How to become a South Carolina Notary

Abbreviation: SC   |   8th State   |   Statehood: May 23, 1788 |
To become a South Carolina notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • Be a registered voter in South Carolina
  • Be able to read and write the English language
  • Submit an application containing no significant misstatement or omission of fact
In order to receive a South Carolina notary public commission, a person must:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements
  • Properly complete a notary application and take the oath of office before a notary
  • Be endorsed by at least ˝ of the delegates to the state legislature from the applicant’s county, or by the state senator and representative from the district in which the applicant resides, or by the chairman or secretary of the county legislative delegation signing on a local legislator’s behalf.
  • Mail the notary application along with a $25.00 check or money order to the appropriate county delegation for the required signatures. The delegation office will forward the filing fees and application to the Secretary of State.
  • Within 15 days after the notary is commissioned, enroll his or her commission with the Clerk of Court in the county where he or she resides, along with a $5 filing fee.
  • Click here to download the application form:
Non-Resident South Carolina Notaries:
Not permitted.
South Carolina 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 recommends that South Carolina notaries insure themselves against claims of negligence through Errors and Omission insurance.
Filing Fee:
A $25 filing fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.
South Carolina Notary Term:
Ten years
Secretary of State
Notary Division
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 734-2512
Notary Commission Renewal:
There are no automatic renewals or reminders. When reapplying, notaries must send their application at least 8-12 weeks prior to the commission expiration date. The renewal process is the same as the initial registration process, including the $25 fee.
None Required.
South Carolina Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:
Type—embosser or rubber-inked stamp

Shape—circular or rectangular

Required elements--name of the notary public, the words “notary public,” and “State of South Carolina.” The notary’s commission expiration date may appear in the notary’s stamp or seal or elsewhere in the notarial certificate.

Record Book:
None Required. It is strongly recommended by the South Carolina Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries that South Carolina notaries public record every notarial act in a notary record book. For South Carolina 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 - $5 per signature
  • Oaths or affirmations - $5 per person
  • Jurat - $5 per signature
  • Witnessing a signature - $5 per signature
  • Verification of fact - $5 per certificate
Note: Travel fee allowed. The notary must inform the customer of non-notarial fees before traveling (i.e., travel fees) and must separate those fees from notarial fees. A notary who charges a fee for his notarial services must display conspicuously in his place of business, or present to each principal outside his place of business, an English language schedule of fees for notarial acts.
A South Carolina notary public has the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Take oaths and affirmations
  • Perform attestations and jurats
  • Witness signatures
  • Taking verifications of fact
  • Perform marriage ceremonies
  • Conduct any other acts authorized by law
Electronic Notarization:
The State of South Carolina has not enacted/adopted statutes, rules, and/or procedures for electronic notarizations.
Address Change:
Required. The notary must notify the Secretary of State in writing within 45 days of his or her address change. Mail the Change of Status form along with a $10.00 fee to update your address on your commission. To download the Change in Status Form, go to
Name Change:
Required. The notary must notify the State within 45 days after his or her legal name changes. Submit the Change of Status form along with a $10.00 fee for such changes. To download the Change in Status Form, go to:
If a notary dies during the term of commission, the notary’s personal representative shall notify the Secretary of State of the death in writing. A notary who resigns his or her commission shall submit to the Secretary of State a Change in Status Form indicating the effective date of resignation. In both circumstances, the notary must, as soon as reasonably practicable, destroy or deface all notary seals so that they may not be misused.
Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • Prepare, draft, select, or give legal advice concerning documents if the notary is not an attorney
  • Claim to have powers, qualifications, rights, or privileges that are unauthorized by law
  • Use the term “notario publico” or any equivalent non-English term in any business card, advertisement, notice, or sign
  • Perform a notarial act without requiring the physical presence of the signer or subscribing witness
  • Perform a notarial act without properly identifying the signers
  • Perform a notarial act if the notary is a signer of, party to, or beneficiary of the record that is to be notarized
  • Notarize an incomplete document
  • Notarize a document without a notarial certificate
  • Notarize a document that contains blanks
  • Postdate or predate notarizations
  • Notarize his or her own signature
  • Certify or authenticate a photograph or photocopy
  • Execute a notarial certificate that is not written in the English language
  • Certify vital public records
  • Notarize outside of South Carolina
Criminal Liability:
A notary may be sued for official misconduct. If a notary is guilty of a misdemeanor, upon conviction, he or she may be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than thirty days. The court in which the notary is convicted shall notify the Secretary of State within ten days after the conviction, which will result in the revocation of the notary’s commission.

A notary who commits one of the following acts is guilty of a misdemeanor:

  • Performing a notarial act before taking the oath of office
  • Taking an acknowledgment or administering an oath or affirmation without the principal appearing in person before the notary
  • Taking a verification or proof without the subscribing witness appearing in person before the notary
  • Taking an acknowledgment or administering an oath or affirmation without personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the principal
  • Taking a verification or proof without personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the subscribing witness
  • Taking an acknowledgment, verification, or proof or administering an oath or affirmation that the notary knows to be false or fraudulent.
    Notarial Certificates:
    Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.

    Revised: August 2015

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