Home > Become a Notary > How to Become a Delaware Notary

How to Become a Delaware Notary


The Delaware Notary Process:


Are you interested in becoming a Delaware notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own Delaware notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The State of Delaware appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. Becoming a notary in Delaware is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become a Delaware notary. The America Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.

 

This guide will help you understand:

 

  1. Who can become a Delaware notary
  2. The process to become a Delaware notary
  3. Basic Delaware notarial duties

What are the qualifications to become a Delaware notary?


To become a Delaware notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:    

 

  1. Be 18 years of age or older.
  2. Be of good character and reputation.
  3. Have a legal residence including street address  in Delaware or maintain an office or regular place of employment within the State of  Delaware.
  4. Have a reasonable need for a notary commission.

 

Note: Individuals convicted of a felony who have not had their rights restored as well as applicants convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude are not eligible for a Delaware notary commission.

What is the process to become a Delaware notary?


To become a Delaware traditional notary public and receive a Delaware notary public commission, a notary applicant must:     

 

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
  2. Create or already have an e-mail address as part of the online process.  (All correspondence, including commission certificates and renewal notices, will be sent electronically by e-mail.)
  3. Establish a notary profile on the Secretary of State’s website at https://notary.delaware.gov or call (302) 739-4111 and press 3 for assistance or email notary@delaware.gov or click here.
  4. Submit a notary application using the Secretary of State’s online system.
  5. Answer every question marked with an asterisk (*) during the application process. (Answers you provide will direct you to the next relevant question.)
  6. Pay a non-refundable $60 application processing fee.
  7. Get the oath of office notarized upon receiving the commission certificate and return a copy of the oath to the Notary Public Section of the Secretary of State.

 

Note:  Answer each of the questions truthfully. If you are not sure how to answer a question, simply mouse-click inside the answer field and question-specific assistance will appear in the “HELP” box to the right of the question.  False statements or misrepresentations will subject the notary applicant to a claim of perjury under Delaware law (Title 29, §4307[f]). The commission certificate will be electronically signed and issued via email within minutes upon the approval of an application.

Can a non-resident become a notary in Delaware?

Yes. A non-resident can become a Delaware notary public. A non-resident must meet the following requirements:   

 

  1. Meet the same eligibility requirements as a Delaware resident.
  2. Maintain an office or regular place of employment in Delaware.
  3. Provide a residential address and a Delaware employment address.
  4. Provide all required addresses with a street address.
  5. Create an email address as part of the online application process since all correspondence, including commission certificates and renewal notices, will be sent electronically by email.
  6. Establish a notary profile on the Secretary of State website at https://notary.delaware.gov.
  7. Submit an online application using the Secretary of State’s online system.
  8. Answer every question marked with an asterisk (*) during the application process.
  9. Pay a non-refundable $60 application processing fee.
  10. Have an oath of office notarized and return a copy of the oath of office to the Secretary of State.

 

Service of process, subpoenas, and other documents upon nonresident notaries may be made personally or by leaving them with any person of suitable age and discretion at the Delaware place of employment. Substituted service shall be effectual if served upon the Secretary of State, under the guideline of Section 376(b) of Title 8 in the event that the office has been closed or such individual ceases to be regularly employed at the filed Delaware employment address. The Secretary of State shall then forward such documents to the filed residential address.

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

A Delaware notary applicant’s expenses will include:  

 

  1. A $60 filing fee to process a new notary application.
  2. The price of an official notary seal.

 

A notary public may opt to purchase the following fundamental notarial assets, which will add to the cost: (1) a surety bond; (2) a journal to record all notarial acts performed; and (3) an errors and omissions insurance policy for the notary’s personal protection against liability.

How do I renew my Delaware notary commission?

Delaware notaries public who wish to renew their commissions may request two-year reappointments for $60 or four-year reappointments for $90. Existing notaries who have not previously created a notary profile must first visit https://notary.delaware.gov/ to create and complete a notary profile. If a notary public needs assistance with creating his or her notary profile, he or she should contact the Secretary of State by phone at 302-739-4111 and press 3 or by email at notary@delaware.gov. The notaries who created a notary profile will receive an e-mail notification approximately thirty days before their commissions expire. Renewal notices are no longer sent out by mail. 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.

Are there any exams or notary courses required to become a Delaware notary public or to renew my Delaware notary public commission?

No. Delaware notary law does not require a course of study or examination to become a notary public in Delaware. However, electronic notaries are required to show that they have taken a course of instruction (whether in the classroom, through distance learning, or online) on how to perform electronic notarial acts in accordance with the standards and guidelines established by the Delaware Secretary of State. The Secretary of State’s website contains a link to the Delaware notary laws as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

Can I perform electronic notarization in Delaware?

