Properly Disposing of Expired Notary Stamps and Seals

April 18, 2019 / Notary Association of America

Many notaries who don't wish to renew their commission ask us how to dispose of their notary stamp or seal. When your notary commission expires, you should never throw away your stamp or seal like normal trash.

If you dispose of these items improperly, you leave yourself open to liability. Someone could retrieve your materials and use them to commit fraud.

Steps to Safely Destroy Notary Materials

To prevent fraud, the NAA advises its members to take the following steps when disposing of their stamps and seals:

  1. Remove the rubber from the bottom or base of your stamp, being careful to not get ink on your hands.
  2. Cut the rubber polymer into pieces with scissors to ensure it is properly destroyed.
  3. Throw the pieces of rubber into the trash.

Embossers can be more difficult to destroy because of their metal components. Start by removing the metal embossing plate from the seal. You may have to use a hammer or another blunt tool to strike the plate and render the embossed information illegible.

We encourage you to take every possible safety measure to avoid injury while destroying your stamp, seal, or embosser. You should wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris and use gloves to keep ink off your hands.

Some state laws require you to dispose of your notary materials in a specific way. If you need additional instructions, contact your state's notary department.