KANSAS
NOTARY PUBLIC
HANDBOOK
P   O  S  S S S
Prepared by the
Oce of Secretary of State
Scott Schwab
First Floor, Memorial Hall
120 SW 10th Ave.
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
(785) 296-2239
www.sos.ks.gov
notary@sos.ks.gov
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this document is available
in alternate formats by contacting the Kansas Secretary of State, 120 SW 10th Ave.,
Topeka, KS 66612-1594, (785) 296-4564, kssos@sos.ks.gov.
I. Purpose of Notaries Public 4
II. History of Notaries Public 5
III. Duties of Notaries Public 6
IV. Guidelines for Notaries Public 8
V. Penalties for Improper Notarizations 13
VI. Electronic Notarizations 14
VII. Helpful Hints for Notaries Public 15
VIII. Kansas Statutes and Regulations 18
IX. Frequently Asked Questions 36
X. Test your Notary Knowledge 44
XI. Glossary of Terms 47
XII. Contact Information 50
Change of Status Form 51
Table of Contents
Title Page
Kansas Notary Handbook
This is an interactive PDF. Click on any chapter title in this table of
contents to go to that chapter. Click the running header on any page to
return to the table of contents. (Please note that the page numbers of this
digital edition differ from the print edition.)
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Kansas Notary Handbook
I. Purpose of Notaries Public
As a notary public, you hold an important position in the state of
Kansas. It is essential that you understand the notarial duties and
responsibilities given in Kansas law. e purpose of this handbook
is to help you understand notary laws so that you can perform your
duties correctly.
e purpose of a notary public is to prevent fraud and forgery. e
notary acts as an ocial, unbiased witness to the identity of the per-
son who signs the document. A Kansas notary public has six major
duties:
1. Take acknowledgments,
2. Administer oaths and armations,
3. Take a verication upon oath or armation,
4. Witness or attest a signature,
5. Certify or attest a copy, and
6. Note a protest of a negotiable instrument.
(K.S.A. 53-107)
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Kansas Notary Handbook
II. History of Notaries Public
e oce of notary public had its birth in ancient Roman times
when most citizens did not read and write. e notary public was a
public servant, who would act as scrivener and legal advisor to indi-
viduals drawing up contracts, deeds and other documents. Because
most people could not write and therefore could not sign their name,
seals were used to sign and seal the document, evidencing the formal
execution and acceptance of the document. Documents executed
with the aid of the notary public were highly regarded as legitimate
and authentic.
For hundreds of years, the notary public was a public ocer ap-
pointed or elected by high ocials. In the United States, notaries
were originally appointed by the President. Eventually this control
was passed to the states, which oen delegate the appointment pro-
cess to the secretary of state. e duties of the notary public have
changed over the years, evolving from legal advisor to ministerial
ocer; however, the tradition of the notary seal has continued into
present day practice.
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Kansas Notary Handbook
Kansas notaries public are commissioned by the secretary of state. A
commissioned notary may notarize anywhere within the state, but
the powers do not extend beyond the borders of the state.
Under Kansas law, a notary public can take acknowledgments, ad-
minister oaths and armations, take verications, witness or attest
a signature, certify a copy, and note a protest of negotiable instru-
ments.
(A) Acknowledgments: Person appears before the notary and ac-
knowledges or declares to the notary that he or she signed the
document.
(B) Witnessing: Person signs in the presence of the notary public.
e notary public must witness the signature.
(C) Verication: Person appears before the notary who administers
an oath before he or she signs the document. e signing party
signs in the presence of the notary following the oath (see proce-
dure below for administering oaths).
(D) Administering an Oath/Armation: e person raises the
right hand or places the right hand on the Bible. e notary ad-
ministers the oath, which must begin with the words “You do sol-
emnly swear” and end with the words “So help you God.” ose
opposed to oaths may perform an armation, which begins with
the words “You do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and af-
rm” and ends with the words “And this you do under the pains
and penalties of perjury.
(E) Certifying Copies: e notary certies that the document is a
true and correct copy of the original document. e notary pub-
III. Duties of Notaries Public
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Kansas Notary Handbook
lic must be presented with the original document and make the
copy so as to ensure that the copy is in fact a true copy of the
original. is procedure should not be used for publicly recorded
documents as the notary public cannot obtain the original. Origi-
nal documents on le with an oce/entity must be certied by
that entity (i.e., court documents are certied by the court clerk
who retains the originals; corporation documents led with the
Secretary of States oce are certied by the secretary of state;
birth/death certicates are certied by the Kansas Department of
Health and Environment, Oce of Vital Statistics, which main-
tains the original records, etc.).
(F) Noting a Protest: A protest is a certicate of dishonor made
by a notary public or other person authorized by the law where
dishonor occurs. e protest must identify the instrument and
certify either that presentment has been made or, if not made,
the reason why it was not made, and that the instrument has
been dishonored by nonacceptance or nonpayment. e protest
also may certify that notice of dishonor has been given to some
or all parties.
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Kansas Notary Handbook
Personal Appearance Required
All notary acts require that the person signing the document appear
before the notary public. Never notarize a document outside the pres-
ence of the signing party. A notary is required to properly identify the
person to ensure that he or she signed the document; the only way
to perform this duty is to have the person appear before the notary.
Failure to require a personal appearance by the signing party is the
leading cause of notary civil and criminal liability and loss of the
notary commission (K.S.A. 53-503).
Notary Seal; Signature; Date of Expiration
Each notary public must have a notarial seal, which shall contain the
notary’s name exactly as it appears on the notary application. e seal
must include the words “Notary Public” and “State of Kansas.” is
seal must be used whenever a notary performs an ocial act. When
notarizing a document, the notary public must add to the document
the date of expiration of his or her appointment. e notary publics
seal must be either a seal press or a rubber stamp. If a seal press is
used, the impression from the seal must be inked or blackened. If a
rubber stamp is used, the stamp must have permanent ink. Both the
seal press and the rubber stamp must be capable of legible reproduc-
tion aer copying. No seal can be used until an impression of it has
been led with the Secretary of States oce (K.S.A. 53-105).
Failure to Attach Date of Expiration
If the notary public willfully neglects or refuses to attach his or her
date of expiration of appointment when notarizing a document,
the notary public shall be deemed guilty of a Class C misdemeanor
(K.S.A. 53-106). Failure to attach the date of expiration also may be
grounds for revocation of the notary’s appointment (K.S.A. 53-118).
IV. Guidelines for Notaries Public
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Kansas Notary Handbook
Verication of Identity
When notarizing a document, the notary public must exercise rea-
sonable care in determining the identity of the person whose signa-
ture is being notarized. is is important because the public relies on
the notarization as proof of the authenticity of the persons signature
on the document (K.S.A. 53-107).
Determining the Type of Notarization
e type of notarization should be evident from the notary block on
the document. If the notary block is not already on the document,
the signing party or the party draing/providing the document
should instruct the notary public what notarial block is required (ac-
knowledgment, witnessing or verication). e type of notarization
is generally prescribed in the law that governs the document. e
notary should not make the determination as to what notarization
type is appropriate as this could constitute the unlawful practice of
law. However, the notary should know the correct language to be
used when the person explains what type of notarization is needed.
Generally, if a preprinted form does not contain a notary block, the
document is not required to be notarized.
Contents of a Notarial Block or Certicate
In order for a notarial block to be complete there must be specic
information present every time. e required individual pieces of
information are:
1. Venue (State of Kansas, County of ________).
2. Declarative wording giving the signing party’s name, describing
the type of notarization and stating the date of the notarization.
3. Notary’s signature.
4. Notary’s stamp or seal.
5. Notary’s date of expiration.
(is block of information is referred to as the “notarial block or
notarial certicate.”)
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Kansas Notary Handbook
Kansas statutes contain forms that meet all legal requirements for a
notarization (K.S.A. 53-509).
Financial or Benecial Interest
A notary public cannot perform any notarial act if the notary has
a direct nancial or benecial interest in the transaction. A notary
public has a direct nancial interest if the notary is named individu-
ally as a principal to the nancial transaction. If the transaction in-
volves real property, the notary has direct nancial or benecial in-
terest if named individually as a party to the transaction (i.e., grantor,
grantee, mortgagor, mortgagee, etc.). A notary public does not have
any nancial or benecial interest in a transaction when the notary
public acts in the capacity of an agent, employee, insurer, attorney,
escrow agent, or lender for a person having a direct nancial or ben-
ecial interest (K.S.A. 53-109).
