How to Become a Notary in Oklahoma
The Application Process to Become a Notary in Oklahoma:
Are you interested in becoming an Oklahoma notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own Oklahoma notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The State of Oklahoma appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. Becoming a notary in Oklahoma is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become an Oklahoma notary. The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This Oklahoma notary guide will help you understand:
- Who can become a notary in Oklahoma
- How to become a notary in Oklahoma
- The basic duties of a notary in Oklahoma
What are the qualifications to become a notary in Oklahoma?
To become a notary in Oklahoma, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be eighteen (18) years of age or older.
- Be a citizen of the United States.
- Be a legal resident of Oklahoma, or a non-resident who is employed in Oklahoma.
- Be able to read and write English.
- Have not been convicted of a felony.
What is the process to become a notary in Oklahoma?
To become a notary in Oklahoma, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Complete an application and submit it to the Secretary of State with a $25 fee, which may be filed in person, by mail, or online.
- Receive by mail, upon commissioning, a “Notary Public Guide” and a blank $1,000 bond form.
- Upon receipt of the notary commission, purchase a $1,000 surety bond and a notary seal.
- Affix an impression of the new official seal on the bond form.
- File the notarized bond form, oath of office, loyalty oath, official signature, and impression of the new official seal with the Secretary of State not more than sixty days after the issuance of the commission and pay a $10 filing fee.
- Upon the Secretary of State’s approval of the bond, official seal, oath of office, and loyalty oath, a notary public may then proceed to perform notarial acts.
Note: Illegible applications or applications completed in pencil will be rejected. P.O. boxes are not acceptable. Applicants may use a route number in lieu of a street address. However, if applicants do not have a street address or route number, they must provide directions to their residence. Applicants requesting same-day filing service to expedite their application must submit an additional $25 for such service. To download an application or submit an application online, go to the Secretary of State website.
How do I renew my notary commission in Oklahoma?
An Oklahoma notary may apply for reappointment as a notary public no earlier than six weeks prior to the expiration date of the commission. An application for renewal may be submitted online or by mail, and the renewal fee is $20. A renewal application will not be accepted earlier than six weeks prior to the expiration of the notary’s current appointment, or after the commission expiration date. An Oklahoma notary must complete a renewal application and follow the same application process and procedures as the initial application for appointment as a notary public, including purchasing a new bond. A renewal application that is received after the commission has expired will be processed as a new appointment. The fee is $25, and a new commission number and expiration date will be issued. The Secretary of State is not bound by prior determinations of eligibility. To initiate the commission renewal process, go to the Secretary of State’s website.
Who appoints notaries in Oklahoma?
The Oklahoma Secretary of States receives applications for appointment and reappointment as a notary public, administers the commissioning process, and maintains an electronic database of active notaries. To contact the Oklahoma Secretary of State:
Oklahoma Secretary of State
Notary Public Services
421 N.W. 13th Street, Suite 210
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
(405) 521-2516 (Questions)
(405) 521-3912 (Form Requests)
Can a non-resident become a notary in Oklahoma?
Yes. A non-resident may apply to become an Oklahoma notary public if the non-resident meets the following requirements. A non-resident must:
- Have a place of employment in Oklahoma.
- Satisfy the same qualifications as Oklahoma residents, setting aside the residency requirements.
- Submit an application form and follow the same application for appointment process and procedures as Oklahoma residents, including obtaining a $1,000 bond.
- Provide the street address, city, zip code, county of his or her place of employment in Oklahoma, a daytime telephone number, and a valid email address, as required by law.
- Continuously maintain a place of employment in Oklahoma.
- Relinquish his or her notary commission if the non-resident notary ceases to have a place of employment Oklahoma.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Oklahoma?
The commission term of an Oklahoma notary public is for four years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void:
- By resignation, death, or revocation.
- When a notary public is no longer a legal resident of Oklahoma during his or her commission term.
- When a notary is no longer a citizen of the United States.
- When a notary loses his or her capability to read and write English.
- When a notary has been convicted of a felony.
Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in Oklahoma?
No. New applicants seeking appointments as Oklahoma notaries public and renewing notaries are not required to take or pass any notary course of study or examination to be appointed and commissioned as Oklahoma notaries public.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Oklahoma?
An Oklahoma notary applicant’s expenses may include the cost for the following:
- A $25 filing fee to process an application for appointment as a notary public.
