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Basic Notary Information

Function:

A notary public acts as an official and unbiased witness to the identity of a person who comes before the notary. A notary is authorized to witness or attest a signature, administer an oath or affirmation, certify an oath or affirmation, take acknowledgments, and certify or attest a copy. The notary must be certain that the person appearing before him is who that person claims to be.

Qualification:

Under Oklahoma law, a notary public is appointed and commissioned by the Secretary of State. In order to be commissioned as a notary, an individual must be:

  1. A citizen of the United States.
  2. A legal resident of Oklahoma, or an out-of-state resident who is employed within Oklahoma; and,
  3. Eighteen (18) years of age or older.

New Commission:

Applications for appointment as a notary public are available from the office of the Secretary of State. The completed application should be sent to the Secretary of State with the required $25.00 filing fee. A new notary commission along with a notary public bond form which includes an oath of office and a loyalty oath will be mailed to the applicant.

Renewal Commission:

A notary public may renew his/her appointment by submitting a completed application and $20.00 renewal fee to the Secretary of State. A renewal application may not be submitted earlier than six (6) weeks prior to the expiration of the notary’s current appointment. A renewal commission along with a notary public bond form which includes an oath of office and a loyalty oath will be mailed to the applicant.

Expired Commission:

An application that is received after a notary public commission has expired will be processed as a new commission application.

Bond Requirement:

Before a person can act as a notary, he/she must file a $1,000.00 surety bond, the notary commission and a $10.00 filing fee with the Secretary of State. The notary bond must be signed by one or more sureties and be approved by the Secretary of State. It must be written for a term of four years covering the same time period as the notary commission.

Term:

A notary public commission is for a term of four years.
Authority of a Notary:
An Oklahoma notary public may perform notarial acts anywhere in the state of Oklahoma. Whenever a document is notarized, the notary must indicate on the document the county in which the notarization is taking place. A notary may not notarize his/her own signature.

Notary Log:

State law suggests a notary keep records of their official acts. It is recommended that a notary maintain a log of his/her official acts in recalling past notarial acts, if needed, or if legally challenged. If a notary is called upon to testify in court, a log may become evidence to help establish what actually took place.

Information to be retained in the notary log should include the following:

  1. 
Date of notarial act
  2. Type of act performed
  3. Type of document
  4. Name and address of each person whose signature was notarized
  5. Review and note type of identification of person whose signature was notarized (i.e. driver’s license or photo identification)
  6.  A section of personal notes and fees charged

Authentication of Documents:
A notary public must authenticate all of their official acts, attestations and instruments with their notary seal, official signature, commission number and the expiration date of their notary public commission. If any notary public shall neglect or refuse to attach to his/her official signature, the date of the expiration of the commission, or their commission number, they shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined a sum not to exceed Fifty dollars ($50.00).

Seal:

Oklahoma law allows for the use of either a metal seal which leaves an embossed impression or a rubber stamp. All notary seals shall contain the name of the notary public. The notary’s commission number and expiration date may also be included in the seal or stamp.
Change of Name:
If a notary’s name has legally changed, he/she may continue to use their former name as issued on the existing commission until it expires. If a notary wishes to use a new name, a new application must be completed and filed with the Secretary of State with a fee of $25.00. This name change will establish a new commission expiration date. It will be necessary for the individual to purchase a new seal and file a new bond with the Secretary of State.

Short Form Certificates 
of Notarial Acts
:

An acknowledgment means a declaration by a person that the person has signed an instrument for the purposes stated therein and, if signing in a representative capacity, that the person has authority to sign the instrument on behalf of the person or entity identified therein.

In taking an acknowledgment, verification, or witnessing or attesting a signature, a notary must determine, either from personal knowledge or from satisfactory identification documents, that the person appearing before the notary is the person whose true signature is on the instrument.

In certifying or attesting a copy of a document or other item, a notary must determine that the copy is a full, true and accurate transcription or reproduction of the one which was copied. The following are examples of acknowledgments:

For an acknowledgment in an individual capacity:

State of Oklahoma
County of__________________
This instrument was acknowledged before me 
on this______ day of
_____________________, 20____
by ______________________________________________
________________________________________________.
Name(s) of Person(s)
___________________
Notary Public
Seal or Stamp:
My commission expires:__________________ , 20____.
My commission number is:_______________________

For an acknowledgment in a representative capacity:

State of Oklahoma
County of___________________
This instrument was acknowledged before me 
on this ______ day of
_____________________, 20____ by _____________(name)
as_________________________________(type of authority) 
of _________________________________________.
(Name of party on behalf of whom instrument was executed)
___________________
Notary Public
Seal or Stamp:
My commission expires:__________________ , 20____.
My commission number is:_______________________

For verification upon oath or affirmation:

State of Oklahoma
County of_____________________
Signed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me 
on this______ day of
___________________, 20____ by ______________
__________________________________________.
(Name(s) of person(s) making statement.)
___________________
Notary Public
Seal or Stamp:
My commission expires:__________________ , 20____.
My commission number is:_______________________

For witnessing or attesting a signature:

State of Oklahoma
County of_________________________
Signed or attested before me 
on this ______ day of_______
_____________________, 20____.
___________________
Notary Public
Seal or Stamp:
My commission expires:__________________ , 20____.
My commission number is:_______________________

For attestation of a copy of a document:

State of Oklahoma
County of_________________________
I certify that this is a true and correct copy of a document in the possession of ___________________________________ ______________________________________________
Dated this ________ day of ________________, 20____.
___________________
Notary Public
Seal or Stamp:
My commission expires:___________________ , 20____.
My commission number is:_________________________