How to Choose the Right Notary Stamp

Notary publics are legally required to have a notary seal to authenticate documents. Most important legal documents like contracts, affidavits, and loans require an official notary to authenticate them. A notary’s seal provides proof that this step has been taken. Once a document gains this seal, it becomes a notarized document and is legally binding.

The most important factors to consider when choosing a notary stamp are the notary laws of your state. States have different design elements that they require, along with rules for when a notarized document is required.

At The StampMaker, we have state specific templates. That means any notary seal you buy will meet your state's required qualifications.

Types of Notary Stamps

The term “notary seal” is used to refer to a notary embosser. Embossers are devices that allow a physical embossed impression to be made into a document being notarized.

Notary stamps and notary seal stamps refer to either a rectangular or circular notary stamp, respectively. These are used to stamp the paper rather to emboss it.

There is also a third type of notary seal. This is the online stamp, and it receives the most scrutiny. Online notary seals use an encrypted algorithm to ensure the notary is the one signing the document. While not all states accept an online notary seal, it is best to check with your state before acquiring one.

How to Choose the Right Notary Stamp

When choosing a stamp, you have several different stamp body options. These can make a noticeable impact, so it’s something worth spending time considering.

Self-Inking Stamps

Self-inking stamps use water-based ink with a mechanism to re-ink the stamp after each impression. This provides consistency and speed.

Wood Handle Rubber Stamps

Wood handle stamps require an external inkpad. This gives the most flexibility with inking options but provides the least consistency.

Pre-Inked Stamps

Pre-inked stamps use an oil-based ink that perpetually saturates the stamp to provide consistent impressions. However, these are the most expensive.

How to Get the Best Notary Impression (And How to Correct a Bad One)

Getting a good notary stamp impression can be fairly straightforward. We have a more detailed guide here, but the short answer is equal pressure and a good surface.

Using too much pressure or unequal pressure will make a bad impression. Additionally, having a smooth, flat surface can be beneficial.

Regarding bad impressions, it’s important to recognize that notary seals are legal matters. The National Notary Association has specific instructions on how to correct a bad impression. Most importantly, never try and stamp over the bad one or fix it with pen. Trying to fix it may cause the document to be rejected due to tampering.

To make a clear impression every time, association recommends practicing on scrap paper before stamping any legal documents.

How to Re-Ink Your Notary Stamp

Knowing how to re-ink your stamps is a very helpful skill. Wood handle stamps are fairly straightforward, because you are using an external ink pad. The ink pad can be re-inked by adding a few drops straight onto the pad.

With self-inking stamps, you have to press down on the stamp and remove the ink pad. This will allow you to drop some more ink onto it. More detailed instructions can be found here.

Pre-inked stamps can be re-inked by adding a few drops of ink to either the impression pad or the ink cartridge. Be sure to check the instructions provided for your specific brand of stamp.

The most important step in reinking is choosing the correct ink. Self-inking and pre-inked stamps should only be refilled with the same color. The inks also have different bases, so you need to use inks specifically for self-inking or pre-inked stamps respectively.

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