- A $25 same-day filing fee service to expedite an application for appointment or reappointment.
- A $20 filing fee to process an application for reappointment.
- A $1,000 bond.
- An official seal.
- A journal if the notary wishes to comply with the recommendations of the Secretary of State to record all notarial acts in a journal.
- An E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to purchase one for his or her personal protection against liability.
Is a notary errors & omissions insurance policy required to become a notary in Oklahoma?
An Oklahoma errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Oklahoma. The American Association of Notaries recommends that Oklahoma notaries obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy for their personal protection against liability. Errors and omissions insurance is designed to protect notaries from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial or other type of loss to the public or from a client who sues a notary public for recovery. An E&O insurance policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage an Oklahoma notary selects. To purchase an E&O insurance policy, please visit the American Association of Notaries website, or call 713-644-2299.
Is a notary bond required to become a notary in Oklahoma?
An Oklahoma notary bond in the amount of $1,000 is required for any new applicant seeking an appointment as a notary public and for renewing notaries. The notary bond must be signed by one of the following:
- An insurance agent licensed by the State of Oklahoma.
- An attorney-in-fact on behalf of an insurance company with a power of attorney attached.
- One or more individual sureties who are property owners in the county of residence of the notary, or, if a nonresident, the county of employment of the non-resident notary.
The notary bond must be issued for a term that commences on the bond’s effective date and terminates on the commission’s expiration date. The notary bond must be filed with the Secretary of State not more than sixty days after issuance of a notary commission to be approved by the Secretary of State (49 OS 2). To purchase and receive an Oklahoma notary bond via e-mail in one business day, visit the American Association of Notaries website, or call 713-644-2299.
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Oklahoma?
The Oklahoma notary statute requires all notaries public to authenticate all official acts with either a metal seal which leaves an embossed impression or a rubber stamp used in conjunction with a stamp pad and ink (49 OS 5).
Dimensions: The Oklahoma notary statute does not address or provide the legal dimensions for a notary’s official seal.
Required Elements: Every notary must obtain an official seal containing the following elements (49 OS 5):
- The words "State of Oklahoma”;
- The words "Notary Public"
- The notary’s name
The notary’s commission number and commission expiration date may be part of the rubber stamp and/or an embosser seal. Within ten days after the loss or theft of a notary’s official seal, the notary must deliver to the Secretary of State a written notice of the loss or theft and the date the seal was discovered missing. When purchasing a replacement seal, the Secretary of State recommends adding a character or symbol to the new seal to distinguish it from the missing one. Within ten days after purchasing a new notary seal, the notary must notify the Secretary of State in writing of the date of purchase and the distinguishing character or symbol added to the new notary seal. To order an Oklahoma notary stamp, notary seal, complete notary package, and notary supplies please visit the American Association of Notaries website, or call 713-644-2299.
How much can an Oklahoma notary public charge for performing notarial acts?
The Oklahoma notary fees are set by state notary statute (49 OS 5). The maximum allowable fees that an Oklahoma notary public may charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- Acknowledgments - $5.00
- Oaths or affirmations - $5.00
- Verifications upon oath or affirmation- $5.00
- Witness or attest signatures - $5.00
- Protests - $5.00
- Certify or attest copies - $5.00
Note: A notary public may not charge a fee to notarize an absentee ballot.
Is a notary journal required in Oklahoma?
The Oklahoma notary statute does not require Oklahoma notaries public to record their notarial acts in a journal. The Secretary of State highly recommends that every notary public maintain a log of his or her official acts to assist in recalling past notarial acts if needed or if the notary is legally challenged. While a journal is not required by state notary law, the American Association of Notaries encourages Oklahoma notaries to maintain a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages to create and preserve a chronological record of every notarial act performed as a protective measure against allegations of fraudulent notarial acts and official misconduct. An Oklahoma notary may find that maintaining a journal of his notarial acts can be an important notarial tool in his office as notary public, and that notary journal may one day be essential for protecting him from liability. To order an Oklahoma notary journal, please visit the American Association of Notaries website, or call 713-644-2299.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Oklahoma?
An Oklahoma notary public has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county anywhere within the geographic borders of the state of Oklahoma. Likewise, an Oklahoma notary public may not perform notarial acts outside Oklahoma.
What notarial acts can an Oklahoma notary public perform?
