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How to Become a Notary in New Hampshire


To become a notary in New Hampshire, you must:


  1. Meet the eligibility requirements detailed in the next section.
  2. Download, print, and complete the notary public application and the Acknowledgment of Criminal Record Check form from the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website at https://sos.nh.gov/administration/administration/notary-public/ Print the application and form on two separate pages.
  3. Have the notary public application endorsed by two New Hampshire notaries public and a person who is registered to vote in New Hampshire.
  4. Sign the notary public application and Acknowledgement of Criminal Record Check form in the presence of a notary public or justice of the peace.
  5. Mail the original notary public application and Acknowledgement of Criminal Record Check form to the secretary of state’s office with a $75 fee.
  6. Wait for your notary application to be approved and to receive your notary public commission, oath of office, Notary Public Manual and Justice of the Peace Manual, and other information from the secretary of state.
  7. Sign and take your oath of office in the presence of two justices of the peace, two notaries public, or one notary public and one justice of the peace. (Those who sign the oath must also sign your notary public commission.)
  8. Return the oath of office to the secretary of state as soon as possible.
  9. Keep the notary public commission.

Who can become a notary public in New Hampshire?


To become a notary in New Hampshire, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be at least eighteen years of age.
  2. Be a resident of New Hampshire or a resident of an abutting state who is regularly employed or carries on a trade, business, or practice in New Hampshire at the time of applying and is a notary public in that state of residence.
  3. Not have been convicted of a crime that has not been annulled by a court, other than minor traffic violations.

This New Hampshire notary guide will help you understand:


  1. Who can become a notary in New Hampshire.
  2. How to become a notary in New Hampshire.
  3. The basic duties of a notary in New Hampshire.

How do I renew my notary commission in New Hampshire?


The notary renewal application process is the same as the application process to become a notary. A renewal application will be mailed to you approximately twelve weeks prior to your notary commission expiration date. Renewal applications are not available online. Failing to notify the Secretary of State of an address or name change during your commission term will result in you not receiving the renewal application form. Contact the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office if you did not receive your reappointment application. The renewal fee is $75.

Who appoints notaries in New Hampshire?


The governor appoints New Hampshire notaries public with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, and the Secretary of State’s Office processes all notary applications for appointment and reappointment, maintains all the records on notaries and authenticates their acts.

The New Hampshire Secretary of State can be contacted at:

New Hampshire Secretary of State's Office
State House, Room 204
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-271-3242
Fax: 603-271-6316
Email: elections@sos.nh.gov
Website: https://sos.nh.gov/administration/administration/notary-public/

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


Yes. Effective August 4, 2019, a resident of an abutting state may apply to become a notary public in New Hampshire if they are:

  • A resident of Maine, Massachusetts, or Vermont
  • Regularly employed or carries on a trade, business, or practice in New Hampshire at the time of applying
  • A registered notary public in their home state

If a non-resident wishes to apply for a notary commission in New Hampshire, they must provide the following to the Secretary of State’s Office:   

  1. A completed Notary Public Application for Maine, Massachusetts, or Vermont Resident form.
  2. An Affidavit of Employment form.
  3. An Acknowledgement of Criminal Record Check form for the state of New Hampshire.
  4. A criminal history record completed by the Department of Safety in their home state.
  5. An application fee of $75.

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


The term of office of a New Hampshire notary public is five years from the date of appointment. A notary public cannot notarize documents until they have taken the oath of office (RSA §92:2). A notary’s commission may be terminated:

  1. By resignation, death, or revocation.
  2. When the notary ceases to reside in New Hampshire.
  3. When a non-resident notary ceases to be employed or carry on a trade, business, or practice in New Hampshire.
  4. When the notary is convicted of a felony.

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


No. New Hampshire notary statutes do not require any training and/ or notary examination to be commissioned as a notary public in New Hampshire.

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


To become a notary public in New Hampshire, you must pay the following:

  1. A $75 application fee.
  2. A fee to have your notary public application and Acknowledgement of Criminal Record Check form notarized.