Change of Status
Any changes to a notary publics name, seal, address or phone num-
ber must be led with the Secretary of States oce within 30 days
of the change. If the change is a legal name change that results in a
change of seal or if the notary obtains a new seal for any reason, the
seal must be on le with the Secretary of States oce prior to be-
ing used. e notication forms will be supplied by the Secretary
of States oce upon request. A copy is attached in the back of this
handbook (K.S.A. 53-114).
Resignation of Notary Public Appointment
If a notary public no longer wants to be a notary public in Kansas,
he or she shall send a letter of resignation to the Secretary of State’s
oce (K.S.A. 53-116).
Reappointment
A notary publics appointment is not automatically renewed. A no-
tary public must reapply for a notary commission every four years. A
new application may be submitted two months before the expiration
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Kansas Notary Handbook
date. It is important to renew early so that the commission does not
expire because a notary public cannot perform notarial duties aer
the commission has expired. e notary may want to reapply early to
keep the same expiration date.
Refusal or Revocation of Appointment
e secretary of state may refuse to appoint any person as a notary
public or may revoke the appointment of any notary public upon the
following grounds: (1) A material misstatement or omission in the
application; (2) a conviction of a felony or a lesser oense involv-
ing moral turpitude or of a nature that would be incompatible with
the duties of a notary public (a plea of nolo contendere is deemed
a conviction); (3) the revocation, suspension or denial of a profes-
sional license if such action could substantially relate to the duties
of a notary public; (4) the applicant or notary is or becomes inca-
pable of reading or writing the English language; (5) a notary fails
to exercise the powers and duties of a notary public in accordance
with the statutes; or (6) a violation of the requirements concerning
advertising in a foreign language. Any person whose notary public
appointment has been revoked due to reasons one through ve may
not apply for another appointment until four years from the date of
revocation, and any person whose appointment is revoked due to
reason six may not apply or receive an appointment for such persons
lifetime (K.S.A. 53-118).
Oaths or Armations
All oaths must be administered with the persons right hand either
uplied or upon the Bible (K.S.A. 54-102). An oath must begin with
“You do solemnly swear” and conclude with “So help you God.” A
person having religious or conscientious objections to oaths may af-
rm. An armation must begin with “You do solemnly, sincerely
and truly declare and arm” and conclude with “And this you do
under the pains and penalties of perjury” (K.S.A. 54-103, 54-104).
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Kansas Notary Handbook
Advertising in a Foreign Language
A notary public (1) who is not licensed to practice law in the state
of Kansas and (2) who advertises the notarization of documents in a
foreign language shall include the disclaimer: “I am not authorized
to practice law and have no authority to give advice on immigration
law or other legal matters.” A notary public who is not licensed to
practice law within the state of Kansas shall not use the term “notar-
io publico” or any similar language unless it is accompanied by the
disclaimer. Failing to comply with this law could result in a perma-
nent loss of notary commission; a violation of the Consumer Protec-
tion Act, K.S.A. 50-626; a ne of $5,000 for each infraction; a Class B
misdemeanor with a possible ne of up to $1,000; and a sentence of
up to six months in jail (K.S.A. 53-121).
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Kansas Notary Handbook
If a notary improperly notarizes a document the following actions
can be taken against the notary:
1. A claim may be led on the notary’s bond.
2. e notary may be sued individually based on negligent or will-
ful misconduct.
3. e notary may be prosecuted on a Class C misdemeanor for
failing to attach the date of expiration.
4. e notary may be prosecuted for other crimes, such as false
writing.
5. e notary may have his or her commission revoked by the sec-
retary of state.
ere is a statute of limitations that limits the ling of a lawsuit
on notarial acts to three years aer the cause of the action accrues
(K.S.A. 53-113).
V. Penalties for Improper Notarizations
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Kansas Notary Handbook
e Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA) authorizes the use
of electronic signatures. However, any electronic notarization must
still comply with Kansas notary laws and regulations (K.S.A. 16-
1611 (b)).
Notaries oering electronic notarizations must register with the sec-
retary of state, attend a course of instruction approved by the secre-
tary of state and pass an examination.
Kansas administrative regulations also require a notary public to
obtain a Kansas digital signature issued through the Kansas Secre-
tary of State for purposes of electronic notarization (K.A.R. 7-43-1
et seq.). is digital signature oers a high level of security and reli-
ability to a notarized document.
e general rules of notarization apply to all electronic notariza-
tions: personal appearance by the signer, verication of the signers
identity, requirement of the notarial block, etc. e only dierence is
the method of signature.
VI. Electronic Notarizations
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Kansas Notary Handbook
Signing in Representative Capacity: If the person signs in a rep-
resentative capacity (i.e., John Smith, as President of ABC Corpora-
tion), the notary public is not required to check the persons author-
ity, meaning the notary does not check to see if John Smith is in
fact president of ABC Corporation. Notaries only must verify the
persons legal name as it is the only xed means of identifying the
person; titles come and go. e notary should ensure that the no-
tarial block indicates that the person is signing in a representative
capacity for the principal (K.S.A. 53-509(b), page 39).
Signing as Attorney-in-Fact, i.e., Power of Attorney (POA): An
agent authorized by power of attorney to sign for a principal is not
required to show the POA at the time of notarization. e notary
does not check the persons authority to sign, but merely checks the
identity of the agent signing. e document should be signed with
the principals name and the agent’s name, with disclosure of the re-
lationship (“by POA” or “as Attorney-in-Fact”). e notary should
ensure that the notarial block indicates that the person is signing in a
representative capacity for the principal (K.S.A. 53-509 (b), page 39).
Signing Under Penalty of Perjury Instead of Under Oath: K.S.A.
53-601 allows a signature under penalty of perjury instead of a no-
tarized, sworn statement. Whenever an adavit or verication is re-
quired, the person can add a statement certifying that he or she is
signing under penalty of perjury instead of requiring him or her to
sign under oath before a notary public. e statute contains some ex-
ceptions, so notaries should consult the law before using this alterna-
tive. e statute requires the following statement prior to signature:
(1) If executed outside this state: “I declare under penalty of perjury
under the laws of the state of Kansas that the foregoing is true and
correct.” (2) If executed in this state: “I declare under penalty of per-
jury that the foregoing is true and correct.
VII. Helpful Hints for Notaries Public
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Kansas Notary Handbook
Recognition of Out-of-State Notarizations: e full faith and cred-
it clause of the U.S. Constitution requires a state to recognize docu-
ments validly executed and notarized under another states law. If
the document satises the requirements of its home state it must be
recognized and received by another state. K.S.A. 58-2228 says that
all deeds, mortgages, POAs and other instruments for conveyance or
encumbrances of lands that are executed and acknowledged in any
other state in conformity with the laws of that state shall be valid in
our state.
Recognition of Documents in Foreign Countries: e Kansas Sec-
retary of State can authenticate documents bound for foreign coun-
tries. e Kansas Secretary of State either issues an “apostille” or an
authentication” depending on whether the country has adopted
e Hague Convention treaty. e document must be notarized by
a Kansas notary public in order for the secretary of state to issue an
apostille or authentication.
Notary Journals: Although not required by law, maintaining a jour-
nal of all notarizations performed by the notary public protects the
notary public. e notary public should record the name of the per-
son signing, the date of the signature and the type of document nota-
rized. e notary should have the signing party sign the notebook so
that the notary has an example of his or her signature. Such journals
are available from oce supply stores and notary supply catalogs.
Charging Fees for Notarial Acts: Kansas notaries public may col-
lect a fee for their services. ere is no statutory fee schedule that
a notary must follow; however, the fee must be reasonable for the
service provided.
Notarizing Wills: A notary may not serve as both a witness and a
notary public on a will. K.S.A. 59-606 requires the notary public to
notarize the signature of the testator and the witnesses. Because a
notary cannot witness and notarize his or her own signature, a nota-
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Kansas Notary Handbook
ry may not serve as both a witness and the notary on a will executed
in Kansas.
Notary Public’s Commission is Personal Property: A notary com-
mission belongs to the notary public, regardless of who paid the fees
associated with the commission. e stamp and journal are personal
property of the notary public. Upon leaving an employer, the notary
public should take the notary seal and notary journal for his or her
own protection.
