How to Become a Notary in New Mexico
The Application Process to Become a Notary in New Mexico:
Are you interested in becoming a New Mexico notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own New Mexico notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The State of New Mexico appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signings. Becoming a notary in New Mexico is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become a New Mexico notary. The America Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This New Mexico notary guide will help you understand:
- Who can become a notary in New Mexico
- How to become a notary in New Mexico
- The basic duties of a notary in New Mexico
What are the qualifications to become a notary in New Mexico?
To become a New Mexico notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States.
- Be a resident of New Mexico or have a place of employment in New Mexico.
- Be able to read and write the English language.
- Not be disqualified to receive a commission under 14-14A-22 NMSA 1978.
- Not otherwise be disqualified as a notarial officer.
What is the process to become a notary in New Mexico?
To become a New Mexico notary public and receive a New Mexico notary public commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Complete a notary application form prescribed by the Secretary of State.
- Take the oath of office
- Pay the non-refundable application fee of $30.00.
- Provide proof of the four-year, $10,000 notary bond.
- Starting on January 1, 2022, provide certification that he or she has passed the examination and completed the education requirements as stated in NMAC 126.96.36.199.
- Submit the notary application, application fee, the notary bond, executed oath of office, and proof of completing a notary educational course and passing the required exam to the Secretary of State.
- Within 45 days after receiving the notary commission certificate and prior to performing any notarial acts, submit a sample of the notary stamp impression to the Secretary of State.
How do I renew my notary commission in New Mexico?
You may renew your commission as a notary public by applying and following the same procedures as required for the original application. You must complete a new notary application, pay the required application fee, order a New Mexico notary stamp, and submit an impression of the new notary stamp to the Secretary of State. Each notary public is sent an expiration notice to the notary’s mailing address of record by the Secretary of State one month before the expiration of the notary’s commission.
Note: Notary applicants renewing after January 1, 2022 must complete an approved training course and pass the required exam. The notary public is not required to re-take the training and examination if the following criteria are met:
- The Secretary of State has a record that the notary public has previously passed the required examination.
- The applicant’s commission has not been expired for more than one year or there have not been substantial changes to the statutes or rules pertaining to notarial procedures, as determined by the Secretary of State, since the applicant’s last application date.
Who appoints notaries in New Mexico?
The Secretary of State appoints New Mexico notaries public and administers the application process, maintains all the records pertaining to these notaries, and authenticates their acts. To contact the New Mexico Secretary of State, use the following information:
Office of the Secretary of State
325 Don Gaspar, Suite 300
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone Numbers: (505) 827-3600 or (800) 477-3632
Can a non-resident become a notary in New Mexico?
Yes. Starting on January 1, 2022, a notary applicant who is not a resident of New Mexico but who has a place of employment in the state may qualify for a notary commission. All notary applicants must meet the qualifications set by the New Mexico Secretary of State.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in New Mexico?
The term of office of a New Mexico notary public is four years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void:
- By resignation, death, or revocation.
- By suspension for official misconduct in New Mexico.
- When a notary public is no longer a resident of New Mexico during the notary’s commission.
- When the notary public ceases to be regularly employed in New Mexico.
Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in New Mexico?
Yes. Starting on January 1, 2022, New Mexico state law requires first time notary applicants to take a course of study and pass the examination administered by the Secretary of State or through any third-party training vendor approved by the Secretary of State.
A notary renewing his or her notary commission is exempt from retaking the training and examination provided that his or her commission has not been expired for more than one year or there have not been substantial changes pertaining to rules on notarial procedures since his or her last application date.
Note: Existing notaries are not required to take the required training and examination until renewal of their commission after January 1, 2022.
How much does it cost to become a notary in New Mexico?
A New Mexico notary applicant’s expenses may include the following:
- A $30 fee to process the notary application for appointment or reappointment.
- A fee to take the oath of office executed.
- A four-year, $10,000 notary bond.
- Tuition for the mandatory course and examination.
- A New Mexico notary stamp.
- A New Mexico notary journal to record all notarial acts performed.
- A notary errors and omissions insurance policy if a notary public wishes to purchase one for his or her own legal and financial protection.
Is a notary errors and omissions insurance policy required to become a notary in New Mexico?
A New Mexico errors and omissions insurance policy is optional. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that New Mexico notaries public purchase an errors and omissions insurance policy for their personal protection against liability. Errors and omissions 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 Mexico notary public selects.
Is a notary bond required to become a notary in New Mexico?
Yes. A four-year, $10,000 notary bond issued by a surety or other entity licensed or authorized to do business in the State of New Mexico is required for new and renewing notaries.
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in New Mexico?
Yes. New Mexico notary law requires all New Mexico notaries to use a notary stamp to authenticate official acts (14-14A-16 NMSA 1978). A Stamp Registration form must be submitted to the Secretary of State within 45 days of the issuance of the certificate of commission or the notary will be referred to the State Ethics Commission.
The official stamp of a commissioned notary public shall conform to the requirements pursuant to Section 14-14A-16 NMSA 1978. The stamp must:
- Be in a ten-point font.
- Contain the words “State of New Mexico,” “Notary Public,” your legal name (precisely as listed on your certificate of commission), the issued commission number, and the commission expiration date.
- Not contain the New Mexico state seal.
- Include a border line.
- Use permanent ink and be capable of being photocopied if affixed to a tangible record.
When not in use, the notary stamp must be kept secure and accessible only to the notary public, who may not allow other people to use the device to perform a notarial act. If the notary public’s seal or stamp is stolen or lost, the notary public or his or her personal representative must promptly notify the Secretary of State. As soon as reasonably practicable after resignation, revocation, change of name, expiration of a commission, or death of the notary public, the official seal or stamp must be destroyed or defaced so that it may not be misused.
