How to Become a Notary in South Dakota: Step-by-Step

New notaries play a crucial role in legal and business transactions, especially with the rise of remote notarization. These notaries can now use a rubber stamp for their official seal, ensuring the authenticity of documents. Additionally, they may require personal surety to guarantee their integrity and accountability. Have you ever wondered how to become a notary in South Dakota? With the new notaries emerging, it is now possible to perform a remote notarization. This allows for the notarial act to be carried out without the need for physical presence. Instead of using a traditional rubber stamp, digital tools are used for verification and authentication. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of becoming a new notary public in the great state of South Dakota. Whether you are interested in traditional notarial acts or exploring the exciting realm of remote notarization, we have you covered. We will provide you with all the necessary information to become a notary and fulfill your personal surety as a trusted public servant.

South Dakota notaries are appointed by the Secretary of State through the notary public commission process. They serve as impartial witnesses who verify the authenticity of signatures and documents in accordance with the notary statute. To become a notary public in South Dakota, individuals must submit a notary public application and fulfill the requirements, including obtaining a notary bond. As a notary public, your role is crucial in upholding the personal surety and legal integrity of important agreements. You will be responsible for verifying signatures, applying the official seal, and ensuring compliance with the relevant statute.

Becoming a notary is an exciting opportunity for new notaries to contribute to their community while expanding their professional skills. As a notary, you will have the authority to provide personal surety through your signature and public commission with an official seal. By obtaining your notary public commission, you will gain the authority to witness signatures, administer oaths, and certify copies of important documents. This official seal allows you to provide certified information in accordance with the statute.

Stay tuned for our step-by-step guide on how to become a notary in South Dakota. Get ready to embark on the fulfilling journey of becoming a notary public! Start by completing the notary public application and submitting it for review. Once approved, you will receive your notary public commission, allowing you to perform official acts. Remember to keep a detailed record of all your notarial acts in a notary journal. If any changes occur, make sure to fill out a notary change form. This rewarding role allows you to make a meaningful impact in your community.

Requirements and Eligibility for South Dakota Notaries

To become a notary in South Dakota, there are several requirements and eligibility criteria that must be met. Let’s explore the key points you need to know.

Age Requirement

The first requirement is that you must be at least 18 years old to become a notary in South Dakota. This ensures that individuals have reached adulthood and possess the necessary maturity to carry out the responsibilities of a notary.

Residency or Principal Place of Business

In addition to age, you must either be a resident of South Dakota or have a principal place of business within the state to qualify for a notary public commission. This requirement is outlined in the notary statute. This requirement ensures that notaries, in accordance with the notary statute, are closely tied to the community they serve, promoting accountability and accessibility for those in need of notarial services.

Good Moral Character

While there are no specific educational requirements to become a notary in South Dakota, applicants must possess good moral character. This means having a reputation for honesty, integrity, ethical conduct, and abiding by the notary statute. The aim of the notary statute is to ensure that those granted notarial authority can be trusted by the public to perform their duties with utmost professionalism.

South Dakota’s notary statute emphasizes the importance of maintaining ethical standards throughout one’s tenure as a notary. It is crucial for applicants to understand and adhere to these principles when seeking appointment.

By meeting these requirements, aspiring notaries can lay the foundation for entering this esteemed profession in South Dakota. It is important to note that each state may have its own unique set of qualifications and regulations regarding becoming a notary public.

Application Process for Becoming a Notary in South Dakota

To become a notary in South Dakota, you will need to go through a straightforward application process. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Complete the Notary Application Form: Begin by obtaining the notary application form provided by the Secretary of State’s office. This form will require you to provide personal information such as your name, address, and contact details.
  2. Gather Supporting Documents: Along with the application form, you may be required to submit certain supporting documents. These could include proof of residency, identification documents, and any other relevant paperwork specified by the Secretary of State’s office.
  3. Pay the Required Fee: There is an application fee associated with becoming a notary in South Dakota. Ensure that you have the necessary funds available to cover this fee when submitting your application.
  4. Submit Your Application: Once you have completed the application form and gathered all the necessary supporting documents, it is time to submit your notary public application. Make sure to double-check that all information provided is accurate and complete before sending it off.
  5. Review Process: The Secretary of State’s office will review your application thoroughly. They will assess whether you meet all the requirements outlined by state law for becoming a notary public in South Dakota.
  6. Commission Approval: If your application meets all requirements and is approved, the Secretary of State’s office will issue a commission authorizing you to act as a notary public within the state.

It is important to note that throughout this process, communication with the Secretary of State’s office may be necessary if there are any questions or concerns regarding your application or its status.

Becoming a notary in South Dakota can open up various opportunities for individuals interested in providing valuable services within their communities. From witnessing signatures on legal documents to administering oaths and affirmations, being a notary allows you to play a crucial role in ensuring the authenticity and legality of important transactions.

