How to Become a Notary in South Dakota
Guide to become a notary public in South Dakota:
Are you interested in becoming a South Dakota notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own South Dakota notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The State of South Dakota appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. Becoming a notary in South Dakota is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become a South Dakota notary. The America Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This South Dakota notary guide will help you understand:
- Who can become a notary in South Dakota
- How to become a notary in South Dakota
- The basic duties of a notary in South Dakota
Who can become a notary public in South Dakota?
To become a South Dakota notary public, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a permanent resident of South Dakota as defined in SDCL §12-1-4 or a resident of a county bordering South Dakota who maintains a place of work or business in South Dakota; and
- Never have been convicted of a felony.
How to become a notary public in South Dakota?
To become a South Dakota notary and receive a South Dakota notary commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Complete a notary application.
- Complete the oath portion of the notary application.
- Make an imprint of his or her notary seal on the application.
- Purchase a $5,000 notary bond issued by an insurance company OR provide an individual personal surety bond.
- Submit the completed notary application with the bond and the $30 filing fee to the Secretary of State’s address listed on the notary application.
To access the notary application, click here.
Important: The Notary Public Commission must be posted in a conspicuous place in the notary’s office for public inspection.
How do I renew my notary commission in South Dakota?
A South Dakota notary can summit a renewal application no more than sixty days prior to his or her commission expiration date. If a notary public wishes to renew his or her notary public commission and desires to keep the same commission date and expiration date, he or she must complete and submit his or her notary public application, oath, and bond form to the Secretary of State with a $30 filing fee in advance of the commission’s expiration. If a notary public desires a different expiration date than his or her previous commission, the notary must indicate on the application what date he or she wishes to begin his or her next six-year term. The process to renew a notary public commission is the same as for an applicant’s initial appointment as a notary public. To access the notary application, click here.
Who appoints notaries in South Dakota?
The Secretary of State appoints South Dakota notaries public, issues notary public commissions, and maintains the records of notaries (SDCL §18-1-1 and §18-1-4). To contact the Office of the Secretary of State, use the following information:
South Dakota Secretary of State
Division of General Services
500 East Capitol Avenue, Suite 204
Pierre, SD 57501-5077
Can a non-resident of South Dakota apply for a commission as a notary public?
Yes. A non-resident who resides in a county bordering South Dakota and maintains a place of work or business in South Dakota may apply for a South Dakota notary public commission (SDCL §18-1-1). Moreover, a non-resident must comply with the statutory eligibility requirements as a permanent resident of South Dakota.
How long is a notary public's commission term in South Dakota?
The term of office of a South Dakota notary public is six years, commencing on the date the Secretary of State makes the appointment and issues the notary public commission (SDCL §18-1-1). A notary’s commission may be rendered void:
- By resignation.
- By revocation.
- By death.
- When anon-resident notary ceases to have a place of work or business in South Dakota.
- When the notary is convicted of a felony.
Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in South Dakota?
No. South Dakota notary statute does not require a course of study or examination to qualify to become a notary public in South Dakota.
How much does it cost to become a notary public in South Dakota?
To become a notary public in South Dakota, a notary applicant’s expenses may include:
- The $30 filing fee to process the application for appointment or reappointment.
- The mandatory notary seal.
- A notary journal if the notary wishes to record every notarial act performed.
- A notary surety bond.
- An E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to obtain one for his or her own personal legal and financial protection.
Do I need a notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to become a notary in South Dakota?
A notary errors and omissions insurance policy is optional. The American Association of Notaries highly recommends that South Dakota notaries public consider obtaining notary errors and omissions insurance 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 a party affected by the notary’s notarial actions. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a South Dakota notary public selects.
Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in South Dakota?
South Dakota notary statute requires new and renewing notaries public to submit a $5,000 surety bond, to be approved by the attorney general, with their applications of appointment and reappointment (SDCL §18-1-2). The surety bond can be EITHER issued by an insurance company OR posted by an individual personal surety. A personal surety can be a friend, relative, spouse, or co-worker who will sign on his or her own behalf and be liable for a notary’s $5,000 bond if the notary performs any unlawful acts with the notary’s commission. A personal surety cannot be a company, business, or organization.Both the notary applicant and the personal surety must sign the notary application form, with each of their signatures being separately notarized. A personal surety cannot have his or /her name removed for any reason.A notary public cannot be his or her own personal surety.
Do I need to order a notary stamp in South Dakota?
South Dakota notary statute requires all South Dakota notaries public to use either a rubber stamp or an embossing seal to authenticate all official acts (SDCL §18-1-3.1).
Dimensions: The South Dakota notary statute does not provide the statutory dimensions regarding the layout for a notary’s official seal.
Required Elements: The seal must be of a type approved by the Secretary of State and shall contain at least the following elements:
- The notary public’s name;
- The words, South Dakota;
- The words, Notary Public; and
- A border surrounding the imprint.
