How to become a New Hampshire Notary

Abbreviation: NH   |   9th State   |   Statehood: June 21, 1788 |

How to become a notary in New Hampshire:

 

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 an unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. The process to become a notary in New Hampshire 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:

  1. The process to become a New Hampshire notary
  2. Who can become a New Hampshire notary
  3. Basic New Hampshire notary duties

In order to become a New Hampshire notary public and receive a New Hampshire notary public commission, a notary applicant must:

 

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
  2. 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.
  3. The Criminal Record Release Authorization Form will be submitted to the Department of Safety.
  4. The Notary Public Application will be submitted to the Governor and Executive Council for nomination.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.)
  7. Return the oath of office to the Secretary of State as soon as possible.
  8. Keep the notary public commission.
  9.  

    Note: “A notary public cannot sign documents until he or she has taken the oath of office. RSA 92:2.” (“Notary Public and Justice of the Peace Manual” prepared by the Secretary of State.)

Who can become a notary in New Hampshire?

To become a notary in the State of New Hampshire, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:

 

  1. Be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Be a resident of New Hampshire.
  3. Not have been convicted of a crime that has not been annulled by a court, other than minor traffic violation.
  4. Be endorsed by two New Hampshire notaries public and a person registered to vote in New Hampshire.
 

Can a nonresident become a notary in New Hampshire?

No. A notary applicant who is not a resident of New Hampshire does not qualify for a New Hampshire notary public commission.
 

Is a New Hampshire notary bond required to become a notary in New Hampshire?

No. Notary applicants for appointments and reappointments are not required to purchase a notary surety bond to meet the statutory requirements to become a New Hampshire notary public.
 

Do I need a New Hampshire notary errors and omissions insurance policy?

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.
 

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

A New Hampshire notary applicant’s expenses may include the cost for the following: (1) the $75 filing fee to process the application for appointment or reappointment; (2) a notary stamp; (3) a notary journal if the notary wishes to agree with the recommendations of the Secretary of State; (4) a notary surety bond if the notary wishes to purchase one to protect the public from financial damages caused by the notary public; and (5) an E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to purchase one for his or her own legal and financial protection.
 

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, commencing on the date specified in the commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void: (1) by resignation; (2) by death; (3) by revocation; or (4) when the notary public ceases to reside in New Hampshire.
 

Where can I perform notarial acts in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire notaries public have statewide jurisdiction, and they must be physically within the geographic borders of the state of 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 the application process, maintains all the records pertaining to these 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
(603) 271-3242
Fax: (603) 271-6316
http://sos.nh.gov/np.aspx

 

How do I renew my New Hampshire notary public commission?

There are no provisions in the notary statute for renewals. A renewal application will be mailed to all notaries public approximately 12 weeks prior to the date their current commissions are due to expire. Renewal applications are not available online. A notary’s failure to notify the Secretary of State of a notary’s change of address or name change during his or her commission term will result in the notary not receiving the application for reappointment automatically. The process and fees for reappointment are the same as for the initial appointment. To obtain a renewal application, request one by contacting the New Hampshire Secretary of State at: http://sos.nh.gov/np.aspx
 

Are there any exams or notary course requirements to become a New Hampshire notary public or renew your New Hampshire notary public commission?

No. New Hampshire state law does not require a course of study or testing to become a notary public in the state of New Hampshire.
 

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

Yes. New Hampshire law 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…” (RSA 455:3).

 

Dimensions: Not specified by state statute.

 

Required Elements: The official seal of a New Hampshire notary public must conform to the following requirements:

 

  • 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 New Hampshire notaries affix their official seal to the execution of all notarial certificates: “All of a Notary Public’s certifications must either be under an official seal or carry the legible imprint of an official rubber stamp.” This manual also states, “If the notary uses an official seal (embosser), he or she must also have a separate rubber stamp that has the expiration date of the Notary Public’s commission on it.”

     

    Is a notary journal required in New Hampshire?

    No. The New Hampshire notary statute does not require New Hampshire notaries public to record their notarial acts in a journal. “While not required by law, it is recommended that a Notary Public maintain a journal of all notarial acts performed” (NPJP). The New Hampshire Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries recommend that New Hampshire notaries maintain a permanent bound journal that creates and preserves a chronological record of performed notarial acts in the event a notary public is called upon to verify a notarial act. For New Hampshire notary supplies, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com or call 800.721.2663.
     

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

    New Hampshire notary fees are set by statute (RSA 455:11; 517:19). 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 - at least $5 but not more than $50.00
  • Travel fees - $0.20 per mile as mileage when travelling to swear witnesses
  •  

    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 455:3 and 456-B:1):

     

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths and affirmations
  • Take verifications upon oath or affirmation
  • Take depositions (RSA 517:2)
  • Note protests of negotiable instruments
  • Certify or attest copies
  • Witness or attest signatures
  • Observe opening of safe deposit box for which rent has not been paid (NPJP)
  •  

    Can I perform electronic notarizations in New Hampshire?

    The State of New Hampshire has not enacted/adopted statutes, rules, and/or procedures for electronic notarizations. However, the State of New Hampshire has enacted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated, Title XXVII, Chapter 294E, Section 294-E:11, regarding a notarization and acknowledgment. Section 294-E:11 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.” Therefore, Section 294-E:11 acknowledges the legitimacy of a notary’s electronic signature. Most importantly, New Hampshire state law mandates that the principal signer personally appear before the New Hampshire notary public and be physically close enough to see, hear, communicate, and give identification credentials to the notary without the use of electronic devices such as telephones, computers, video cameras, or video conference during the entire performance of the notarial act. Therefore, New Hampshire notaries public are prohibited from performing online webcam notarizations, which are illegal in New Hampshire.

     

    Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in New Hampshire?

    No. Currently, New Hampshire state laws do not empower New Hampshire notaries public with the authority to perform online webcam notarizations. “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 notarial officer know the person and his or her signature on the document to be notarized. 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. Even where a notarial officer may work with and perform notarial acts regularly for another person, there are no exceptions to the legal requirement that the person be in the physical presence of the notary for each and every notarial act” (NPJP). Consequently, New Hampshire notaries are prohibited from performing remote (online) notarizations.
     

    How do I change my address?

    A New Hampshire notary public should notify the Secretary of State’s office any time his or her address changes during his or her commission. When notifying the Secretary of State, the notary must include the notary’s prior address and the new address. Failure to notify the Secretary of State of an address change will result in the notary public not receiving an application for reappointment. For an address change, a notary public may contact the Secretary of State’s Office by calling 603-271-3242.
     

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

    A notary public should notify the Secretary of State’s office any time his or her name changes during a commission. When notifying the Secretary of State, the notary public must include his or her prior name and new name. The notary public should request a new commission reflecting his or her new name. The fee for a new commission is five dollars payable by cash or check to the Secretary of State’s office. If the notary public is within six months of the end of his or her five year commission, it is the practice of the Secretary of State’s office 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 a name change, a notary public may contact the Secretary of State’s office by calling 603-271-3242.
     

    Notarial Certificates:

    Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

    Revised: July 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 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.
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