How to Become a Notary in Arkansas


To become a notary in Arkansas, you must:


  1. Meet the eligibility requirements listed in the next section.
  2. Review the Arkansas Notary Public & eNotary Handbook
  3. Obtain a ten-year, $7,500 surety bond.
  4. Take the notary exam administered by the secretary of state. Upon successful completion of your notary exam, download a copy of your exam certificate. You will need to upload it when completing your notary application.
  5. Create a free account on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s online filing portal. Under “Notary Forms” click on “New Notary Public Application” to start filling out the application.
  6. Have copies of the following documents saved in PDF format on your computer, as you will be asked to upload them while completing the notary application:
    • The signed notary bond.
    • The exam certificate.
    • Proof of Declaration Domicile if you are a permanent resident alien.
    • If applicable, a copy of a United States Department of Defense DD Form 1173 or DD Form 1173-1, otherwise known as a Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card.
  7. Pay the $20 application fee.
  8. Allow three to five days for processing.
  9. Once approved, download your oath of office from “my work queue” on your account on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s online filing portal.
  10. Take the oath of office in the presence of the county clerk.
  11. Mail the completed oath of office to the secretary of state to complete the approval process. Upon receipt of the completed oath of office, the secretary of state will place you in “good standing” and issue you a certificate of commission.
  12. Purchase a notary seal.

Click here to purchase your Arkansas notary surety bond and begin the application process.

Click here for more information on how to apply to become a notary public in Arkansas.

Who can become a notary public in Arkansas?


To become a notary public in Arkansas, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Be 18 years of age 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, a legal resident of an adjoining state who is employed in or operating a business in Arkansas, or a nonresident spouse of a United States military service member employed or operating a business in Arkansas.
  4. Be able to read and write English.
  5. Not have had a notary public commission revoked during the past ten years.
  6. Not have been convicted of a felony.

This Arkansas notary guide will help you understand:


  1. Who can become a notary in Arkansas.
  2. How to become a notary in Arkansas.
  3. How to become an electronic notary in Arkansas.
  4. The basic duties of a notary in Arkansas

How do I renew my notary commission in Arkansas?


Arkansas notaries may apply for reappointment no earlier than sixty days before the expiration of their notary commissions. The renewal process requires you to:

  1. Obtain a ten-year, $7,500 surety bond.
  2. Take the notary exam administered by the secretary of state. Upon successful completion of your notary exam, download a copy of your exam certificate.
  3. File an amendment online by searching for your notary record in the “Public Notary Search” on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s online filing portal. In the list of amendments, select “Notary Public Renewal.”
  4. Have copies of the following documents saved in PDF format on your computer, as you will be asked to upload them while completing the amendment online:
    • The signed notary bond.
    • The exam certificate.
    • Proof of Declaration Domicile if you are a permanent resident alien.  
    • If applicable, a copy of a United Stated Department of Defense DD Form 1173 or DD Form 1173-1, otherwise known as a Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card.
  5. Pay the $20 application filing fee.
  6. Allow three to five days for processing.
  7. Once approved, download your oath of office from “my work queue” on your account in the Arkansas Secretary of State’s online filing portal.
  8. Take the oath of office in the presence of the county clerk.
  9. Mail the completed oath of office to the secretary of state to complete the approval process. Upon receipt of the completed oath of office, the secretary of state will place you in “good standing” and issue you a certificate of commission.
  10. Purchase a new notary seal.

Click here to purchase your Arkansas notary bond to begin the renewal of your notary public commission.

Click here for more information on how to renew your notary public commission in Arkansas.

Who appoints notaries in Arkansas?


The Arkansas Secretary of State appoints notaries public, processes all applications for appointment and reappointment, issues notary public commissions, and maintains the records relating to notaries.

Arkansas Secretary of State
Business and Commercial Services Division
1401 West Capitol, Suite 250
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201-1094
Phone: 501-682-3409 or toll free: 888-233-0325
Email: notary@sos.arkansas.gov

Can a non-resident of Arkansas apply for a commission as a notary public?


