Requirements for the Notary Seal
The seal must be photographically reproducible when it is affixed to a document. This means the seal must be used with ink. Black ink is most common but is not required. The county will not accept the round embossers notaries used to use although many notaries continue to use embossers in addition to their acceptable seal for extra security. Inked seals can be easily copied and placed illegally onto another document.
The seal must also contain the State Seal and the words “Notary Public” as well as your commission number, expiration date, the name of the county where the oath of office and bond are on file.
The seal must contain the identification number assigned to the manufacturer and finally it must have a serrated or milled edged border. This simply means that the seal does not have a geometrical border, rather the border usually looks like the edge of a steak knife might with wavy edges. The seal may be either round (2 inches max diameter) or rectangular (no larger than 1” x 2 1/2 “) as long as it is photographically reproducible.
The County Clerk will not accept a document if the seal impression is not clear and precise. If you smudge the seal impression, simply re-seal with a clear impression. If the document does not allow enough room for you to place your seal without covering up text or signatures, you should add a loose certificate or place your Jurat stamp on another page and record all of the important information on that page pertaining to the document so it may not be removed and reattached to another document inappropriately.
No notary seal or press stamp may be manufactured, duplicated, sold, or offered for sale unless first authorized by the Secretary of State with a proper Authorization to Manufacture a Seal.
Seal is for Official Use Only
Of course, the notary may never use the official notarial seal except for the purpose of carrying out the duties of a Notary. You would never place your seal in an advertisement, for example nor would you put your seal on photographs or photocopies not containing proper notarial verbiage.
Similarly, a notary public also may never use the title “notary public” except for the purpose of rendering notarial services.
As discussed previously, the official seal of a notary public is the exclusive property of that notary public, and may never be surrendered to an employer upon the termination of employment, whether or not the employer paid for the seal, or to any other person. The notary, or his or her representative, must destroy or deface the seal upon termination, resignation, or revocation of the notary’s commission.
What to do if your seal is lost.
If the official seal is lost, destroyed, or damaged, you will need to contact the Secretary of State through mail who will issue a new certificate of authorization upon request within five working days after receipt of the notice which you may then use to obtain a replacement seal. Once your notary commission is expired, you must destroy the seal to prevent possible fraudulent use by another.