How to Become a Vermont Notary
The Vermont Notary Process:
Are you interested in becoming a Vermont notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own Vermont notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The state of Vermont appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. Becoming a notary in Vermont is a straightforward process, and as long as you satisfy the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become a Vermont notary. The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This guide will help you understand:
- Who can become a Vermont notary
- The process to become a Vermont notary
- Basic Vermont notary duties
What are the qualifications to become a Vermont notary?
To become a Vermont notary public, you 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 Vermont resident of or have a place of employment or practice in Vermont;
- Not be disqualified to receive a commission under Section 5342 of Chapter 103; and
- Pass a basic examination approved by the Office Professional Regulation (OPR) based on the statutes, rules, and ethics relevant to notarial acts effective February 1, 2021 (26 VSA §5341[b]).
What is the process to become a Vermont notary?
To become a Vermont notary and receive a Vermont notary commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Complete the Oath of Office form provided by the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR),and have it notarized prior to filling out your online application.
- Create an account on OPR’s online licensing system and click on “Apply for Individual License” to complete the online application. Click here to access OPR’s online licensing system.
- Upload a copy of your signed and notarized Oath of Office.
- Pay a $15.00 application fee.
- Allow 3-5 business days for processing once your online application is submitted.
- Wait for notification, by email, of your application’s approval. Your commission will then be available for printing through your online licensing account.
Note: You must report all convictions and provide a detailed written explanation together with the certified court documents. A conviction will not necessarily prevent you from obtaining a notary public commission. Click here for handy information and step-by-step instructions. Paper applications are not accepted.
Can a non-resident become a notary in Vermont?
Yes, non-residents who have a place of employment or practice in Vermont may apply for a Vermont notary public commission (26 VSA §5341[b]. Moreover, non-residents must meet the same statutory eligibility requirements as a resident of Vermont.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Vermont?
To become a notary public in Vermont, a notary applicant’s expenses may include the cost for the following: (1) a $15 filing fee to process the notary online application for appointment or reappointment; (2) a notary stamp if the notary wish to purchase one; (3) a notary journal if the notary wishes to record every notarial act performed; (4) a notary bond if the notary wishes to purchase one to protect the public or principal signer from financial damages; and (5) an E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to obtain one for his or her own personal legal and financial protection.
How do I renew my Vermont notary commission?
All Vermont notaries are required to renew their notary commission every two years on January 31th. The first renewal for all Vermont notaries will be on January 31, 2021 and the will be due to renew again on January 31th, 2023.
Effective February 1, 2021, a notary public applying for renewal must complete a two-hour continuing education course approved by the Office Professional Regulation during the preceding two-year period. All convictions during your notary public commission term must be reported to OPR within thirty days.
If notaries do not complete their renewals by midnight of the day their commissions expire, late penalties will apply pursuant to 3 V.S.A §127(d)(1). Notaries will receive three courtesy email notifications when it is time to renew. These notifications will be sent to the email address the notaries provided to the Office of Professional Regulation. Notaries public are required to keep their email address up to date in the OPR online system. The first courtesy reminder is usually sent six weeks prior to the deadline.
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become a Vermont notary public or to renew my Vermont notary public commission?
For online notary applications received prior to February 1, 2021, no examination is required. First-time notary applicants submitting an online notary application on or after February 1, 2021 will need to pass an examination based on the statutes, rules, and ethics relevant to notarial acts. Notaries public will be required to complete two hours of continuing education prior to submitting their online commission renewal applications, which are due by January 31, 2021, and every two years thereafter. OPR shall establish by rule guidelines and criteria for continuing education credit (26 VSA §5343). A list of approved continuing education vendors will be available on the Office of Professional Regulation website. Notaries public will be asked to upload their course completion certificate(s) with their online renewal applications. The Office of Professional Regulation does not provide training on how to be a notary public. Attorneys licensed and in good standing in Vermont are exempt from the examination requirement.
Can I perform electronic notarization in Vermont?
The state of Vermont has enacted the “Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (9 VSA Chapter 20), including the provision on notarization and acknowledgment, which authorizes the electronic signatures used by notaries public. “Vermont law prohibits remote online notarization and electronic notarization until the Secretary of State has adopted rules and prescribed standards for these practices” (26 V.S.A. Sec. 5323). The Secretary of State has not yet adopted such rules. In turn, remote online notarization and electronic notarization are not yet permitted in the state of Vermont.
Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Vermont?
The Vermont Secretary of State has not yet adopted administrative rules, procedures, and/or standards for electronic notarizations and remote online notarizations. Section 5323 states “neither electronic notarization nor remote online notarizations shall be allowed until the Secretary of State has adopted rules and prescribed standards in these areas.” Therefore, remote online notarizations and electronic notarizations are not yet permitted in the state of Vermont.
