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Notary Rotary

Welcome to Notary Public 101

Here, you can learn how to become a notary, how to renew your notary commission, and where to find educational opportunities for notaries public.

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Notary Education
Become a Notary in Maryland
Find a Notary Class in Maryland
Begin Notary Public 101

In most states, becoming a notary public involves meeting a number of requirements. Generally, you must be 18 years of age, not have a serious criminal history, and successfully complete an application process. In some states, the notary application process will require notary education (ranging from a simple online course to a notary class and competency exam) and a background check, as well as the purchase of a surety bond. A more thorough explanation for your state is described below.


Become a Maryland notary public with Notary Rotary, Inc.


To apply for appointment as a notary public for the state of Maryland an individual must meet the following qualifications:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Of known good character, integrity and abilities
  • Living or working in the State of Maryland

Length of notary public commission:

A Maryland notary public commission lasts for a term of four (4) years. At the end of the four-year commission, the Notary Public will have the option of applying for a renewal of this commission.

Step 1: Review the Duties & Responsibilities of a Notary Public in Maryland and the official notary public manual, and download and complete the application form

The duties and responsibilities of a Maryland notary public are outlined at the following address:

You should also download this copy of the Maryland Notary Public Handbook.

Review these items and, when you are ready, complete the online Maryland Notary Public Application.

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. You can find your legislative district and name of your State Senator by using the look-up link provided by the Maryland State Archives. The remaining information may be obtained by contacting the Local Elections Office in your county or the City of Baltimore. 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.

Once you have completed the application, you should forward it, and a $20.00 non-refundable processing fee, to the following address:

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.

After the Notary Division reviews and accepts your application it will be 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.

Step 2: Await notice of your commission and proceed to the Clerk of the Circuit Court to take your oath of office

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.

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.

Step 3: Order your supplies from Notary Rotary, Inc.

Maryland law requires that a notary public purchase his or her own official seal and register of official acts.  You may elect to use either a Maryland embossing seal, the type that produces a raised impression on paper, or a Maryland notary stamp, which uses ink to make the impression. Both types are in general use throughout the state.  Also, each Maryland notary public is required by law to keep a fair register of all official acts performed.  The Modern Journal of Notarial Events, offered by Notary Rotary, was specifically designed for notaries and includes many features not available in other journals.

Please visit our store for these items, and any other supplies you may need, by clicking on the following link: Maryland Notary Supplies. Follow the onscreen instructions through the order process and your order will ship as soon as we are able to process it, usually within two to three days.

Once you receive your seal and supplies you will be ready to begin your duties as a notary public for the State of Maryland.

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