How much can a New Mexico notary public charge for performing notarial acts?
New Mexico notary fees are set by statute (14-14A-28 NMSA 1978). The maximum allowable fees that a New Mexico notary public may charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- Acknowledgments - $5.00
- Oaths or affirmations, without a signature - $5.00 per person
- Jurats - $5.00
- Copy certifications, per page - $0.50 (Minimum total charge of $5.00)
The law also permits a notary public to charge less than the maximum notarial fee or waive the notarial fee. A notary public may charge a travel fee if:
- The notary and the person requesting the notarial act agree upon the travel fee in advance of the travel.
- The notary explains to the person requesting the notarial act that the travel fee is separate from the notarial fees and not mandated by law (14-14A-28[D] NMSA 1978).
A notary public may also charge a technology fee per notarial act performed with respect to an electronic record. The technology fee must not exceed $25.00 or other amount established by the Secretary of State (14-14A-28[E] NMSA 1978).
Is a notary journal required in New Mexico?
Yes. Starting on January 1, 2022, all New Mexico notaries are required to maintain a notary journal in which the notary public records all notarial acts that the notary public performs. The journal may be either on a tangible medium or in an electronic format regardless of whether the notarial act involves a tangible or electronic record. The notary public is required to retain the journal for ten years from the last notarial act recorded in the journal or from the day of resignation, revocation, or suspension of a notary’s commission (14-14A-18 NMSA 1978).
Where can I perform notarial acts in New Mexico?
New Mexico notaries public have statewide jurisdiction, and they must be physically within the geographic borders of the state of New Mexico.
What notarial acts can a New Mexico notary public perform?
A New Mexico notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (14-14A-2[F]):
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Take verification on oath or affirmation (jurats)
- Witness or attest a signature
- Certify or attest copies
- Note a protest of a negotiable instrument
- Conduct any other act authorized by state law
Can I perform electronic notarizations in New Mexico?
Yes. Another way to perform notarial acts in New Mexico is called “in-person electronic notarization.” Under NMAC 188.8.131.52 (D), “in-person electronic notarization” is defined as a notarization wherein an electronic record is presented for notarization on a computer or mobile device with the individual signing the record and the notarial officer meeting physically face-to-face. It does away with the paper document and manual signature requirements, and the signer must appear in person face-to-face with the notary.
What is the process to become a New Mexico electronic notary public?
To become an electronic notary in New Mexico, you must meet the following requirements:
- Hold a traditional notary public commission in the state of New Mexico.
- Inform the Secretary of State that you will be performing electronic notarizations.
- Identify the technology or the platform that you will be using to perform electronic notarizations. This technology or platform must conform to the standards approved by the Secretary of State (14-14A-26 NMSA 1978).
Can I perform remote online notarizations in New Mexico?
Yes. Starting on January 1, 2022, New Mexico state laws authorize New Mexico notaries public to perform remote online notarizations. Notaries can provide their services to signers located within and outside of New Mexico as long as the notaries themselves are within the state at the time of the notarial act.
The notary public must verify the identity of the individual at the start of the online notarial session by means of communication technology, which must conform to the requirements provided in 14-14A-16 NMSA 1978. The notary public may refuse to perform a notarial act if he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that the individual is acting under coercion or undue influence. (For more information with regard to remote online notarization in New Mexico, see 12.9.4 NMAC).
How do I become a remote online notary in New Mexico?
To perform remote online notarizations (RON), a notary public must comply with the following:
- Hold an existing traditional notary public commission.
- Contract with a RON provider that meets state requirements.
- Successfully complete the training course and pass the required examination from the Secretary of State or through any third-party training vendor approved by the Secretary of State.
- Submit an application to perform RON on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State.
- Pay the $75.00 application fee.
Upon receiving authorizing to perform RONs, you must submit an impression of your electronic notary stamp to the Secretary of State. Note that a notary public applying top perform RON is not required to take the training and examination unless his or her commission has been expired for more than one year or there have been substantial changes pertaining to rules or notarial procedures since his or her last application date.
At a minimum, a New Mexico notary must have the following hardware and software to sign up with a RON vendor:
- A desktop or laptop computer with a minimum 19-inch monitor and with an operating system of Microsoft 8.1 or MacOS 10.11 or higher.
- A browser compatible with the latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
- Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader to view and print electronic documents. This can be downloaded for free from https://www.adobe.com/acrobat/pdf-reader.html.
- A camera, microphone, and speaker. A web camera with a minimum 780p is recommended to ensure the clarity of the video recording.
- A fast and reliable internet connection with a minimum 15 MBPS upload and download speed.
- An electronic signature of your official notary signature.
- An electronic notary seal that contains the information required by your state. The AAN recommends you order the electronic seal with a 300-dpi resolution or higher so that all the seal elements will show clearly when the electronic document is printed.
- A digital notary certificate, which can be attached to the electronic document to evidence if the document has been changed or altered after notarization.
For more information please visit the Secretary of State's website.
Can I perform remote ink notarizations (RIN) in New Mexico?
No. Notaries in New Mexico are not allowed to perform remote ink notarizations.
How do I update my address with the New Mexico Secretary of State?
A New Mexico notary public shall notify the Secretary of State within thirty days of a change of the notary’s residence, business, or mailing address on file with the Secretary of State, using the form prescribed by the Secretary of State. Click here to download the form.
How do I change my name on my notary commission in New Mexico?
Upon any change of a notary public’s name, the notary must within thirty days of such change submit a notary public name change application to the Secretary of State along with the required $3.00 filing fee and a rider from your insurance company verifying the name change. Click here to download the name change form.
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 this 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.