Information About How to Become a Kansas Notary
To be eligible to be a notary in Kansas, state law requires that a person must be:
- At least 18 years of age.
- A Kansas legal resident, or a resident of a bordering state, who regularly carries on a business or profession in Kansas or who is regularly employed in Kansas.
Follow these steps to become a Kansas notary:
- K.S.A. 53-5a18: Purchase a notary stamping device, either an ink stamp or an impression seal. A copy of the stamp or an impression capable of being copied (generally with the use of ink or foil seals) of the impression seal must be submitted with the application. A notary stamping device must contain the notary’s name exactly as it appears on the notary application for appointment, the words “notary public” and “State of Kansas” or words of like import. Notary stamping devices may be purchased at office supply stores, stamp shops or online.
K.S.A. 53-5a19: The notary is responsible for the security of the notary’s stamping device and shall not allow another individual to use the device. Please see the statute for further information about the notary’s responsibilities regarding their stamping device.
- K.S.A. 53-5a22(2): Purchase a notary surety bond. Kansas law requires a notary to be bonded for $12,000. The bond must be a commercial surety bond from an insurance company licensed in Kansas. The insurance company must complete section C of the NO form or the NO-S form downloadable from the online notary login page. A copy of the surety bond does not replace this requirement.
- K.S.A. 53-5a22(1): Swear the Kansas notary oath before another notary who will complete either section B of the NO appointment form or NO-O form downloadable from the online notary page. If the oath notarization is performed remotely, a wet ink signature must also accompany the application for comparison when the applicant performs in-person notarizations (K.S.A. 53-5a22(4)).
- Upload either the now-completed NO form that includes the impression of the notary stamping device; completed notary oath; completed surety bond section; or complete the online appointment electronic form and upload the required NO-S, NO-O and stamping device images; and pay the $25 application fee by credit card to the Secretary of State’s Office.
- Upon approval of the completed application, the Secretary of State will list the notary’s status, appointment expiration date and current commission number on the online notary listing and mail a notary certificate with the same information to the address listed on the application. An applicant may not notarize documents until their appointment status is active online and they have a notary appointment expiration date.
Other Information for Kansas Notaries
Length of Appointment
Kansas notaries are appointed for four years. The appointment dates are set by the Secretary of State (not the insurance company issuing the surety bond) and the appointment expiration date may be found online (need hyperlink here) in the notary listing or on the notary certificate.
Renewing a Notary Appointment
Appointments are renewed by completing all steps required for initial application (see above). The fee is $25.
Notary Name Change
K.S.A. 53-5a22(h): Notaries who change their name by any legal action are required to obtain a new stamping device and notify the Secretary of State before performing any further acts as a notary. An image of the new stamping device and new name may be uploaded to the Kansas Secretary of State using the notary online login above. The online notary listing will reflect the change once made, and a new notary certificate will be mailed to the address provided by the notary.
Other Changes to Notary Appointment
All other changes to a notary’s contact information or stamping device may may be uploaded to the Kansas Secretary of State using the notary online login.
For more information, please review the Notary Handbook.
Key Changes to Kansas Notary Law
During the 2021 legislative session, the Kansas Legislature approved SB 106 implementing the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA), which permits a Kansas notary to provide remote online notarizations (RON) and makes the key changes outlined below to Kansas notary law effective January 1, 2022. The text of the new law is available at http://www.ksrevisor.org/statutes/ksa_ch53.html.
K.S.A. 53-5a20: Effective January 1, 2022, Kansas notaries are required to maintain a notary journal.
A journal entry shall contain the following information:
- The date and time of the notarial act.
- A description of the record, if any, and type of notarial act.
- The full name and address of each individual for whom the notarial act is performed.
- If the individual is identified based on personal knowledge, a statement to that effect.
- If the individual is identified based on an identification credential, such as a driver’s license, or identified by a credible witness, a brief description of the method of identification and, if an identification credential is used, the date of issuance and expiration date of the credential.
- The fee, if any, charged by the notary.
A notary may maintain a journal in both a tangible form and an electronic form. While a notary may maintain only one journal in a tangible format, a notary may maintain more than one journal in an electronic format.
The notary shall retain the journal for 10 years after the last entry. A notary may transfer their journal to the Secretary of State for retention using form NC. Only the notary or the Kansas Secretary of State may retain the journal as of Jan 1, 2022. No other journal repositories are approved, including the notary’s employer.
A notary must notify the Secretary of State if the journal is lost or stolen. This may be done through the online notary login above.
K.S.A. 53-5a22(2): Effective January 1, 2022, the surety bond amount for a new or renewing notary is $12,000. A surety bond must be obtained from an insurance company licensed to do business in Kansas.
The surety bond shall be written for a term of four years, covering the dates of the notary’s commission as set by the Kansas Secretary of State.
The increased bond amount is applicable to all notary applicants after January 1, 2022. An application filed on or before December 31, 2021 need only have a $7,500 surety bond through the remainder of that appointment.
Verification of Identity
K.S.A. 53-5a07: The law sets out documentation that can be used to verify the identity of the signer of a document to specifically include a driver’s license and passport, but also permits a government-issued nondriver identification card or other form of government identification.
