How to Handle Lost or Stolen Notary Supplies

Notaries are responsible for safeguarding their notary supplies and protecting them from fraudulent use.

When not in use, it is a good idea to keep your notary stamp and notary supplies in a locked drawer or cabinet, especially if you are an employee notary and conduct notary transactions at your place of business. Even with every safeguard in place, however, it is possible that your notary stamp may be misplaced or lost.

As soon as you become aware that your stamp or notary seal is lost, you should immediately report the fact to the agency or body in your state that has jurisdiction over notaries public. This may be the office of the Secretary of State, the State Treasurer, the Department of Licensing, or another governing body. In most cases, you will be required to send to the commissioning authority a certified letter, signed by you, that contains your name, and all of your commission information, and the last date that the notary stamp was in your possession.

If you suspect that your notary stamp has actually been stolen, it is prudent to report the theft to the local police department so that a police report can be generated. Some governing bodies require that a copy of the police report be sent along with the signed, certified letter to the state agency. Some states may actually issue the notary a new commission number. The notary will then have to have a new stamp made with the new commission number.

In cases where the old commission number is retained, it is a good idea to have the replacement notary stamp made with a minor variation or modification. This will distinguish the new notary stamp from the old stamp, in case the old stamp falls into the hands of some unscrupulous person who may put it to fraudulent use. If the old stamp is subsequently found, it should properly destroyed and discarded.

Legal Disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information. However, it is important to note that the information provided on this page is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We do not claim to be attorneys and do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, losses, damages, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss, or consequential loss, out of or in connection with the use of the information contained on any of the American Association of Notaries website pages. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their state’s notary authorities or attorneys if they have legal questions. 

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety.