Arizona Notary Handbook
CHAPTER 8. YOUR NOTARY SEAL
801. Can I notarize documents before I receive my commission certificate?
No. You must first receive your certificate. You must give a copy of your commission certificate to an office supply orstationery store in order to purchase a notary seal. The office supply or stationery store (or whatever vendor your use to make your notary seal) must see your original certificate which the vendor will then photocopy; the vendor must also keep the copyof your commission on file for the four years of your Notary commission. (A.R.S. § 41-321(A))
802. What kind of seal is required, an embosser or a rubber stamp?
All Arizona Notaries must use a rubber stamp seal and imprint the seal on notarized documents in dark ink. You may use an embosser (sometimes called a crimper), but only in conjunction with the rubber stamp. (A.R.S. §§ 41-313(B) and 41-321(B))
803. What does the seal have on it?
The seal must contain the words "Notary Public", the county in which you are commissioned, your name as it appears on your notarial application which should match the name on your commission certificate, the expiration date of your commission, and the Arizona state seal. (A.R.S. § 41-313(B))
804. Does my commission expiration date have to be on the seal?
Yes, this is required. You cannot use a separate stamp with your commission expiration date on it. The stamp you use must always have your current commission’s expiration date on it. You cannot continue to use a stamp beyond the expirationdate specified on it by crossing out one date and inserting a different date. This means that you must purchase a new notarystamp each time you renew your commission. (A.R.S. § 313(B))
805. What color ink should I use with my rubber stamp seal?
You must use a dark ink as required by law. For example, dark blue, dark purple, black, dark green, or dark brown inkswould all be acceptable. Many notaries like to use a color other than black so that they can tell at a glance that it is the originalstamp. If you use black ink, a person will not be able to readily tell the original document from a photocopy. We strongly suggest that you NOT use red ink because red does not uniformly photocopy or scan well and may not be covered under thedefinition of “dark ink.” (A.R.S. § 41-313(B))
806. Where do I put my seal when notarizing a document?
We recommend that you place your seal just below the attestation and to the left, if possible. Please be careful not tostamp over signatures or other writing on the document and make sure that the seal is stamped clearly.
807. What if there isn’t room in the notarial certificate for my seal?
Do the best job you can of affixing your seal. You should never stamp over any text or signatures. However, if insufficientroom is left for you to affix your seal, it is better to stamp over preprinted language than to stamp over signatures.
808. What do I do with my Notary seal after I send my journal and records to the county recorder because I am no longer a notary?
You must destroy your seal. Make sure that you destroy it so that no one else could use it. Do not simply throw your seal in the trash or garbage. Someone else might find it and try to impersonate you. That person’s actions could cause you a lot ofneedless problems. So make sure you DESTROY YOUR SEAL.
809. What happens when I forget to put my seal on a document I have notarized?
You have performed an incomplete notarization. Arizona law requires you to place your seal on each document you notarize. If your notary seal does not appear on the document, a court of law could declare the notarization of that document to be invalid. In addition, the Secretary of State could revoke your notary commission. (A.R.S. § 41-330(A)(4))
810. If my seal is lost or stolen, what do I do?
If the seal is stolen, you must notify the appropriate law enforcement agency. You must also, within 10 days of the loss or theft of your seal, deliver to the Secretary of State’s Office a signed notice of the loss or theft; this notice must be sent by certified mail or other means that provides you with a receipt. (A.R.S. § 41-323(B))
811. If my seal is lost or stolen, can I still perform notarizations?
You must first purchase a new seal. To order a new seal, you must take a copy of your commission certificate to a rubber stamp company or office supply store or stationery store and order a new seal. We recommend that you get a new seal thatlooks different from your original seal. Then you must notify the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as the appropriate lawenforcement agency telling us what your old seal looked like and the date it was lost or stolen and what your new seal lookslike and the date you started using the new seal. That way, if we ever have to certify any document that you have notarized, we will know if it is a legitimate notarization. We recommend that you explain in your journal why you are using a different seal.(A.R.S. §§ 41-323 and 41-321)
812. You say my seal should be a different shape. What shapes are allowed?
There are no shape requirements for notary seals. However, they cannot be more than 1-1/2 inches high and 2-1/2 inches long. (A.R.S. § 41- 321(B)).
813. Can I have more than one notary seal?
No. A notary can only have one seal. Having multiple seals provides opportunities for fraud or loss.
Arizona Notary Law
Sorry, but we were unable to find any specific law describing the requirements of the Arizona notary seal.