Public Ocials Serving as Notaries Public: Certain public o-
cials may perform notarizations without receiving an ocial notary
commission from the secretary of state. Kansas judges, court clerks
and deputies, county clerks and deputies, and election commission-
ers and deputies can notarize documents in the state. Notarizations
from other states’ judges and court clerks and deputies must be given
recognition in Kansas as if the notarization occurred here. Notariza-
tions by federal judges, federal court clerks and clerk deputies, mili-
tary ocers, and foreign service and consular ocers must be given
recognition in our state as well. In addition, registers of deeds can
acknowledge instruments conveying or aecting real estate within
Kansas (K.S.A. 58-2211).
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Kansas Notary Handbook
VIII. Kansas Statutes and Regulations
Statutes
Statute # Subject Issues
16-1611 Electronic notarization Allows electronic notarization,
authorizes secretary of state to
promulgate rules and regulations
53-101 Notaries public Appointment; term; qualications
53-102 Appointment requirements Application; oath; bond; lings
53-103 Forms Applications; bonds; oath
53-104 Filing and Fees Application; bond; oath; appoint-
ment fee
53-105 Seal Date of expiration of appointment
53-105a Certicate of appointment Proof of appointment
53-106 Penalty Failure to attach appointment
expiration date
53-107 Powers and duties Authorities of notaries public
53-109 Prohibited acts Acts prohibited due to nancial or
benecial interest
53-113 Statute of limitations Limitations of actions against
notaries
53-114 Change of name or seal Seal and notication requirements
53-115 Cancellation of bond Notice requirements
53-116 Resignation from appointment Resignation requirements
53-117 Reappointment Reappointment requirements
53-118 Appointment refusal/revocation Grounds for refusal or revocation
of an appointment
53-119 Recovery on bond Rights of parties injured
by notaries
53-120 Notice of claim Required notication of claim to
secretary of state
53-121 Advertising in a foreign language Disclaimer requirement, penalties
for violations
53-401 Accession to Hague Convention Stipulations set by Hague Conven-
tion
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Kansas Notary Handbook
53-501 Citation of act Cited as uniform law on notarial
acts
53-502 Denitions Denitions as used by this act
(“Notarial act,” “Acknowledg-
ment,” “Verication upon oath or
armation,” “In a representative
capacity”)
53-503 Notarial acts Requirements of duties performed
53-504 Notarial acts in this state Who can perform notarial acts
53-505 Notarial acts elsewhere Legitimacy of notarial acts in other
jurisdictions of the United States
53-506 Federal notarial acts Legitimacy of notarial acts per-
formed by ocers elsewhere in the
United States
54-105 Foreign notarial acts Legitimacy of foreign notarial acts
53-507 Certication of notarial acts Guidelines for certication
53-508 Short forms Form certicates of notarial acts
53-509 Acts aected Application to notarial acts on or
aer eective date of law
53-510 Uniform Application Uniform with other states enacting
these laws
53-511 Unsworn declarations Penalty of perjury
53-601 Authorized ocers Persons authorized to administer
oaths
54-101 Administering oaths How to administer an oath
54-102 Conscientious scruples Alternatives to an oath for those
having conscientious scruples
54-103 Oath commencement/conclusion Forming of an oaths beginning
and end
54-104 Falsifying oaths or armations Penalties; false oaths or armations
54-106 Oaths for ocers Form of an oath for an ocer
54-108 State treasurer Authorization to administer oaths
pertaining to matters of the oce
54-109 Secretary of state Authorization to administer oaths
pertaining to matters of the oce
54-110 City clerks Authorization to administer oaths
pertaining to matters of the oce
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Kansas Notary Handbook
16-1611. Notarization and acknowledgment; electronic notarization, rules and
regulations.
(a) If a law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, veried
or made under oath, the requirement is satised if the electronic signature of
the person authorized to perform those acts, together with all other informa-
tion required to be included by other applicable law, is attached to or logically
associated with the signature or record.
(b) e secretary of state is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regula-
tions establishing procedures for an electronic notarization.
53-101. Appointment; term; qualications; not state ocer. e secretary of
state shall appoint notaries public, who may perform notarial acts in any part of
this state for a term of not more than four years, unless sooner removed. Any per-
son who is a citizen of the United States, who is at least 18 years of age and who is a
resident of this state, or who is a resident of a state bordering on this state and who
regularly carries on a business or profession in this state or is regularly employed
in this state, shall be eligible to be appointed as a notary public as provided in this
act. Notaries public shall not be considered as state ocers.
53-102. Application; oath; bond; lings required. Every person, before entering
upon the duties of a notary public, shall le with the secretary of state an applica-
tion for appointment as a notary public, which shall also include an oath of oce
and a good and sucient bond to the state of Kansas in the sum of $7,500, with
one or more sureties to be approved by the secretary of state. e bond shall be
conditioned upon the faithful performance of all notarial acts in accordance with
law. Every person, before receiving appointment as a notary public, shall also le
with the secretary of state the ocial signature and an impression of the seal to be
used by the notary public.
53-103. Forms for applications, bonds and oath. Forms for applications, bonds
and oath of oce shall be furnished by the secretary of state.
53-104. Filing and indexing application, bond, oath and record of appoint-
ment; fee. Such application, bond, oath and record of appointment shall be led in
the oce of the secretary of state and properly indexed in that oce. e secretary
of state shall receive a fee of $10 for such services. e secretary of state shall remit
all moneys received under this section to the state treasurer in accordance with the
provisions of K.S.A. 75-4215, and amendments thereto. Upon receipt of each such
remittance, the state treasurer shall deposit the entire amount in the state treasury
to the credit of the state general fund.
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Kansas Notary Handbook
53-105. Seal; statement of date of expiration of appointment. Every notary pub-
lic shall provide a notarial seal containing such notary’s name exactly as it appears
on the application for appointment as a notary public, and the words “notary pub-
lic” and “state of Kansas” or words of like import indicating statewide notarial
authority, approved by the secretary of state. Such seal shall authenticate all ocial
acts, attestations and instruments therewith. Every notary public shall add to such
notary’s ocial signature the date of expiration of appointment as a notary public.
e seal of every notary public shall be either a seal press and the impression
thereof inked or blackened or a rubber stamp to be used with permanent ink so
that any such seal may be legibly reproduced by photographic process. No notary
public shall use either such seal unless an impression thereof has been led in the
oce of secretary of state.
53-105a. Certicate of appointment. Upon receipt of a completed application
with sucient corporate bond, an oath of appointment, the correct fee, the of-
cial signature and an impression of the seal to be used by such notary public, the
secretary of state, if satised the applicant is qualied to be appointed as a notary
public, shall prepare a certicate of appointment for the applicant and forward
the appointment to the applicant’s residence. Each certicate of appointment shall
contain at least the applicants name and the date upon which the appointment
shall expire.
53-106. Penalty for failure to attach date of expiration of appointment. If any
notary public shall willfully neglect or refuse to attach to the notary’s ocial sig-
nature the date of expiration of appointment, as provided in K.S.A. 53-105, the
notary shall be deemed guilty of a class C misdemeanor.
53-107. Powers and duties. Notaries public shall have authority to: (1) Take ac-
knowledgments; (2) administer oaths and armations; (3) take a verication
upon oath or armation; (4) witness or attest a signature; (5) certify or attest a
copy; (6) note a protest of a negotiable instrument; and (7) perform any other act
permitted by law.
53-109. Prohibited notarial acts; nancial or benecial interest.
(a) A notary public who has a direct nancial or benecial interest in a transaction
shall not perform any notarial act in connection with such transaction.
(b) For purposes of this act, a notary public has a direct nancial or benecial
interest in a transaction if the notary public:
(1) With respect to a nancial transaction, is named, individually, as a prin-
cipal to the transaction;
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Kansas Notary Handbook
(2) with respect to real property, is named, individually, as a grantor, grantee,
mortgagor, mortgagee, trustor, trustee, beneciary, vendor, vendee, les-
sor or lessee, to the transaction.
(c) For purposes of this act, a notary public has no direct nancial or benecial
interest in a transaction when the notary public acts in the capacity of an
agent, employee, insurer, attorney, escrow agent or lender for a person having
a direct nancial or benecial interest in the transaction.
53-113. Limitation of actions against notary and sureties. No suit shall be in-
stituted against any such notary or his or her securities more than three years
aer the cause of action accrues.
53-114. Notary’s change of name or seal; notication; new seal required.
