How to Become a Notary in New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Notary Process:
Are you interested in becoming a New Hampshire notary? Are you interested in generating extra income as a notary, starting your own New Hampshire notary business, adding a New Hampshire notary title to your resume, or helping to notarize documents for people in your community? New Hampshire notaries are appointed by the state to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. The process to become a notary in New Hampshire is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the state notary law requirements listed below, you can apply to become a New Hampshire notary. The American Association of Notaries can help you with the New Hampshire notary application process from start to finish, and when your application is approved, we can manufacture your notary stamp and notary supplies and provide you with support during your New Hampshire notary commission term so you can fulfill your notary duties accurately. The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994. We can help you, too, become a notary!
This guide will help you understand:
- The process to become a New Hampshire notary
- Who can become a New Hampshire notary
- Basic New Hampshire notary duties
What are the qualifications to become a New Hampshire notary?
To become a notary in the State of New Hampshire, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- 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.
- Not have been convicted of a crime that has not been annulled by a court, other than minor traffic violations.
- Be endorsed by two New Hampshire notaries public and a person registered to vote in New Hampshire.
What is the process to become a New Hampshire notary?
In order to become a New Hampshire notary public and receive a New Hampshire notary public commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the next section.
- Complete the notary public application and the Criminal Record Release Authorization Form and return them both to the Secretary of State’s Office with the $75 fee. (For processing purposes, please print the application and criminal records form on two pages. Do not print double-sided.) You may download the NEW APPLICATION.
- The Criminal Record Release Authorization Form will be submitted to the Department of Safety.
- The Notary Public Application will be submitted to the Governor and Executive Council for nomination.
- After being commissioned by the Governor and Executive Council, the notary public will receive a commission, an oath of office, the Notary Public Manual, and other information from the Secretary of State’s Office.
- Sign and take the oath of office in the presence of two justices of the peace, or two notaries public, or one notary public and one justice of the peace. (Those who sign the oath must also sign the notary public commission.)
- Return the oath of office to the Secretary of State as soon as possible.
- Keep the notary public commission.
Can a non-resident become a notary in New Hampshire?
Yes. Effective August 4, 2019, a resident of an abutting state who is regularly employed or carries on a trade, business, or practice in New Hampshire may apply to become a notary public in New Hampshire. A resident of an abutting state may be commissioned as a notary public in New Hampshire provided that the individual submits to the Secretary of State an affidavit stating that the individual: (1) is a resident of Maine, Massachusetts, or Vermont; (2) is a registered notary in such state; and (3) is regularly employed or carries on a trade, business, or practice in New Hampshire (RSA §455:2). In addition, nonresidents must provide the following:
- Notary public application for Maine, Massachusetts or Vermont resident
- Affidavit of employment
- Criminal history record for the state of New Hampshire
- Criminal history record completed by the Department of Safety in your home state
- An application fee in the amount of $75
How much does it cost to become a notary in New Hampshire?
In the process of becoming a notary public in New Hampshire, a notary applicant will incur the following expenses: (1) the $75 fee to process the application for appointment or reappointment and (2) a notary stamp. Notaries who want to heighten and improve the performance of their notarial acts may also pay for: (1) a journal to record all their notarial acts performed; (2) a notary surety bond if the notary wishes to purchase one to protect the public and document signer from financial damages caused by the notary public; (3) an errors and omissions insurance policy for the notary’s own protection against liability; and (4) a notary training course.
How do I renew my New Hampshire notary commission?
The renewal application process is the same as the initial application for appointment as a notary public process and procedures, including the $75 fee. A renewal application will be mailed to all New Hampshire notaries approximately 12 weeks prior to their notary commission expiration dates. Renewal applications are not available online. A notary’s failure to notify the Secretary of State of a change of address or name change during his or her commission term will result in the notary not receiving the renewal application form. To obtain a renewal application form, visit the Secretary of State’s website at https://sos.nh.gov/administration/administration/notary-public/ or call 603-271-3242.
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become a New Hampshire notary public or to renew my New Hampshire notary public commission?
No. The New Hampshire notary statute does not require a course of study and/or notary examination to be commissioned as a notary public in New Hampshire.
Can I perform electronic notarization in New Hampshire?
Yes. The state of New Hampshire has authorized notaries public to obtain an electronic signature and electronic seal to notarize electronic documents in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization.
Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in New Hampshire?
No. In the state of New Hampshire “a person must be physically in the presence of the notarial officer for any notarial act to be performed in that person’s name. It is not sufficient that the person verify by telephone that it is his or her signature. The law does not currently permit a notarial officer to witness an act through video conference or other electronic means where the person making the act is at a physical location different from the notarial officer or otherwise not in the physical presence of the notarial officer” (NPJP). There are no exceptions to the legal requirement that the person be in the physical presence of the notary public for each and every notarial act. Therefore, New Hampshire notaries public are prohibited from performing online webcam notarizations, which are illegal in New Hampshire.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in New Hampshire?
