How to Become a Minnesota Notary
The Minnesota Notary Process:
Are you interested in becoming a Minnesota notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own Minnesota notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The State of Minnesota appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. Becoming a notary in Minnesota is a straightforward process, and as long as you fit the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become a Minnesota notary. The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This guide will help you understand:
- Who can become a Minnesota notary
- The process to become a Minnesota notary
- Basic Minnesota notary duties
What are the qualifications to become a Minnesota notary?
To become a Minnesota notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be over the age of 18 years.
- Be a resident of Minnesota.
- If not a resident of Minnesota, be a resident of Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, or South Dakota and designate the Minnesota Secretary of State as his or her agent for service of process for all purposes relating to notarial acts and for receipt of all correspondence relating to notarial acts.
What is the process to become a Minnesota notary?
In order to become a Minnesota notary and receive a Minnesota notary commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Complete and mail the Notary Application to the Secretary of State.
- Pay the $120.00 application filing fee.
- Pay the $20 filing fee and register in the office of the local registrar of the notary’s county of residence: (a) the notary’s commission; (b) a signature that matches the notary’s full name on the commission; and (c) a sample signature the notary will use to perform notarial acts.
- For a nonresident, pay the $20 filing fee and register in the office of the local registrar in the Minnesota county the nonresident designates: (a) the notary’s commission; (b) a signature that matches the notary’s full name on the commission; and (c) a sample signature the notary will use to perform notarial acts.
Note: Failure to register with the notary’s resident county may result in a civil penalty fee imposed by the Commissioner of the Department of Commerce of Minnesota, who is responsible for the enforcement actions pertaining to a notary’s misconduct. If the applicant answers “Yes” on his or her notary application, the applicant must submit with the application a Criminal Background Check form, the documents indicating the charge, the disposition, and satisfactory completion of any sentence and/or probation.
Can a non-resident become a notary in Minnesota?
Yes. A non-resident can become a Minnesota notary public if the person: (1) meets the same qualifications as a Minnesota resident; (2) resides in Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, or South Dakota; (3) designates the Secretary of State as their agent for service of process for all purposes relating to notarial acts, including the receipt of correspondence relating to notarial acts; (4) designates the Minnesota county in which his or her notary commission and signatures will be recorded; and (4) follows the same initial application for appointment or reappointment procedures as Minnesota residents.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Minnesota?
To become a notary public in Minnesota, a notary applicant’s expenses may include: (1) the $120 fee to process an application for appointment or reappointment; (2) the $20 fee to registera notary’s commission at the county of residence; (3) a notary stamp; (4) a journal if a notary wishes to adhere to the recommendations of the Secretary of State; and (5) an E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to obtain one for his or her own personal protection against liability.
How do I renew my Minnesota notary commission?
Minnesota notaries may apply for reappointment six months before the expiration of their commissions (MS 359.02). The renewal period for a notary public commission is between August 1 and January 1. As of August 1, 2017, all notaries with an unexpired notary commission may file their renewal application either by mail or online. To renew a notary commission online and pay by credit card, a Minnesota notary must create an online account on the Secretary of State’s Notary and Apostille site. If a notary public answers “Yes” to any questions in his or her online application, the notary must file the application by mail. If a notary commission is expired, the applicant must complete a Notary Application, check re-appointment on the application, and submit by mail. The fee for the renewal notary commission is $120 (non-refundable) payable to the Secretary of State. In addition, there is a $20 fee at the county level to register a notary’s renewed commission. A notary public who is renewing his or her commission will be required to obtain a new notary stamp to reflect the five-year extension.
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become a Minnesota notary public or to renew my Minnesota notary public commission?
No. Minnesota notary statute does not require a course of study and/or examination to be commissioned as a notary public in Minnesota.
Can I perform electronic notarization in Minnesota?
Yes. Effective July 1, 2006, the Minnesota Legislature enacted electronic notary laws pursuant to the Minnesota Statutes, Chapters 358 and 359, allowing electronic notarization to be applied to a document so that the document can be fully processed electronically. Before performing electronic notarial acts, a notary public must register the capability to notarize electronically with the Secretary of State. Before performing electronic notarial acts after recommissioning, a notary public must register with the Secretary of State. To apply for e-notarization, an applicant must be currently registered as an active Minnesota notary public and have the capability to notarize electronically before requesting authorization to perform electronic notarizations. The physical presence of a person whose signature is being notarized is still required by state notary law (MS 359.01, Subdivision 5). To obtain the authorization to perform electronic notarization, a notary public must complete the E-Notarization Authorization form and certify that the notary has filed the notary’s commission with the county.
Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Minnesota?
Yes. Effective January 1, 2019, the Minnesota Legislature enacted remote online notarization laws pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Chapters 358 and 359, allowing a Minnesota notary public who is physically located in Minnesota to perform a remote online notarial act. Before a notary performs the notary’s initial remote online notarial act, the notary public must register with the Secretary of State and identify the communication technology the notary intends to use to perform remote online notarizations. The notary must certify that the communication technology and identity proofing the notary will use to perform remote online notarizations conform to the Minnesota Statutes Section 358.645, Subdivision 2. To apply for Remote Online Notarization Authorization, an applicant must be currently registered as an active Minnesota notary and have already filed his or her notary’s commission in the county of residence.
Moreover, when performing remote online notarial acts using an approved communication technology, a Minnesota remote notary must adhere to these statutory requirements:
- The remote notary must be physically located in Minnesota, even though the remotely located individual may be geographically located in any state or country while visually in the presence of the remote notary through the use of audio and visual communication technologies.