Yes. A legal resident of an adjoining state who is employed or operating a business in Arkansas may apply to become an Arkansas notary public (ACA 21-14-101[b][1]An).  Likewise, a nonresident spouse of a United States military service member who is employed or operating a business in Arkansas may apply for an Arkansas notary commission.  Non-residents must:  

  1. Satisfy the same qualifications as Arkansas residents.
  2. Follow the same application for appointment procedures as Arkansas residents.
  3. Take the oath of office with the county clerk of the county where they are employed or operate a business in Arkansas.
  4. If you are applying as a nonresident spouse of a United States military service member who is employed or operating a business in Arkansas, you must submit a copy of a United States Department of Defense DD Form 1173 or a United States Department of Defense DD Form 1173-1, otherwise known as a Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card.
  5. List a physical residential address from the home state and the employer’s physical address in Arkansas.

Note: “An Arkansas notary commission for an out-of-state resident is only valid as long as he or she maintains employment in Arkansas or, if a nonresident spouse of a United States military service member, maintains employment or operates a business in Arkansas” (Arkansas Notary Public and eNotary Handbook).

How long is a notary public's commission term in Arkansas?


The term of office of an Arkansas notary public is ten years.

Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in Arkansas?


Yes. All new and renewing applicants seeking an appointment as a notary public in Arkansas are required to complete and pass the online exam administered by the Arkansas Secretary of State. To prepare notary applicants for the online exam, the secretary of state offers all the answers to the exam through the Arkansas Notary Public and eNotary Handbook and the FAQs.

How much does it cost to become a notary public in Arkansas?


The cost to become a notary in Arkansas includes:

  1. A $20 fee to process an application for appointment or reappointment.
  2. A $50 fee for a four-year, $7,500 surety bond.
  3. The fee to take the oath of office in the presence of the county clerk.
  4. A notary stamp. Click here to view our notary stamp prices. 
  5. A journal, if a notary wishes to adhere to the recommendations of the secretary of state that Arkansas notaries maintain a journal of their notarial acts. Click here to view our notary journal prices.
  6. An errors and omissions insurance policy (optional) to protect yourself if you are sued for unintentional mistakes or if a false claim is filed against you. Click here to view our notary E&O policy premiums and coverage amounts.

Do I need a notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to become a notary in Arkansas?


A notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is not required to become an Arkansas notary public or to renew your notary commission. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that every Arkansas notary obtain a notary E&O insurance policy. This insurance protects you from a claim if a client sues you as a notary. A notary E&O policy covers unintentional notarial mistakes and pays for legal fees and damages based on the coverage you select as a Arkansas notary public.

Arkansas notary errors and omissions insurance policies are available to order online at the American Association of Notaries website.

Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in Arkansas?


Yes. An Arkansas notary bond in the amount of $7,500 is required for all new and renewing applicants seeking an appointment as a notary public in Arkansas. A notary bond can be either:

  1. Executed and issued by a surety company qualified and authorized to do business in Arkansas.
  2. Purchased through a surety contract from a general business Arkansas corporation which has registered with the Arkansas Insurance Department and otherwise complied with all the requirements under Arkansas law.

A PDF copy of the signed surety bond must be uploaded when completing the notary application online. 

Click here to order your four-year Arkansas notary bond online at the American Association of Notaries website.

Do I need to order a notary stamp in Arkansas?


The Arkansas notary statute requires all notaries public to use either a rubber stamp seal or a seal embosser in blue or black ink under or near a notary’s official signature on every notarial certificate. The Arkansas notary statute does not provide the legal specifications regarding the size, shape, or layout of a notary’s official seal.

The official seal must include the following information:

  1. The notary public’s name exactly as the notary writes his or her official signature.
  2. The name of county where the notary’s bond is filed.
  3. The words “Notary Public”
  4. The word “Arkansas”
  5. The notary’s commission expiration date.
  6. The notary’s commission number issued by the secretary of state.