(a) If a notary public changes name by any legal action, such notary shall obtain
a new notary seal which meets the requirements established by K.S.A. 53-105,
and the seal shall contain the new name of the notary. Prior to performing any
acts as a notary public aer such change, the notary shall mail or deliver to the
secretary of state notice of the change of name which shall include a specimen
of the new seal and a specimen of the notary’s new ocial signature.
(b) If a notary public obtains a new seal for any reason, the notary shall mail or
deliver to the secretary of state notice of the change of seal which shall include
an impression of the new seal.
(c) Such notication, as provided for in subsections (a) and (b), shall be made
on forms provided by the secretary of state within thirty (30) days aer such
change has occurred.
53-115. Cancellation of notary public’s bond; notice requirements. No surety
on a notary publics bond shall cancel such bond without giving written notice
thereof to the secretary of state. Fourteen (14) days aer receipt of such notice by
the secretary of state, said surety shall no longer be liable on such bond.
Whenever the secretary of state receives notice of a surety’s intention to
cancel a notary’s bond, said secretary of state shall notify the aected notary pub-
lic that unless such notary les another good and sucient surety bond with the
secretary of state on or before the cancellation date of such notary publics surety
bond, then such notary will no longer be authorized to perform notarial acts with-
in this state.
53-116. Resignation. If a notary public no longer desires to be a notary public in
this state, the notary shall send immediately by mail or deliver to the secretary of
state a letter of resignation informing the secretary of state of the notary’s desire
to resign as a notary public in the state of Kansas. e appointment of the notary
shall thereupon cease to be in eect.
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Kansas Notary Handbook
53-117. Reappointment. No person may be automatically reappointed as a notary
public. Every notary public who is an applicant for reappointment as a notary pub-
lic shall comply with the provisions of K.S.A. 53-102.
53-118. Appointment, refusal or revocation; grounds.
(a) e secretary of state may refuse to appoint any person as a notary public or
may revoke the appointment of any notary public upon any of the following
grounds:
(1) Substantial or material misstatement or omission in the application sub-
mitted to the secretary of state;
(2) conviction of a felony or of a lesser oense involving moral turpitude or
of a nature incompatible with the duties of a notary public. A conviction
aer a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the
meaning of this subsection;
(3) revocation, suspension or denial of a professional license, if such revoca-
tion, suspension or denial was for misconduct, dishonesty or any cause
substantially relating to the duties or responsibilities of a notary public;
(4) cessation of United States citizenship;
(5) incapacitation to such a degree that the person is incapable of reading or
writing the English language;
(6) failure to exercise the powers and duties of a notary public in accordance
with this act; or
(7) violation of K.S.A. 2007 Supp. 53-121, and amendments thereto.
(b) Any person whose notary public appointment has been removed pursuant
to subsection (a)(1) through (a)(6) may not apply for an appointment until
the expiration of four years from the date of removal of such appointment.
Any person whose notary public appointment has been removed pursuant to
subsection (a)(7) may not apply or receive an appointment for such persons
lifetime.
53-119. Recovery on bond of notary public. Any person injured by the failure
of a notary public to faithfully perform any notarial act for which a bond is given
under the laws of this state may sue on the bond in the persons own name in
any court of competent jurisdiction to recover the damages the person may have
sustained by such failure.
53-120. Same; notice of claim. If a surety on a notary bond receives a claim
on the bond, the surety shall notify the secretary of state of the outcome of that
claim.
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Kansas Notary Handbook
53-121. Notaries advertising in foreign language; requirements; penalties for
violations.
(a) A notary public who is not admitted to the practice of law in this state and
who advertises notarial services in a language other than English shall in-
clude, in any advertisement, notice, letterhead or sign, a statement promi-
nently displayed, in the same language in which such notarial services are
oered, as follows: “I am not authorized to practice law and have no authority
to give advice on immigration law or other legal matters.
(b) A notary public who is not admitted to the practice of law in this state shall
not use the term “notario publico” or any equivalent non-English term in any
business card, advertisement, notice or sign unless it complies with the re-
quirements of subsection (a).
(c) Violation of this section is a class B misdemeanor.
(d) Violation of this section constitutes a deceptive act or practice pursuant to
K.S.A. 50-626, and amendments thereto, and shall be subject to the remedies
and penalties provided by the Kansas consumer protection act.
(e) is section shall be part of and supplemental to the acts contained in article
1 of chapter 53 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, and amendments thereto.
53-401. Accession to Hague convention; procedure for certication of docu-
ment.
(a) e state of Kansas hereby declares its intent to accede to the Hague conven-
tion abolishing the requirement of legalization for foreign public documents.
(b) Upon presentation of a public document to which the convention applies,
the secretary of state, or an assistant or deputy assistant secretary of state ap-
pointed pursuant to K.S.A. 75-412, shall ax to the document the certicate
required by the convention. e secretary of state shall maintain a record of
all documents certied under this section and shall charge $5 for certication
of any such document.
53-501. Citation of act. K.S.A. 53-501 through 53-511 may be cited as the uni-
form law on notarial acts.
53-502. Denitions. As used in this act:
(a) “Notarial act” means any act that a notary public of this state is authorized
to perform, and includes taking an acknowledgment, administering an oath
or armation, taking a verication upon oath or armation, witnessing or
attesting a signature, certifying or attesting a copy and noting a protest of a
negotiable instrument.
(b) Acknowledgment” means a declaration by a person that the person has ex-
ecuted an instrument for the purposes stated therein and, if the instrument is
executed in a representative capacity, that the person signed the instrument
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Kansas Notary Handbook
with proper authority and executed it as the act of the person or entity repre-
sented and identied therein.
(c) “Verication upon oath or armation” means a declaration that a statement
is true made by a person upon oath or armation.
(d) “In a representative capacity” means:
(1) For and on behalf of a corporation, partnership, trust, or other entity, as
an authorized ocer, agent, partner, trustee or other representative;
(2) as a public ocer, personal representative, guardian or other representa-
tive, in the capacity recited in the instrument;
(3) as an attorney in fact for a principal; or
(4) in any other capacity as an authorized representative of another.
(e) “Notarial ocer” means a notary public or other ocer authorized to per-
form notarial acts.
53-503. Notarial acts.
(a) In taking an acknowledgment, the notarial ocer must determine, either
from personal knowledge or from satisfactory evidence, that the person ap-
pearing before the ocer and making the acknowledgment is the person
whose true signature is on the instrument.
(b) In taking a verication upon oath or armation, the notarial ocer must
determine, either from personal knowledge or from satisfactory evidence,
that the person appearing before the ocer and making the verication is the
person whose true signature is on the statement veried.
(c) In witnessing or attesting a signature, the notarial ocer must determine,
either from personal knowledge or from satisfactory evidence, that the sig-
nature is that of the person appearing before the ocer and named in the
instrument.
(d) In certifying or attesting a copy of a document or other item, the notarial
ocer must determine that the proered copy is a full, true, and accurate
transcription or reproduction of that which was copied.
(e) In making or noting a protest of a negotiable instrument the notarial ocer
must determine the matters set forth in K.S.A. 84-3-509 and amendments
thereto.
(f) A notarial ocer has satisfactory evidence that a person is the person whose
true signature is on a document if that person is (1) personally known to the
notarial ocer, (2) identied upon the oath or armation of a credible wit-
ness personally known to the notarial ocer or (3) identied on the basis of
identication documents.
53-504. Notarial acts in this state; who may perform.
(a) A notarial act may be performed within this state by the following persons:
(1) A notary public of this state;
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Kansas Notary Handbook
(2) a judge, clerk or deputy clerk of any court of this state;
(3) a county clerk or deputy county clerk;
(4) an election commissioner or assistant election commissioner; or
(5) any other person authorized to perform the specic act by the law of this
state.
(b) Notarial acts performed within this state under federal authority as provided
in K.S.A. 53-506, and amendments thereto, shall have the same eect as if
performed by a notarial ocer of this state.
(c) e signature and title of a person performing a notarial act are prima facie
evidence that the signature is genuine and that the person holds the desig-
nated title.
53-505. Notarial acts in other jurisdictions of the United States.
(a) A notarial act has the same eect under the law of this state as if performed by
a notarial ocer of this state, if performed in another state, commonwealth,
territory, district or possession of the United States by any of the following
persons:
(1) A notary public of that jurisdiction;
(2) a judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a court of that jurisdiction; or
(3) any other person authorized by the law of that jurisdiction to perform
notarial acts.
