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How to Become a Notary in Delaware


To become a notary in Delaware, you must:


  1. Meet the eligibility requirements listed in the next section.
  2. Complete and submit a notary application using the secretary of state’s online system.
  3. Pay a non-refundable $60 application processing fee.
  4. Take the oath of office before a notary upon receiving the commission certificate and email a copy to the Notary Public Section of the Secretary of State.

Who can become a notary public in Delaware?


To become a notary in Delaware, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Be 18 years of age or older.
  2. Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States.
  3. Be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in this state.
  4. Be able to read and write English.
  5. Not be disqualified to receive a commission under § 4334.
  6. Comply with other requirements established by the secretary of state by regulation as necessary to ensure the competence, integrity, and qualifications of a notary public and the proper performance of notarial acts.

This Delaware notary guide will help you understand:


  1. Who can become a notary in Delaware.
  2. How to become a notary in Delaware.
  3. How to become an electronic notary in Delaware.
  4. How to become a remote notary in Delaware.
  5. The basic duties of a notary in Delaware.

How do I renew my notary commission in Delaware?


Delaware notaries public who wish to renew their commissions may request two-year reappointments for $60 or four-year reappointments for $90. The notaries who created a notary profile will receive an e-mail notification approximately thirty days before their commissions expire. To renew a commission, the notary must log in to his or her notary profile and click the “Renew Commission” link, review current information, update the information as required, and submit and pay the non-refundable fee of $60 for a two-year term or $90 for a four-year term.

Who appoints notaries in Delaware?


The Governor appoints Delaware notaries public. “The Governor may delegate such duties relative to the appointment of notaries to the Secretary of State” (29 DC §4301a). It is the Delaware Secretary of State who oversees the applications for appointment and reappointment as a notary public, administers the commissioning process, and regulates notaries public.

To contact the Delaware Secretary of State, use the following information:

Delaware Secretary of State
Notary Public Section

401 Federal Street
Dover, DE 19901
(302) 739-4111 and press 3
Email: notary@delaware.gov
Fax: (302) 622-4466

Can a non-resident of Delaware apply for a commission as a notary public?


Yes. A non-resident can become a Delaware notary public. A non-resident must meet the requirements as a resident applicant and must include a residential address and the address of their place of employment or practice in Delaware.

How long is a notary public's commission term in Delaware?


An individual is initially commissioned as a notary public for a term of two years, commencing on the date specified in their notary commission. Any notary public who wishes to renew their notary commission may request a two-year reappointment or a four-year reappointment.

Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in Delaware?


No. Delaware notary law does not require a course of study or examination to become a notary public. However, you may visit the Delaware Secretary of State’s website to find updated laws and information regarding notary commission process and procedures.

How much does it cost to become a notary public in Delaware?


The cost to become a notary in Delaware is as follows:

  1. A $60 filing fee to process a new notary application.
  2. An official notary stamp. Click here to view our notary stamp prices.
  3. A notary journal. Click here to view our notary journal prices.
  4. An errors and omissions insurance policy (optional) to protect yourself if you are sued for unintentional mistakes or if a false claim is filed against you. 

Do I need a notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to become a notary in Delaware?


A notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is optional in Delaware and is not required to become a Delaware notary public or to renew your notary commission. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that every Delaware notary obtain a notary E&O insurance policy. This insurance protects you from a claim if a client sues you as a notary. A notary E&O policy covers unintentional notarial mistakes and pays for legal fees and damages based on the coverage you select as a Delaware notary public.

Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in Delaware?


No.  New and renewing notary applicants are not required by the state notary statute to procure notary bonds for appointment or reappointment as notaries public in the state of Delaware.

Note: A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from their negligence, errors, official malfeasance, or omissions. Delaware notaries are encouraged to purchase a notary E&O insurance policy to insure themselves against such claims.

Do I need to order a notary stamp in Delaware?


The Delaware notary statute requires all Delaware notaries public to use a notary seal that when stamped or embossed produces a black inked impression.

Required Elements:  A notary public’s seal must contain the following elements:

  1. The notary’s name exactly as it appears on the commission.
  2. The words “My Commission expires on” and the commission expiration date.
  3. The words “State of Delaware.”

Note: The Delaware notary statute does not provide information on the shape and dimensions of a notary seal.

The American Association of Notaries offers quality notary stamps and seals at savings of up to 40% or more compared to the same products elsewhere. Click here to order your Delaware notary stamp, complete notary package, and other notary supplies.

What are the steps to replace a lost or stolen Delaware notary seal?


If you discover that your Delaware notary seal has been stolen, lost, or damaged, you must notify the State of Delaware notary administrator within ten days. You may notify the State of Delaware notary administrator by sending an email to notary@delaware.gov. Be sure to include your commission name and a brief explanation as to the circumstances under which your Delaware notary seal was stolen, lost or damaged.  

How much can a Delaware notary public charge for performing notarial acts?


