Can An Employer Cancel Your Notary Commission?


We receive several phone calls a year about this issue. Usually, the phone calls originate from a Notary who has left the employment of a firm and been told that their “Notary is being canceled.” Many times the ex-employer has taken possession of the Notary’s seal and record book. Is an employer empowered to take such action? Well, let’s see. A Tennessee Notary is granted the status of a public official by Tennessee Law. There is no legal provision, of which I am aware that would allow an employer to cancel the appointment of a public official. The idea is preposterous. Indeed the employer is risking civil and perhaps criminal liability by interfering with the duties of a Notary. Confiscation of the notary’s seal and records is even more onerous. I have in the past spoken to some of the employers who have actually called us and requested us to cancel the Notary Commission of one of our clients. Their justification for such action is usually that they paid for the expenses associated with an employee becoming a Notary. These expenses may include such items as the fees for applying for a Notary commission, seals, log books etc. However, this does not mean that the employer has any interest in these in items unless there was an agreement for reimbursement by the employee. If you are a Notary and are confronted by similar behavior from an employer or threats of similar action, you should seek legal counsel immediately, and report the situation to your County Clerk. If you are an employer you should never take any action which would impede a Notary from performing his or her duty without counseling from your legal professional