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Vermont Secretary of State

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Vermont Notary Information

(Information from the Vermont Secretary of State website)

When does my commission expire?

Vermont notaries are commissioned to four year terms providing they sign up between February 1 and February 10 of the year of expiration. All Vermont notary commissions expire on the same date. The current commission expires 2/10/15. The next 2/10/2019, and so on.

  How do I become a notary in Vermont?

To become a notary public, you must apply at the office of the county clerk in the county in which you reside. Applications may be obtained at http://vermont-archives.org/notary/pdf/notaryregistrationform.pdf (Fillable Form) or Notary Application (Print only). Fill out the “Application and Official Oath” form, take the oath before a notary public, and send it to your county clerk ( a list of county clerks is available on the Vermont Judiciary website; county clerks are also Superior Court clerks) with the $30.00 fee. You will be a notary public as soon as your application is approved until the current commission expires.

  I live in New Hampshire but I work in Vermont. Can I be a Vermont notary public?

Yes. Non-residents may become Vermont notaries providing they are gainfully employed in Vermont. Non-residents must apply at the county clerk’s office in the county in which their business or place of employment is located.

  Can I be a Vermont notary even though I am not a U.S. citizen?

Yes. Resident aliens may become Vermont notaries. However, they must notify the county clerk of any change in status or address.

  I have been injured by a notary’s incompetence. What legal action can I take?

Complaints against Vermont notaries public must be referred to the appointing judges of the Superior Court. The Secretary of State has no jurisdiction or disciplinary authority over notaries.

  What is an Apostille and how much does it cost?

An Apostille is a form that is filled out and attached to a document that has been notarized which verifies or legalizes the document for use in foreign countries that are members of the Hague Convention. A list of countries that are members of the Hague Convention may be found at http://www.hcch.net. Once the Apostille has been signed by either the Secretary of State or the Deputy Secretary of State, the document is considered legal and binding in those countries which are members of the Hague. The fee for the Apostille is $2.00 per document, payable to the VT Secretary of State.

Countries that are not members of the Hague Convention require a more traditional form of legalization called a “Certification” or “Authentication”. The purpose of the certification mirrors the purpose of the Apostille but requires further authentication where the Apostille does not. Once documents bound for countries which are not members of the Hague have been certified and signed, the documents must then be forwarded to the Authentication Office in Washington, DC http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/ for further verification/legalization and then on to the Consular Office or Embassy of the country of final destination.

  What constitutes conflict of interest?

In order for the notary public to ethically perform the duties of office, it is essential that the notary public be an impartial party or “disinterested” in the act or transaction. Therefore, you may not take your own acknowledgment or administer an oath or affirmation to yourself. You should neither gain nor lose from the result of the transaction. If you are a party to a transaction or have a financial interest in the transaction, you must decline to officiate.

We highly recommend you avoid performing notarial services for any relative, by blood or marriage, in order to avoid potential, unforseen conflicts of interest.

  Do I need a notary seal?

Vermont law does not require the use of a notary seal. This requirement was repealed by the VT legislature in 1984 (Act #194, 1983 Adj. Sess.). Some states require the use of the notary seal and documents destined for those states may be rejected if a seal is not used. However, documents remaining in Vermont do not require a seal for recording.

  Can I certify a copy of my friend’s birth certificate as a true copy?

No, you may not. Certified copies of vital records (birth, marriage and death) may be obtained only from the custodian of those records. See our section on Vital Records on how to obtain certified copies of vital records.

  Where may I obtain a “state certified” copy of my birth certificate?

Some states now require “state certified” copies of vital records for identification purposes, for example, when applying for a driver’s license. The Vital Records section on our website provides information about receiving certified copies from the State.

  I am an officer of a corporation. May I notarize documents relating to the corporation?

Yes, you may. 11 V.S.A., §231 explicitly allows stockholders, officers and employees of corporations to take acknowledgements to instruments in which the corporation is a party as long as they are legally qualified to do so.

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