The Delaware notary fees are set by statute (29 DC §4311). The maximum allowable fees that a Delaware notary public may charge for notarial acts are:

  1. $5 for a notarial act performed with respect to a tangible record.
  2. $25 for a notarial act performed with respect to an electronic record.

Note: The fees prescribed above are the maximum fees to be charged by a notary public. If a notary violates this section, the Delaware Secretary of State may revoke the notary’s commission, and the notary public may not be reappointed within a period of two years.

Is a notary journal required in Delaware?


A notary journal (also known as a record book, log book, or register book) is your first line of defense in proving your innocence if a notarial act you performed is questioned or if you are requested to testify in a court of law about a notarial act you performed in the past. A properly recorded notarial act creates a paper trail that will help investigators locate and prosecute signers who have committed forgery and fraud. Properly recorded notarial acts provide evidence that you followed your state laws and notary’s best practices.

 

Notary journal requirements in Delaware for traditional, electronic, and remote notarizations – All Delaware notaries are required to maintain a journal. A notary journal may be created on a tangible medium or in an electronic format. A notary public shall maintain only one journal at a time to chronicle all notarial acts, whether those notarial acts are performed regarding tangible or electronic records. A tangible notary journal must be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages. An electronic notary journal must be in a permanent, tamper-evident electronic format complying with regulations adopted by the Delaware Secretary of State.

 

The American Association of Notaries offers notary journals in tangible and electronic formats.

Click here to purchase a tangible notary journal.

Click here to become a member and access our electronic notary journal.

What information must Delaware notaries record in their notary journals?


Delaware requires notaries to chronicle the following information in their notary journals when performing traditional, electronic, and remote notarizations:

  1. The date and time of the notarial act.
  2. A description of the record, if any, and type of notarial act.
  3. The full name and address of each individual for whom the notarial act is performed.
  4. A statement if the identity of the individual is based on personal knowledge.
  5. A brief description of the method of identification and the identification credential presented, if any, including the date of issuance and expiration of any identification credential, if the identity of the individual is based on satisfactory evidence.
  6. The fee, if any, charged by the notary public.

NOTE: The above requirements apply to both tangible and electronic notary journals.

What steps should I take if my Delaware notary journal is lost or stolen?


A Delaware notary public must promptly notify the Delaware Secretary of State upon discovering that their notary journal is lost or stolen.

How long should I retain my Delaware notary journal?


A Delaware notary public must retain the journal for ten years after the performance of the last notarial act chronicled in the journal.

Where can I perform notarial acts in Delaware?


A Delaware notary has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts anywhere within the geographic borders of the state of Delaware. Likewise, a Delaware notary public may not perform notarial acts outside Delaware.

What notarial acts can a Delaware notary public perform?


A Delaware notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts:   

  • Taking an acknowledgment.
  • Administering an oath or affirmation.
  • Taking a verification on oath or affirmation.
  • Witnessing or attesting a signature.
  • Certifying or attesting a copy.
  • Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument.

What type of notarizations are allowed in Delaware?


Traditional notarization – This type of notarization requires the signer and the notary to meet physically in the same room within face-to-face proximity of one another. Traditional notarization involves an individual signing a tangible document with an inked pen and a notary public signing and affixing an inked notary stamp impression to the tangible notarial certificate.

Electronic notarization (in person) – This type of notarization requires the signer and the notarial officer to meet physically in the same room within face-to-face proximity of one another. However, the notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary seal, and an electronic notarial certificate.

Remote notarization (electronic documents) – The signer appears remotely before a notarial officer via audio-video communication technology. The notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary seal, and an electronic notarial certificate.

Remote notarization (acknowledgements on tangible documents) - The signer appears before a notarial officer via audio-video communication technology. This type of notarization requires the signer and the notarial officer to send the document to each other and for the electronic notary public to use their physical stamp to notarize the document without the aid of an electronic seal or electronic signature.

What are the steps to become an electronic notary in Delaware?


To become an electronic notary in Delaware, complete the steps listed below:

For more up to date information regarding electronic notarizations, visit the secretary of state’s website.

What are the steps to become a remote notary in Delaware?


To become a remote notary in Delaware, complete the steps listed below:

For more up to date information regarding remote notarizations, visit the secretary of state’s website.

How do I update my address on my Delaware notary commission?


You must notify the secretary of state within thirty days if your resident address changes. You can log into your notary profile and update the information.

If there is a problem with the information you submit, the Notary Public Section will contact you.  The Notary Department may require proof of address at any time.

How do I change my name on my notary commission in Delaware?


If you need to change your name on your Delaware notary commission, you should:

  1. Log into you notary profile and update your name.
  2. Email the Delaware Secretary of State at notary@delaware.gov to inform them of the change. The secretary of state will email you a name change certificate.
  3. Purchase a new notary seal.

Revised:


January 2024

Legal disclaimer: 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 we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. 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.

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