(b) Notarial acts performed in other jurisdictions of the United States under fed-
eral authority as provided in K.S.A. 53-506 have the same eect as if per-
formed by a notarial ocer of this state.
(c) e signature and title of a person performing a notarial act are prima facie
evidence that the signature is genuine and that the person holds the desig-
nated title.
(d) e signature and indicated title of an ocer listed in subsection (a)(1) or (a)
(2) conclusively establish the authority of a holder of that title to perform a
notarial act.
53-506. Notarial acts under federal authority.
(a) A notarial act has the same eect under the law of this state as if performed by
a notarial ocer of this state if performed anywhere by any of the following
persons under authority granted by the law of the United States:
(1) A judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a court;
(2) a commissioned ocer on active duty in the military service of the Unit-
ed States;
(3) an ocer of the foreign service or consular ocer of the United States; or
(4) any other person authorized by federal law to perform notarial acts.
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Kansas Notary Handbook
(b) e signature and title of a person performing a notarial act are prima facie
evidence that the signature is genuine and that the person holds the desig-
nated title.
(c) e signature and indicated title of an ocer listed in subsection (a)(1), (a)
(2) or (a)(3) conclusively establish the authority of a holder of that title to
perform a notarial act.
53-507. Foreign notarial acts.
(a) A notarial act has the same eect under the law of this state as if performed
by a notarial ocer of this state if performed within the jurisdiction of and
under authority of a foreign nation or its constituent units or a multi-national
or international organization by any of the following persons:
(1) A notary public or notary;
(2) a judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a court of record; or
(3) any other person authorized by the law of that jurisdiction to perform
notarial acts.
(b) An “Apostille” in the form prescribed by the Hague Convention of October
5, 1961, conclusively establishes that the signature of the notarial ocer is
genuine and that the ocer holds the indicated oce.
(c) A certicate by a foreign service or consular ocer of the United States sta-
tioned in the nation under the jurisdiction of which the notarial act was per-
formed, or a certicate by a foreign service or consular ocer of that nation
stationed in the United States, conclusively establishes any matter relating to
the authenticity or validity of the notarial act set forth in the certicate.
(d) An ocial stamp or seal of the person performing the notarial act is prima
facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the person holds the in-
dicated title.
(e) An ocial stamp or seal of an ocer listed in subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) is
prima facie evidence that a person with the indicated title has authority to
perform notarial acts.
(f) If the title of oce and indication of authority to perform notarial acts ap-
pears either in a digest of foreign law or in a list customarily used as a source
for that information, the authority of an ocer with that title to perform no-
tarial acts is conclusively established.
53-508. Certicate of notarial acts.
(a) A notarial act must be evidenced by a certicate signed and dated by a no-
tarial ocer. e certicate must include identication of the jurisdiction in
which the notarial act is performed and the title of the oce of the notarial
ocer and may include the ocial stamp or seal of oce. If the ocer is a no-
tary public, the certicate must also indicate the date of expiration, if any, of
the commission of oce, but omission of that information may subsequently
28
Kansas Notary Handbook
be corrected. If the ocer is a commissioned ocer on active duty in the
military service of the United States, it must also include the ocers rank.
(b) A certicate of a notarial act is sucient if it meets the requirements of sub-
section (a) and it:
(1) Is in the short form set forth in K.S.A. 53-509;
(2) is in a form otherwise prescribed by the law of this state;
(3) is in a form prescribed by the laws or regulations applicable in the place
in which the notarial act was performed; or
(4) sets forth the actions of the notarial ocer and those are sucient to
meet the requirements of the designated notarial act.
(c) By executing a certicate of a notarial act, the notarial ocer certies that the
ocer has made the determinations required by K.S.A. 53-503.
53-509. Short forms. e following short form certicates of notarial acts are suf-
cient for the purposes indicated, if completed with the information required by
subsection (a) of K.S.A. 53-508:
(a) For an acknowledgment in an individual capacity:
State of ___________________________
(County) of ________________________
is instrument was acknowledged before me on ___(date)__ by
____ [name(s) of person(s)]____.
_________________________________
(Signature of notarial ocer)
(Seal, if any)
_________________________________
Title (and Rank)
[My appointment expires: _______]
(b) For an acknowledgment in a representative capacity:
State of ___________________________
(County) of ________________________
is instrument was acknowledged before me on ___[date]___ by
___[name(s) of person(s)]___ as ___(type of authority, e.g., ocer, trustee,
etc.)___ of ___(name of party on behalf of whom instrument was executed)___.
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Kansas Notary Handbook
_________________________________
(Signature of notarial ocer)
(Seal, if any)
_________________________________
Title (and Rank)
[My appointment expires: _______]
(c) For a verication upon oath or armation:
State of ___________________________
(County) of ________________________
Signed and sworn to (or armed) before me on ___[date]___ by
___[name(s) of person(s) making statement]___.
_________________________________
(Signature of notarial ocer)
(Seal, if any)
_________________________________
Title (and Rank)
[My appointment expires: ________]
(d) For witnessing or attesting a signature:
State of ___________________________
(County) of ________________________
Signed or attested before me on ___(date)___ by ___[name(s) of person(s)]___.
_________________________________
(Signature of notarial ocer)
(Seal, if any)
_________________________________
Title (and Rank)
[My appointment expires: _______]
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Kansas Notary Handbook
(e) For attestation of a copy of a document:
State of ___________________________
(County) of ________________________
I certify that this is a true and correct copy of a document in the possession of
___[name(s) of person(s)]___.
Dated: ___________________
_________________________________
(Signature of notarial ocer)
(Seal, if any)
_________________________________
Title (and Rank)
[My appointment expires: ________]
53-510. Notarial acts aected by this act. is act applies to notarial acts per-
formed on or aer its eective date.
53-511. Uniformity of application and construction. is act shall be applied
and construed to eectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with re-
spect to the subject of this act among states enacting it.
53-601. Unsworn declarations; written declaration sucient, form; excep-
tions; relationship to notarial acts.
(a) Except as provided by subsection (b), whenever a law of this state or any rules
and regulations, order or requirement adopted or issued thereunder requires
or permits a matter to be supported, evidenced, established or proved by the
sworn written declaration, verication, certicate, statement, oath or adavit
of a person, such matter may be supported, evidenced, established or proved
with the same force and eect by the unsworn written declaration, verica-
tion, certicate or statement dated and subscribed by the person as true, un-
der penalty of perjury, in substantially the following form:
(1) If executed outside this state: “I declare (or verify, certify or state) under
penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of Kansas that the foregoing
is true and correct. Executed on (date).
___________________________
(Signature)”
31
Kansas Notary Handbook
(2) If executed in this state: “I declare (or verify, certify or state) under pen-
alty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date).
___________________________
(Signature)”
(b) e provisions of subsection (a) do not apply to the following oaths:
(1) An oath of oce.
(2) An oath required to be taken before a specied ocial other than a no-
tary public.
(3) An oath of a testator or witnesses as required for wills, codicils, revoca-
tions of wills and codicils and republications of wills and codicils.
(c) A notarial act performed prior to the eective date of this act is not aected
by this act. Nothing in this act diminishes or invalidates the recognition ac-
corded to notarial acts by other laws of this state or rules and regulations
adopted thereunder.
(d) On or aer July 1, 1989, whenever an ocer or partner listed in subsection (b)
of K.S.A. 17-2718, subsection (c) of K.S.A. 17-7503, subsection (c) of K.S.A.
17-7504, subsection (c) of K.S.A. 17-7505, subsection (d) of K.S.A. 56-1a606
or subsection (d) of K.S.A. 56-1a607 and amendments thereto is required to
execute a report before a notary or swear an oath before an ocer authorized
to administer oaths, in lieu thereof, such person may execute an unsworn
declaration if such declaration is in substantial conformity with subsections
(a), (b) and (c) of this section.
(e) On or aer July 1, 1990, subsections (a), (b) and (c) of this section shall have
general application.
54-101. Ocers authorized to administer oaths. Notaries public, judges of
courts in their respective jurisdictions, mayors of cities and towns in their respec-
tive cities and towns, clerks of courts of record, county clerks, and registers of
deeds, are hereby authorized to administer oaths pertaining to all matters wherein
an oath is required.
