How to Become a Notary in Maryland

In order to become a notary in the state of Maryland, you must follow these specific steps. First, you must…

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In Maryland, a notary is a person commissioned by the Secretary of State to witnesses the signing of important documents and administer oaths. A notary’s main duty is to prevent fraud by making sure that the person signing a document is who they say they are.

Becoming a notary in Maryland is a three-step process:
1. Submit an application to the Secretary of State’s office
2. Pass a written exam
3. Complete a notary training course

Once you have been commissioned, you must purchase a surety bond and keep it up-to-date throughout your four-year term. You will also need to purchase a stamp with your name and commission expiration date, which must be used on all documents you notarize.

What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public is a public officer who:

• Takes acknowledgments of deeds, powers of attorney, and other instruments used in commercial transactions;

• Administers oaths; and

• Performs other duties incident to the office as may be prescribed by law.

A Notary’s primary duty is to watch over the execution of documents to prevent fraudulent signings. A Notary does not determine whether a document is actually valid or effective, nor does a Notary act as an advisor or consultant regarding the document’s contents.

The Appointment Process

You must submit an application to the Governor’s office. Include a notarized copy of your certificate of good standing from the Maryland Board of Bar Examiners if you are an active member of the Maryland Bar, or a notarized statement that you have never been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. The fee is $50.

Your completed application and fee should be mailed to:

Notary Commission
Mario Minotti, Notary Coordinator
Executive Appointments
100 State Circle
Annapolis, MD 21401-1925
You will be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Notary Public

A notary public is an individual appointed by the Governor to serve the public as an impartial witness in the taking of acknowledgments, affidavits and affirmations, depositions, and oaths. A notary public also may certify copies of documents as true copies if the original document is not available.

The duties and responsibilities of a notary public are:

-To take acknowledgments of instruments for conveying or transferring real estate or personal property;
-To take affidavits or depositions;
-To administer oaths or affirmations;
-To certify or attest to photocopies of certain documents as true copies; and
-To enter into a bond, with sufficient surety, in the amount of $5,000 conditioned that the notary will faithfully discharge the duties of a notary.
A notary public must be 18 years old, a resident of Maryland, have reading and writing skills in English, and pass an examination administered by the Clerks of the Circuit Court.

Best Practices for Notaries

To be commissioned as a Notary Public in the State of Maryland, you must:
-Be a resident of Maryland or a regularly employed business person in Maryland.
-Be at least 18 years old.
-Be able to read and write English.
-Not have been convicted of a felony.
-Submit a Notary Public Application to the Clerk of the Orphans’ Court in the county where you reside or are employed. The application must be accompanied by the prescribed fee and a completed fingerprint card.

Notary Fees

Notary fees in Maryland are set by state law and vary depending on the type of notarization being performed. The most common type of notarization is taking an acknowledgment, which costs $2.00 per signature. If you are asked to take a verification upon oath or affirmation, the fee is $1.00 per signature. For all other types of notarizations, the fee is $2.00 per signature. Fees may be collected in advance or at the time of service, but must be paid before the notarial act is performed.

How to Renew Your Notary Commission

The office of the Secretary of State is responsible for the commissioning of Notaries Public in Maryland.

commissioned notaries public in Maryland must meet the following requirements:

Be at least 18 years old.
Be a resident of Maryland or be employed in Maryland.
Not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude. (You will be asked to provide a certified copy of your court records if you have ever been convicted of a crime).
Complete a Notary Public Education Course approved by the Secretary of State’s Office.
Pass an open-book examination administered by the Secretary of State’s office on the duties and responsibilities of notaries public in Maryland.
Submit a Notary Public Application form to the Secretary of State’s office along with the required application fee ($25 as of July 1, 2019). If you are employed by an approved governmental unit, state agency, or non-profit organization, you may request a waiver of the application fee. The completed application form and required fee may be submitted online, by mail or in person to:

Maryland Notary Public Unit
PO Box 1458
Annapolis MD 21404-1458


To become a notary in Maryland, you must:

-Be at least 18 years old
-Be a resident of Maryland or have a valid Maryland business license
-Have no felony convictions
-Complete a state-approved notary education course
-Pass the Maryland notary exam administered by the Clerks of the Circuit Court
-Submit a notarial bond to the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county where you live or have your business
-Register with the Secretary of State

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