notary by:

1. Learning the duties and responsibilities of a notary public and how to properly perform notarial acts
2. Starting an online notary application on the Secretary of State's website
3. Gathering personal information from three references (non-family members or your employer) who can be contacted to attest to your character
4. Uploading a copy of your driver's license or a valid government-issued ID
5. Paying the $9.00 application fee and the $2.00 service fee to have your online notary application processed
6. Waiting for an email notification indicating that you should appear before the clerk of the circuit court of the county (or Baltimore City) in which you reside
7. Paying the clerk the $10.00 commission fee and $1.00 registration fee to take the oath of office and have your Maryland notary public commission certificate issued to you

How can I start the Maryland notary application process to become a Maryland notary?

To become a Maryland notary, please follow the instructions listed on the previous section on "How to become a Maryland notary". Click here for more information on how to become a Maryland notary, and read our Maryland law section. More information can found at the Maryland Secretary of State's website.

How do I renew my Maryland notary commission?

Renewing your Maryland notary commission requires you to take the same steps as applying for a Maryland notary commission for the first time but you don't have to provide the three references. A new application should be started before your notary commission's expiration date to ensure uninterrupted authority.

When can I renew my Maryland notary commission?

You can renew your Maryland notary commission up to 60 days before or up to 30 days after your commission expiration date.

How much does it cost to become a Maryland notary?

To become a Maryland notary, you must pay a $9.00 application fee and $2.00 service fee to have your online notary application processed. After your application is approved, to have the oath of office administered and your Maryland notary public commission certificate issued, you must pay a $10.00 commission fee and $1.00 registration fee to the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which you reside. You will also need a Maryland notary stamp or notary seal and Maryland notary record book (prices vary depending on the items you select). Please visit http://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-stamps/maryland/ for notary stamps and supplies.

How long does it take to become a Maryland notary public?

The time it takes to become a Maryland notary varies from applicant to applicant. You will need to learn the duties and responsibilities of a notary public and how to properly perform notarial acts, complete an online notary application, and, after having your application approved, take the oath of office with the clerk of the circuit court to be officially considered a Maryland notary. Online notary applications completed at the Maryland's Secretary of State website are approved within four to six weeks.

How long does a Maryland notary commission last?

A Maryland notary term lasts four years. To verify when your term begins and ends, you'll have to look at the effective and expiration dates of your Maryland notary public commission certificate that was issued to you by the clerk of the circuit court of the county (or Baltimore City) in which you reside. To continue performing notarial acts as a Maryland notary after your current expiration date, you'll have to renew your commission before your notary term expires. Please click here to renew your commission.

Do I need to purchase a Maryland notary bond?

The state of Maryland doesn't require an applicant to submit or maintain a notary bond to become a Maryland notary.

Do I need to purchase a Maryland notary errors and omissions (E&O) policy?

The Maryland notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is optional but highly recommended.

Do I need to purchase a Maryland notary stamp? What notary supplies do I need when I become a Maryland notary?

When becoming a Maryland notary, to perform notarial acts in the state of Maryland, you need at a minimum a Maryland notary stamp or a notary seal and a Maryland notary record book. A notary record book is sometimes called a journal or registry of official acts. A Maryland notary stamp or notary seal must meet the following minimum requirements:

1. Must make a raised impression or inked impression on paper
2. Include the name of the notary as shown on their Maryland notary public commission certificate
3. Include the county (or City of Baltimore) in which the notary was appointed
4. Include the words "Notary Public"

Please note the Secretary of State requires on each act, instrument, or attestation the notary's printed name, signature, date of notarization, and the expiration date of his or her notary commission. The notary's notary seal or notary stamp may contain a symbol or device chosen by the notary public (not required and not normally used) and can include the notary's commission expiration date.

How do I order a Maryland notary stamp and record book?

Please go to http://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-stamps/maryland/ to order your Maryland notary supplies. All our notary stamps and notary supplies come with a life-time replacement guarantee, are made in-house, and are shipped in one business day.

How can I train to become a Maryland notary?

The Maryland Secretary of State's website http://sos.maryland.gov/Notary/Pages/Duties.aspx lists the duties and responsibilities of a Maryland notary and offers a downloadable handbook to help aspiring notaries to learn the proper procedures for notarizing a document.

Click here to learn more about how to become a Maryland notary.
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Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information and ideas for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary educations, and securing their notary supplies but makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained . Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.
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