Vermont laws on notaries public can be found in Subchapter 9 of Chapter 20, Title 24 of Vermont Statutes. Pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 441, the judges of the superior court may appoint as many notaries public for the county as the public good requires, to hold office until ten days after the expiration of the term of office of such judges, whose jurisdiction extends throughout the state.
Further, the clerk of the Supreme Court, county clerks, district court clerks, family court clerks, justices of the peace, and town clerks and their assistants should be ex officio notaries public. An ex officio notary public ceases to be a notary public when s/he vacates the office on which his/her status as a notary public depends.
Every applicant for appointment and commission as a notary public should complete an application to be filed with the clerk of the superior court stating that the applicant is a resident of the county and has reached the age of majority, giving his/her business or home address and providing a handwritten specimen of the applicant’s official signature.
24 V.S.A. § 441a provides that a nonresident may be appointed as a notary public, provided the individual resides in a state adjoining the state of Vermont and maintains, or is regularly employed in, a place of business in Vermont. Additionally, before a nonresident may be appointed as a notary public, the individual should file with the judges of the superior court in the county where the individual’s place of employment is located an application setting forth the individual’s residence and the place of employment in the state of Vermont.
Pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 442, a person appointed as notary public should cause the certificate of his/her appointment to be filed and recorded in the office of the county clerk where issued. Further, before entering upon the duties of his/her office s/he, as well as an ex officio notary, should take the oath prescribed by the constitution, and should duly subscribe the same with his/her correct signature, which oath thus subscribed should be kept on file by the county clerk as a part of the records of such county.
The county clerk at the end of each four-year period should cause the oaths aforesaid to be bound into book form, which book should then constitute the final record thereof and should be duly attested by the clerk as such.
24 V.S.A. § 445 provides that every notary public is empowered to:
- take acknowledgements,
- administer oaths and affirmations,
- certify that a copy of a document is a true copy of another document, and
- perform any other act permitted by law.
Pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 446, a notary public is liable to the persons involved for all damages caused by the notary’s official misconduct.