Note: The notary’s official seal must be clear and legible and capable of being photographically reproduced. The official seal may NOT include:

  1. The words the “Great Seal of the State of Arkansas”
  2. An outline of the state of Arkansas.

The American Association of Notaries offers quality notary stamps and seals at savings of up to 40% or more compared to the same products elsewhere. Click here to order your Arkansas notary seal, complete notary package, and other notary supplies.

What are the steps to replace a lost or stolen Arkansas notary seal?


If an Arkansas notary’s seal is lost or stolen, they need to contact the Secretary of State’s Office in writing explaining the situation. The Secretary of State’s Office will make a notation in their record and also issue the notary a new commission number. The notary public can then order a new stamp to reflect the new commission number.

How much can an Arkansas notary public charge for performing notarial acts?


Arkansas notary fees are not set by state notary statute. Section 21-6-309an states, “A notary public authorized to perform notarial acts in this state may charge and collect a fee for a notarial act if:  

  1. The fee is a reasonable amount as determined by the notary public.
  2. The fee is disclosed to and agreed upon by the client or principal before executing the notarial act.”

Arkansas notaries may not overcharge notarial fees; to do so is punishable by a fine of no less than $100 for each offense (ACA 21-6-309[b]).

Is a notary journal required in Arkansas?


Notary journal requirements for each type of notarization in Arkansas:

  • Traditional Notarizations – Arkansas notaries are not required to keep a record of their official acts, but the secretary of state recommends that each notary keep a register or journal. The journal can be maintained on a tangible medium or in an electronic format.
  • Electronic Notarizations (In-Person Electronic Notarizations and Remote Online Notarizations) – An Arkansas eNotary is required to keep a secure electronic record of all electronic documents notarized.

A notary journal (also known as a record book, log book, or register book) is your first line of defense in proving your innocence if a notarial act you performed is questioned or if you are requested to testify in a court of law about a notarial act you performed in the past. A properly recorded notarial act creates a paper trail that will help investigators locate and prosecute signers who have committed forgery and fraud. Properly recorded notarial acts provide evidence that you followed your state laws and notary’s best practices.

The American Association of Notaries offers notary journals in tangible and electronic formats.

Click here to purchase a tangible notary journal.

Click here to become a member and access our electronic notary journal.

What information must Arkansas notaries record in their notary journals?


For Traditional Notarizations – If you choose to maintain a notary journal, you should record the following information:

  1. The date of the notarial act.
  2. The type of act performed.
  3. The type of document involved.
  4. The name and address of each person whose signature was notarized.
  5. The signature of each person whose signature was notarized.
  6. A “notes” section of personal annotations.
  7. An itemized list of fees collected.

For Electronic Notarizations (In-Person Electronic Notarizations and Remote Online Notarizations) – The electronic record is required to contain the following information for each online notarial act performed:

  1. The date and time of the online notarial act.
  2. The type of online notarial act.
  3. The type, the title, or a description of the electronic document or proceeding.
  4. The printed name and address of each principal involved in the transaction or proceeding.
  5. Evidence of identity of each principal involved in the transaction or proceeding in the form of:
    • A statement that the person is personally known to the online notary public.
    • A notation of the type of identification document provided to the online notary public.
    • A record of the identity verification made under § 21-14-309, if applicable.
    • The following:
      i)  the printed name and address of each credible witness swearing to or affirming the person’s identity; and
      ii) for each credible witness not personally known to the online notary public, a description of the type of identification documents provided to the online notary public.
  6. A recording of any video and audio conference that is the basis for satisfactory evidence of identity and a notation of the type of identification presented as evidence.
  7. An audio and video copy of the performance of the notarial act.
  8. The fee, if any, charged for the notarization.

NOTE: Your electronic notary solution provider should supply you with an electronic record of all electronic notarial acts performed.

What steps should I take if my Arkansas notary journal is lost or stolen?


Since notary journals are optional, Arkansas notary law does not address this question. We recommend you contact the appropriate law enforcement agency and the Arkansas Secretary of State to report your lost or stolen journal.

