How to Become a Notary in Kansas
The Kansas Notary Process:
Are you interested in becoming a Kansas notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own Kansas notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The state appoints Kansas notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. Becoming a notary in Kansas is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become a Kansas notary. The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This guide will help you understand:
- Who can become a Kansas notary
- The process to become a Kansas notary
- Basic Kansas notary duties
What are the qualifications to become a Kansas notary?
To become an Kansas notary public, an applicant must meet all of the following qualifications
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a citizen of the United States
- Be a resident of Kansas, or a resident of a bordering state who is regularly employed or carries on a business or profession in Kansas
- Have never been convicted of a felony
- Have never had a notary commission revoked
What is the process to become a Kansas notary?
In order to become a Kansas notary and receive a Kansas notary public commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the qualification requirements listed in the previous section.
- Complete and mail a “Notary Public Appointment Form” to the Secretary of State after: (1) obtaining a $7,500 surety bond; (2) executing an oath of office before a notary public; (3) providing an impression of the notary seal that the notary will use on the application form; (4) providing a specimen of the applicant’s official signature on the application form; and (5) paying a $25 filing fee.
The Secretary of State will issue a certificate of appointment upon receipt of all of the above-mentioned requirements.
Can a non-resident become a notary in Kansas?
Yes. A nonresident who is a resident of a state bordering the state of Kansas can become a Kansas notary public if the person (1) meets the qualifications as a Kansas resident; (2) is a resident of a bordering state; (3) is regularly employed or carries on a business or profession in Kansas; and (4) follows all the initial application for appointment processes and procedures.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Kansas?
To become a notary public in Kansas, a notary applicant will incur the following expenses: (1) a $25 filing fee to process an application for appointment or reappointment; (2) the cost of a surety bond; and (3) the cost of a notary seal. Based on the notary’s wishes, additional expenses may include the purchase of (1) a journal to record all notarial acts performed and (2) an errors and omissions insurance policy to safeguard the notary against liability.
How do I renew my Kansas notary commission?
A Kansas notary public may reapply for a notary commission every four years by submitting a “Notary Public Appointment Form” prior to the commission expiration date and following the same procedures required for a new appointment. Renewing notaries may submit their appointment form up to 90 days before their commission expires. To download the appointment form, go to: https://sos.ks.gov/business/notary.html
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become a Kansas notary public or to renew my Kansas notary public commission?
No. Kansas notary law does not require that applicants take a course or examination to become a Kansas notary public. However, Section 7-43-2 stipulates that each individual who wants to become an electronic notary public in Kansas must complete a course of instruction and pass an examination approved by the Secretary of State. A notary public may take a self-test (on notarial practices and procedures) which is included in the Kansas Notary Public Handbook titled "Test Your Notary Knowledge." To download the Notary Public Handbook, go to: https://sos.ks.gov/business/notary.html.
Can I perform electronic notarization in Kansas?
Yes. To become an electronic notary in Kansas, a person must:
- complete a course of study and pass an exam approved by the Secretary of State;
- obtain a digital certificate authorized by the Secretary of State;
- register with the Secretary of State on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State and provide proof of compliance; and
- pay a service fee of $20.
The Secretary of State has posted on its website, "Currently, we are in the pilot stage of issuing e-notary commissions…. Continue to check our website for more information about how to become an e-notary and updates on this process."
Most importantly, Kansas state law requires the document signer who is requesting the notarial act to appear before a notary public and be physically close enough to see, hear, communicate, and give identification credentials without the use of electronic devices such as telephones, computers, video cameras, or video conferences during the entire performance of the electronic notarization. Therefore, Kansas notaries public are prohibited from performing remote notarizations by webcam.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Kansas?
The term of office of a Kansas notary public is four years, commencing on the date specified in the commission. However, a notary’s commission may be terminated: (1) by resignation; (2) by death; (3) by revocation; (4) when the notary public ceases to reside in Kansas; or (5) when a nonresident notary ceases to be regularly employed or carry on a business or profession in Kansas.
Is a Kansas notary bond required to become a notary in Kansas?
