How to Become a Notary Public in Montana How to Become a Notary Public in Montana

How to Become a Notary Public in Montana

How to Become a Notary Public in Montana

Make sure you meet the requirements to be a Notary in Montana (check with the Secretary of State’s office for details).

  • Take a four-hour Notary training course approved by the state. You’ll get a certificate after completing the course.
  • Take the Montana Notary Exam online and pass it. You’ll download a certificate once you pass.
  • Get a surety bond for $25,000. This protects people in case you make a mistake as a Notary.
  • Have another Notary notarize your signature on the bond form and administer your oath of office.
  • Head to the Montana Secretary of State’s Online Notary Portal and fill out the application. You’ll need to upload your training certificate, exam certificate, and notarized bond form, and pay a $25 filing fee.
  • The Secretary of State’s office will review your application. Once approved, you’ll get notified and can download your official commission certificate online.
  • Purchase a Notary seal and a journal to record your notary acts.
  • While not mandatory, getting Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance is a good idea. This can help cover you if something goes wrong while you’re notarizing documents.

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How to Become a Notary Public in Montana

What are the Requirements to Become a Notary in Montana?

To become a Notary Public in Montana, you’ll need to meet a few basic requirements:

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident
  • Have a connection to Montana (resident, worker, business owner, military spouse/dependent)
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Not have any disqualifying offenses (check with the Secretary of State’s office or reference 1-5-621 MCA for details)

If you meet these requirements, you’re on your way to becoming a Montana Notary Public!

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Notary Public in Montana?

The application fee to become a Notary Public in Montana is $25. This covers the cost of processing your application by the state.

On top of that, there are additional costs for things like the notary stamp, training materials, and any optional extras you might want, like live Q&A support. These costs can vary depending on where you buy your supplies.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Notary in Montana?

The Secretary of State recommends planning for more than a few days, and that’s a wise approach. There can be waiting times for courses, processing bonds, and so on. Also, keep in mind these deadlines:

  • You have 90 days to complete the application process after passing the exam.
  • Once you have your surety bond, you only have 30 days to submit your application package.

To be safe, consider a 30-day window to give yourself enough time to complete everything from start to finish and avoid missing any deadlines.

What Supplies Do Montana Notaries Need?

In Montana, once you’re a Notary Public, you’ll need a couple of key supplies to perform your duties:

Notary Seal: This is a special stamp that will leave an impression on documents you notarize. It will include your official information like name, title, state, and expiration date.  Choose a high-quality stamp that won’t bleed ink and cause problems with documents.

Notary Journal: This is a record book where you’ll keep track of all the notarizations you perform. It acts as a legal record of your work.

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • When buying your stamp, make sure it’s made from high-quality materials that won’t bleed. A blurry or smudged seal can cause documents to be rejected.
  • Double-check with the Montana Secretary of State’s office to confirm if there’s any other information required on your seal besides the basics mentioned earlier.

How long does a Notary commission last in Montana?

A Montana Notary commission lasts for four years. This means you’ll need to renew your commission every four years to keep notarizing documents in the state

What About Bonds or Insurance for Montana Notaries?

In Montana, getting a surety bond is mandatory for anyone who wants to become a Notary Public. Think of it as a financial guarantee for $25,000. If you mess up as a Notary and cause someone financial harm because you didn’t follow the rules, the bond protects them. The money would come from the bond company to cover their losses, but you’d be responsible for paying the bond company back.

Furthermore, while a surety bond protects the public, Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance is separate (and optional) insurance that can protect you, the Notary. It can help cover your legal fees if something goes wrong while you’re doing your job.

Montana Notary Public FAQs

Who Oversees Notaries in Montana?

The Montana Office of the Secretary of State, specifically the Notary and Certification Services Division located in Helena, MT, is the government office that handles Notary Public commissions in the state.

Do I need Training to Become a Notary in Montana?

In Montana, to become a Notary Public, four hours of Notary training is required. This training must be approved by the Montana Secretary of State or the Commission of Continuing Legal Education.

Can I become a Montana Notary if I am not a U.S. citizen?

In Montana, you don’t need to be a U.S. citizen to become a Notary Public! That’s good news if you’re a permanent legal resident. As long as you meet all the other requirements, you can apply to be a Montana Notary.

Where will I be able to notarize?

Once you become a Montana Notary Public, your license allows you to notarize documents throughout Montana.

Who can I notarize for?

As a Montana Notary Public, you can help most members of the public with their notarization needs, but there are a few key limitations:

  • You can’t notarize documents where you have a personal stake. This means you can’t notarize for yourself, your spouse, or any close family members (like children, parents, siblings) if you’re named in the document or would directly benefit from the transaction.
  • The document and situation need to be a legitimate reason for notarization according to Montana law.
  • You’ll need to confirm the person’s identity using an acceptable ID and make sure they understand what they’re signing.

How much can I charge for my notary services?

The maximum you can charge for a regular notarization is $10 per act. This covers things like witnessing signatures or administering oaths. If you perform an electronic notarization, you can tack on an additional fee, but there are no specific limits set by the state. You can also add a travel fee to cover your costs if you need to go to someone’s location to notarize something.

Is Online Notary Legal in Montana & How Do I Become One?

Montana has embraced RON technology since October 1, 2019. This means you can perform notarizations electronically, as long as you meet the requirements to become a Montana remote online notary.

What happens if I move or change my name after becoming a Notary?

It’s easiest to use the Montana Secretary of State’s Online Notary Portal. Log in and choose “File and Amendment” to update your address, name, contact information, or employment details. If you move to a different city within Montana, you’ll get an amended commission certificate with your new city information. You’ll need to use this certificate to purchase a new Notary stamp with your updated city.

How do I renew my Montana Notary Public Commission?

The online portal allows you to initiate your renewal application no earlier than 30 days before your current commission expires. You’ll need your completed continuing education certificates, your surety bond (most likely it will need to be renewed as well, check with your bond company), and a form of payment for the renewal fee.

Fill out the online application, upload your required documents, and pay the renewal fee (amount subject to change, so check with the Secretary of State’s office for current fees). The Secretary of State’s office will review your application. Once approved, you’ll be notified and can download your new commission certificate online.

How do I become an Online Notary in Montana?

We have already explained how to do this in our How to Become an Online Notary in Montana guide. It is an in-depth guide that gives all you need to become a notary in Montana for online purposes.

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