An Oklahoma notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (49 OS 6.A and 49 OS 112.1):
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Take verifications upon oath or affirmation
- Witness or attest signatures
- Note protests of negotiable instruments
- Certify or attest copies of documents or other items
- Exercise such other powers and duties as by law of nations and commercial usage may be performed by notaries public
Can I perform electronic notarizations in Oklahoma?
Yes. The Oklahoma Legislature enacted the “Uniform Electronic Transactions Act” (OS 12A:15-101 through 12A:15-120) that includes the provisions on notarization and acknowledgment, which permits a notary public to obtain an electronic or digital signature and electronic seal to notarize electronic records in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization. First and foremost, the Oklahoma notary statute requires that the principal must physically appear before the notary public at the time of the electronic notarization. This means the signer(s) and the notary are physically close enough to see, hear, communicate, and give identification credentials to each other without reliance on an electronic device such as a telephone, computer, video camera, or facsimile machine at the time of the performance of the electronic notarization. All the same rules, standards, practices, and regulations that apply to a traditional paper notarization also apply to an electronically signed document including, but not limited to, the personal appearance before the notary public. Moreover, Oklahoma state laws require that the notarial officer must determine, either from personal knowledge or from satisfactory evidence of identity, that the person appearing before the notarial officer and making the acknowledgment or verification or attesting the signature is the person whose signature is on the instrument (49 OS 113). There are no exceptions to the legal requirement that the principal must be in the physical presence of the notary public for each and every notarial act performed. The notary’s electronic seal must reproduce the required elements of the notary’s official seal. The Oklahoma Secretary of State has not adopted administrative rules and/or standards and procedures for electronic notarizations.
Can I perform remote online notarizations in Oklahoma?
Yes. The Oklahoma 2019 Legislature enacted Senate Bill 915, which adds Sections 201 through 214 of Title 49 (Remote Online Notary Act) to the Oklahoma Statutes. Effective January 1, 2020, the newly enacted act permits Oklahoma notaries to perform remote online notarizations for remotely located individuals by using audio and video communication technology that meets the standards adopted by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has not promulgated rules to implement and ensure the effective administration of the Remote Online Notary Act. This Act requires the Secretary of State to include in the promulgated rules the standards for:
- Ensuring integrity in the creation, transmittal, storage and authentication of electronic signatures, electronic seals, and electronic records.
- The means of performing remote online notarial acts.
- Communication technology, credential analysis, and identity proofing.
- The retention of journals and audio and visual recordings.
- Sufficient forms of notarial certificates for remote online notarizations.
- Other matters as deemed necessary by the Secretary of State to implement and administer the provisions of Oklahoma’s remote online notarization statutes.
This act clarifies that if any conflict between the remote online notarization laws and any other Oklahoma law exists, the remote online notarization laws control.
What is the process to become an online notary in Oklahoma?
An appointed and commissioned notary public may perform remote online notarizations if authorized by the Secretary of State. Before a notary public performs the notary’s initial remote online notarization, a notary must register with the Secretary of State and receive written authorization from the Secretary of State to perform remote online notarizations. An applicant applying for a notary public commission may apply for remote online registration at the same time. The application for remote online notarization must include:
- The applicant’s name as it appears on his or her notary commission.
- A description of the technology the applicant intends to use in performing remote online notarizations.
- A statement that the applicant will comply with the standards under 49 OS 203.
- A $25 filing fee.
- Any other information the Secretary of State may by rule require.
Upon approval of the applicant’s application for remote online notarizations, the Secretary of State issues to the applicant a written authorization to perform remote online notarizations. The term of a notary’s authorization to perform remote online notarizations begins on the authorization date set by the Secretary of State and terminates on the notary’s commission expiration date. However, a notary’s authorization to perform remote online notarizations terminates if:
- The notary’s name changes during the term of the notary’s commission.
- The notary elects to use the notary’s new name under a new commission.
Before performing a remote online notarial act using an approved communication technology, a notary public must adhere to these statutory requirements:
- The notary must be physically located within the boundaries of Oklahoma, even though the remotely located individual may be geographically located in any state or country. The remotely located individual must be visually in the presence of the notary public through the use of an audio and video communication technology.
- The notary must reasonably verify and establish the identity of the remotely located individual through satisfactory evidence of identity using communication technology that includes identity proofing and credential analysis.
- The notary must confirm that an electronic record before the notary is the same electronic record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the remotely located individual executed or adopted a signature.