Yes. The Delaware notary statute provides for the appointment and commissioning of Delaware electronic notaries public. However, the State of Delaware is not issuing electronic notary public commissions at this time. Delaware has enacted substantive provisions (Title 29, Chapter 43, Section 4302 of the Delaware Code) that authorizes a commissioned electronic notary public to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records.

 

In addition, Delaware has adopted the “Uniform Electronic Transactions Act,” which authorizes electronic signatures used by Delaware notaries public (6 DC 12A-101 through 12A-117). Section 12A-111 states, “If a law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath, the requirement is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform those acts, together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law, is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record.”

 

When the Secretary of State implements the eNotary program, the commissioned electronic notaries will be required to follow all the same rules, standards, practices, and regulations that apply to a traditional paper notarization including, but not limited to, the personal appearance before the commissioned electronic notary public. Section 4302(f) authorizes the Secretary of State to promulgate regulations or establish such additional standards and guidelines governing applications, registrations, appointments, and the conduct of resident and nonresident electronic notaries. The state of Delaware has not yet adopted regulations that establish standards, appointments, registrations, guidelines, conduct of resident and nonresident electronic notaries, and notarial procedures for electronic notarizations.  

Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Delaware?

No. The State of Delaware has not enacted permanent statutory provisions authorizing notaries public to perform remote notarizations. In April 2020, the Governor of Delaware by executive order temporarily authorized the use of remote notarization if certain conditions were met during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Furthermore, the Delaware Secretary of State has not yet established standards, practices, and procedures by emergency or permanent adopted rules for the performance of remote notarial acts for remotely located individuals pursuant to the Governor’s executive order(s) that provided temporarily the remote notarization authorization.

How long is the term of a notary public commission in Delaware?

The term of office of a Delaware notary public is two years for a first-time notary public commission, commencing on the date specified in the commission (29 DC §4307). However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void:   

 

  1. By resignation, death, or revocation.
  2. When a notary public is no longer of good character and reputation.
  3. When a notary public no longer has a reasonable need for a notary commission.
  4. When a notary public ceases to reside in Delaware.
  5. If a nonresident notary public ceases to maintain an office or regular place of employment within the State of  Delaware.

 

Any notary public who wishes to renew his or her commission may request a two-year reappointment or a four-year reappointment. Every notary public who wishes to resign his or her notary public commission or who no longer meets the qualifications for a notary public commission during their term of office shall immediately mail or deliver the official notary public commission to the Secretary of State (29 DC §4307[d]).

Is a Delaware notary bond required to become a notary in Delaware?

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

Do I need a Delaware notary errors and omission insurance?

No. An errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Delaware. It is not mandatory to have E&O insurance when applying for appointment or reappointment as a notary public. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Delaware notaries public obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy for their personal protection against liability. Errors and omissions insurance is designed to protect notaries public from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial or other type of loss to the public or from a client who sues a notary public for recovery. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a Delaware notary public selects.

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.

Who appoints Delaware notaries public?

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, Suite 4
Dover, DE 19901
(302) 739-4111 and press 3
Email: notary@delaware.gov
Fax: (302) 622-4466

Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Delaware?

Yes. The Delaware notary statute requires all Delaware notaries public to use a seal that is either an engraved embossed seal or a black-inked rubber stamp seal to authenticate all notarial acts (29 DC §4310a). However, state law does not provide the legal specifications required on notary seals.

 

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 “Notary Public”.
  4. The words “State of Delaware”.

 

For Delaware notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by visiting our website at www.usnotaries.com,  calling (800) 721-2663, or clicking here.

 

Note: A notary public must contact the Secretary of State within ten days if the notary’s seal has been stolen, lost, or damaged. In case of theft or vandalism, the notary public must inform the appropriate law enforcement agency. Even if a notary’s employer paid for the notary’s commission and official seal, the notary public must take their official seal and journal (if applicable). This rule of thumb does not apply to notaries public appointed under the Limited Governmental or Service Organization categories.

Do I need an electronic notary stamp to notarize electronically in Delaware?

Yes. In notarizing an electronic document, the electronic notary public must attach to, or logically associate with, the electronic notarial certificate an electronic signature and an electronic notary seal in such a manner that the signature and the seal are attributed to the notary public as named on the commission (29 DC §4310).

 

The electronic seal shall be used in the transaction of all official electronic notarial acts and shall contain:

  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 “Notary Public”.
  4. The words “State of Delaware”.

