Maintaining Your Notary Public Commission
A notary commission is not automatically renewed. Each notarial commission is its own entity. A new commission number and expiration date will be issued when your notary commission application (PDF) is accepted. You must fill out a new application and take the test.
Get complete instructions on the notary commission application and renewal process.
Name Change at Renewal
Don't send a name change with the application. Write your new legal name in line 1. Your previous name goes in the "other names" section.
If your commission has expired or will expire before it reaches our office, you will be required to take a 3-hour class. Education is now mandatory for new and inactive notaries.
If the notary public is reapplying, the same notary journal may be used with the new commission, as long as the information required in the front of the notarial journal is updated. The notary public should indicate where the new notarial commission begins on the next notary journal entry line.
The official notary seal from the expiring notary commission must be destroyed by the notary public as soon as the notary commission expires. It will be invalid with the new notary commission - ORS 194-154(1).
To destroy the seal, peel off the rubber strip with the tip of your scissors, cut it up and then throw it away.
The notary public will purchase a new official notary seal after the new notary commission is issued. The new official notary seal will not be valid until the effective date of the new notarial commission.
Expiration of Commission
If the notary public decides not to reapply, the notary journal location form (PDF) must be completed and returned. As soon as the commission expires, the seal should be destroyed by the notary. The seal must be defaced so that it is illegible and unusable.
Loss of Notary Seal/Certificate
If you lose the notary seal, you need to request a new seal, or else mail a sworn written notice of the loss to our office within 10 days. We will issue a new Certificate of Authorization to Obtain a Seal so you can purchase a new official seal with a new commission number. If you find the original seal, you must mail it to us within 10 days with a written explanation.
This affidavit form is used for several purposes:
- To replace a seal that has been lost, stolen or broken.
- To issue a duplicate commission certificate - the one that can be hung on the wall.
This form must be notarized by another notary.
Filing this form will not extend your commission expiration date. It will still expire on the original date.
Don't use this form when changing the notary commission name.
Notaries must notify the Corporation Division of any address (PDF) change. This also includes a work address. It is required by law.
Notaries must notify the Corporation Division of any changes in name. First of all, it's the law. Second, notarizing in a different name without amending your commission with the Secretary of State invalidates your notarization.
There are two name change forms:
- If you wish to purchase a new seal in your new name, provide your new legal name in the appropriate section and sign your new legal name. Use form 519 (PDF).
- If you wish to continue to use your old name until your commission expires, and sign with your old name. You must remember to sign the “old” name until the commission expires. Use form 518 (PDF).
Filing the name change form will not extend your commission expiration date. It will still expire on the original date. If you have questions regarding changing your name close to the expiration date, please call our office at 503-986-2593.
Waiver of Fees
If you signed a waiver of fees form and now wish to charge for your services, or you would like to sign a waiver of fees form, use form 517 (PDF).
We have found that sometimes a person’s signature can change quite a bit over time. If this has happened to you, please write us a letter and give us your new official signature. You must sign your legal name, not nicknames. Your commission name - the name on your seal - must be your legal name as well.
Resigning a Notary Public Commission
If you no longer wish to be a notary, or are moving out of state and are no longer qualified to be a notary in Oregon, please fill out the resignation form (PDF). You need to indicate where your journal will be stored for the next seven years. Please destroy your seal by peeling the rubber strip off the stamp and cutting it up.
Death of a Notary
When a notary dies, the notary journal must be sent to the Secretary of State for storage unless the notary public entered into a journal agreement with his or her employer. There is a termination form (PDF) for this purpose.