By following the application process outlined above, you can take the necessary steps towards becoming a notary public in South Dakota. Remember to carefully complete the required forms, gather all supporting documents, and pay the applicable fee. Once your application is approved, you will be ready to embark on this rewarding journey as a notary public.

So why wait? Start your notary application process today and join the ranks of respected individuals who help uphold legal processes and provide essential services within their communities.

Surety Bonds and Insurance for South Dakota Notaries

While South Dakota does not require notaries to obtain surety bonds or insurance, it is highly recommended to protect against potential liability claims. Although the state does not mandate these forms of coverage, having them in place can offer peace of mind and safeguard your professional reputation.

Having a surety bond serves as an added layer of protection for both the notary and their clients. A surety bond acts as a guarantee that the notary will fulfill their duties ethically and responsibly. In the event that a mistake or negligence occurs, the bond can provide financial compensation to those affected. This helps instill confidence in clients who may be relying on the validity of your notarized documents.

To obtain a surety bond, you can reach out to insurance companies or bonding agencies that specialize in providing bonds for notaries. They will guide you through the process and help determine the appropriate coverage based on your specific needs. It’s important to note that a surety bond is different from personal surety, which refers to an individual vouching for another person’s character or reliability.

Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance is another type of coverage that some employers may require notaries to carry. E&O insurance protects against claims arising from mistakes made during the notarization process or any omissions in fulfilling your responsibilities as a notary public. This form of insurance offers financial protection if legal action is taken against you due to errors or oversights.

While it may seem unnecessary at first, investing in E&O insurance can prove invaluable in protecting your professional standing. In today’s litigious society, even minor errors can lead to legal repercussions that could have severe consequences for your career.

It’s worth considering whether obtaining these types of coverage aligns with your goals as a South Dakota notary public. While they are optional requirements, they provide an extra layer of security and demonstrate your commitment to professionalism. Having a surety bond or E&O insurance could make you more attractive to potential clients or employers who value notaries with comprehensive coverage.

Training, Exams, and Renewal of Notary Commission in South Dakota

Becoming a notary in South Dakota is a straightforward process that does not require mandatory training or exams. However, it is important to understand the steps involved in obtaining and renewing your notary commission.

Once you receive your notary commission, it is valid for five years before it needs to be renewed. This means that you have ample time to fulfill your duties as a notary public and serve the community by verifying signatures on various legal documents.

Renewing your notary commission in South Dakota is a simple process that can be done online through the Secretary of State’s website. It is crucial to keep track of when your commission expires to ensure there are no interruptions in your ability to perform notarial acts.

To renew your commission, visit the Secretary of State’s website and follow the instructions provided. You will need to provide information such as your current commission expiration date and other relevant details. Once you complete the renewal process, you will receive an updated certificate confirming the extension of your commission.

As a notary public in South Dakota, one essential tool you will need is a rubber stamp or seal. This stamp contains important information such as your name, county, and expiration date of your commission. When performing notarial acts, you will use this stamp on paper documents to authenticate them.

It is also crucial for notaries in South Dakota to maintain a journal where they record all their official acts. This journal serves as a record-keeping tool and helps ensure compliance with state statutes. Each entry should include details such as the date, type of document notarized, names of parties involved, and any fees charged.

While there are no specific training requirements or exams for becoming a notary public in South Dakota, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the relevant laws governing notarial acts in the state. The South Dakota Codified Laws contain provisions related to notaries, and it is advisable to review these statutes to ensure you are fulfilling your duties correctly.

In addition to understanding the legal aspects, taking the initiative to educate yourself about best practices in notarial acts can enhance your effectiveness as a notary. Online resources, books, and workshops can provide valuable insights and guidance on how to perform your role with professionalism and integrity.

Becoming a notary public in South Dakota offers an opportunity to serve the community by providing essential services in verifying signatures on important documents. While there are no mandatory training or exams required, it is crucial to stay informed about the laws governing notarial acts and maintain accurate records of your official acts. By following these guidelines, you can become a trusted and reliable notary public in South Dakota.

Electronic Notarizations and Remote Online Notarization Guidelines in South Dakota

South Dakota recognizes the importance of embracing technology in the notarial process. As a result, the state allows for electronic notarizations under certain conditions. South Dakota has implemented guidelines for remote online notarization (RON), which provides even greater convenience and accessibility for both notaries and signers.

Electronic Notarizations in South Dakota

Electronic notarizations offer a streamlined alternative to traditional paper-based processes. In South Dakota, these digital transactions are permitted as long as certain requirements are met. One key requirement is the use of electronic signatures, which ensure the authenticity and integrity of documents.

To become a notary who can perform electronic notarizations in South Dakota, you must first meet the state’s eligibility criteria and complete the necessary training. Once authorized, you can utilize approved technology platforms that comply with state guidelines to electronically notarize documents.

