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How To Become A Notary Public In New Mexico

If you are interested in becoming a Notary Public in New Mexico, this practical guide will answer many common questions. Learn about notarial duties, and find out how you can become a commissioned Notary. Once you are ready to begin the process of becoming a New Mexico notary or renewing your New Mexico commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

Requirements to be a Notary in New Mexico
New Mexico Notary Process
What Can I Do With My New Mexico Commission?
General Notary Public Information

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BECOME a Notary

Requirements to be a Notary in New Mexico 

Who can become a Notary?

To qualify to become a Notary in New Mexico, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be a resident of New Mexico;
  2. Be at least eighteen (18) years of age;
  3. Be able to read and write the English language;
  4. Not have plead guilty or nolo contender to a felony or been convicted of a felony;
  5. Not have had a Notary Public commission revoked during the past five years.

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New Mexico Notary Process

What is the process to become a Notary Public?
  1. Make sure you meet all qualifications under New Mexico state law.
  2. Order your state-required bond and seal. The company that issues the bond must also provide a power of attorney with the name of the company official who signed the surety bond.
  3. Complete and submit the application, surety bond, power of attorney and a $20 application fee (check or money order only, payable to the Secretary of State) to:
    • Secretary of State
      325 Don Gaspar, Suite 300
      Santa Fe, NM 87503
  4. Purchase any other supplies you may need throughout your commission.
  5. Purchase errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).
  6. Begin performing notarizations for the public.
  7. If you determine you need additional training, seek out continuing education or consult Notary experts for guidance.

What is the process to renew my Notary Public commission?

If you need to renew your commission, you will need to purchase a new $10,000 surety bond and submit a new application. The New Mexico Secretary of State will send a postcard reminder approximately 30 days before the commission expiration.

How long does a New Mexico Notary commission last?

The New Mexico commission is valid for four years, after which it has to be renewed to continue as a Notary.

How long does it take to become a Notary?

Once the application and supporting documents are submitted, it can take two to 10 weeks for the state to issue the commission.

How much does it cost?

A $20 application fee applies. All documents submitted by mail must be paid by check or money order, payable to the Secretary of State. The cost of the bond, seal and other supplies will vary based upon the vendor chosen.

Is training or an exam required to become a Notary?

No exam or training is required, but the New Mexico Secretary of State does offer a Notary Public basics video. You can also download a copy of the New Mexico Notary Public Handbook for free.

What kind of equipment will I need?

You must use a rubber stamp or an embosser in New Mexico. The seal must include the applicant’s name, the words “Notary Public – State of New Mexico,” and “My commission expires ______.” You will need to purchase your stamp or embosser before applying to become a Notary or renew your commission, as the seal impression is required on the application.

When shopping for seals, quality and durability can vary greatly among vendors. Ask if the seals carry a lifetime guarantee. In particular, stamps should not bleed during or after use, as this can cause county officials to reject documents due to smudging. If you choose to purchase an embosser, you will also need to purchase an embosser inker to satisfy the requirement that the impression is able to be photocopied.

A second seal can help you avoid downtime if your seal is ever misplaced.

Keeping a journal is not required in New Mexico, but is recommended by the state. A journal can protect you if a notarization performed is ever questioned, and should be kept in a safe, locked area.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

A $10,000 surety bond is required before you apply to become a Notary Public in New Mexico. A bond protects the public financially from the possibility of a negligent mistake or intentional misconduct by the Notary. Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance is optional. This insurance helps protect the Notary — if you make an unintentional mistake or a false claim is filed against you, an E&O policy will cover your legal fees and awarded damages up to the coverage you select.

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What Can I Do With My New Mexico Commission?

Where will I be able to notarize?

A New Mexico Notary can perform notarial acts anywhere within the state’s borders.

Who can I notarize for?

You can notarize for any member of the public who makes a reasonable request and meets all requirements for notarization such as personally appearing before you and providing satisfactory proof of identity. You cannot notarize your own signature or perform a notarization if you have a conflict of interest. The state recommends that you avoid notarizing for family members as your impartiality may be questioned.

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General Notary Public Information

What is a Notary Public?

A New Mexico Notary is a state official appointed by the Governor of the state of New Mexico to serve the public as an impartial witness to the signing of important documents and to administer oaths.

Why become a Notary?

Many employees of financial institutions, law firms, corporations and other businesses are asked to become Notaries to provide services for customers signing important documents.

Small business owners often find it helpful to offer notarization services — for example, many tax preparers and mailbox rental services have Notaries on staff.

If you’re employed in a job that requires documents to be signed on a regular basis, or wish to go into business for yourself in a field that involves essential document transactions such as real estate or finance, a Notary commission may be of help to you. Some people also become Notaries as a part-time or full-time business for themselves, traveling to a signer’s home or place of business to notarize documents for a fee.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Secretary of State is responsible for commissioning Notaries Public in New Mexico.

What should I do if I move or change my name?

You must inform the Secretary of the State of any name or address changes within 10 days of such change.

To change your name, you will need to fill out a name change application. You must provide a rider from the company that issued your surety bond with the new name, as well as an impression of the seal with your new name. A $3.00 fee applies.

Complete the address change form to update your information and mail or fax it to the Secretary of State. No fee applies.

Once my current commission expires, will I be automatically reappointed?

No, you must meet the requirements and reapply for a new commission.

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