A notary public is appointed by the Kentucky Secretary of State to witness the signing of important documents and administer oaths. Notaries serve to deter fraud and to ensure that documents are properly executed. A notary public is not authorized to practice law, provide legal advice, prepare legal documents, or charge a fee for preparation of immigration documents.
A notary public can administer oaths and take proof of execution and acknowledgements of instruments. An acknowledgement is a verification that the person whose signature appears on the document is the person who appears before you and whose identity you took reasonable steps to verify.
There are two separate commissions for notary publics:
- A Special Commission Notary is a resident or nonresident of Kentucky who is appointed by the governor to perform notarial acts inside or outside of this state covering documents to be recorded only within the state.
- A Notary Public State-At-Large is a resident or nonresident of Kentucky who is appointed to perform notarial acts within the state of Kentucky, and these documents can go to other states for recording.
Notary public commissions are valid for four (4) years. Prospective notaries must apply with the Secretary of State’s office and meet the following requirements:
- 18 years or older;
- Resident of county;
- Good moral character;
- Capable of discharging the duties of their office; and
- Cannot be a convicted felon.
Applicants must complete an application form (click here for special commission application, click here for state-at-large application) and submit it it to the
Kentucky Secretary of State at Notary Commissions
PO Box 821
Frankfort, KY 40602.
The fee to apply to become a notary is $10.00. Applicants should submit the fee with their applications; checks should be made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer. In addition there is a $19.00 filing fee at the County Clerk’s office when you take the oath and post a surety bond.
If the Secretary of State approves your application and makes the appointment, the certificate of appointment is sent to the County Court Clerk of the County of application and you will receive a letter notifying you of your appointment. Within 60 days of receiving your letter, you must go to the County Clerk’s office and (1) take the oath; (2) post a surety bond through one of the state approved insurance providers; and (3) file and record your appointment. The surety bond is for the of $1,000 through an insurance company.
For more information, visit the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website.