Note: A seal may be a rubber stamp or a physical device capable of affixing to or embossing on a tangible document. A rubber stamp must contain the word “Seal.” The words “My Commission Expires” and the commission expiration date must be written, printed, or stamped on the document. A notary public may use a separate stamp imprint with the words “My Commission Expires” and the expiration date. If the words are printed on the form, the notary need not duplicate them. The commission expiration date cannot be part of the notary’s official seal imprint. The commission expiration date must include the month, day, and year.
A notary public must notify the Secretary of State immediately if his or her official seal is lost or stolen. There are two options available to a notary public whose official seal has been lost or stolen. A notary may:
- Have a new seal made under his or her current notary commission, which can be identical to the original or a different type.
- Request that the Secretary of State cancel his or her present notary commission and ask that a new notary commission with a different expiration date be issued.
Whatever option is chosen, a notary may also wish to change the name on his or her notary commission and official seal. The new official seal impression has to be recorded with the Office of the Secretary of State. The new impression of the notary’s official seal must correspond exactly to the way the name is signed and recorded with the Secretary of State. To order a South Dakota notary stamp, notary seal, complete notary package, and notary supplies please visit the American Association of Notaries website, or call 713-644-2299.
How much can a South Dakota notary public charge for performing notarial acts?
South Dakota notary fees are set by statute (SDCL §18-1-9). A South Dakota notary public may charge and receive a fee not to exceed ten dollars ($10) for each instrument notarized. However, no notary public may charge a fee for notarizing a request for an absentee ballot.
Is a notary journal required in South Dakota?
A notary journal (also known as a record book, log book, or register book) is your first line of defense in proving your innocence if a notarial act you performed is questioned or if you are requested to testify in a court of law about a notarial act you performed in the past. A properly recorded notarial act creates a paper trail that will help investigators locate and prosecute signers who have committed forgery and fraud. Properly recorded notarial acts provide evidence that you followed your state laws and notary’s best practices.
Notary journal requirements in South Dakota for traditional notarizations and remote notarizations - South Dakota notaries are not required to record their notarial acts in a notary journal. However, the South Dakota Secretary of State recommends that all notarial acts be recorded in a journal. A notary public can maintain a journal in a tangible medium or electronic format.
The American Association of Notaries offers a wide variety of notary journals.
Click here to purchase a tangible notary journal.
Click here to become a member and access our electronic notary journal.
What information must South Dakota notaries record in their notary journals?
For Traditional Notarizations and Remote Notarizations - The South Dakota Secretary of State recommends notaries to chronicle the following information in their notary journals:
- The date and time of notarization or acknowledgment.
- The kind of document being notarized or acknowledged.
- The name and address of any party whose signature is being notarized.
- The signature of the party.
Optional Information for Journal Entries:
- A land description (if applicable).
- The kinds of identification presented.
- The number of pages on the document.
Where can I perform notarial acts in South Dakota?
South Dakota notaries public have statewide jurisdiction, and they must perform notarial acts within the geographic borders of the State of South Dakota (SDCL §18-1-1).
What notarial acts can a South Dakota notary public perform?
A South Dakota notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (SDCL §18-1-1.1):
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Take verifications on oath or affirmation
- Witness or attest signatures
- Certify or attest a copy
- Note protests of negotiable instruments
Can I perform electronic notarizations in South Dakota?
Electronic signatures/notarization are not acceptable at this time in South Dakota.
Can I perform remote notarizations in South Dakota?
South Dakota enacted remote notarization in limited circumstances in 2019. A notarial officer in this state, while located in this state, may perform a notarial act executed on a tangible document by a person not in the physical presence of the notarial officer, but observed by the notarial officer through means of video communication technology, if the notarial officer:
- Has personal knowledge of the identity of a person through dealings sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the person has the identity being claimed;
- Affixes the notarial officer's signature to the original tangible document executed by the person;
- Indicates in the notarial certificate the remote location of the person executing the document;
- Indicates in the notarial certificate that the notarial act involved a statement made or a signature executed by a person not in the physical presence of the notarial officer, but appearing by means of video communication technology; and
- Is able reasonably to confirm that the document before the notarial officer is the same document in which the person made the statement or on which the person executed a signature.
Can I perform remote online notarizations in South Dakota?
Full remote online notarizations are not authorized under current South Dakota law and electronic signatures are not acceptable at this time.
How do I update my address on my South Dakota notary commission?
Notaries must notify the Office of the Secretary of State in writing of a change in address. Since South Dakota notary law does not stipulate the time period for an address notification to the Secretary of State, notaries are encouraged to complete the Notary Change form at their earliest convenience. To access the Notary Change form, click here.
How do I change my name on my notary commission in South Dakota?
A notary public who changes his or her name during the term of a notary public commission has three options available:
- Continue to use the notary commission as it was issued. The notary public would continue to sign his or her name using the surname on the commission.
- Continue to use the notary commission as it was issued and add to the signature an appropriate notation such as “presently” or “now” and the new name.
- Change the name on the notary commission by completing and submitting the Notary Request to Change Record form to the Office of the Secretary of State with the imprint of the new seal without any additional filing fee.The Secretary of State will issue a Notary Public Name Change Certificate. To access the Notary Change form, click here.
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 various 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.