To become a Montana Notary Public, you must meet the following qualifications:
- Be at least 18 years old;
- Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States;
- Be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in Montana;
- Be able to read and write English; and
- Not have been disqualified to receive a commission as provided in 1-5-621, MCA.
Applying for a Notary Commission (New or Renewal)
If you meet the qualifications to become a Montana Notary Public, you may apply for a four-year notary public commission by following the steps below. It is not possible to obtain a notary commission in just a few days, so please plan accordingly. The application fee for becoming a notary public is $25, which is non-refundable.
New Notary Applicants Please Note: You must pass the Montana Notary Exam before you may be commissioned as a Montana Notary Public. The Secretary of State’s Online Notary Training is designed to help you successfully pass the exam. You may also wish to review the Montana Notary Handbook before taking the exam.
Current Montana Notaries Please Note: You may not renew your commission more than 30 days prior to the expiration date of your current commission. You have until 30 days after the expiration of your current commission to renew your commission. If you do not renew your commission in time, you will be considered a new applicant.
Obtain a Notary Surety Bond in the amount of $10,000. These are available from most Montana insurance agents, as well as through various online providers. The cost for notary bonds varies, but is usually about $50 – $70 for the four-year term of the commission.
Your bond effective date, if the bond has one, must be within 30 days before or after the date your Application for Appointment as a Montana Notary Public is received in the Secretary of State’s office.
When you receive your bond, be sure to sign it (on the line for “Principal”) with the signature you will use when notarizing documents.
Complete the Application for Appointment as a Montana Notary Public (“Application”). You may fill out the Application online and then print it, or print a copy of the blank Application and fill it out by hand. We encourage you to fill out the Application online because any Application that is illegible will be rejected and returned to you.
When filling out the Application, keep these things in mind:
- The Application must be filled out completely.
- The name on your Application must exactly match the name on your bond.
- The signature on your Application must match the signature on your bond.
- If you check “Yes” for any question in Part II other than the one about having been previously commissioned as a Montana Notary Public, you must submit explanatory documentation with your Application.
Failing to properly complete the Application will result in the Application being rejected and returned to you.
Have your Application notarized. Once your Application is notarized, review the notarization to make sure the Application has been properly notarized. Improperly notarized applications will be rejected and returned to you.
Submit your original, notarized Application and all required documentation to the following address:
Montana Secretary of State
Certifications and Notary Services
PO Box 202801
Helena, MT 59620-2801
Before submitting your Application, make sure you have included:
- The $25 non-refundable filing fee
- Your original, signed bond
- Your exam certificate (new applicants only)
- Any documentation associated with your answers on Part II of the Application
You may obtain your seal/stamp from most stationery, stamp, or office supply stores. Keep in mind, however, your seal/stamp must meet specific requirements. 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.
You may use either a tamper-proof paper or a tamper-evident electronic journal, or both. The Secretary of State has not defined a specific format for the notary journal, so you may choose a design that fits your particular needs. There are several designs on the market; all of them include spaces for the information required by Montana law.
If you have any questions about becoming a Montana Notary Public or renewing your existing commission, please call us at (406) 444-1877 or email us at [email protected].