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How To Become A Notary Public In Michigan

If you are interested in becoming a Notary Public in Michigan, this practical guide will answer many common questions. Learn about notarial duties and find out how you can receive a Notary commission from the state. Once you are ready to begin the process of becoming a Michigan notary or renewing your Michigan commission, we'll walk you through step by step.

Michigan Notary Process | Requirements to be a Notary in Michigan | General Notary Public Information

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Michigan Notary Process

How to become a Notary in Michigan

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

  1. Make sure you meet all qualifications under Michigan state law (see below).
  2. Get your 6-year, $10,000 surety bond.
  3. Pay the $10 fee to file your bond and take your oath of office with the local county clerk.
  4. Complete the application. Your name, signature and address must match your ID exactly to avoid processing delays.
  5. Within 90 days, submit your application and a $10 application fee to the Secretary of State.
  6. Read the Michigan Notary Public Act.
  7. Consider taking additional Notary training or consult trusted experts for more guidance.
  8. Buy a Notary stamp and journal (optional, but strongly reccommended).
  9. Consider getting errors and omissions insurance (optional, but strongly recommended).

How long does a Michigan Notary commission last?

The Michigan Notary commission is valid for six (6) years.

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

The process can take 3-4 weeks, once you have purchased your bond, completed and submitted your application, and received your official seal.

How much does it cost to become a Notary?

A $10 non-refundable 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 6-year surety bond coverageto Michigan Notaries for $50.

Is training or an exam required to become a Notary?

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

Do I need a 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). 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 & 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.

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 compy with state law.

Keeping a journal provides important proof that you performed your duties properly if you are ever names 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.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Michigan

Who can become a Michigan Notary?

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

  • Be at least eighteen (18) years old;
  • Be a Michigan resident 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);
  • Read and write the English language;
  • 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;

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.

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General Notary Public Information

What state government office handles Notaries?

The Secretary of State is responsible for comissioning Notaries Public in Michigan.

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

If you change your name or address (residence or business) 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 charge for changing the information.

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

As of September 26, 2018, remote notarization is allowed in Michigan. You may not offer this service until after March 30, 2019 when the Secretary and Department begin reviewing and approving platforms. The NNA will update this information as needed. In the meantime, we’ve published an article describing what remote notarization is and what you need to know.

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.

Once my current commission expires, will I be automatically reappointed?

No, you must meet the state's requirements and reapply for a new commission.

How to renew my Notary commission in Michigan

The process to renew your commission is the same as if you were a new Notary. Applications should be filed no early than 60 days prior to your current commission expiration date.

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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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