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Frequently Asked Questions for
Notary Public

Click on the question to see the answer.

1. What is an Errors and Omissions Insurance-Protection for Notary?

Notaries may choose to buy Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O) for the exclusive protection it provides against claims of negligence and unintentional mistakes made while performing notarial acts.

2. Can a South Dakota notary notarize in another state?

No, South Dakota notaries can only notarize within the state of South Dakota.

3. What type of identification is sufficient when notarizing?

A notary must conclusively identify the person who requests notarization. Acceptable identification documents are unexpired government-issued identification cards with a picture of the individual, and may include:
  • U.S. Passport;
  • Driver's license or non-driver state identification card;
  • Tribal ID;
  • An identification card issued by any branch of U.S. Armed Forces;
  • Student ID card;
  • Identification card issued by U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, such as a Resident Alien card (sometimes referred to as a "green card");
  • another governmental issued picture ID that is current and unexpired.

Notaries are not expected to be experts on all types of identification, but are urged to use common sense and reasonable care when presented with identification that appears to have been tampered with or does not match the information presented by the individual.

4. Will information about my being a Notary be public?

Yes. South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) 18-1-4 expressly states that "The Secretary of State shall keep in his office a record of such appointments and the date of their expiration". South Dakota open record statutes under SDCL 1-27 presume a record is open, unless otherwise designated as closed. There is no exemption for notary public information, such as name and address. Please be aware that the address disclosed on your Notary Application Oath and Bond will be in the public domain and will be available for public view on the state's web site.

5. What do I do if my address or name changes during my commission?

You must complete the Notary Change Form and submit it to our office for filing. If your name and/or seal change, you CANNOT notarize with the new information until you receive confirmation from the Secretary of State.

6. I have lost my commission certificate; How do I get a new one?

Please contact our office at or by phone at (605)773-3537 for a replacement. You must have your Notary Public Commission certificate visible at any time you are notarizing.

7. How do I contact a notary public?

You may search for the notary public information on our website on our Notary Public Search. This will give name, expiration and mailing information for the Notary Public. Our office does not require phone number or email address information to be submitted by a notary.

8. How do I renew my commission?

You may find the information required for renewing a Notary Public Commission on our site Notary Commission Renewal.

9. How early can I renew my notary commission?

You may submit your renewal no more than sixty (60) days prior to your expiration date. If you wish to renew your Notary Public commission and desire to keep the same commission date and expiration date (month and day), you may do so by completing and mailing to the Office of the Secretary of State the Application, Oath and Bond form in advance of the expiration of your commission. If you desire a different expiration date than your previous commission, please indicate what date you wish to have your next six year term begin. Once again, we must receive the application prior to the date you have selected or already have.

10. Does South Dakota have E-Notaries?

At this time, South Dakota does not allow for e-notarization. However, effective July 1, 2024, e-notarization will be allowed in the state of South Dakota. Please see SB211 for further information.

11. What do I do if I have changed my seal?

You must complete the Notary Change Form and submit it to our office for filing. If your name and/or seal change, you CANNOT notarize with the new information until you receive confirmation from the Secretary of State.

12. What if my seal was lost or stolen?

If a Notary Public's Seal is lost or stolen, report the loss or theft immediately to the Office of the Secretary of State so that a notation can be made on the Notary Public's records.
There are two options available to a Notary whose seal has been lost or stolen:
  1. The notary may continue to use their Notary Commission and have a new seal made. The seal can be identical to the original or it may be a different type. The new seal impression would have to be recorded with the Office of the Secretary of State. To record your new seal, please complete a Notary Change Form(Effective 12/6/2017).
  2. The Notary may request that the Secretary of State cancel their present Notary Commission and ask that a new commission with a different expiration date be issued. The Notary would have to follow the Notary Public application procedure. You can find a copy of the application here(Effective 10/8/2018).
In addition to whatever option is taken, the Notary may also wish to change the name on their Notary Commission and Seal. (Example: Elizabeth B. Jackson could be changed to Elizabeth Jackson or E.B. Jackson or Liz B. Jackson). The new impression of the Notary's Seal would have to correspond exactly to the way the name is signed and recorded with the Office of the Secretary of State. If you change your name, please complete a Notary Change Form and submit to the Secretary of State's office.

13. Can I use two stamps/seals?

Yes, you may have multiple stamps/seals on file with our office. Before using a seal, you MUST file an imprint with our office using the Notary Change Form and wait for approval.

14. How much does it cost to become a Notary Public?

The filing fee for processing a Notary Public Application Oath & Bond is $30. If you choose to have an insurance company provide a notary surety bond, they will require an additional fee.

15. Do you accept credit card payments for the notary fees?

Yes, simply supply a phone number that we may call for credit card information at the time of processing.

16. When does my commission expire?

The commission date takes effect on the day the Secretary of State makes the appointment and issues the commission. The expiration date is exactly six (6) years from the commission date. The commission expires at midnight on the day of expiration.