Notary Public Stamps

The official mark of a Notary Public is the seal. When placed on a document the notary seal means that the signature of the signer is valid and confirmed with the proper identification. Historically, Notary Public imprinted the seal with a hand-held embosser tool. By squeezing the embosser the seal appears on the page with raised letters. Today’s Notary Public tends to prefer imprinting the seal by a stamp. The basic information necessary on the stamp or embosser is the name of the Notary Public, state, commission number, and expiration date of the commission.

After earning a commission, a Notary Public can order an official stamp or seal.

Alabama, District of Columbia and Virginia require use of the embosser. Other states allow use of stamp or embosser. Each state sets requirements on what documentation must be sent to order the notary seal or stamp. For example, California and North Dakota require that the original Certificate of Authorization be sent with the order. Florida, Guam, and Texas request a copy of the Commission Certificate. Nevada accepts an original Certificate of Appointment or original certified copy. In Pennsylvania, a copy of the Commission Certificate or Appointment Letter must also give the City or township where the notary resides.

Notaries in Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico, Wisconsin and South Dakota can order the seal before completing the process as long as they send a copy of the Commission Certificate within 30 days of earning the commission. Utah requires a notarized copy of the Commission Certificate. In Virginia, a copy of the commission certificate needs to be sent with a copy of the New Law Letter of June 2007. Hawaii accepts a copy of the commission which in that state is called a Letter of Passing. For other states, the seal can be ordered with a copy of the Commission Certificate or Letter of Appointment.

The notary seal stamp comes in several options. The classic stamp is the most basic, a traditional rubber stamp with separate ink pad. The seal is applied by pressing the stamp onto an ink pad then applying to the document. Another popular inked stamp that is neater to use is the pre-inked stamp. The pre-inked stamp is available in rectangular shape or round which gives the look of the embosser. Maintaining security of the notary stamp is extremely important. The pre-inked notary stamp also comes in a locking version. A small padlock with keys secures the stamp from unauthorized use.

Other useful stamps are the Jurat Stamp and the Venue Stamp. These contain the appropriate wording for each state and save time by imprinting the necessary form on a document. The Notary Public is responsible for making certain these specialty stamps are changed if there is a law change that affects the wording.

Notaries who are members of the American Society of Notaries or the National Notary Association can order stamps or embossers at a discount price. Non-members can also purchase seals online from these associations at a slightly higher price.