Other expenses include the cost of purchasing:

  1. New Hampshire notary stamp.
  2. New Hampshire notary journal to record all notarial acts.
  3. An errors and omissions insurance policy to protect yourself if you are sued for unintentional mistakes or if a false claim is filed against you as a notary. (This step is optional.)
  4. A notary training course to learn how to properly perform your notarial duties as a New Hampshire notary public. (This step is optional.)

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


A notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is optional in New Hampshire and is not required to become a New Hampshire notary public or to renew your notary commission. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that every New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire notary public.

Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in New Hampshire?


No. New Hampshire does not require a notary bond to become a notary public or to renew your notary public commission.

Note: A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from his or her negligence, errors, official malfeasance, or omissions. New Hampshire notaries are encouraged to purchase a notary errors and omissions insurance policy to insure themselves against such claims.

Do I need to order a notary stamp in New Hampshire?


Yes. You must purchase a notary stamp or an embossed official seal to perform your notarial duties. Section 455:3(II) of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated states that all notarial acts performed by a notary public with respect to a record shall be either under an embossed official seal or shall carry the legible imprint of an electronic or rubber official stamp.

Dimensions: The New Hampshire notary statute does not provide the specifications regarding the size, shape, or layout of a rubber official stamp and embossed official seal.

Required Elements: The rubber official stamp must include the following information printed on it:

  • The name of the notary public
  • The words "Notary Public"
  • The words "New Hampshire"
  • The expiration date of the notary public’s commission

Note:

  • If a New Hampshire notary uses an embossed official seal, the notary must also have a separate rubber stamp with the expiration date of the notary’s commission on it
  • An embossed official seal must contain the notary’s name and the words “Notary Public” and “New Hampshire”
  • All notarial certificates must include the official stamp or seal and the date of expiration of the commission
  • The rubber official stamp of a notary public shall be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed or attached or with which it is logically associated
  • “While state law permits notaries public to use a rubber stamp, it may not be sufficient for certain purposes. For example, federal passport regulations may require a raised seal. A notary public should consider whether the rubber stamp is sufficient for each type of notarial act. If uncertain, the notary or the person signing should consult with the authority with whom the person signing will file the document. This is particularly important where the person signing will file the document internationally” (Notary Public and Justice of the Peace Manual)

To order a New Hampshire notary stampnotary seal, complete notary package, and notary supplies, please visit the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-stamps/new-hampshire.

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


New Hampshire notary fees are set by state notary statute (RSA §455:11). Notaries public shall be entitled to a fee of up to $10 for each oath, witness, service, or certification with the following exceptions:

  • For services related to the taking of depositions, the notary public shall be entitled to the same fees as justices are entitled to receive pursuant to RSA §517:19
  • No fees shall be allowed for administering and certifying oaths of office of town officers
  • For performing notarial acts for a remotely located individual under RSA §456-B:6-a, a notary public shall be entitled to a fee of $25 per act

Is a notary journal required in New Hampshire?


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 New Hampshire:

  • Traditional Notarizations – New Hampshire notaries performing traditional notarizations are not required to maintain a notary journal; however, the secretary of state strongly encourages all notaries to record all notarial acts in a notary journal. A notary journal can be tangible or in an electronic format.
  • In-Person Electronic Notarizations – New Hampshire notaries performing in-person electronic notarizations are not required to maintain a notary journal; however, the secretary of state strongly encourages all notaries to record all notarial acts in a notary journal. A notary journal can be tangible or in an electronic format.
  • Remote Notarizations – New Hampshire notaries performing remote notarizations are required by law to maintain a notary journal. A journal may be created on a tangible medium or in an electronic format. If the journal is maintained in an electronic format, the journal must be in a permanent, tamper–evident electronic format that complies with the law and any regulations adopted by the Secretary of State.


The American Association of Notaries offers a wide variety of notary journals.

Click here to purchase a tangible notary journal.

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

What information must New Hampshire notaries record in their notary journals?


