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Notary Stamp vs. Notary Seal Embosser


A novice notary could easily become confused when shopping for notary supplies, especially when determining whether ordering a notary stamp is a better choice than ordering a notary seal embosser. The answer comes down to your state’s notary stamp and notary seal law requirements. These requirements vary from state to state. Some states require notaries to use only an inked notary stamp, while others allow a notary seal embosser if used in conjunction with an inked notary stamp. Other states allow notaries to use either one.

When you are ready to order a notary stamp, make sure you are familiar with your commissioning state’s notary stamp and notary seal law requirements. Besides what type of notary seal to use, you must know the notary stamp dimensions and shape requirements, whether a round or rectangular notary stamp is permitted, what type of border line is allowed around the notary stamp, which ink colors are allowed, and what information is required on the notary stamp.

If a notarial act is invalidated because a notary uses the wrong notary stamp or the wrong ink color, or if information is missing on the notary stamp, the notary may be called to appear in a court of law. This could result in fines and revocation of your notary commission. Ignorance of the notary law is not an excuse.   

The difference between a notary stamp and a notary seal embosser

Notary Stamp

Notary stamps come in different sizes, shapes, and colors and can be designed to produce either a rectangle or round notary stamp impressions. Most modern notary stamps include an ink pad that automatically inks the stamp to make an impression. The notary stamp can be easily reinked by removing the ink pad and adding a few drops of ink to it. Nowadays, notary stamps are built to last for the duration of the notary’s term of office. Some notary stamps come in smaller sizes that can fit easily in your pocket or purse and be used where there is not enough space for a larger notary stamp. The American Association of Notaries recommends that you always choose a dark ink color when ordering a notary stamp to ensure that your notary stamp impressions will show clearly on copied documents.

Notary Seal Embosser

A notary seal embosser is a metal clamping device that creates a raised, round indentation on the document with the information that is engraved on the notary seal embosser plate. Before inked notary stamps were introduced, notaries only used notary seal embossers to perform notarial acts. Notary seal embossers give documents an official classy look, and their use is popular on documents  intended for use in foreign countries. The downside of the notary seal embosser is that it requires some pressure to make a good impression on the document. In addition, an embosser requires the raised impressions to be darkened by an inker that is purchased separately.  Otherwise, copies will not show the notary’s seal information and that will render the notarized document invalid.

How to Order a Notary Stamp

Every state has different requirements for obtaining a notary stamp and notary seal embosser. Generally speaking, however, you need to receive your notary commission certificate before ordering the notary stamp or notary seal embosser. Some states, including Kansas, Idaho, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, require notaries to purchase a notary stamp before applying for a notary commission. When ordering, choose a reliable notary stamp vendor that stays updated on notary stamp law changes, guarantees their products for years to come, and offers fast and accurate shipment of your notary stamp order.

The American Association of Notaries has been serving notaries for over 25 years and offers a wide range of affordable and high quality  notary stamps and notary seal embossers that meet your state notary law requirements. Click here to order a notary stamp.

As always, be sure to know your state's notary laws when ordering a notary stamp or a notary seal embosser.

Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary education, and securing their notary stamp and notary supplies. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. However, we make no warrant, expressed or implied, and we do not represent, undertake, or guarantee that the information in the newsletter is correct, accurate, complete, or non-misleading. 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 notaries' best practices, federal laws and statutes, and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources and do not warrant its accuracy. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, loss, damage, 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 in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their states' notary authorities or attorneys in their state if they have legal questions. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.

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