Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to become a notary?

Follow the steps described here.

How do I renew my commission?

Follow the steps described here.

How do I get an apostille or authentication on a document?

Review the information found here and Complete a Certification Request

How do I change my name on my commission?

Start by contacting your insurance agent or bonding company and requesting a "name change rider." Once you receive the rider, send it and a completed Notary Information Update form to the Secretary of State's Office. An amended certificate reflecting the name change will be emailed to you, and then you may you replace your official Notarial Seal/Stamp.

How do I get a notary stamp?

Stamps may be purchased from most stationery, stamp, or office supply stores.

What is my commission number?

Montana does not issue commission numbers to notaries.

Can I notarize my spouse’s or other family member’s signature?

Yes – as long as you are not named in, or a direct beneficiary of, the transaction referenced in the document being signed.

Do I have to keep a notary journal?

Yes. Every notarial act must be journalized.

Can I notarize something if I am in a different county from where I work or live?

Yes. A person receiving a commission as a Montana notary has jurisdiction to perform notarial acts and official duties in every county in Montana, regardless of the notary’s place of residence. You may also perform notarial acts in Wyoming and North Dakota.

Can I notarize something when I didn’t actually see the person sign the document?

You may take the person's acknowledgment that he or she was the one who signed the document. However, the person must appear before you to declare that he or she is the signer and you must still verify his or her identity. This may not be done by phone, fax, or comparison of signatures – ever.

If a person brings in the driver’s license of another person, can I notarize that other person’s signature?

No. A notary may not notarize the acknowledgement, signature, or oath of a person who is not in the notary’s presence at the time the notarization takes place.

Can I do a “medallion signature” notarization?

No. A medallion signature guarantee is not an official notarial act and may not be performed by a Montana notary public. A medallion signature guarantee is only available from someone who has been authorized by the Securities Transfer Association to verify signature on certain transactions involving stocks, bonds, or other securities.

Can a notary charge for performing a notarial act? How much?

Yes. Beginning October 1, 2015, notaries may charge up to $10 for performing an acknowledgment, witnessing a signature, verifying on oath or affirmation, certifying a transcript or certifying a copy.

I’ve changed jobs and my former employer paid for my bond – can I still notarize?

Yes. So long as your bond is still active, you may continue to notarize documents.

Can I notarize something for a person who has a Power of Attorney?

Yes. In addition to identifying the person who is in your presence, you must also determine that the person has been authorized to act for the named individual or entity and that he or she is authorized to sign that particular document.

NOTE: A Power of Attorney automatically terminates on the death of the principal, so your first question when someone wants to sign using a POA should be, “Is this person still alive?” If the answer is no, you should not go forward with the notarization.

Do I have to notify the state if I move or change jobs?

Yes. To do so, complete and submit the Notary Information Update form.

Should I complete an I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification form if asked to do so because I am a notary?

No. Completing an I-9 form is not an authorized notarial act. I-9 forms should be completed by the prospective employee and the employer.