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In this comprehensive guide on how to become a notary in New Mexico, we lay out the roadmap to achieving this goal. With easy-to-follow, actionable steps, we’ll help you navigate this intriguing process.
Whether you’re looking to serve your community or generate additional income, this article will offer everything you need to know to get started.
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Become a Notary in New Mexico
In order to become a notary in New Mexico, you will need to complete a few simple steps.
Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements
New Mexico has specific requirements for individuals that want to become notaries. Namely, all applicants must:
- Be at least eighteen years of age
- Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
- Be a resident of or be employed in the state of New Mexico
- Be able to read and write in English
In addition to the above, applicants must not:
- Have been convicted of a felony or crime involving fraud, dishonesty, or deceit in the last five years
- Have had a notary public commission denied, suspended, or revoked in another state
- Be disqualified from receiving a commission under the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts [14-14A-22 NMSA 1978]
- Already be qualified as a notarial officer (unless you’re a court clerk, a deputy court clerk, a county clerk, or a deputy county clerk)
Step 2: Purchase a Surety Bond
All notary applicants in New Mexico are required to get a surety bond valued at $10,000 to protect the public from any potential harm caused by their negligence. This bond must:
- Only be issued by a surety (or another appropriately licensed entity)
- Contain your signature as the primary applicant
- Be notarized by a current New Mexico notary public
Note: A notary public should never notarize their own signatures. For applicants, doing so could result in your application being immediately disqualified.
Step 3: Training Course and Exam
After obtaining your notary bond, you’ll need to complete the Notary Education Course and obtain a passing grade of 80% or higher on the final exam in order to continue.
In New Mexico, the National Notary Association offers two primary ways for you to complete your education and exam, which have been linked below:
- The New Mexico State-Required Training and Exam
- The New Mexico State-Required Remote Online Notary Training and Exam
If you successfully complete your training course and exam, you will be issued your certificate of completion. Hold onto this document, as you will soon need to submit it with your application.
Step 4: Complete an Application
The next step involves filling out your Notary Public Application.
When filling out your application, include your name exactly as your legal name appears on your most recent form of state-issued ID — writing it identically on your stamp, bond, and notary signatures too. Then sign the oath of office and get it notarized.
Once this has all been completed, submit your application — alongside your surety bond, certificate of course/exam completion, and a $30 application fee — to the following address:
325 Don Gaspar Ave.
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Note: Your $30 application fee should be paid via check or money order payable to the New Mexico Secretary of State. Cash will not be accepted.
Step 5: Stamp Registration Form
Within 45 days of your application being approved by the New Mexico Secretary of State, you are required to send in the Stamp Registration Form with an imprint of your seal.
Shortly after, the Secretary of State should send you a Certificate of Commission. After this point, you’ll officially be able to perform notarial services!
Step 6: Protect Yourself With Errors and Omissions Insurance
While not required by law, it’s a good idea to consider protecting yourself with Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance.
This type of insurance provides coverage for any potential mistakes or omissions that you might make as you perform notarial acts. It’s an extra layer of protection that can give you peace of mind while operating for a relatively low opportunity cost.
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Step 7: Equip Yourself With the Necessary Supplies
Once your notary commission is approved, get yourself set up with the necessary notary supplies. These include a notary stamp or seal and a New Mexico notary record book.
Make sure to check out the New Mexico Notary Handbook for a full breakdown of the official stamp requirements.
The seal is used to authenticate your notarial acts, and the record book is for logging all the services you provide.
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Step 8: Purchase a Course (Optional)
Even though this last step is not a legal requirement, you should note that New Mexico notary applicants often choose to invest in a notary course. This is because it can offer several benefits, such as:
- Understanding the law: Notary laws can be complex and vary from state to state. A course can help ensure that notaries fully understand New Mexico’s notary laws and how to apply them correctly
- Professional development: A course can enhance professional skills, making a notary more effective and competent in their role
- Reducing liability: By better understanding the rules and best practices, notaries can reduce the risk of making errors that could result in legal action
- Increased confidence: A notary course can boost a notary’s confidence by giving them a solid foundation of knowledge and expertise to draw from
- Staying updated: Laws and procedures change over time. A course can help notaries stay current with any changes in notary regulations and practices
So, while it’s not mandatory in New Mexico, many aspiring notaries find value in such courses. It’s a personal decision based on individual comfort and professional goals.
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How to Become a Notary in New Mexico FAQ
How much can you charge as a notary in New Mexico?
In New Mexico, notaries public can only charge up to $5 per notarial act, including acknowledgments, jurats, oaths or affirmations, and witnessing signatures. It’s always essential for notaries to abide by these state-set caps in order to avoid any legal consequences or license revocation.
What is the hardest state to become a notary?
California tends to be considered one of the trickiest states due to how stringent its education and exam requirements are. That being said, the most important factor in whether it is tricky to become a notary or not is how well-prepared you are. To ensure you’re as prepared as possible, see our article on How to Become a Notary.
How to become a notary in New Mexico?
In New Mexico, there are certain basic requirements you must meet to become a notary. Namely, you must be at least 18 years old, be a US citizen or legal resident, live or work in New Mexico, and be able to read and write English. If you satisfy these requirements, you’ll be eligible to continue with the application process. To find out more about this, see our article on How to Become a Notary in New Mexico.
How long does a notary commission last in New Mexico?
A New Mexico notary commission lasts for four years. After this time is up, you’ll need to renew your notary commission if you want to continue to work as a notary. If you are nearing the expiration date of your notary commission, try to start the renewal process as soon as possible to avoid a lapse.
Do I have to sit an exam to become a notary in New Mexico?
Yes, all prospective notaries in New Mexico are required to undertake a state-mandated education course and achieve a passing grade in the final exam. In addition to this, applicants will need to obtain a $10,000 surety bond, complete the application form, and get their oath of office notarized by a New Mexico notary public.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary page.