Identification can be accepted if it is expired not more than three years prior to the notarial act.
Refusal to Notarize
K.S.A. 53-5a08: The law establishes criteria for when a notary may refuse to perform a notarial act. A notary may refuse to perform a notarization if the notary is not satisfied that the:
- Individual executing the record is competent or has the capacity to execute the record.
- Individual's signature is knowingly and voluntarily made.
- A notary may refuse to perform a notarial act unless refusal is prohibited by state or federal law.
Remote Online Notary
K.S.A. 53-5a21 allows remote online notarization (RON) in Kansas, which enables a Kansas notary to provide notarizations for remotely located individuals. RON allows a notary in Kansas and a remotely located individual with an electronic document to be notarized to communicate using audio-visual technology to satisfy the personal appearance requirement, eliminating the need for the signer to be in the physical presence of the notary in Kansas at the time the document is notarized.
Notaries must meet certain requirements to perform remote online notarizations, which can be found here.
Effective January 1, 2022, the short form notarial certificates are provided in regulation, not statute; specifically K.A.R. 7-43-17.
Notary Stamping Device
K.S.A. 53-5a19(b): A notary is required to notify the Secretary of State if the notary’s stamping device is lost or stolen. The notification and image of the new stamping device may be reported using the online notary login above.
When obtaining a stamping device to replace one that has been lost or stolen, notaries are encouraged to select a stamp that is different from their previous stamp (i.e. round vs. rectangle) to help deter fraudulent use.
K.S.A. 53-5a25(4)(b): The beneficial interest provision is expanded to prohibit a notary from performing a notarization of a record in which either the notary or the notary's spouse is a party to or has a direct financial or beneficial interest.
K.S.A. 53-5a25(4)(g): If a notary advertises or offers notarial services, the notary shall include the following statement:
- “I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in this state. I am not allowed to draft legal records, give advice on legal matters, including immigration, or charge a fee for those activities.”
K.A.R. 7-43-16: By regulation, a notary is permitted to charge a fee for a notarization. The fee must be:
- Disclosed to the signer that the fee is permitted but is not required by state law or regulation.
- Disclosed to the signer and agreed to by the signer before the notarization is performed.
- Collected at the time the notarization is performed.
- Recorded in the notary’s journal.
Please note: The above is a summary of key provisions of the law and does not reflect all changes made to Kansas notary law.
Remote Online Notarizations (RON)
Effective January 1, 2022, Kansas notaries may provide remote online notarizations (RON). RON allows a notary in Kansas and a remotely located individual with an electronic document to be notarized to communicate using audio-visual technology to satisfy the personal appearance requirement, eliminating the need for the signer to be in the physical presence of the notary at the time the document is notarized.
A Kansas notary is not required to provide remote online notarizations.
A Kansas notary shall not perform a notarization for a remotely located individual if the notary is not physically located in Kansas at the time of the notarization.
State law requirements for remote online notarizations are available at K.S.A. 53-5a15.
Regulatory requirements for performing remote online notarizations are available here.
Requirements to provide RON
Complete these three steps to provide Remote Online Notarization.
1. Select an RON Provider
A notary must choose approved RON technology provider(s) who will provide the RON platform used to perform remote online notarizations. Platforms are Internet-based and enable the notary and remotely located individual to use audio-video communication to meet the physical presence requirement.
The platform will enable identity verification of the remotely located individual, provide the audio-visual technology for the notary and individual to see and hear each other during the notary session, enable the individual to electronically sign the document and the notary to notarize the document, and enable the notary to record the notarial act in an electronic journal. Most RON platform providers offer training to notaries on how to successfully use their platform.
To use a RON platform, notaries are required to obtain a digital certificate that verifies the notary’s identity and, once a document is notarized, makes the document tamper evident. RON platform providers may provide a digital certificate or may provide direction about how to obtain one.
A notary must choose a RON platform provider that is on file with the Secretary of State. Continue to check back for more options if the current providers below do not meet your needs.
2. Complete Notary Training and Pass a Test
Training and testing are provided at HERE at no cost by the Secretary of State’s office. A notary may complete the training and test at their convenience. A certificate will generate upon successful completion of the test that the notary must submit as part of their RON registration with the Secretary of State. Be prepared to print or save the certificate to your computer upon completion of the test.
3. Notify the Secretary of State That the Notary Intends to Perform RONs
Prior to performing RON, a notary must notify the Secretary of State of the provider the notary intends to use and pay the RON registration fee.
- Kansas notaries who have an active commission and wish to perform RONs may submit Form NC HERE at any time prior to their current appointment expiration.
- The electronic stamp used to perform RON must contain the notary’s current Kansas notary commission number; therefore, a person must apply to be a tangible notary and obtain a commission number before they can apply for RON permissions.
Upload a copy of the training certificate with the notary change notification.
A fee of $20 is required.
A notary’s RON registration runs concurrent with the notary’s four-year commission.
To apply as a RON or IPEN platform provider for Kansas notaries, please submit this application.
For questions regarding a notary appointment, renewal, or notary duties and responsibilities, email email@example.com or call 785-296-4564.