As a notary public in the State of Maryland, you have UNLIMITED financial liability on EVERY document you notarize. If you are a notary for your employer, your employer could also be held liable for your mistakes. All too often people take the office of Notary Public lightly, which is a huge mistake. Even though your state does not require education, it could keep you out of trouble. The Maryland Online Notary Course is the fastest and easiest way for you to learn what to do and what not to do and how to protect yourself as a notary. Whether you are a new or current notary public in Maryland, you should spend some time learning the laws. The cost of this course is much less expensive than just 1 hour consulting an attorney.
The Maryland Onling Notary Course includes:
- 3+ Hours of Streaming Video
- 3 Months of Unlimited Access
- Asset Protection Information
|In addition to notary training, we also offer MD Notary Supplies. Whether you need a new journal or stamp, or a new notary package, we have what you are looking for.
View our Maryland Notary Supplies
- Duties & Responsibilities: Prior to applying to be commissioned as a Notary Public in the State of Maryland, you should understand the duties and responsibilities of notaries public and how to properly perform notarial acts once commissioned. Please review the Duties & Responsibilities of a Notary Public in Maryland and the Notary Manual (to print this file, you must use the Adobe Acrobat Reader which may be downloaded free from the Adobe website in you do not have it) before submitting your notary public application.
- Fee & mailing address: In Maryland, an individual who wishes to be commissioned as a notary public may obtain an application form from the Office of the Secretary of State. After completing the form, the applicant should forward the application form and an $20.00 non-refundable processing fee to the Notary Division, Office of the Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis MD 21401. Checks or money orders must be made payable to the Secretary of State, and cash is not accepted. Please do not staple your fee to the notary public application.
- Information needed: To complete the notary application, Maryland residents will need to have your legislative district, election district, precinct number, and the name of your State Senator.
- For registered voters, the legislative district, election district, and precinct number are available through a site created by UMBC. The election district and precinct appear under the name and address of the polling place. You can find the name of your State Senator by using the look-up link provided by the Maryland State Archives or by contacting the Local Elections Office in your county or the City of Baltimore.
- Maryland residents who are not registered voters can use the link provided by the Maryland State Archives.
- Non-Maryland residents should select the county or City of Baltimore in which you would like to be commissioned, i.e., generally the county in which you work. We suggest using the State Archives link for district information.
- Review by State Senator: After reviewing your notary application and accepting the processing fee, the application is forwarded to your State Senator for his or her recommendation. Since State Senators may contact your references, please ensure that the information you provide about your references is complete. Incomplete information will result in a delay of the processing of your application.
- Approval & notification: If your State Senator recommends you for a notary public commission, the Office of the Secretary of State issues a commission and forwards it to the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county in which you reside or, for non-Maryland residents, the county in which you selected to be commissioned. The Notary Division will send a postcard stating that you have been commissioned as a notary public and instruct you to go to the Clerk of the Circuit Court to take the oath of office. At the Clerk of the Circuit Court, you will pay a separate fee of $11.00 to the Clerk.
- Commissioning: You must be commissioned at the Clerk's Office within 30 days of being notified. If you are not commissioned within the 30 day period, your commission is revoked. If you do not receive a postcard but were notified by your State Senator that your application has been approved, please contact the Clerk of the Circuit Court in your county of residence or, for non-Maryland residents, the county in which you selected to be commissioned to determine if your commission is at the Clerk's Office. If within the 30 day period, your commission is likely to be at the Clerk's Office.
- Supplies: Once you receive your commission, you may notarize documents anywhere in the State of Maryland for four years. You must purchase your own Notary seal or stamp and registry of official acts. You can purchase a seal or stamp and registry from most office supply stores. Please note that Maryland law requires that you record every official act you perform as a notary public in your registry.
As sworn public
officials, notaries public serve an important role in the prevention of fraud and protection of the
parties involved by acting as an official, unbiased witness for certain documents. Because of this
important role, all notaries should understand the duties and responsibilities of notaries public and
properly perform requested notarial acts.
performing an official act as a notary public, notaries should obtain a Notary Public Handbook
which outlines the proper procedures for notarizing a document, and use the handbook as
As a notary,
you should be aware of some of the legal responsibilities of notaries public in the State
commissioned as a notary public, a notary may notarize documents anywhere in the State
of Maryland for four years.
- It is your
responsibility to determine the identity of the person requesting a notarial act. You
may not notarize a signature of a person who has not appeared before you.
- A notary
in the State of Maryland does not have the power to certify the authenticity of any
document - official or unofficial - other than the notary's registry. For example, a notary
cannot notarize a passport, birth certificate, school transcript, or other document.
(other than those who are also lawyers) may not prepare legal documents, including
notarial certificates. A notary may only complete a notarial certificate which has been
A notary must include on each document the
notary's printed name, signature, date of
notarization, and expiration date of his or her commission. In addition, the notary must affix his
or her notary seal or stamp to the document.
- The notary
seal must contain the name of the notary as shown on the commission, the county
where commissioned, and the words "Notary Public." The notary seal ensures the integrity
authenticity of the document.
- A notary
can purchase a notary seal or stamp and a registry from most office supply stores.
You may not purchase a notary seal or stamp until you have been commissioned.
- A notary must maintain a registry of all notarial acts performed. Registries should
be retained for at least five years. This requirement serves to protect the notary public and as
a record of the notary's official acts.
Please note that Maryland law
requires that you record every official act you perform as a notary public in your
should refrain from performing any official acts for members of their immediate
family or any acts where the notary is personally involved or may benefit from the outcome of
- As a
notary, you can be asked to serve as an official witness, administer an oath or
affirmation, and take an acknowledgement. You must read the notarial certificate on each
document being notarized in order to know whether you are serving as an official witness,
administering an oath or affirmation, or taking an acknowledgement. If there is not a notarial
certification on the document, the only act you can perform is to serve as an official
Affirmations: If you are asked to administer an oath or affirmation or take an acknowledgment,
you must ask the individual requesting the notarization certain questions. For an oath or affirmation,
you ask: "Do you solemnly affirm under the penalties of perjury and upon personal knowledge
contents of the document are true?" (Additional information about oaths and affirmations is
available on pages 9-13 of the Notary Public
- Acknowledgments: If asked to take an
acknowledgement, you must ask: "Does this document constitute your own act and deed?"
or "Are you
signing this document of your own free will?" (Additional information about acknowledgments is
available on pages 13-16 of the Notary Public
notify the Notary Division of the Office of the Secretary of State of any name or
address changes. If you have changed your name or address since you were last commissioned,
please complete the Change of Name and/or
Address Form and forward to the