How to become a South Dakota Notary

Abbreviation: SD   |   40th State   |   Statehood: November 2, 1889 |
To become a South Dakota notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be a resident of South Dakota or reside in a county bordering South Dakota and maintain a place of work or business within the state of South Dakota
  • Never have been convicted of a felony
In order to receive a South Dakota notary public commission, a person must:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements
  • Purchase a notary seal prior to filing the notary application because the application requires an imprint of the notary seal as a requirement for processing
  • Requires the applicant’s name be exactly as found on his or her notary seal imprint
  • Properly complete and submit the Notary Public Application, Oath & Bond form to the Secretary of State with a filing fee of $30, along with a $5,000 bond; To download the application forms, go to

Please Note: The Notary Public Commission must be posted in a conspicuous place in the notary’s office for public inspection.

Non-Resident South Dakota Notary:
Permitted. A person who resides in a county bordering South Dakota whose employment or business is within the state of South Dakota may apply. Such a person must meet the same qualifications as a South Dakota resident.
South Dakota Notary Bond:
Required. A notary bond or a personal surety in the amount of $5,000 is required for new and renewing notaries public. An applicant who completes the Personal Surety form in lieu of a surety company is providing a personal surety bond as an individual not a business.
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 South Dakota notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance.
Filing Fee:
A $30 filing fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.
South Dakota Notary Term:
Six years
South Dakota Secretary of State
500 East Capitol Avenue, Suite 204
Pierre, SD 57501-5077
(605) 773-3537
Notary Commission Renewal:
To retain the same expiration date (month and day), a notary public must apply prior to the expiration of the commission by mailing the Notary Public Application, Oath, and Bond form to the Secretary of State with a $30 filing fee.
None Required.
South Dakota Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:

Type – embossed seal or rubber stamp seal

Ink color – any color as long as the seal can be reproduced under photographic methods.

Shape – round or rectangular

Required elements--notary’s name and the words “Notary Public” and “South Dakota.” The seal should have a border surrounding the imprint. A rubber stamp has to contain the word “Seal.” “My commission expires: (date)” must be included below the seal’s imprint. The commission expiration date cannot be a part of the official notary seal imprint. The seal is the exclusive property of the notary public and must not be surrendered to an employer upon termination or resignation.

Record Book:
None Required. It is strongly recommended by the South Dakota Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries that South Dakota notaries public record every notarial act in a notary record book or journal. For South Dakota 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 - $10.00
  • Oaths or affirmations - $10.00
  • Jurats - $10.00
A notary public may not charge a fee for notarizing an absentee ballot.
A South Dakota notary public has the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths or affirmations
  • Jurats
Electronic Notarization:
The State of South Dakota has not enacted/adopted statutes, rules, and/or procedures for electronic notarizations.
Address Change:
Required. Notaries must notify the Secretary of State in writing of a change in address. Since notary law does not stipulate the time period for such address notice, notaries public are encouraged to complete the form at their earliest convenience. Click here to download the Notary Public Request to Change Record form --
Name Change:
Optional. A notary public who changes his or her name during the term of the commission has three options:
  • 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 Secretary of State with the imprint of the new seal without any additional filing fee. To download the Notary Public Request to Change Record form, visit --
Although not required by state notary laws, a letter of notice should be submitted to the Secretary of State, along with the notary commission, if any of these significant events occur during the term of a current notary commission. Notaries (or their representatives) should destroy the notary’s seals immediately and contact the Secretary of State for instructions regarding the notary’s record book or journals.
Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • Prepare, draft, or give legal advice concerning legal documents
  • Notarize a blank or incomplete instrument
  • Notarize a document that has already been signed
  • Attempt to take an acknowledgment or administer an oath over the telephone
  • Overcharge for notary services
  • Notarize a document without the appearance of the signer at the time of the notarization
  • Notarize his or her own signature
  • Notarize any document if the notary is personally interested, directly or indirectly, in the transaction
  • Notarize a signature not made or authenticated in the notary’s presence
  • Permit other individuals to use his official seal or stamp
Criminal Offense:
The following acts constitute a misdemeanor offense:
  • Notarizing any document when the parties have not personally appeared before the notary public at the time of the performance of the notarial act
  • Exercising the duties of a notary public after the expiration of the commission or when otherwise disqualified
  • Acting as a notary public or notarizing a document without first obtaining a notary commission from the Secretary of State
  • Notarizing a document when the notary public has also signed the document as a party to the transaction
Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view your state’s notarial certificates.

Revised: July 2016

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