For Traditional and In-Person Electronic Notarizations – If you choose to maintain a notary journal, the secretary of state recommends that you record the following information:

  1. The notarial act performed.
  2. The date of the notarial act.
  3. The identifying information of the person appearing before the notary public.
  4. Any other details the notary public believes would be useful in referring back to the act, for example:
  • The signature of the person appearing before the notary public.
  • Time of notarial act.
  • Date of document being notarized.
  • The fee charged, if any.
  • Type of notarization; traditional or electronic.

 

For Remote Notarizations – New Hampshire requires notaries performing remote notarizations to chronicle the following information in their notary journals:

  1. The date and time the notarial act was performed.
  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. If the identity of the individual is based on personal knowledge, a statement to that effect.
  5. If the identity of the individual is based on satisfactory evidence, 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, and the identification number associated with the identification credential; (e.g. driver’s license number, etc.).
  6. The fee, if any, charged by the notary public, if no fee is charged, the record should indicate no fee.

Where can I perform notarial acts in New Hampshire?


You may perform notarial acts while you are physically anywhere within the geographic borders of the state of New Hampshire.

What notarial acts can a New Hampshire notary public perform?


A New Hampshire notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (RSA §456-B:I):

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • Take verifications upon oath or affirmation
  • Note protests of negotiable instruments
  • Certify or attest copies
  • Witness or attest signatures

Note:

  • Every notary public, in addition to the usual powers of the office, shall have the same powers as a justice of the peace in relation to depositions and the acknowledgment of deeds and other instruments and the administering of oaths [RSA §455:3(I)]
  • A New Hampshire notary public must be present for the opening of a safe deposit box for which rent has not been paid and must carry out certain actions (see the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Notary Public and Justice of the Peace Manual)

What type of notarizations are allowed in New Hampshire?


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 notary 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 notary via audio-visual communication technology. The notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary seal, and an electronic notarial certificate.

Remote notarization (tangible documents) - The signer appears before a notary via audio-video communication technology. This type of notarization requires the signer and the notary to send the document to each other and for the online 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 register to perform electronic notarizations in New Hampshire?


To perform electronic notarizations in New Hampshire, you must:

  1. Hold an existing traditional notary public commission.
  2. Contract with an authorized technology provider and acquire a digital certificate.
  3. Download and complete the Electronic/Remote Notarization Notification Form from the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website.
  4. Email or mail the completed form to the New Hampshire Secretary of State.

For more information on how to register to perform electronic notarizations in New Hampshire, visit the secretary of state’s website.

What are the steps to register to perform remote notarizations in New Hampshire?


To perform remote notarizations in New Hampshire, you must:

  1. Hold an existing traditional notary public commission.
  2. Contract with an authorized technology provider and acquire a digital certificate.
  3. Download and complete the Electronic/Remote Notarization Notification Form from the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website.
  4. Email or mail the completed form to the New Hampshire Secretary of State.

New Hampshire notaries who register to perform remote notarizations can notarize tangible and electronic documents. For more information on how to register to perform remote notarizations in New Hampshire, visit the secretary of state’s website.

How do I update my address on my New Hampshire notary commission?


Notify the Secretary of State’s Office whenever you change your address during your notary commission term. If you fail to notify the Secretary of State’s Office of your new address, you will not receive your renewal application form when it comes time to renew your notary commission.

To update your address information, contact the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office at (603) 271-3242 or elections@sos.nh.gov

How do I change my name on my notary commission in New Hampshire?


If your name changes while you are commissioned as a New Hampshire notary public, you must notify the Secretary of State’s Office and request a new commission certificate with your new name. The fee for a new commission certificate is $5, payable by cash or check to the Secretary of State’s Office.

To update your notary name and request a new commission certificate, contact the Secretary of State’s Office at 603-271-3242 or elections@sos.nh.gov

The Notary Public and Justice of the Peace Manual states, “If the notary public is within six months of the end of his or her five-year commission, the Secretary of State’s Office practice is to permit the notary public to continue to sign official documents using both the old and new names rather than requesting a new commission. For example, if Jane Smith’s name changes to Jane Jones she could sign as Jane (Smith) Jones.”

Revised:


December 2023

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.