54-102. How administered. All oaths shall be administered by laying the right
hand upon the Holy Bible, or by the uplied right hand.
54-103. Persons having conscientious scruples may arm. Any person having
conscientious scruples against taking an oath, may arm with like eect.
54-104. Form of commencement and conclusion of oaths. All oaths shall com-
mence and conclude as follows: “You do solemnly swear,” etc.; “So help you God.
Armation shall commence and conclude as follows: “You do solemnly, sincerely
and truly declare and arm,” etc.; “And this you do under the pains and penalties
of perjury.
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Kansas Notary Handbook
54-105. Falsifying oaths or armations. All oaths and armations alike subject
the party who shall falsify them to the pains and penalties of perjury.
54-106. Form of oath to be taken by ocer. All ocers elected or appointed
under any law of the state of Kansas shall, before entering upon the duties of their
respective oces, take and subscribe an oath or armation, as follows:
“I do solemnly swear [or arm, as the case may be] that I will support the
constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Kansas, and
faithfully discharge the duties of ______. So help me God.
54-108. Administration of oaths by state treasurer. e state treasurer may ad-
minister oaths pertaining to all matters relating to the business of his or her oce.
54-109. Secretary of state and assistant authorized to administer oaths and
authenticate same with seal. e secretary of state and the assistant secretary of
state are hereby authorized and empowered to administer oaths pertaining to all
matters wherein an oath is required, and to attest the same with seal of the secre-
tary of state.
54-110. City clerks authorized to administer oaths. City clerks of cities of the
second and third class are hereby empowered to administer oaths for all purposes
pertaining to the business and aairs of their respective cities.
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Kansas Notary Handbook
Reg. # Subject Issues
7-43-1 Denitions Denitions used by regulation
7-43-2 Registration requirements Required training and testing, digi-
tal certicate, registry and fees
7-43-3 Notarization requirements Digital signature and notarial cer-
ticate requirement
7-43-4 Personal appearance requirement Person must appear in person be-
fore the notary
7-43-5 Evidence of authenticity Evidence of authenticity is required
on each document
7-43-6 Applicability of statutes All notary statutes apply to elec-
tronic notarizations
7-43-1. Denitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the
meanings specied in this regulation:
(a) “Digital signature” has the meaning specied in K.S.A. 16-1602, and amend-
ments thereto.
(b) “Electronic” has the meaning specied in K.S.A. 16-1602, and amendments
thereto.
(c) “Electronic notary public,” “electronic notary,” and “e-notary” mean a notary
public who has registered with the secretary of state and who provides elec-
tronic notarial acts using a digital certicate authorized by the secretary of
state.
(d) “Electronic document” means information that is created, generated, sent,
communicated, received, or stored by electronic means.
(e) “Electronic notarial act” and “electronic notarization” mean any act involving
electronic documents that an electronic notary public is authorized to per-
form under Kansas law.
(f) “Electronic notary seal” means the information within a notarized electronic
document that includes the notary’s name, jurisdiction of appointment, and
expiration date of the appointment.
(g) “Electronic signature” has the meaning specied in K.S.A. 16-1602, and
amendments thereto.
(h) “Notarial act” and “notarization” mean any act that a notary public is autho-
rized to perform under Kansas law.
Regulations
34
Kansas Notary Handbook
(i) “Notarial certicate” means the portion of a notarized document that is com-
pleted by the notary, bears the notary’s signature and seal, and states the facts
attested by the notary in a particular notarization.
(j) “Notary public” and “notary” mean any person appointed by the secretary of
state to perform notarial acts.
(k) “Principal” means the person for whom an electronic notary is providing a
notarial act. (Authorized by and implementing K.S.A. 2004 Supp. 16-1611;
eective Dec. 30, 2005.)
7-43-2. Registration requirements. Each individual who wants to become an
electronic notary shall meet the following requirements:
(a) Complete a course of instruction approved by the secretary of state;
(b) pass an examination approved by the secretary of state on the course of in-
struction specied in subsection (a);
(c) obtain a digital certicate authorized by the secretary of state;
(d) register with the secretary of state on a form prescribed by the secretary of
state, which shall include providing proof of compliance with subsections (a),
(b), and (c); and
(e) pay an information and services fee of $20. (Authorized by and implementing
K.S.A. 2004 Supp. 16-1611 and 75-438; eective Dec. 30, 2005.)
7-43-3. Notarization requirements.
(a) Each electronic notary shall use a digital signature when performing any elec-
tronic notarization. Before performing any electronic notarization, each elec-
tronic notary shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the digital certicate
used to create the digital signature is valid and has not expired, been revoked,
or been terminated by its registered certication authority.
(b) When performing any electronic notarization, each electronic notary shall
complete a notarial certicate, which shall be attached to, or logically associ-
ated with, the electronic document. (Authorized by and implementing K.S.A.
2004 Supp. 16-1611; eective Dec. 30, 2005.)
7-43-4. Personal appearance requirement. Notwithstanding any security mea-
sures used in performing any electronic notarization, an electronic notary public
shall not perform any electronic notarial act if the principal does not appear in
person before the electronic notary at the time of notarization. (Authorized by and
implementing K.S.A. 2004 Supp. 16-1611; eective Dec. 30, 2005.)
7-43-5. Form of evidence of authenticity of electronic notarial act. If electronic
evidence of the authenticity of the ocial signature and seal of an electronic no-
tary of this state is required on any notarized electronic document transmitted to
another state or nation, the electronic evidence shall be attached to, or logically
35
Kansas Notary Handbook
associated with, the document and shall be in a form prescribed by the secretary of
state in conformance with any current and pertinent international treaties, agree-
ments, and conventions subscribed to by the United States. (Authorized by and
implementing K.S.A. 2004 Supp. 16-1611; eective Dec. 30, 2005.)
7-43-6. Applicability of statutes. Except as otherwise provided in these regula-
tions, the provisions of K.S.A. 53-101 et seq., and amendments thereto, governing
notaries public and K.S.A. 16-1601 et seq., and amendments thereto, governing
electronic transactions shall apply to each electronic notary public. (Authorized by
and implementing K.S.A. 2004 Supp. 16-1611; eective Dec. 30, 2005.)
36
Kansas Notary Handbook
IX. Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a Kansas notary public?
A. A Kansas notary public is a person appointed by the Kansas Sec-
retary of State to acknowledge and witness the signing of documents,
administer oaths and armations, take verications and certify copies.
Q. When may I begin notarizing documents?
A. An appointed notary public may begin notarizing documents af-
ter receipt of a certicate of appointment from the secretary of state.
Q. What types of notary seals are acceptable in Kansas?
A. e notary publics seal shall either be a seal press or a rubber
stamp. In either case, the notary publics seal must contain the notary
publics name and the words “Notary Public” and “State of Kansas.
If a seal press is used, the impression must be inked or blackened so
that it may be photocopied.
Q. What is a surety?
A. A surety guarantees that if the notary public fails to properly per-
form a notarization the surety will indemnify a third party for any
damages caused by the notary’s negligence or misconduct, up to
$7,500.
Q. What is Errors and Omissions Insurance and do I need it?
A. Errors and Omissions Insurance (commonly called E & O) is
a form of liability insurance that protects the notary public from
claims or suits that are the result of the notary’s negligent acts, er-
rors or omissions. Much like car insurance, this type of insurance
covers investigation, defense and settlement of committed or alleged
acts by the insured notary public, subject to policy limits and provi-
sions. Kansas law does not require errors and omissions insurance;
therefore, it is up to the notary to determine if he or she wants the
additional coverage.
37
Kansas Notary Handbook
Q. Can information about my notary application or appointment
be given to other people?
A. Yes. All notary public applications and appointments are open re-
cords and subject to public inspection pursuant to the Kansas Open
Records Act.
Q. May I notarize my own signature and the signatures of my
spouse, children, parents or other relatives?
A. A notary public may not notarize his or her own signature, but
may notarize the signatures of his or her spouse, children, parents
or other relatives. However, the power is limited by the provisions
of K.S.A. 53-109. (See Financial or Benecial Interest on page 13.)
Q. May I notarize documents that originate from out of state?
A. Yes. Documents originating from another state may be notarized
as long as the signature and the notarial act are performed in Kan-
sas and the notarial certicate indicates “State of Kansas, County of
______________” to identify the jurisdiction in which the notarial
act took place.
Q. May I notarize documents when I am physically outside the
state of Kansas?
