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How to become an Arkansas Notary

Abbreviation: AR   |   25th State   |   Statehood: June 15, 1836 |
How to Become an Arkansas Notary:
To become an Arkansas notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  1. Be 18 years or older
  2. Be a United States citizen, or a permanent resident alien with proof of Declaration of Domicile
  3. Be a legal resident of Arkansas, or a legal resident of an adjoining state and employed in Arkansas
  4. Be able to read and write English
  5. Must have a business or residence address in Arkansas
  6. Must not have had a prior notary commission revoked in the past 10 years
  7. Must never been convicted of a felony
 
Qualifications:
In order to receive an Arkansas notary public commission, a person must:

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements
  2. Properly complete and submit a notary application form to the Secretary of State with a filing fee of $20 and include a copy of the $7,500 bond. Click here to download the application forms.
  3. Upon approval, the Secretary of State will issue 3 original certificates of commission
  4. Within 30 days, the notary files with the circuit clerk in the county where he/she resides or in the county where employed an original notary public certificate/oath form
  5. Return an original signed certificate of commission to the Secretary of State to complete the approval process

    Apply Online to Become a Arkansas Notary

 
Non-Resident Arkansas Notary:
Permitted. Persons living in adjoining states may apply. Such persons must meet the same qualifications as an Arkansas resident. The original Certificate/Oath and bond must be filed with the circuit clerk in the county where he or she is employed.
 
Arkansas Notary Bond:
A bond or surety contract in the amount of $7,500 is required for new and renewing notaries public. To purchase a notary bond, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663,or visit our website at www.usnotaries.com.
 
Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from his/her official misconduct. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommend Arkansas notaries public to insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of a Notary Errors and Omissions insurance. Visit our website: www.usnotaries.com for additional information, or by calling 800.721.2663.
 
Filing Fee:
There is a $20 state required filing fee for new and renewal notary applications.
 
Arkansas Notary Term:
10 years
 
Jurisdiction:
Statewide.
 
Appointment:
Arkansas Secretary of State
Business and Commercial Services Division
1401 West Capitol, Suite 250
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201-1094
(501) 682-3409 or toll free: (888) 233-0325
http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/BCS/Pages/notaryPublic.aspx
 
Notary Commission Renewal:
A notary public may apply 60 days before the expiration of the current commission by completing a renewal application form.
 
Education/Testing:
The Secretary of State may require the applicant to demonstrate that he or she has reviewed the law concerning notaries public and understands the duties of a notary public.
 
Arkansas Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:
Required.

Type – embosser or rubber-inked stamp

Ink color – Blue or Black ink only. The seal shall be clear and legible and capable of photographic reproduction.

Required elements: - notary public’s name, commission expiration date, the commission number, and the words “Notary Public,” and “Arkansas” and the county where the bond is filed. The seal is the exclusive property of the notary public and must not be surrendered to an employer upon termination/resignation.

Use of facsimile seal is authorized on commercial documents in lieu of the notary’s manual seal, but the facsimile seal must be in blue or black ink. The notary must register with the Secretary of State a general description of the types of commercial documents to be notarized by facsimile seal. The notary must also submit with the Secretary of State the written consent of any other person or persons signing the commercial documents to the use of the notary’s facsimile seal on the commercial documents.

An employer may not retain the notary records and/or seal of an employee who is a notary public upon termination of employment.

Signature:

The notary shall sign his or her official signature in blue or black ink on every notarial certificate he or she notarizes. Use of facsimile signature is authorized on commercial documents in lieu of the notary’s manual signature, but the facsimile signature must be in blue or black ink. The notary must register with the Secretary of State his or her manual signature certified by the notary’s oath. The notary must also file with the Secretary of State 1) a general description of the types of commercial documents to be notarized by facsimile signature; 2) the name and manual signature of any other person or persons signing the commercial documents by manual or facsimile signature; and 3) the written consent of any other person or persons signing the commercial documents to the use of the notary’s facsimile signature on the commercial documents.

 
Record Book:
None Required. It is strongly recommended by the Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries that Arkansas notaries public record every notarial act in a notary journal. For Arkansas notary supplies contact the American Association of Notaries by calling 800.721.2663 or visiting our website at www.usnotaries.com.
 
Notary Fees:
Notary fees are set by state law. A notary public is allowed to charge for each notarial act, but not more than:

  • Acknowledgments $5.00
  • Oaths or affirmations $5.00
  • Jurats $5.00
  • Protests $5.00
  • Certify affidavits $5.00
  • Certify depositions $5.00
  • Copy certification $5.00
  • A notary may charge for actual round trip mileage, using the federal rate for mileage reimbursement, between the location of service by the notary public and the place of residence or business of the notary public, whichever distance is less.
 
Authority:
Arkansas notary has the authority to:

  • Take acknowledgments
  • Administer oaths or affirmations
  • Protest instruments
  • Swearing witnesses
  • Taking affidavits
  • Taking depositions under Rule 28 of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure and Rule 28 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Perform copy certification of non-recordable documents
Electronic Notarization:
Permitted.On November 13, 2013, the Secretary of State adopted rules for electronic notarizations authorizing Arkansas notaries to apply for a special commission to perform electronic notarizations pursuant to the Arkansas notary laws and the Arkansas Administrative Rules entitled “Rules for Electronic Notarial Acts in the State of Arkansas.”
 
Address Change:
Required. A notary must notify the Secretary of State and circuit clerk in writing within 30 days of a change in mailing address or county of employment. The Secretary of State will transfer the notary’s appointment/commission to the new county. The notary must file the original bond, or certified copy of the original bond from the original county of residence in the new county of residence or in the new county of employment in Arkansas. Click here to download the Change of Personal Information form http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/BCS/Pages/notaryPublic.aspx.
 
Name Change:
Required. A notary public must notify the Secretary of State and the circuit clerk in writing of any name change within 30 days of such change and must include a certified copy of the court order or marriage license. Click here to download the Change of Personal Information form http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/BCS/Pages/notaryPublic.aspx.
 
Death/Resignation/Removal:
Submit a letter of notice to the Secretary of State, along with the notary commission. Immediately upon resignation, the notary shall destroy his or her official seal. Contact the Secretary of State for the retention period concerning your notary journals.
 
Prohibited Acts:
A notary public may not:

  • submit an application for commission and appointment that contains substantial and material misstatement or omission of fact
  • perform acts that constitute the practice of law
  • use the phrase “notario” or “notario publico” to advertise notary services
  • claim to have powers, qualifications, rights or privileges that the office of notary public does not provide, including the power to counsel on immigration matters
  • notarize a document without the signer being in the notary’s presence
  • notarize a document if the notary is named in it
  • notarize a document in which the notary has a financial or beneficial interest in the transaction
  • charge fees higher than allowed by law
  • notarize with the intent to deceive or defraud
  • improperly notarize documents
 
Criminal Offense:
A notary public violating Arkansas law in respect to witnessing signatures may be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail. If convicted, the commission will be revoked and the notary cannot be recommissioned for 10 years. A notary who overcharges fees for notary services may also be convicted of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $100 for every offense.
 
Notarial Certificates:
Click here to view AR notarial certificates.

Revised: July 2015

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, the American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety. The American Association of Notaries is owned by Kal Tabbara, a licensed insurance agent.