The use of electronic signatures offers numerous benefits. It eliminates the need for physical presence during the signing process, allowing parties to remotely execute important documents. This convenience is particularly valuable when signers are unable to attend in-person meetings due to distance or other constraints.

Remote Online Notarization (RON) Requirements

South Dakota takes digital innovation a step further by allowing remote online notarization (RON). RON enables individuals to have their documents notarized without being physically present before a notary public. However, additional requirements must be met to ensure security and compliance.

To conduct RON in South Dakota, you must use an approved technology platform that meets state guidelines. These platforms provide secure communication technology that allows all parties involved—signer(s), witnesses (if required), and the notary—to interact remotely while ensuring confidentiality and data protection.

By leveraging remote online notarization, individuals can conveniently handle legal matters from anywhere at any time. Whether it’s executing real estate transactions, signing wills, or notarizing business contracts, RON offers flexibility and efficiency.

It’s important to note that while electronic notarizations are permitted under certain conditions in South Dakota, remote online notarization requires the use of an approved technology platform. This ensures compliance with state guidelines and safeguards the integrity of the notarial process.

Notarial Fees, Locations, and Essential Supplies for South Dakota Notaries

In order to become a notary in South Dakota, it is important to be familiar with the fees associated with notarial acts, the locations where these acts can be performed, and the essential supplies required for performing notarizations.

Maximum Fee Allowed per Notarial Act

It’s crucial to understand that the maximum fee allowed is determined by state law. As a notary, you are authorized to charge this fee for each notarization you perform. It is essential to adhere to these regulations and ensure that you do not exceed the prescribed amount.

Performing Notarial Acts Anywhere within South Dakota

As a duly appointed notary in South Dakota, you have the authority to perform your duties anywhere within the state. Whether it’s in your office or at another location convenient for your client, you have the flexibility to accommodate their needs. This mobility allows you to provide efficient services while maintaining compliance with state laws and regulations.

Essential Supplies for Notaries

To effectively carry out your responsibilities as a notary in South Dakota, there are certain essential supplies that you must possess:

  1. Notary Seal/Stamp: A notary seal or stamp is an official seal that contains your name, commission number (if applicable), and other necessary information. This seal should be used on every tangible document requiring a notarization.
  2. Record Book/Notary Journal: Keeping a record of all your notarizations is crucial for maintaining accurate records and protecting yourself from potential legal issues. A record book or journal allows you to document details such as the date of each transaction, names of parties involved, type of document being notarized, and any other pertinent information.

It’s important to note that while these supplies are essential for performing your duties as a notary, they are not the only items you may need. Depending on the nature of your work, you might also require additional supplies such as a secure storage package for your seal or stamp.

By ensuring that you have these essential supplies readily available, you can confidently fulfill your role as a notary in South Dakota and provide reliable services to those who require notarizations.

Becoming a Notary Public in South Dakota

Congratulations on completing the sections above! By now, you should have a good understanding of what it takes to become a notary in South Dakota. Remember, becoming a notary is an important responsibility that requires careful attention to detail and adherence to legal requirements. Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of the requirements, application process, surety bonds, training, and more, it’s time to take action!

To become a notary in South Dakota, start by reviewing the official guidelines provided by the Secretary of State’s office. Make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria and gather all necessary documents. Then, complete the application form accurately and submit it along with any required fees. Don’t forget to obtain a surety bond or insurance coverage as per state regulations. Once approved, undergo any necessary training or exams and keep track of your commission renewal dates.

Becoming a notary can open up new opportunities for you to serve your community and expand your professional network. So why wait? Take the next step towards becoming a notary public in South Dakota today!


How long does it take to become a notary in South Dakota?

The timeframe for becoming a notary in South Dakota can vary depending on several factors such as processing times for applications and completion of required training or exams. It is advisable to plan ahead and allow several weeks for the entire process.

Do I need insurance as a notary in South Dakota?

While it is not mandatory by law to have insurance as a notary in South Dakota, obtaining errors and omissions (E&O) insurance is highly recommended. E&O insurance provides additional protection against potential claims resulting from unintentional mistakes or negligence during notarial acts.

Can I perform electronic notarizations in South Dakota?

Yes, South Dakota allows electronic notarizations. However, there are specific guidelines and requirements that must be followed, including the use of approved electronic notarization platforms and maintaining proper records.

How often do I need to renew my notary commission in South Dakota?

Notary commissions in South Dakota are valid for a term of five years. To continue serving as a notary public, you must submit a renewal application before your current commission expires.

Are there any restrictions on where I can perform notarial acts in South Dakota?

As a notary in South Dakota, you have statewide jurisdiction. You can perform notarial acts anywhere within the borders of the state, regardless of county or city boundaries.

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