Yes. A Kansas surety bond in the amount of $7,500 is required for new and renewing notaries public. The bond shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of all notarial acts in accordance with law and be approved by the Secretary of State. To purchase a Kansas surety bond, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.kansasnotary.com or call (800) 721-2663.
Do I need a Kansas notary errors and omission insurance?
Optional. Errors and omission insurance protects notaries public from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial damages to the public or a document signer. The American Association of Notaries encourages Kansas notaries to purchase an errors and omissions insurance policy for their protection against liability. For additional information, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.kansasnotary.com or call (800) 721-2663.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Kansas?
A Kansas notary public has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts anywhere within the geographical boundaries of the state of Kansas. Likewise, a Kansas notary public may not perform notarial acts in another state.
Who appoints Kansas notaries public?
The Kansas Secretary of State appoints Kansas notaries public.
Contact information for the Secretary of State is as follows:
Kansas Secretary of State
Notary Public Division
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor,
120 S.W. 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Kansas?
Yes. Kansas notary law requires all Kansas notaries public to use a seal that is either an embossed seal or an inked rubber stamp to authenticate all notarial acts (§53-105).
Required Elements: The Kansas notary seal or stamp must contain the following:
- The notary’s name (must include full name)
- The words “Notary Public”
- The words “State of Kansas”
- The words “Appointment Expiration Date________"
- A picture of the Kansas Capitol building
Note: A notary public may not use a notary seal unless an impression has been first filed with the Secretary of State. Failure to attach the commission expiration date to a notary’s official signature is a Class C misdemeanor and grounds for revocation of the notary’s commission.
Is a notary journal required in Kansas?
No. Kansas notary statute does not require a Kansas notary public to record every notarial act performed in a journal. However, the Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries strongly recommend that Kansas notaries record their notarial acts in a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages designed to deter fraud as a protective measure against liability. For Kansas notary supplies, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com or call (800) 721-2663.
How much can a Kansas notary charge for performing notarial acts?
The Kansas notary statute does not specify the maximum allowable notary fees that a Kansas notary public may charge for notarial acts; however, Kansas notaries are permitted to charge a reasonable fee for their notarial services.
What notarial acts can a Kansas notary public perform?
A Kansas notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts:
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths or affirmations
- Take verifications upon oath or affirmation
- Witness or attest signatures
- Certify or attest copies
- Note protests of negotiable instruments
- Perform any other acts permitted by law
How do I update my address for my Kansas notary commission?
A Kansas notary public who moves to a new residence during the term of the notary’s commission is required to file a “Notary Public Change of Status” form with the Secretary of State within 30 days after such change. In addition, any changes to a notary’s seal, name, and phone number must be filed with the Secretary of State’s office within 30 days of the change. To download a Notary Public Change of Status form, go to: https://sos.kansas.gov/filing-center/notary/.
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Kansas?
A Kansas notary public whose name is legally changed during the term of the notary’s commission is required to file a “Notary Public Change of Status” form with the Secretary of State. In addition, the notary must: (1) obtain a new seal that contains the new name; (2) mail or deliver to the Secretary of State a specimen of the notary’s new official signature; (3) mail or deliver to the Secretary of State an impression of the new seal; and (4) meet all the above requirements within 30 days after such change has occurred. To download a Notary Public Change of Status form, go to: https://sos.kansas.gov/filing-center/notary/.
A Kansas notary public, or his or her representative, is required to send a signed letter to the Secretary of State if the notary: (1) no longer maintains residence in Kansas during the term of the notary’s commission; (2) no longer wishes to hold the office of notary public; (3) is deceased; (4) is duty-bound to resign by court order or the Secretary of State’s revocation process; (5) becomes incapable of reading and writing the English language; or (6) no longer maintains employment or a place of business in Kansas (for nonresident notaries). In the case of any of the above situations, the notary’s official seal must be destroyed immediately.
