How to Properly Destroy Your Expired Notary Stamps and Supplies

When a notary reaches the end of the notary commission term or decides to end his or her notary career, all expired and defunct notary supplies must be disposed of safely and properly.

Whether the notary has used a notary stamp or a notary seal or a combination of both, steps should be taken to prevent the fraudulent use of the expired notary supplies.

The notary should contact the Office of the Secretary of State or the individual who governs the duties and functions of the notary public in his or her state to determine if there are specific regulations regarding what to do with notary supplies at the end of the notary's term of office.

When destroying a notary stamp, the rubber portion with the notary's information must be defaced. This can be done by placing the notary stamp on a stable surface, then pushing down on the case until the rubber surface of the notary stamp is exposed. Carefully peel the rubber covering from the base, and then use a sharp scissor or razor blade to cut and slice it into pieces so that no decipherable words or letters are left together. Discard the pieces in two or more trash containers. Empty the containers according to local laws.

Remember also to destroy the notary stamp plastic case and remove and shred any slips of paper or stickers that may have been attached to the case that contained the notary's commission information.

Destroying a notary seal metal embosser will take a little more effort. The portion of the embosser that makes the raised impression on a notarized document is called the "insert" or "die." This must be carefully defaced so that not even a partial impression can be made. A crude and easy method is to simply to take a hammer and smash the entire device repeatedly until it is fully demolished.

Another method is to pry away the insert from the handle of the notary seal embosser with a heavy-duty metal file. Once separated, the insert area must be scraped repeatedly until all letters are obliterated. Again, the pieces should be discarded in two or more containers and the containers emptied according to county laws governing garbage disposal.

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.