A. No. A notary public only has jurisdiction to perform notarial acts
while the notary public is in the state of Kansas.
Q. Why does the notary block have blanks for state and county,
and how do I ll them out?
A. e beginning of each notarial certicate should include juris-
dictional information that indicates where the document was nota-
rized, similar to the following:
State of ___________ )
County of ___________ )
is information indicates where the notarization took place. e
notary public completes the venue block by inserting “Kansas” and
adding the county where the notarization occurred. A Kansas notary
38
Kansas Notary Handbook
can notarize documents in all counties of Kansas but cannot nota-
rize outside the state of Kansas.
Q. What if the prepared form contains an inaccurate notarial
block, such as a notarial block that contains references to another
state?
A. e notary can cross through any incorrect information and
write in the correction. e notary should place his or her initials by
the correction. White-out should not be used, as the receiving party
may reject the notarized document if it contains white-out. White-
out raises questions as to what information was deleted, whereas
simply crossing through the incorrect information allows the receiv-
ing party to see what information has been altered.
Example: STATE OF MISSOURI KANSAS jd
COUNTY OF JACKSON JOHNSON jd
Q. Should I charge a fee for my services as a notary public?
A. ere is no statutory fee schedule in Kansas that a notary public
must follow, nor is there a prohibition against a notary public charg-
ing a fee. erefore, a notary public may charge a reasonable fee for
the performance of a notarial act.
Q. Should I keep a log book of the notarizations that I perform?
A. ere is no statutory requirement in Kansas that a notary public
keep a log book or journal. However, it is recommended that a no-
tary public keep one for his or her own records and for protection
from liability.
Q. Can my employer keep my journal or notary stamp aer I leave
my job?
A. No. A notary commission is personal to the notary public. e
stamp and journal belong to the notary public and must be safe-
guarded by the notary in order to prevent forgeries and other misuse.
Even if an employer pays for the notary commission, the employer
39
Kansas Notary Handbook
cannot convert the stamp and journal. However, if the employer pro-
vided the notary’s surety bond, the employer may cancel the bond.
Q. How do I report a change in my name, address or seal while I
am serving as a notary public?
A. You must report the change to the secretary of state on a form
supplied by that oce. One change of status form is attached in the
back of this handbook.
Q. What are the most common errors or omissions made by nota-
ries public in notarizing documents?
A. e most common errors by notaries public in notarizing docu-
ments are: (1) Failing to attach the notary seal; (2) neglecting to at-
tach the notary publics date of expiration of appointment; (3) failing
to sign the notarized document; (4) omitting names and dates from
the acknowledgments, oaths and armations, etc.; and (5) failing to
properly administer the oath.
Q. What is the most serious error made by notaries in notarizing
documents?
A. e most serious error made by notaries is failure to require the
person to appear before the notary before notarizing the document.
e person who signed the document must always appear in person.
Failure to observe this requirement may result in criminal and civil
liability and the loss of the notary’s commission.
Q. What are the liabilities and penalties for notary public miscon-
duct?
A. A notary public who fails to carry out notary duties correctly may
be subject to civil liability for any damages caused by the failure or
error. If the notary’s error enables a forgery, false writing or other
crime to occur, the notary also may be held criminally liable as an
accessory to the crime. e secretary of state also may revoke the
notary’s commission. Failure to attach the date of expiration to a no-
tarization is a Class C misdemeanor.
40
Kansas Notary Handbook
Q. What if my boss insists that I notarize a document when the
person has not signed or acknowledged his or her signature in my
presence?
A. Explain to your boss that Kansas law requires that the person ap-
pear before you personally before you can notarize the document.
Failure to follow this procedure could result in civil and criminal
liability for both you and your boss. Also, the document may be in-
validated by a court if it is improperly notarized.
Q. If my notary appointment expires but I have applied for a new
appointment, may I continue to exercise my notarial powers?
A. No. ere is no carryover or grace period for a notary public once
his or her appointment has expired. A person whose notary public
appointment has expired may not perform any notarial acts until he
or she has received a new certicate of appointment.
Q. As a Kansas notary, can I take a persons acknowledgment in
another state, then return to Kansas and complete the notarial
certicate here?
A. No. Your authority extends no further than the geographic
boundaries of Kansas. You cannot perform one part of a notarial act
outside the state and the other part inside the state. Both parts must
be executed at the same time and the same place inside Kansas. If
the resident of another state cannot come to Kansas, he should nd
a notary public in his state.
Q. A person whose identication indicates a rst name of “Rob-
ert” has asked me to take his acknowledgment on a document he
has signed as “Bob.” Should I insist that he sign as “Robert?
A. Not necessarily. As long as the name that is printed on the docu-
ment matches the name that is printed on the identication of the
signer, the signature does not have to be legible or identical to the
printed name.
41
Kansas Notary Handbook
Q. Can I notarize documents that I will be signing as an ocer on
behalf of a corporation?
A. No. You can never notarize your own signature, whether you are
signing for yourself or for a corporation.
Q. May a notary give legal advice or dra legal documents?
A. No. Unless the notary also is an attorney, the notary cannot act as
a legal advisor and cannot prepare legal documents. For example, if
a document does not contain a notarial certicate, the notary pub-
lic cannot advise as to the proper type of notarization. An attorney
should be consulted as to the proper notarization that is required for
the document (acknowledgment, witnessing or verication).
Q. Is notarization required by law?
A. Notarization is required for many documents. e Kansas law
governing the document will state whether the document must be
notarized. e determination whether a document is required to be
notarized cannot be made by the notary public.
Q. How does a notary identify a signer?
A. A notary identies a signer by carefully examining the identi-
cation presented by that person and comparing the signatures the
person has made on the document with the signature on the iden-
tication. Proper “identication” should include a photograph and
signature on a reliable identication card, such as a drivers license.
It also is considered sucient identication if, under oath, a credible
witness personally known by the notary identies the person.
Q. Must a notary determine the competence of the person signing
the document?
A. Although there are diering opinions on whether a notary public
has a duty to determine the persons competency, many experts rec-
ommend that the notary make a limited inquiry into the persons abil-
ity to understand the contents of the document that the person is sign-
ing. e notary can make a quick assessment by asking the person if
42
Kansas Notary Handbook
he or she understands the document. Clearly, a notary should refuse to
notarize the signature of a person who unquestionably has no ability
to understand the document (unconscious, mentally disabled, etc.).
Q. How do I renew my notary appointment?
A. ere is no automatic reappointment in Kansas. A notary public
must apply for appointment and follow the same procedures required
for a new appointment. Application should be made suciently pri-
or to expiration to ensure uninterrupted authority, generally three
months prior to the expiration of the current commission.
Q. Can I only notarize documents in my own county?
A. No, a Kansas notary public has authority throughout Kansas. e
county in which the notarial act took place should be inserted in the
appropriate blank above the notary’s signature.
Q. Must the person sign the document in my presence?
A. If the document is an adavit, verication or other document
requiring an oath, the person must be properly sworn in and sign
the document in your presence. If the document requires acknowl-
edgment, it is sucient for the person to appear before you and ac-
knowledge execution of the document. If the document requires
witnessing, you must personally see the person sign the document.
Never notarize an unsigned document, and never notarize a docu-
ment outside the presence of the person. Do not notarize a docu-
ment in which the notarial certicate contains untrue statements.
You cannot take a notarization over the phone. You cannot notarize
a document just because someone else assures you that the signature
is genuine. You cannot take an acknowledgment just because you
recognize the persons signature.
Q. Can I advertise my notary services in a foreign language?
A. Yes, but a person who is not admitted to the practice of law in
this state and who advertises notarial services in a language other
than English must include a statement that is prominently displayed
43
Kansas Notary Handbook
in the same language on all advertisements, notices, letterhead or
signs. e statement must say, “I am not authorized to practice law
and have no authority to give advice on immigration law or other
legal matters.
Q. When can I use the term “notario publico?
A. A notary who is not admitted to the practice of law in this state
cannot use the term “notario publico” or any equivalent non-English
term in any business card, advertisement, notice or sign unless it
is accompanied by a statement that is prominently displayed in the
same language that the notarial services are oered, stating: “I am
not authorized to practice law and have no authority to give advice
on immigration law or other legal matters.
Q. Does Kansas law allow notarization of an electronic document?
A. Kansas law (K.S.A. 16-1611) does authorize the use of electronic
notarization, and the procedures are set out in K.A.R. 7-43-1 et seq.