The Vermont notary statute states that before a notary public performs the notary public's initial notarial act with respect to an electronic record, the notary public shall notify the Office Professional Regulation that the notary public will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records and identify the technology the notary public intends to use from the list of technologies approved by the rules adopted by the Secretary of State. Moreover, Section 5364 states that if a notarial act relates to a statement made in or a signature executed on a record, the individual making the statement or executing the signature shall appear personally before the notary public. The requirement for a personal appearance is satisfied if: (1) the notary and the person executing the signature are in the same physical place; or (2) the notary and the person are communicating through a secure communication link using protocols and standards prescribed in rules adopted by the Secretary of State. OPR recommends that notaries frequently visit their website for updates, information, and notices of administrative rules adopted by the Secretary of State.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Vermont?
The Vermont notary statute defines "commission term" as the two-year period commencing on February 1 and continuing through January 31 of the second year following the commencement of the term (26 VSA §5304). “If you have a commission as a notary public received on or after December 1, 2018, that commission will remain in effect until January 31, 2021 and will need to be renewed every two (2) years thereafter” (OPR’s website, “Frequently Asked Questions”). The expiration date for all current notary public commissions is January 31, 2021. The expiration date must be included in your notary public certificate on each notarized document.
Is a Vermont notary bond required to become a notary in Vermont?
No. New applicants seeking an appointment as a notary public and renewing notaries public are not statutorily required to purchase a notary bond to obtain their notary public commissions in Vermont.
Do I need a Vermont notary errors and omission insurance?
A notary errors and omissions insurance policy is optional. The American Association of Notaries highly recommends that Vermont 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 Vermont notary public selects.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Vermont?
Vermont notaries public have statewide jurisdiction, and they must be physically within the geographic borders of the State of Vermont (26 VSA §5361a).
Who appoints Vermont notaries public?
As of December 1, 2018, the Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) is authorized to administer the administrative process for the commissioning and regulating of notaries public, a responsibility which was removed from the county assistant judges.
To contact the Vermont Secretary of State, use the following information:
Vermont Secretary of State
Office of Professional Regulation
89 Main Street, 3rd Floor
Montpelier VT 05620-3402
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Vermont?
In Vermont, a notary public is not required to have an official stamp or to affix an official stamp on a record. If a notary public chooses not to affix an official stamp to a notarized record, the notary public shall clearly print or type the notary public’s name and commission number on the record. Further, any combination of official stamp and printing is acceptable as long as the notary public’s full legal name, jurisdiction, and commission number are affixed to the record. Refer to the Notaries Public Official Stamps page for further information (OPR’s website, “Frequently Asked Questions”).
“The official stamp of a notary public shall:
- include the notary public’s name, jurisdiction, and other information required by the Office; and
- be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed or attached or with which it is logically associated” (26 VSA §5369).
A notary public is responsible for the security of the notary's stamping device and must not allow another individual to use the device to perform a notarial act. If a notary's stamping device is lost or stolen, the notary or the notary's personal representative or guardian shall notify promptly the Office of Professional Regulation on discovering that the device is lost or stolen (26 VSA §5370).
Is a notary journal required in Vermont?
No. The Vermont notary statute does not require Vermont notaries public to record their notarial acts in a notary journal. While a journal is not required by state law, the American Association of Notaries recommends that Vermont notaries public (1) maintain a log of their official acts to assist in recalling past notarial acts if needed or in the event they are legally challenged and (2) maintain a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages to create and preserve a chronological record of every notarial act as a protective measure against liability. For Vermont notary supplies, visit our website at www.usnotaries.com or call 800.721.2663.
How much can a Vermont notary charge for performing notarial acts?
The state of Vermont does not prescribe or regulate fees for notarial acts in their notary statute.
What notarial acts can a Vermont notary public perform?
A Vermont notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (26 VSA §5304a):
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Take verifications on oath or affirmation
- Attest signatures
- Note protests of negotiable instruments
- Take depositions (VRCP 28a)
- Issue subpoenas (VRCP 45a)
How do I update my address with the Vermont Secretary of State?
Vermont notaries public can update their address, name, and email address online with the Secretary of State’s OPR’s licensing platform. Click here to go directly to the OPR’s licensing platform.
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Vermont?
Notaries must log into their online account and click update profile. Notaries must upload to the update license/application option within their account: (1) a copy of an acceptable name change document (marriage certificate, divorce decree, or other court documents supporting the name change) and (2) a new revised oath of office/affirmation that has the new legal name and signature.
Vermont notarial certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.
Revised: August 2019
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 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 the 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 state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.
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.