Notary Public commissions are valid for four (4) years and is governed by KRS 423.010.

Who can be a notary?  The following requirements must be met:

  • Must be eighteen (18) years or older
  • Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
  • Be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in the county within this Commonwealth where the application is made;
  • Be able to read and write English;
  • Not be disqualified to receive a commission under KRS 423.395;
  • Submit to the Secretary of State any application forms, information, disclosures, and verifications as are required by administrative regulations promulgated by the Secretary of State;
  • Submit to the Secretary of State proof of having obtained the requisite surety bond required under KRS 423.390(4);
  • Take an oath of office as set forth in KRS 423.390(4)

How can I become a notary?

  • Visit the Secretary of State’s website to complete the application.  A form signed by the County Clerk is no longer required. The fee for application at the Secretary of State’s Office is $10.00.
  • If approved, the applicant will be notified that a “Certificate of Appointment” has been made available to the county clerk’s office in the applicant’s county. The notice will indicate a thirty (30) day time period for the applicant to go to the county clerk’s office.
  • The applicant must come in to the county clerk’s office to be sworn in.  The notary must provide government issued ID.  There is a $19.00 recording fee ($10.00 for recording the bond, $4.00 for taking/preparing the bond, and $5.00 for administering the oath. KRS 64.012)
  • A surety bond in the amount of $1,000.00 is required. As of January 1, 2020, only a bond from an approved insurance company is allowed. Check with the insurance agency of your choice to request notary bond information.

Beginning in January of 2020, a notary public state-at-large may also apply to the Secretary of State’s Office to be an electronic notary or remote online notary.  Please contact the Secretary of State’s Office for details, (502) 564-3490 or visit their website.

Effective 1/1/20   Fees effective 8/1/06

Notary FAQ

Q: What is the notary surety bond? A: In order to complete your notary commission, you must post bond in the amount of $1,000.00 with a notary surety bond from an approved insurance company. If the notary does something illegal with regard to notarizing a document, the insurance bond covers the penalty up to $1,000.00.

Q: Can I still have a property owner sign as surety? A: No. As of January 1, 2020, an insurance bond is required.

Q: Is the use of a seal necessary? A: As of January 1, 2020, it is no longer necessary to use a seal.  If the notary does choose to use a stamp or seal, the embossed seal must be inked.  The stamp must include the notary’s: name, title, jurisdiction, commission number, and expiration date. KRS 423.370  Other requirements for a seal apply to electronic and remote online notaries.

Q: Do I have to use my identification number when I notarize a document? A: Yes.  You must include your jurisdiction, commission number and expiration date.

Q: Is there a notary handbook available? A: For further notary information and/or handbook, please go to the Secretary of State’s website www.sos.ky.gov.

Q: Will I be notified when my commission is ready to expire? A: No. The Secretary of State does not send any reminders when your four-year commission will expire.

Q: How do I renew my notary? A: Four weeks prior to commission expiration reapply with the Secretary of State.