 

An electronic signature must be:

  1. Unique to the electronic notary public.
  2. Capable of independent verification.
  3. Attached to or logically associated with an electronic notarial certificate in such a manner that any subsequent alteration of the certificate or underlying electronic document prominently displays evidence of the alteration.
  4. Attached or logically associated by a means under the electronic notary’s sole control.

 

An electronic notary public performing electronic notarial acts shall:

  1. Use an electronic seal and signature that conform to generally accepted standards for secure electronic notarization.
  2. Use the notary’s electronic seal and signature only for the purpose of performing electronic notarial acts.
  3. Take reasonable steps to ensure that any registered device used to create an electronic signature is current and has not been revoked or terminated by its issuing or registering authority.
  4. Keep the electronic seal and signature secure under the notary’s exclusive control and not allow them to be used by any other person.
  5. Take reasonable steps to ensure the integrity, security, and authenticity of electronic notarizations.

 

Immediately upon discovering that the electronic notary’s physical or electronic seal, electronic signature, or official journal required under Section 4314 of Title 29, Chapter 43 has been lost, stolen or may be otherwise used by a person other than the electronic notary, the electronic notary shall immediately notify the Secretary of State who shall disable use of the missing technology on any electronic system of the Secretary of State. The electronic notary should notify the appropriate law-enforcement agency in the case of theft or vandalism.

Is a notary journal required in Delaware?

No. Delaware notary law does not require a Delaware notary public to record all notarial acts performed in a journal. However, the Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries highly recommend that Delaware notaries public maintain a chronological journal of their notarial acts in a permanent, paper-bound journal with consecutively numbered pages that is designed to deter fraud as a protective measure against liability. A Delaware electronic notary public must record all notarial acts performed in an electronic journal.

 

The American Association of Notaries strongly believes that record keeping is the best way to ensure the proper conduct of notaries public, both to help protect them and to prevent fraud. Notaries public are protected when their notarial journals are well-maintained with clear and concise documentation that proper notarial procedures were followed in the performance of their notarial duties. Accurate record keeping is especially important when a number of years have lapsed since the notarial act was performed. For Delaware notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by visiting our website at www.usnotaries.com,  calling (800) 721-2663, or clicking here.

How much can a Delaware notary 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 listed below:

 

  1. Acknowledgments - $5.00
  2. Oaths or affirmations - $5.00
  3. Jurats - $5.00
  4. Witnessing or attesting a signature - $5.00
  5. Protests - $5.00
  6. Certifying or attesting a copy - $5.00
  7. Electronic notarial acts - $25

 

Note: Delaware notaries shall not charge a fee for notarial services to any person serving in the armed forces of the United States, a veteran of any war, the widow or children of a soldier, a soldier’s parents, or a widower or other relative of any person in the armed services (29 DC §4312). For the violation of this section, the Secretary of State may revoke the commission of such notary and such notary shall not be reappointed within a period of two years.

What notarial acts can a Delaware notary public perform?

A Delaware notary public is authorized to perform these notarial acts whether performed with respect to a tangible or an electronic record (29 DC §4321[13]):

 

  1. Taking an acknowledgment.
  2. Administering an oath or affirmation.
  3. Taking a verification upon oath or affirmation.
  4. Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument.
  5. Witnessing or attesting a signature.
  6. Certifying or attesting a copy.

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

A Delaware notary public whose residence changes during the term of the notary’s commission is required to log into his or her notary profile and update the information with the Secretary of State’s website. Those appointed as Delaware nonresident notaries must notify the Secretary of State of any change in their Delaware residential or employment address within thirty days of such address change. If there is a problem with the information the notary public submitted on his or her notary profile, the Secretary of State will contact the notary public.

How do I update my email address for my Delaware notary commission?

All Delaware notaries are required to have an active email address because all communications and correspondence, including the commission certificate and renewal notices, will be sent electronically by email. The email address is one field a notary public cannot update within the notary profile. A notary public will need to contact the Notary Public Section at 302-739-4111 and press 3 or email notary@delaware.gov to update his or her email address. For security purposes, the notary public will be asked to provide the following identifying information: (1) the notary’s name as it appears on his or her commission; (2) date of birth; and (3) notary profile user ID. The Secretary of State will not request the notary public’s notary profile password.

Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Delaware?

Optional. A Delaware notary public whose name is legally changed during the term of the notary’s commission has two options: (1) choose to sign both names (e.g. Jane A. Doe now known as Jane A. Smith) until the notary’s commission expires; or (2) log into the notary profile and change the notary’s name. The Notary Public Section will receive notification of the name change and will email a name change certificate so that the notary public may obtain a new notary stamp. There is no charge for this service. For a name change, go to the Secretary of State’s website at https://notary.delaware.gov/.

 

 

Revised: January 2021

Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page. Information this page 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.

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.