John P. McDonough, Secretary of State    

New Notary Application Information


  • Duties & Responsibilities: Prior to applying to be commissioned as a Notary Public in the State of Maryland, you should understand the duties and responsibilities of notaries public and how to properly perform notarial acts once commissioned. Please review the Duties & Responsibilities of a Notary Public in Maryland and the Notary Handbook (to print this file, you must use the Adobe Acrobat Reader which may be downloaded free from the Adobe website in you do not have it) before submitting your notary public application.
  • Fee & mailing address: In Maryland, an individual who wishes to be commissioned as a notary public may obtain an application form from the Office of the Secretary of State. After completing the form, the applicant should forward the application form and an $20.00 non-refundable processing fee to the 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.
  • Information needed: 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.
    • For registered voters the legislative district and election district numbers are available at the Board of Elections' website. The election district appears under the name and address of the polling place.  You can find the name of your State Senator by using the look-up link provided by the Maryland State Archives or by contacting the Local Elections Office in your county or the City of Baltimore.
    • Maryland residents who are not registered voters can use the link provided by the Maryland State Archives.
    • 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. We suggest using the State Archives link for district information.
  • Review by State Senator: After reviewing your notary application and accepting the processing fee, the application is 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.
  • Approval & notification:  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 (some courts are cash only).
  • Commissioning: 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.
  • Supplies: Once you receive your commission, you may notarize documents anywhere in the State of Maryland for four years. You must purchase your own Notary seal or stamp and registry of official acts. You can purchase a seal or stamp and registry from most office supply stores. Please note that Maryland law requires that you record every official act you perform as a notary public in your registry.