How to become a Rhode Island Notary

Abbreviation: RI   |   13th State   |   Statehood: May 29, 1790 |
To become a Rhode Island notary public, an applicant must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be a registered voter in the State of Rhode Island, or an attorney (resident or non-resident) who is a member of the Rhode Island Bar, or a resident or non-resident Rhode Island Certified Public Accountant
  • Be able to read and write the English language
  • Not have been convicted of a felony
In order to receive a Rhode Island notary public commission, an applicant must:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements
  • Properly complete and submit an application form to the Secretary of State with a filing fee of $80. To download the application form, go to
Non-Resident Rhode Island Notary:
Permitted. Under Section 5-3.1-5, members of the Rhode Island Bar and certified public accountants shall, regardless of residence, be appointed a notary public commission if they apply and present a certified copy of a certificate of admission to the bar or a certificate of public accountancy.
Rhode Island Notary Bond:
None Required.
Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from his or her official misconduct. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Rhode Island notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance.
Filing Fee:
A filing fee of $80 is required for new and renewal notary applications.
Rhode Island Notary Term:
Four years.
Office of the Secretary of State
Business Services Division
Notary Public Section
148 W. River Street
Providence, RI 02904-2615
(401) 222-3040
Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary public may apply 60 days before the expiration of his or her commission by completing a renewal notary application form.
None Required.
Rhode Island Notary Stamp:
A Rhode Island notary is required to use an inked notary stamp. The notary stamp must include the notary public’s name as it appears on the commission, the words “notary public,” and the jurisdiction. The notary stamp must be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is logically associated. Embossing seals do not photo copy and will no longer be an acceptable notary stamp.
Record Book:
None Required. It is strongly recommended by Executive Order 09-08, the Secretary of State, and the American Association of Notaries that Rhode Island notaries record every notarial act in a permanently bound journal. For Rhode Island notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663 or visiting our website at .
Notary Fees:
Notary fees are set by state law. A notary public is allowed to charge for each notarial act, but not more than:

  • Acknowledgments - $1.00
  • Jurats - $0.25 cents
  • Protests - $2.00 + $1.25 for notices
  • Noting a marine protest - $1.00 + $1.50 to record
  • Affidavits - $0.25 cents
  • Travel fee - $0.10 cents per mile
A Rhode Island notary public has the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths or affirmations
  • Jurats
  • Witness signatures
  • Take depositions
  • Protest instruments
  • Certify copies of non-recordable documents
Electronic Notarization:
The State of Rhode Island has not enacted/adopted statutes, rules, and/or procedures for electronic notarizations.
Address Change:
Required. A notary public who changes his or her address is required to notify the Secretary of State within 10 days of the address change by filing a Notary Public Change of Address Form. The local board of canvassers must also be notified of such change. To download the Notary Public Change of Address Form, go to
Name Change:
Required. A notary public must file with the Secretary of State a Notary Public Change of Name Form within 10 days after the change. To download the Notary Public Change of Name Form, go to
A notary public or representative must submit a letter of notice to the Secretary of State along with the notary commission in the event of death, resignation, or removal. The notary public or representative shall immediately destroy the notary seal. The notary or representative must also retain the notary journal and records for seven years after the date of the last entry.
Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • Prepare, draft, select, or give legal advice regarding legal documents
  • Counsel on immigration matters
  • Use the phrase “notario” or “notario publico” in any business card, advertisement, notice, or sign
  • Notarize a document if the signer is not in the presence of the notary at the time of notarization
  • Perform a notarial act if the signer is not identified through satisfactory evidence of identity
  • Certify a copy of a publicly recordable document
  • Perform a notarial act if the principal does not understand the consequences of the transaction or the document requiring the notarization
  • Notarize for a principal who is not acting of his or her own free will
  • Notarize a document if the notary is a party to or is named in the document requiring the notarization
  • Notarize a document if the notary will receive as a direct result of the notarization a commission, fee, advantage, right, title, interest, cash, property or other consideration exceeding notary fees
  • Notarize a transaction if the notary has any financial interest in the document
  • Execute a notarial certificate containing information known to the notary to be false
  • Affix an official signature and seal on a notarial certificate that is incomplete
  • Provide a signed/sealed notarial certificate to another person to be completed or attached to a document outside the presence of the notary
  • Notarize an incomplete document or one that contains blanks
  • Perform a notarization with the intent to deceive or defraud
  • Influence a person either to enter into or avoid a transaction involving the notarization
  • Refuse to perform a notarial act solely based on the principal’s race, advanced age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, health, or disability
  • Perform a notarial act that the notary cannot complete at the time of the execution of the notarization
  • Perform a notarial act for a spouse, family member, child, sibling, in-laws, or half relatives
Criminal Penalties:
A notary public who commits fraud or deceit in the performance of a notarial act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one (1) year or both.
Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

Revised: August 2015

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