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How to Become a Notary Public in Michigan

Becoming a Notary in Michigan requires applicants to complete the following steps:

  1. Make sure you meet all qualifications under Michigan state law (see below).
  2. Get a $10,000 surety bond.
  3. Complete the Application for Notary Public Commission. Your name and address must match your ID exactly to avoid processing delays.
  4. Pay the $10 fee to file your bond and take your oath of office with the local county clerk.
  5. Mail in the original completed application along with a non-refundable $10 check or money order payable to "State of Michigan" to the Michigan Department of State Office of the Great Seal.
  6. Read the Michigan Notary Public Act.
  7. Take additional Notary training or consult trusted experts for more guidance (optional, but strongly recommended).
  8. Buy a Notary stamp and journal (optional, but strongly recommended).
  9. Get E&O insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).

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In This Guide: Michigan Notary Process | MI Notary Requirements | General Notary Public Information

More Details About the Michigan Notary Process

Here, you'll find more information about the application process for an MI Notary Public commission.

How much does it cost to become a Notary?

A non-refundable $10 processing fee is required and must be sent along with your completed Notary application. There is also a $10 fee for filing your surety bond (although that fee may be higher in some areas of the state). The cost of the bond and seal will vary based upon the vendor chosen. The NNA offers six-year surety bond coverage to Michigan Notaries for $50.

How long does it take to become a Notary in Michigan?

The process can take four to six weeks once you have purchased your bond and completed and submitted your application.

How long does a Michigan Notary commission last?

The Michigan Notary commission is valid for six to seven years, ending on your birthday. If you were appointed before your birthday in that calendar year, then your commission term will be six years from your birthday. If you were appointed after your birthday, then your commission term will be seven years from your birthday.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Michigan

Wondering what it takes to become a Notary in the Great Lake State? Read on below.

Who can become a Michigan Notary?

To qualify for a Notary commission in Michigan, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a resident of or maintain a place of business in Michigan
  • Be a U.S. citizen or possess proof of legal residence
  • Be a resident of the county in which you request appointment (if you do not reside in Michigan, maintain a principal place of business in the county you request appointment)
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Be free of any felony convictions in the last 10 years (if previously convicted of a felony, the 10-year period includes completion of the sentence for that crime, any term of imprisonment, parole or probation, and payment of all fines, costs and assessments)
  • Have not been convicted of two or more misdemeanor offenses involving a violation of the Michigan Notary Public Act within a 12-month period while commissioned, or three or more misdemeanor offenses involving a violation of this act within a five-year period regardless of being commissioned
  • Have filed a surety bond in the amount of $10,000 with the appropriate county clerk and taken the oath of office as prescribed by the State Constitution (Michigan licensed attorneys are exempt)
  • Have signed a declaration that all information on your application for a Michigan Notary Public Commission is correct, that you have read the Michigan Notary Public Act and that you will perform all notarial acts faithfully

In addition, any individual currently serving a term of imprisonment in any state, county or federal correctional facility is prohibited from being appointed or serving as a Notary Public.

Is training or an exam required to become a Notary?

No exam or training is required, but the Michigan Department of State does require that every Notary read the Michigan Notary Public Act prior to performing as a Notary.

What kind of supplies will I need?

Using an official Notary seal and Notary journal is not required in Michigan, but using both tools is strongly recommended.

The quality and durability of Notary stamps can vary, so you may want to buy a seal that has a lifetime guarantee. Stamps should not bleed during or after use, as this can cause county officials to reject documents due to smudging. If you opt for an embosser, make sure you get an embosser inker to comply with state law.

Keeping a journal provides important proof that you performed your duties properly if you are ever named in a lawsuit or accused of negligence. If you do choose to use a journal the Michigan Notary Public Act requires those records to be kept for at least five years.

Do I need a surety bond?

Michigan requires a Notary Public to hold a $10,000 surety bond, which must be filed at the office of the county clerk (filing fees apply). The surety company must be licensed to do business in the state. If the Notary acts improperly or is negligent, and there are financial damages, the bond will cover those damages. The company that issued the bond may require the Notary to pay back any damages covered. If you are a licensed attorney in the state of Michigan, you are not required to file a bond.

Do I need insurance?

Insurance is not required for Michigan Notaries, although you have the option of purchasing a policy. Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance helps protect the Notary. If you make an unintentional mistake or a false claim is filed against you, an E&O policy will cover your legal fees and awarded damages up to the coverage you select.

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General Notary Public Information

Below is some information on who you can notarize for, how much you can charge and how you can perform eNotarizations.

What state government office handles Notaries?

The Department of State, located in Lansing, MI, is responsible for commissioning Notaries Public in Michigan.

Where will I be able to notarize?

Michigan Notaries can perform notarizations anywhere within the state.

Who can I notarize for?

You can notarize for any member of the public who makes a reasonable request and meets all requirements for notarization such as personally appearing before you and providing satisfactory proof of identity. You cannot notarize your own signature or perform a notarization if you have a conflict of interest. You're also prohibited from performing notarial acts for a direct lineal ancestor or descendant family member, including in-laws, step-siblings and half siblings.

How much can MI Notaries charge per notarization?

The Department of State authorizes Notaries to charge up to $10 per notarial act. An additional traveling fee may be charged but must be agreed upon between the Notary and signer in advance.

What should I do if I move or change my name?

If you change your address (residence or business) or name during your commission, you need to notify the Office of the Great Seal immediately and submit a Request for Duplicate/Notice of Change form. There is no fee to change your information.

How do I renew my Notary commission in Michigan?

Notary commissions are not automatically renewed, so you'll need to meet the state's requirements and reapply for a new commission. If you don't have any gaps in your commission dates, you must renew within 60 days of your current expiration date.

How do I become an electronic Notary in Michigan?

Electronic notarizations are in-person notarial acts that involve digital documents and electronic signatures. The process to become an eNotary in Michigan is simple. First, get your commission as a traditional Notary Public or be applying for one at the same time. Then, contract with an electronic notarization platform from the state's list of approved vendors. Complete the Request for Duplicate/Notice of Change form if you're currently a Notary, or the Notary Application and Instructions form if you're a new or renewing applicant, and provide the required information about your chosen vendor. As soon as your information is on file with the Department of State, you may begin performing eNotarizations.

What do I need to know about remote online notarization in Michigan?

As of September 26, 2018, Michigan Notaries can register to perform remote online notarizations. Once you receive your commission, you can follow the steps in this guide to become an MI remote Notary.

If you're not quite ready yet, we have additional resources where you can learn what a Notary is, what they do and why you should become a commissioned Notary.

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