The Secretary of State commissions notaries public for the state of Arizona. If any member of the public believes that an Arizona notary has committed a violation under Arizona's Notary Statutes, he or she may file a complaint with the Secretary of State's Office (Secretary).
Our office will open complaints on active notaries.
The Secretary only has authority to determine if under the notary statutes, the notary fully and faithfully discharged the duties of a notary public, and properly notarized the document(s). If the notary is in violation of any notary statute the Secretary has the authority to suspend, revoke, or, if there are no violations, take no action against a notary public’s commission. Only a judge can validate or invalidate a document.
Our office, however, cannot open complaints if:
- The Notary is commissioned by another state
- The complaint does not indicate a specific notary statute violation
- Statement of Complaint form was not complete when received
- Supporting documentation was not included or incomplete (e.g. only one page of a four-page document is supplied)
- Statement of Complaint form must be signed and dated
The Secretary does not have the authority to assess whether any signature(s) on the document(s) were forged or to settle any legal disputes regarding the document(s). If criminal activity has been identified, please contact your local law enforcement agency to file a report. If you have opened a complaint, or if you are the notary aggrieved, you may consult an attorney or legal aid for specific statute questions or definitions. Our office cannot provide legal advice.
For more information on the notary complaint process, please see our flowchart (PDF).
What to File
Statement of Complaint against a Notary Public (PDF). Also may be submitted on company letterhead. Please follow the format of our complaint form.
Filing Fee: None
Processing Time: Investigation may take up to 180 days
- Double check: did you complete and sign the complaint form? Are all pages of the disputed document included?
- Information and complaint status will not be released until a determination is made.
- Any decision made by the Secretary of State which changes the status of a commission may be appealed. A written, signed appeal must be received within 30 days of the date on the notice.
- If you are required to attend a workshop, you must attend our in-person workshop or a comparable online workshop through a notary organization that produces a certificate of completion before your suspension period ends. The video workshop available on our website will NOT be accepted as a form of workshop attendance.
- If your commission is suspended, you must attend either our free notary public workshop or a comparable online workshop before the end of your suspension period. If proof of attendance is not received before the end of your suspension period, our office will revoke your commission.
- To receive copies of a complaint file, submit a Public Record Request Form. Our website does not provide electronic scanned images of complaint documents. Our office will contact you with the cost (10 cents per page filing fee, and certified results must include an additional $3) and you will need to provide a check with the balance so we can process your request. If any information is redacted, it’s confidential and can only be released by receipt of a subpoena. Only the notary, the notary’s personal representative or an employee or officer of the federal, state or local government who is acting in an official capacity can see non-redacted documents. A.R.S. § 41-312(F).
Where to File
Filing By Mail
Secretary of State
Attn: Notary Complaint Dept.
1700 W. Washington Street, Fl. 7
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2808
In-Person Filing - Phoenix Office
State Capitol Executive Tower
1700 W. Washington Street
In-Person Filing - Tucson Office
Arizona State Complex Building
400 West Congress
First Floor, Suite 141