- The remotely located individual’s identity must be established based on satisfactory evidence of identity using an approved identity proofing.
- The remote notary must complete a notarial certificate.
- The remote notary must include the language in the notarial certificate that the remote online notarization was performed using communication technology.
- The remote notary must record in a journal the remote online notarization performed for a remotely located individual using communication technology.
- The remote notary must retain an audiovisual recording of the remote online notarization performed using the communication technology for a remotely located individual.
The term of registration to perform remote online notarial acts begins on the registration starting date set by the Secretary of State and continues as long as the notary’s commission remains current and valid.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Minnesota?
A Minnesota notary public holds office until January 31st of the fifth year following the year the commission was issued, unless sooner removed by the Governor or the district court or by action of the commissioner of commerce (MS 359.02). In addition, the commission of a notary public may be rendered void: (1) by resignation; (2) by death; (3) by revocation; (4) when a notary is no longer a resident of Minnesota; or (5) when a nonresident notary ceases to be a resident of Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, or South Dakota.
Is a Minnesota notary bond required to become a notary in Minnesota?
No. All new applicants seeking an appointment as a notary public and renewing notaries are not required by state law to obtain a notary bond to be commissioned as a notary public in Minnesota.
Do I need a Minnesota notary errors and omission insurance?
Errors and omissions insurance is optional and not required by state notary law in Minnesota. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Minnesota notaries public obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy for their personal protection against liability. Errors and omissions insurance is designed to protect notaries from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial or other type of loss to the public or a client for which a notary public is sued for recovery. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a Minnesota notary public selects.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Minnesota?
A Minnesota notary has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county at any location in Minnesota. Likewise, a notary public may not perform notarial acts outside Minnesota.
Who appoints Minnesota notaries public?
The Secretary of State processes all applications for appointment and reappointment, issues notary public commissions, and maintains the records relating to notaries. To contact the Secretary of State, use the following information:
Office of the Secretary of State
60 Empire Drive, Suite 100
Retirement Systems of MN Building
St. Paul, MN 55103
651-296-2803 or Toll Free 877-551-6767, Option 3
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Minnesota?
Yes. Minnesota notary law requires all Minnesota notaries public to get an official notarial stamp to authenticate all their official acts. Section 359.03, Subdivision 3 of the Minnesota Statutes provides the legal specifications regarding the layout and the information required on all official notarial stamps.
Dimensions: The official notarial stamp must be of rectangular form, not more than ¾” of an inch vertically by 2 ½” inches horizontally with a serrated or milled edge border.
Required Elements: The official notarial stamp must contain the following elements:
- The seal of the state of Minnesota
- The name of the notary as it appears on the commission
- The words “Notary Public”
- The words “My commission expires_________”
In addition, the official notarial stamp must be: (1) able to be reproduced in any legibly reproducible manner and (2) capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed or attached or with which it is logically associated (MS 358.67).
Is a notary journal required in Minnesota?
No. The Minnesota notary statute does not require Minnesota notaries to maintain a journal of their notarial acts performed. While Minnesota notary law does not require a journal, the Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries highly recommend that Minnesota notaries: (1) maintain a journal of their notarial acts to assist in recalling past notarial acts, if needed, or if legally challenged; and (2) maintain a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages to create and preserve a chronological record of every notarial act performed as a protective measure against liability. For Minnesota notary supplies, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com or call (800) 721-2663.
How much can a Minnesota notary charge for performing notarial acts?
Minnesota notary fees are set by the state notary statute (MS 357.17). The maximum allowable fees that a Minnesota notary public can charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- For acknowledgments of deeds and for other services authorized by law, the legal fees allowed other officers for like services
- For each oath administered, $5
- For any affidavit or paper for which provision is not made herein, $5 per folio, and 20 cents per folio for copies
- For protest of nonpayment of note or bill of exchange or of non-acceptance of such bill, where protest is legally necessary, and copy thereof, $5
- For every other protest and copy, $5
- For making and serving every notice of nonpayment of note or non-acceptance of bill and copy thereof, $5
- For recording each instrument required by law to be recorded by the notary, $5 per folio
A remote online notary public or the remote online notary’s employer may charge a fee not to exceed $25 for the performance of a remote online notarial act, if the remote notarial act occurs before January 1, 2023 (MS 358.645, Subdivision 3[c]).
What notarial acts can a Minnesota notary public perform?
A Minnesota notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (MS 359.04 and 358.52, Subdivision 6):
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Take verifications on oath or affirmation
- Witness or attest signatures
- Take depositions
- Note protests of negotiable instruments
- Certify or attest copies
How do I update my address for my Minnesota notary commission?
The state notary law requires each Minnesota notary to notify the Secretary of State in writing within thirty (30) days of the address change. To satisfy this statutory requirement, a notary public can go online by accessing the notary application using the notary’s login information to update an address, phone number, or county change. If a Minnesota notary has changed residence address to a new county, the notary is required to re-register his or her notary commission with the new county of residence. To submit an address change by mail, the notary must complete a notary application. No fee is required for an address change.
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Minnesota?
If a Minnesota notary public lawfully changes his or her name during the term of the commission, the notary is required to notify the Secretary of State in writing within thirty (30) days of the name change. To receive a new notary commission with the notary’s new name, the notary must: (1) submit a completed notary application with the new name to the Secretary of State, no fee required; (2) attach a copy of a legal document showing the name change (for example, a court order, divorce decree, marriage certificate, or other legal documentation) with the notary application; (3) register the new commission with the new name and signatures with the county of residence; and (4) purchase a notary seal with the new name.
Revised: September 2019
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.