Notary

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Notarial Seal/Stamp

It is the responsibility of the notary to obtain and keep an official seal/stamp upon receiving a new or subsequent commission. The Secretary of State does not provide the seal/stamp. Seal/Stamps may be purchased from most stationery, stamp, or office supply stores. It is the notary’s responsibility to ensure that the seal/stamp is correct and complies with the requirements described below. Do not expect that the retailer or manufacturer knows the requirements. Provide this page to the vendor if there are any questions. The Secretary of State has compiled a list of Recommended Vendors who have agreed to provide only the prescribed types of stamps to Montana notaries. As of October 1, 2013, all Montana notaries are required to have an ink stamp unit, rectangular in shape and approximately 1” x 2 ½” in size, that contains a seal (as described below) and the additional statutorily mandated information: the notary’s printed name; the title, “Notary Public for the State of Montana”; the words, “Residing at” with the name of the city or town where the notary lives; and the notary’s commission expiration date, shown as Month/Day/Four Digit Year. The stamp may be either blue or black ink only. The following is an illustration of the combination seal/stamp unit that is now mandated for Montana notaries: IMPORTANT NOTES: All information as shown above must be included. The commission expiration date must be complete. It is not acceptable to “fill in” the year. If any of the information contained in the seal/stamp changes during the notary’s term of office, the stamp must be replaced. Handwritten corrections are not allowed. The rectangular border is a REQUIRED part of the seal/stamp. Notaries must purchase a new seal/stamp for each term of office. When the seal/stamp is used, the information does not need to be…

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Montana Notary Journals

Montana law requires notaries public to chronicle all notarial acts in a journal. A notary may keep one or more journals, and the journals may be either a permanent, bound paper journal designed to deter fraud or a permanent, tamper-evident electronic journal. Entries in a journal must be made at the same time as the notarial act. Each journal entry must include: The date and time of the notarization. The type of notarial act. Only seven possibilities exist: taking an acknowledgment (“Acknowledgement”); administering an oath/affirmation (“Oath”); taking a verification on oath/affirmation (“Jurat”); witnessing/attesting a signature (“Signature”); certifying/attesting a copy (“Certification of Copy”); certifying/attesting a transcript of an affidavit or deposition (“Deposition”) and noting a protest of a negotiable instrument (“Protest Instrument”). A description of the document. Typically, this is the date of the document and the type of document such as “contract,” “deed,” “power of attorney,” “affidavit,” etc. If more than one document is being notarized, each document should be described. The type of identification used. If identification is based on personal knowledge, an entry of “P.K.” is acceptable. If identification is based on satisfactory evidence, a brief description of the method of identification used (credible witness or ID document) should be noted, as well as the date of issuance or expiration of any ID document used. The signature, printed name, and address of the person for whom the notarial act was performed. This information should be entered by the person who is requesting the notarization. Exception: Certifying transcripts of depositions and certifying copies do not require the signature of the individual for whom the notarial act is performed. The fee (if any) charged for the notarization. Below are illustrations of two popular types of paper journals – the linear style and the block style – that show how the…