Effective October 1, 2019 all notaries – both new and renewing – are required to pass an examination to prove their understanding of the duties and responsibilities of the office.
Effective July 1, 2020, all notaries will be required to provide certification that they have completed at least four hours of approved training prior to applying for a commission (new or renewal). Until then, training is optional although strongly suggested.
There is no additional cost for the examination. There are 50 questions and you will have up to 60 minutes to complete the exam. If you do not complete the exam in a single session, you will have to start over. You will have three attempts to achieve a passing score of 80%. If you are not successful after three attempts, you will be blocked for 3 months before you can try again. Because you must submit your application within 6 months of taking the examination, we highly recommend that you take the exam before applying for your notary bond.
The primary resource for the information you need to pass the exam is the Montana Notary Public Handbook. The latest edition is now available for you to download and study.
Courses and classes
While mandatory training is not required at this time, it is certainly recommended that notaries avail themselves of the most current information about the laws, rules, procedures, and ethics of performing notarizations in Montana.
Essential Notary Education – American Society of Notaries – 4 Hours Credit
ASN’s Montana Notary Education Course is a comprehensive, state-approved course that teaches Notary applicants to perform their duties competently and confidently. Content includes in-depth discussion of Notary commission responsibilities; authorized Notarial duties; performing Notarial acts; keeping Notarial records; performing remote and remote online notarizations; and more. Satisfies Montana’s Notary education requirement(s) effective on July 1, 2020 and prepares Notary applicants to take the mandatory exam.
Private Seminars and Classes
In addition to the classes and courses offered to the public, the Secretary of State’s office can provide customized presentations for individual businesses, conferences, and seminars. Contact the Notary Program Specialist at (406) 444-5379 for more information.
Train the Trainers
Beginning in the Spring of 2020, the Montana Secretary of State’s Office will be offering a program to those interested in becoming approved notary trainers for the State of Montana. This multi-class course is designed for professional training personnel to provide approved notary education within their organizations and for independent training entrepreneurs who wish to develop and present approved notary training classes to the public. Contact the Notary Program Specialist at (406) 444-5379 for more information.
Biennial Statewide Notary Conferences
Montana is the only state in the country to offer this outstanding opportunity for notaries public to learn more about their craft and network with other notaries to share ideas, issues, and common issues. Nationally recognized notary experts from various industries and professions come to Montana to share their knowledge and passion during this two-day event. Plans are now being made for the 2020 Montana Notary Conference to be held in early summer. Check back for more information on this fun and informative event.