Supplies of the Notary
The RI Department of State does not sell or issue notary stamps or journals. Notaries may purchase a qualifying stamp and/or journal from business supply retailers both online and in store. All RI notaries are required to use a notary stamp and notarial certificate every time they perform a notarial act. Although a notary journal is not required by law, it is strongly suggested that you use one.
RI Notaries Public must use an inked notary stamp when performing notarial acts.
A notary stamp must:
- Be inked with a dark-color ink
- Be round or rectangular
- Include an edge border
- Contain the notary’s name exactly as it appears on their commission
- Contain the words “Notary Public”
- Contain the words “Rhode Island"
Notaries may also opt to include their commission ID number and/or commission expiration date on their notarial stamp.
Notaries may use an embosser if it meets all of the requirements of a notary stamp. If a notary chooses to use an embosser, they must also use a pre-inked seal highlighter to render the embossed impression visible when photocopied.
Click here to see examples of acceptable notary stamps.
A notary’s stamp is the property of the notary and should not be used by any other individual or restricted from the notary’s use. Notaries should make every effort to secure the stamp from unauthorized use and are responsible for destroying stamps that are no longer valid.
If your stamp was lost or stolen, notify the Notary Public Section of the Business Services Division as soon as possible by emailing [email protected].
Journal of Notarial Acts
Although a notary journal is not required by law, it is strongly suggested that you use one.
A journal is a permanently bound book that creates and preserves a chronological record of notarial acts you perform. It is a vital tool you can use for reference in the event a complaint is filed against you or you are called to testify to the details of a notarial ceremony. Notaries who use a journal of notarial acts should retain the journal for seven years.
A journal allows a notary to record information about a notarial ceremony in real time, including:
- The date and time of the notarial act;
- The notarial act performed;
- The type of document involved in the transaction;
- The signature, name and address of the signer(s) and witnesses, if applicable;
- A description of the method used to identify the signer(s);
- The fee, if any, charged by the notary; and
- The reasons the notary did not complete or refused to perform a notarial act, if applicable.
Click here to learn more about notary journals in RI.
RI notaries are required by law to use notarial certificates each time they complete a notarial act.
A notarial certificate is legally required wording that indicates to the receiver of the document the details of the notarial ceremony, including where and when the ceremony took place, the notarial act you performed, the identity of the signer, and the details of your notary commission.
The following notarial acts require notarial certificates:
The language used in a notarial certificate should be substantially similar to the language in the loose certificates provided above. Notaries public should not affix their official signature or stamp on a notarial certificate that is incomplete or contains information known by the notary to be false.