Minnesota Secretary Of State - Become a Notary
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Become a Notary

How to Become a Notary

A notary public is a person of integrity appointed by the Governor to serve the public as an impartial and unbiased witness. The most common function of the notary is to prevent fraud by witnessing and attesting that a person signing a document is authentic.

The responsibilities of a Minnesota Notary Public are critical to the legal, business, financial and real estate communities and should be taken seriously. You must have an understanding of the proper procedures to follow in order to fulfill your duties. Please visit the Notary FAQ’s and Notary Help information to learn more about the duties and responsibilities of being a Minnesota Notary Public.

To obtain a New Commission, the applicant must:

  • Not have held a previous commission that has expired
  • Complete and mail the Notary Application
  • Include a $120 non-refundable fee
  • Pay by check or money order made payable to the OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE 
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be either a Minnesota resident or a resident of a county in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota or Wisconsin and list the Minnesota County he or she will be filing in upon receiving their commission.

If you have a commission which is expired, you must complete a Notary Application, check Re-appointment on the application, and submit by mail.

County Recording of Commission

Once your new commission, reappointment, renewal or name change has been approved by the Secretary of State your commission certificate will be sent by US mail to your residential address. You must register your commission with your county of residence. County contact information for your county of residence is included in the commission certificate instructions. The fee for recording your commission at the county is $20. Failure to register with your resident county may result in a civil penalty fee (usually larger than the county recording fee) imposed by the Commissioner of the Department of Commerce of Minnesota, who is responsible for the enforcement actions pertaining to a notary’s misconduct.

This information is designed to assist you when performing a notarial act. Remember, as a commissioned Notary, you are a public official appointed to serve the public.

Important Points to remember when you Notarize Documents:

  • All document signers must personally appear before you.
  • Assess whether each document signer is competent.
  • While not responsible for the content of a document, alert the signer to any blanks.
  • Establish the identity of each signer through personal knowledge or with I.D. documents.
  • Have all parties sign the document.
  • Complete the notarial certificate - this may include requiring the signer to give a verbal oath or acknowledgement.
  • Use your stamp.
  • Make an entry in your Notary Journal, if you use one.
  • An additional "Real Estate Closing Agent License" from the MN Department of Commerce may be required when processing certain real estate and mortgage documents. See the explanation from the Department of Commerce.