How long should I retain my Arkansas notary journal?


Arkansas notary law does not address this question because notary journals are optional. We recommend that you keep your notary journal indefinitely. 

Where can I perform notarial acts in Arkansas?


An Arkansas notary has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county anywhere within the borders of the state of Arkansas. Likewise, a notary public may not perform notarial acts outside the state of Arkansas.

What notarial acts can an Arkansas notary public perform?


An Arkansas notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (ACA 21-14-104 through 21-14-106):

  • Taking acknowledgments
  • Administering oaths or affirmations
  • Protesting 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
  • Performing copy certifications of non-recordable documents

Note: Depositions that are not attested to by a certified court reporter will not be accepted in Arkansas courts in accordance with the Arkansas court rules. Arkansas notaries who are not certified court reporters should not accept depositions as an act of their notarial office.

What type of notarizations are allowed in Arkansas?


Arkansas law allows the following three types of notarizations: 

Traditional notarization – This type of notarization requires the signer and the notary to meet physically in the same room within face-to-face proximity of one another. Traditional notarization involves an individual signing a tangible document with an inked pen and a notary public signing and affixing an inked notary stamp impression to the tangible notarial certificate.

Electronic notarizations (in person) – This type of notarization requires the signer and the electronic notary (eNotary) to meet physically in the same room within face-to-face proximity of one another. However, the notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary seal, and an electronic notarial certificate.

Remote online notarization (RON) - The signer appears remotely before an electronic notary via audio-visual communication technology. The notarization is performed on an electronic document using electronic signatures, an electronic notary seal, and an electronic notarial certificate.

What are the steps to become an electronic notary in Arkansas?


To become an electronic notary (eNotary) in Arkansas, an applicant must be an Arkansas notary in good standing and:

  1. Log in or create an account in the Arkansas Secretary of State’s online filing portal.
  2. File an amendment online by searching for your notary record in the “Public Notary Search” and selecting “eNotary Initial Application.”
  3. Pay a $20 filing fee online.
  4. Complete the eNotary training and exam upon notification of acceptance of the application.
  5. Register with an approved solution provider.
  6. Take a refresher course every two years.

An electronic notary (eNotary) in Arkansas can perform in person electronic notarizations and remote online notarizations. For more information on how to become an electronic notary in Arkansas, visit the secretary of state’s website.

 

How do I update my address on my Arkansas notary commission?


An Arkansas notary must file an amendment with the secretary of state using the Arkansas Secretary of State’s online filing portal within thirty days of a change in their address. 

To file an address change, you must:

  1. Search for your notary record in the public Notary Search and click the “File Amendment” button.
  2. Select “Notary Public Amendment” in the dialog box.
  3. Select the box that says, “I need to update my address” and fill in all the required information. When done, click “File Online.”

Click here for more information about how to update your address, email address, or phone number through the Arkansas Secretary of State’s online filing portal.

How do I change my name on my notary commission in Arkansas?


Whenever there is a change in the notary’s name that involves a court order, an Arkansas notary must:

  1. Complete a change of personal information form.
  2. Submit the completed form and a certified copy of your marriage license, divorce decree, or court document concerning your legal name change to the secretary of state.
  3. Purchase a new notary seal that reflects your new name once the secretary of state issues you a new identification card.

Note: A certified copy designating the name change such as a marriage license, divorce decree, or other court document must include an official seal of the county, and many times it will have a raised or embossed seal with an original signature of the authorizing county official. A plain photocopy of the legal document will not be accepted.

Revised:


February 2024

Legal disclaimer: The information provided on this page is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We do not claim to be attorneys and we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, losses, damages, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss, or consequential loss, out of or in connection with the use of the information contained on any of the American Association of Notaries website pages. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their state’s notary authorities or attorneys if they have legal questions. 

Arkansas 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 (established 1900). Kal Tabbara is a licensed insurance agent in Arkansas.