Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 6. Notarial Acts

Notary Public Qualifications -- Commission -- Renewals

1-5-619. Notary public qualifications -- commission -- renewals. (1) To hold a commission as a notary public, an individual must:

(a) be at least 18 years old;

(b) be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States;

(c) (i) be a resident of Montana;

(ii) be the spouse or legal dependent of military personnel assigned to active duty in this state;

(iii) maintain a place of business in the state of Montana that is registered pursuant to Title 35 and meet any applicable business licensing requirements of the local government where the business is located;

(iv) be regularly employed at an office, business, or facility located within the state of Montana by an employer registered and licensed to do business in this state; or

(v) hold a current professional license to practice the profession in Montana issued by an appropriate Montana authority; and

(d) be able to read and write English.

(2) To be eligible for a new or renewed commission, an applicant shall pass an examination and must meet the education requirements as provided in 1-5-620 and may not have been disqualified as provided in 1-5-621.

(3) An individual qualified under subsections (1) and (2) may apply to the secretary of state for a new or renewed commission as a notary public.

(4) An applicant for a new or renewed commission shall:

(a) complete an application and provide information required by rule by the secretary of state;

(b) pay a filing fee set by rule;

(c) execute an oath of office and comply with requirements adopted by rule by the secretary of state;

(d) obtain an assurance in the form of a surety bond or its functional equivalent in the amount of $25,000. The assurance must be issued by a surety or other entity licensed or authorized to do business in this state. The assurance must cover acts performed during the term of the notary public's commission and must be in the form prescribed by the secretary of state. The surety or issuing entity is liable under the assurance if a notary public violates a law with respect to notaries public in this state. The surety or issuing entity shall give 30 days' notice to the secretary of state before canceling the assurance. The surety or issuing entity shall notify the secretary of state not later than 30 days after making a payment to a claimant under the assurance. A notary public may perform notarial acts in this state only during the period that a valid assurance is on file with the secretary of state.

(e) provide certification that the applicant has passed the examination and completed the education requirements in 1-5-620; and

(f) submit the application, bond, certification, and nonrefundable filing fee to the secretary of state within 30 days before or after the effective date of the surety bond or the expiration of the previous commission.

(5) The secretary of state shall issue a commission for a 4-year term as a notary public to an applicant for a new or a renewed commission who has complied with this section.

(6) An individual may not have more than one Montana notary public commission in effect at the same time.

History: En. Sec. 16, Ch. 391, L. 2015; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 123, L. 2019.