In order to complete an electronic notarization, a commissioned
Kansas notary must complete a training course, including a test, and
obtain a Kansas-issued digital signature.
Q. What should I do when I have a question about performing a
notarial act?
A. Contact the Secretary of States oce for assistance or your legal
counsel for advice.
Q. Where does a person report illegal, improper or questionable
acts by a notary public?
A. Persons who suspect any wrongdoing or mistake by a notary pub-
lic should report it to the Kansas Secretary of State, First Floor, Me-
morial Hall, 120 SW 10
th
Ave., Topeka, KS 66612-1594, (785) 296-
2239, or by e-mail at notary@sos.ks.gov.
44
Kansas Notary Handbook
X. Test your Notary Knowledge
Test your notarial I.Q. with this pop quiz. Answers follow the quiz.
More detailed explanations are found elsewhere in the handbook.
1. Your employer asks you to “notarize” a document that was
signed by a customer while you were at lunch. You should:
(a) Ask your employer to swear that the customer whose name ap-
pears on the document really signed it.
(b) Call the customer to ask if he really did sign the document.
(c) Explain that you cannot notarize a document when the customer
did not personally appear before you.
(d) “Notarize” the document only if you personally know the cus-
tomer and recognize the signature.
2. Your wife, the sole owner of a used car lot, has asked you to
notarize” her signature transferring title of an automobile. You
are not named individually as a party to the transaction. You may
notarize” the document.
True or False.
3. You have been asked to administer an oath for a person signing
an adavit. You must ask the person to:
(a) Provide adequate identication (if you do not know the person).
(b) Either raise his or her right hand or place it upon the Bible.
(c) Either swear or arm using the statutory language.
(d) Do all of the above.
4. A seal press is an acceptable notary seal but its impression must
be blackened so that it can be photocopied.
True or False.
5. A notary may not charge more than $2 to administer an oath.
True or False.
45
Kansas Notary Handbook
6. To properly identify a person, it is sucient to:
(a) Examine a drivers license with signature.
(b) Be casually acquainted with the person.
(c) Have a person you know identify the person under oath.
(d) Do any of the above.
7. State law requires a notary to maintain a log of all notarizations
performed, showing the date performed, the parties appearing
and the type of document.
True or False.
8. A Kansas notary may perform notarial duties anywhere in Kan-
sas as long as the county in which the duty is performed is entered
in the appropriate space.
True or False.
9. In order to properly complete the notarial certicate the notary
must do which of the following:
(a) Enter the county where the notarization took place.
(b) Ax the seal and blacken the impression if a seal press is used.
(c) Sign and write the date that the notary’s appointment expires.
(d) All of the above.
10. You are a Kansas notary and resident, but your place of em-
ployment is in Kansas City, Missouri. You may perform notarial
acts in Missouri.
True or False.
11. You are a resident of Nebraska, but your place of employment
is in Kansas. You may become a Kansas notary public.
True or False.
12. A notary public who is not admitted to the practice of law
in this state and who advertises notarial services in a language
other than English must include a disclaimer stating: “I am not
46
Kansas Notary Handbook
authorized to practice law and have no authority to give advice on
immigration law or other legal matters.
True or False.
13. It is possible to electronically notarize a document remote-
ly (outside the presence of the signer) as long as you are able to
watch the signing and check the signer’s identication through a
Web camera.
True or False.
Answers: 1. c; 2. True; 3. d; 4. True; 5. False; 6. d; 7. False; 8. True; 9. d; 10. False; 11.
True; 12. True; 13. False
47
Kansas Notary Handbook
Acknowledge – e act of admitting or recognizing the existence and
authenticity of the contents of an instrument and that the instrument
shall be binding and in full force and eect.
Acknowledgment – e act of admitting and recognizing the con-
tents of a document, the persons execution of the document, and
that the instrument is binding.
Arm – See Oath.
Armation – Spoken promise that the contents of the document
are true, without requirement of swearing under oath to God. An
armation is made by a person having conscientious or religious
objections to oaths. An armation in Kansas begins with “You do
solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and arm” and concludes with
And this you do under the pains and penalties of perjury.
Apostille – Certication of a notary required for paperwork going
out of the United States to a country that has signed in Chapter 12 of
the Hague Convention, created in 1961, that abolishes the require-
ment of legalization for foreign public documents. For a list of coun-
tries that have signed, go to www.hcch.net.
Authentications – Certication of a notary required for paperwork
going out of the United States to a country that has not signed Chap-
ter 12 of the Hague Convention.
Certied Copy – A document veried as an accurate reproduction
of an original document.
Competence – Ability to understand.
XI. Glossary of Terms
48
Kansas Notary Handbook
Electronic Notarization or e-Notarization – An electronic signa-
ture and seal that is placed on a document using a Kansas digital
signature.
Electronic Notary or e-Notary – A notary public who is authorized
to electronically notarize documents.
Electronic Signature – An electronic sound, symbol or process at-
tached to or logically associated with a record and executed or ad-
opted by a person with the intent to sign a record.
Execute – To sign ones name. To perform, complete or accomplish.
Notarial Block or Certicate – e statement that appears at the
end of a document that is completed and signed by the notary pub-
lic. is statement indicates the venue, the type of notarization re-
quired (acknowledgment, verication or witnessing), the name of
the signing party and the date of the notarization.
Notary Bond – e surety company or individuals agree to indem-
nify or reimburse anyone who suers damage caused by the notary
publics improper performance of notarial acts up to the amount of
the bond ($7,500). e surety can demand reimbursement from the
notary if a claim is properly paid. Furthermore, the notary is person-
ally liable for the full amount of any judgment rendered against the
notary.
Notary Public – A person appointed by the Kansas Secretary of State
to serve the public as a disinterested witness who takes acknowledg-
ments and verications, witnesses signatures, administers oaths and
armations, and certies copies.
Oath – A sworn statement made before a notary or other authorized
ocer. In Kansas, an oath begins with “You do solemnly swear” and
49
Kansas Notary Handbook
concludes with “So help you God” and is made with the right hand
uplied or placed upon the Bible.
Sureties – A guarantee that if the notary public fails to properly
perform a notarization the surety will indemnify a third party for
any damages caused by the notary’s negligence or misconduct up
to $7,500. Commercial sureties have been licensed with the Kansas
Insurance Department and actively participate in the surety bond
eld. A fee is usually charged to the applicant for guaranteeing a
bond. (See also Notary Bond.)
Sworn – See Oath.
Venue – e location where the notarization was performed, as indi-
cated at the top of the notarial certicate (state, county).
50
Kansas Notary Handbook
XII. Contact Information
For all questions or concerns about Kansas notaries public, contact:
Kansas Secretary of State
Attn: Notary Clerk
First Floor, Memorial Hall
120 SW 10
th
Ave.
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
Phone: (785) 296-2239
Fax: (785) 296-4570
Web site: www.sos.ks.gov/notary
E-mail: notary@sos.ks.gov
1 / 1 Rev. 8/24/16 tc
Instructions: Complete the Name and Bond Number elds and proceed to section B.
A. Notary Information
Name (Print name under which your appointment is currently listed) Bond number (Number listed on the appointment certicate)
B. Corrected Information
Instructions: Complete the elds that need to be changed. Fields left blank are presumed unchanged. Sign and date at
the bottom of the form.
1. Stamp change
(If requesting a name change,
complete elds 1 & 2.)
(Seal/Stamp)
2. Name change
3. Residential address
(P.O. box is not acceptable.)
Street Address
City State Zip
4. Business address
(P.O. box is not acceptable.)
Street Address
City State Zip
5. Daytime phone
6. Secondary phone
7. Miscellaneous
o
Check if you are canceling your bond.
o
Check if you need a new certicate sent.
I declare under penalty of perjury pursuant to the laws of the state of Kansas that the foregoing is true and correct.
Signature of Notary Month Day Year
ka nsas secretary of state
Notary Public
Change of Status
Kansas Ofce of the Secretary of State:
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor (785) 296-4564
120 S.W. 10th Avenue notary@ks.gov
Topeka, KS 66612-1594 www.sos.ks.gov
NC
Please
Do Not
Staple
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Print
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Please complete the form, print, sign and mail to
the Kansas Secretary of State. Selecting 'Print' will
print the form and 'Reset' will clear the entire form.
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