Formal complaints may be filed against a Pennsylvania notary public by notifying the Department of State. Pursuant to the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA), the Department may deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend, reprimand or impose a condition on a commission as notary public for an act or omission which demonstrates that the individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a notary public. The Department may also impose a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each act or omission which constitutes a violation of RULONA.  Any disciplinary action shall be taken subject to the right of notice, hearing and adjudication, and the right of appeal therefrom, in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Agency Law.

Members of the public, legal community and other government agencies may file a formal complaint against a Pennsylvania notary public by completing a Statement of Complaint form or by submitting a complaint in writing. 

Once complaints have been received, a letter will be mailed to the complainant acknowledging receipt of the complaint.

After an investigation by the Department of State, if it is determined that there has been a violation of the notary law, then the Secretary of the Commonwealth will take the necessary steps to discipline the notary public. Notaries public are entitled to due process in the resolution of all complaints filed against them. All hearings regarding notary public complaints are held in Harrisburg. Adverse decisions may be appealed to the Commonwealth Court.

Sanctions are issued by order of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and may range from issuance of a letter of warning and mandatory attendance of a notary public education course to suspension or revocation of a notary public’s commission.

After the complaint process has been completed by the Department of State, a closing letter will be mailed to the complainant notifying them of the final outcome of the complaint.
You may file a Complaint online. To receive a Statement of Complaint Form, please contact the Professional Compliance Office at 1-800-822-2113 or (717) 783-4849 (if calling within the local Harrisburg calling area or if calling from outside of Pennsylvania).    

Most Common Reasons for Discipline

  • The notary public has not required a document signer to personally appear before the notary.
  • The notary public has failed to require proper identification.
  • The notary public has notarized a forged signature.
  • The notary public has not kept a register/journal of all notarial acts or the notary public has not kept an accurate or complete journal of these transactions. 
  • The notary public has failed to properly process motor vehicle paperwork with the Department of Transportation, Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

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Phone: (717) 783-4849

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Professional Compliance Office 2525 N. 7th Street, P.O. Box 69522, Harrisburg, PA 17106-9522.