Prohibited Kansas notarial acts
These activities by a Kansas notary public provide a basis for administrative disciplinary action:
- Preparing, drafting, selecting, or giving legal advice concerning documents
- Performing acts that constitute the practice of law
- Claiming to have powers, qualifications, rights, or privileges that the office of notary public does not authorize, including the power to counsel on immigration matters
- Submitting an application or endorsements for a notarial commission containing substantial and significant misstatements or omission of fact
- Notarizing a document that does not contain a notarial certificate
- Using the phrase “notario publico” or “notario” or any equivalent in any business card, advertisement, notice, or sign
- Making a fraudulent, dishonest, or deceitful misstatement or omission in the application for a commission as a notary public
- Notarizing a document without the signer being in the notary’s presence at the time of the notarization
- Notarizing a document if the signer of the document is not personally known to the notary or identified by the notary through satisfactory evidence of identity
- Performing any notarial act with the intent to deceive or defraud
- Notarizing his or her own signature
- Signing a notarial certificate under any other name than the one under which the notary was commissioned
- Notarizing a notarial certificate containing information known or believed by the notary to be false
- Notarizing a document when the notary had a direct financial or beneficial interest in the transaction
- Performing a notarial act that he or she knows or suspects is illegal, false, or deceptive
- Certifying copies of documents recordable in the public records
- Notarizing a document when the notary is a party to the document or transaction for which the notarial act was required
Official notarial misconduct:
Kansas notaries public, who commit official malfeasance, may be subject to criminal liability, civil liability, and administrative disciplinary action for any of the following unlawful activities:
53-106. Penalty for failure to attach date of expiration of appointment. If any notary public shall willfully neglect or refuse to attach to the notary’s official signature the date of expiration of appointment, as provided in KSA 53-105, the notary shall be deemed guilty of a class C misdemeanor.
53-121. Notaries advertising in foreign language; requirements; penalties for violations. (a) A notary public who is not admitted to the practice of law in this state and who advertises notarial services in a language other than English shall include, in any advertisement, notice, letterhead or sign, a statement prominently displayed, in the same language in which such notarial services are offered, as follows: “I am not authorized to practice law and have no authority to give advice on immigration law or other legal matters.” (b) A notary public who is not admitted to the practice of law in this state shall not use the term “notario publico” or any equivalent non-English term in any business card, advertisement, notice or sign unless it complies with the requirements of subsection (a). (c) Violation of this section is a class B misdemeanor. (d) Violation of this section constitutes a deceptive act or practice pursuant to K.S.A. 50-626, and amendments thereto, and shall be subject to the remedies and penalties provided by the Kansas consumer protection act.
58-2218. False statement and certificate; penalty. Any officer who knowingly states a material untruth, in either of the certificates herein contemplated, may be indicted and fined in any sum not exceeding the value of the property conveyed or otherwise affected by the instrument on which such certificate is endorsed.
53-118. Appointment, refusal, or revocation; grounds. (a) The Secretary of State may refuse to appoint any person as a notary public or may revoke the appointment of any notary public upon any of the following grounds: (1) Substantial or material misstatement or omission in the application submitted to the secretary of state; (2) conviction of a felony or of a lesser offense involving moral turpitude or of a nature incompatible with the duties of a notary public. A conviction after a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this subsection; (3) revocation, suspension or denial of a professional license, if such revocation, suspension or denial was for misconduct, dishonesty, or any cause substantially relating to the duties or responsibilities of a notary public; (4) cessation of United States citizenship; (5) incapacitation to such a degree that the person is incapable of reading or writing the English language; (6) failure to exercise the powers and duties of a notary public in accordance with this act. (b) Any person whose notary public appointment has been removed may not apply for an appointment until the expiration of four years from the date of removal of such appointment.
Kansas notary laws and regulations:
Kansas Statutes Annotated, Chapter 53, "Notaries Public and Commissioners" http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/statute/053_000_0000_chapter/
Kansas Statutes Annotated, Chapter 53, Article 1, "Notaries Public" http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/statute/053_000_0000_chapter/053_001_0000_article/
Kansas Statutes Annotated, Chapter 53, Article 5, "Uniform Law on Notarial Acts" http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/statute/053_000_0000_chapter/053_005_0000_article/
Kansas Administrative Regulations, Agency 7, "Secretary of State," Article 43, Rules 7-43-1 to 7-43-6, "Electronic Notarization" http://www.sos.ks.gov/pubs/kar/2009/1_007_7_Secretary_of_State_2009_KAR_Vol_1.pdf
Revised: January 2018
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 on 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 states if they have legal questions about how to perform notarial acts.
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.