The term of office of a New Hampshire notary public is for five years from the date of appointment. A notary public cannot notarize documents until he or she has taken the oath of office (RSA §92:2). A notary’s commission may be affected by, suspended, revoked, or cancelled for the following reasons: (1) the notary resigns; (2) the notary dies; (3) the notary is no longer a resident of New Hampshire; (4) a nonresident notary is no longer employed or carries on a trade, business, or practice in New Hampshire; or (5) the notary is convicted of a felony.
Is a New Hampshire notary bond required to become a notary in New Hampshire?
No. A surety bond is not a statutory requirement for new applicants seeking an appointment as a notary public or for renewing notaries in the state of New Hampshire.
Do I need a New Hampshire notary errors and omission insurance?
A New Hampshire errors and omissions insurance policy is optional. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that New Hampshire notaries public obtain errors and omissions insurance for their personal protection against liability. Errors and omission insurance is designed to protect notaries public from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial damages to the public or a document signer. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a New Hampshire notary public selects.
Where can I perform notarial acts in New Hampshire?
A New Hampshire notary public has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county anywhere within the geographic borders of the state of New Hampshire. Likewise, a New Hampshire notary may not perform notarial acts outside New Hampshire.
Who appoints New Hampshire notaries public?
The Governor appoints New Hampshire notaries public with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, and the Secretary of State administers all the applications for appointment and reappointment, maintains all the records on notaries, and authenticates their acts. To contact the New Hampshire Secretary of State, use the following information:
Secretary of State
Department of State, State House
107 North Main Street, Room 204
Concord, NH 03301
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in New Hampshire?
Yes. Section 455:3 of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated states, “All acknowledgments made by a notary public shall be either under an official seal or shall carry the legible imprint of an official rubber stamp...”
Dimensions: The New Hampshire notary statute does not provide the specifications regarding the size, shape, or layout of an official seal.
Required Elements: The official rubber stamp must include 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: The Secretary of State’s NPJP manual requires that: (1) if a New Hampshire notary uses an embossed seal, the notary must also have a separate rubber stamp that has the expiration date of the notary’s commission on it; and (2) all of a New Hampshire notary’s notarial certificates must either be under an official seal or carry the legible imprint of an official rubber stamp.
Is a notary journal required in New Hampshire?
No. The New Hampshire notary statute does not require New Hampshire notaries public to record the notarial acts they perform in a journal. While a journal is not required by state notary law, the American Association of Notaries highly recommends that New Hampshire notaries keep a journal of their official acts performed: (1) to assist in recalling past notarial acts, if needed, or if the notarization is legally challenged; (2) to testify in court if called upon to testify; and (3) to provide irrefutable evidence that the notary used reasonable care and standard notarial practices in the execution of the notarial act in question. New Hampshire notaries are encouraged to 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 New Hampshire notary supplies, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.
How much can a New Hampshire notary charge for performing notarial acts?
New Hampshire notary fees are set by state notary statute (RSA §455:11). The maximum allowable fees that a New Hampshire notary public may charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- Acknowledgments - $10.00
- Oaths or affirmations - $10.00
- Verifications upon oath or affirmation - $10.00
- Copy certifications - $10.00
- Depositions - a fee of $5 but not more than $50.00 ( RSA §517:19--JP)
- Travel fees $0.20 per mile as mileage when travelling to swear witnesses (JP)
Note: A notary public may not charge a fee for administering and certifying oaths of office of town officers.
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:1):
- 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
- Take depositions (RSA §517:2)
- Observe the opening of a safe deposit box for which rent has not been paid (NPJP)
How do I update my address for my New Hampshire notary commission?
A New Hampshire notary public must notify the Secretary of State whenever there is an address change during his or her commission term. Failure to notify the Secretary of State of an address change may prevent a notary public from receiving his or her renewal application form from the Secretary of State. To update a notary’s address information, visit the Secretary of State’s website at https://sos.nh.gov/administration/administration/notary-public/ or call 603-271-3242.
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in New Hampshire?
Whenever there is a change in the notary’s name during a notary’s commission term, a New Hampshire notary must provide the Secretary of State with a written notification of such change. A notary’s notification should include: (1) the notary’s former name and new name; (2) a request for a new notary commission that reflects the notary’s new name; and (3) a $5 fee for a new commission. If a notary public is within six months of the end of his or her commission term, the Secretary of State’s office permits a notary public to continue to sign official documents using both the old and new names rather than requesting a new commission. To update a notary’s name, visit the Secretary of State’s website at https://sos.nh.gov/administration/administration/notary-public/ or call 603-271-3242.
Revised: October 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.