Pennsylvania Oath and Bond Recording

Please see the following update from the Pennsylvania Department of State:

Appointed notaries public are required by law to take the oath of office and record their oath, completed bond and commission in the Recorder of Deeds in the county where the notary’s business office is located. The applicant must also register his/her signature with the Prothonotary’s office in the county where the notary’s business office is located. Both of these steps must be completed  within forty-five (45) calendar days after the date of appointment, or the notary’s commission becomes null and void.

If the Recorder’s office is closed as ordered by Governor, Secretary of Health, and/or county officials, then all notary deadlines will be extended by operation of law to the next business day. Long-term closures will mean long-term extensions of time.

If the Recorder’s office is still open but trying to limit public foot traffic, a potential work around could be to have the notary take the oath of office before another official authorized to take oaths (any fellow notary public, judge, etc.). The notary oath of office is not required to be taken before the Recorder of Deeds – this is largely a matter of convenience and custom. Once the notary has taken the oath and it is indicated on the bond form, the Recorder may follow through with the recording process. If there is a long-term closure of a Recorder’s office to the public, perhaps notaries could mail their original executed documents to the Recorders and a copy of their signature card to the Prothonotary.

 In counties not yet directly limited or directly affected, notaries may wish to follow through and meet their deadline if at all safely possible, because we may see increased closures to follow.

As with testing, the Department will work with individual notaries to extend deadlines or reappoint notaries as warranted.

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