Notary Seal Requirements

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Notary seals are stamps or embossers that commissioned notaries affix to any document they notarize. Each state has slightly different requirements for what information is required on the notary seal. All states require the full name of the notary, along with reference to the state (or sometimes county) where the commissioning of the notary occurred.

Full Name and Title

The full legal name of the notary must be included in the notary seal. The full name cannot be a Doing Business As (DBA) or business name. The legal name on the seal must be the name on the notary's state-issued identification card, driver's license or military identification. The title "Notary Public" usually follows the name.

Commission Number

Many states require the notary's commission number be on the seal. Upon approval of an individual as a notary, the Secretary of State's office or other legislative body issues a commission and commission number. Notaries usually must present proof of the commission and their identification to the retailer selling the notary seal before the retailer will make a customized seal. Some states, including Oklahoma and Tennessee, do not require the commission number to be included on the seal.

State Seal or State Name

The state seal, or reference to the state where the notary holds a commission, must be included on the notary seal. A notary's commission authorizes performing notarial acts only within the state, or county, issuing the commission. Including the state seal precludes the notary from affixing the seal in unauthorized locations.

Type of Seal

Some states (including Tennessee) use rubber stamps as seals instead of embossed or impression seals. Connecticut, on the other hand, requires an impression seal. States may also restrict the color of the stamp to black; others (such as Tennessee) require that the seal be any color other than black or yellow.

Commission Term

The commission term is the issuing date of the commission and the date when the commission expires. Most notaries elect not to include the commission term on the seal, so they will not have to order a new seal when their commissions expire. States such as Texas, however, require the seal include the commission term.

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