- The notary must complete a notarial certificate for the remote online notarization.
- The notary must ensure that the notarial certificate for the remote online notarization is attached to or logically associated with the electronic record that is the subject of the remote online notarization.
- The notary must include a statement in the notarial certificate substantially as follows: “This remote online notarization involved the use of communication technology.”
- The notary must authenticate the remote online notarial act with an electronic seal that contains the information required by law.
- The notary must record in chronological order the remote online notarization in an electronic, tamper-evident journal.
- The notary, or a person acting on behalf of the notary, must create an audio and visual recording of the remote online notarization.
- The notary must make a backup of the audio-visual recording used for the remote online notarization.
- The notary must take reasonable steps to ensure that the communication technology used in the remote online notarization is secure from unauthorized interception.
- The notary must take reasonable steps to ensure the integrity, security, and authenticity of the remote online notarization, electronic journal, and backups of the audio and visual recordings from unauthorized use.
- The notary must take reasonable steps to ensure that any registered device used to create an electronic signature is current and has not been revoked or terminated by the device’s issuing or registering authority.
- A notary must attach the notary’s electronic signature and electronic seal to the notarial certificate of an electronic document in a manner that is capable of independent verification and renders any subsequent change or modification to the electronic document evident.
- The notary must take reasonable steps to protect the notary’s electronic seal from unauthorized use.
- The maximum fee the notary may charge for the remote online notarization is $25.
- The notary must comply with the laws of Oklahoma regardless of the physical location of the remotely located individual at the time of the remote online notarization.
A notary public may perform a remote online notarial act using an approved communication technology for a remotely located individual who is physically located:
- In Oklahoma.
- Outside Oklahoma but not outside of the United States.
- Outside the United States.
A notary public may perform a remote online notarial act using an approved communication technology for a remotely located individual who is physically located outside the United States if:
- The electronic record is to be filed with or relates to a matter before a court, governmental entity, public official, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, or involves property located in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States or a transaction substantially connected to the United States.
- The notary has no actual knowledge that the act of making the statement or signing the electronic record is prohibited by the foreign state in which the remotely located individual is located.
A remote online notarization under this act satisfies any requirement of law of Oklahoma that a principal appear before, appear personally before, or be in the physical presence of a notary public at the time of the performance of the notarial act.
The notary’s records regarding the notary’s remote online notarizations must be retained for ten years following the date of the remote online notarization. A notary public must immediately notify an appropriate law enforcement agency and the Secretary of State of the theft or vandalism of the notary’s electronic seal, electronic signature, or electronic journal. The liability, sanctions, and remedies for the improper performance of remote online notarizations are the same under the state laws as for the improper performance of a notarial act by a traditional notary public. Lastly, upon resignation, revocation, or expiration of the notary’s commission, the notary’s electronic seal, any coding, disk, digital certificate, card, software, or password that enables the notary to attach or logically associate the electronic seal to an electronic record must be destroyed or disabled to prohibit its use by any other person.
How do I update my address with the Oklahoma Secretary of State?
If a notary’s resident address changes, the notary must inform the Secretary of State in writing within thirty days of such change. The notary is not required to file a new bond or obtain another notary seal if the notary moves from one county to another (49 OS 11An). All notaries can update their addresses online through the Secretary of State’s website.
How do I change my name on my notary commission in Oklahoma?
If a notary public’s name has legally changed in the middle of a term, the notary has two options:
- The notary may continue to use the former name as issued on the existing commission until it expires.
- The notary may use the notary’s new name by completing and filing a new application with the Secretary of State with a $25 filing fee (49 OS 11[B]).
The name change will establish a new commission and expiration date. The notary must purchase a new seal and file a new bond with the Secretary of State. If a notary elects the second option, the notary must submit a letter of resignation of his or her current commission to the Secretary of State.
Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information on how to become a notary, managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary education, and securing their notary stamp and notary supplies. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. However, we make no warrant, expressed or implied, and we do not represent, undertake, or guarantee that the information in the newsletter is correct, accurate, complete, or non-misleading. Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding notaries’ best practices, federal laws and statutes, and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources and do not warrant its accuracy. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, loss, damage, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss or consequential loss out of or in connection with the use of the information contained in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their states’ notary authorities or attorneys in their state if they have legal questions. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.
Oklahoma notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, the American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company (established 1900). Kal Tabbara is a licensed insurance agent in Oklahoma.