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How to Become a Notary Public in Mississippi

Mississippi residents can become a Notary Public by taking the following steps:

  1. Make sure you meet all of Mississippi’s eligibility requirements (see below).
  2. Complete the application and get it notarized.
  3. Send your application and the $25 filing fee to the Secretary of State.
  4. Receive your pre-commission certificate from the Secretary.
  5. Buy a $5,000 surety bond.
  6. Return your completed bond and oath form to the Secretary of State’s Office within 60 days.
  7. Receive your official commission certificate and buy your Notary seal.
  8. Get E&O insurance to limit your financial exposure (optional, but strongly recommended).
  9. Take continuing education and consult Notary experts if you believe you need additional training or guidance (optional, but strongly recommended).

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In This Guide: Mississippi Notary Process | MS Notary Requirements | General Notary Public Information

More Details About the Mississippi Notary Process

Below is more information about the application process for an MS Notary commission.

How much does it cost?

The state filing fee is $25. The cost of your seal and bond will vary based on the vendor you choose.

The cost of commissioning can differ depending on whether you are a new or renewing Notary. Supply package prices vary among vendors. New Notaries may need more “how-to” assistance than experienced Notaries. Books, training and live expert assistance are often must-haves for most new Notaries.

Some vendors may package items with additional fees — processing fees for example. Training can be included in package prices for new Notaries, although the quality of education can vary. Some providers offer their own Notary courses while others do not have the on-staff expertise to develop and support educational content. Several vendors offer Notaries live question and answer support, and others are not able to offer such assistance.

How long does it take?

The process to become a commissioned Mississippi Notary Public should take about a week, according to the Secretary of State’s website.

How long does a Mississippi Notary commission last?

The term of a Mississippi Notary commission is four years.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Mississippi

Learn if you qualify to become a Notary Public in the Magnolia State.

Who can become a Notary?

There are basic qualifications for a person to become a Notary in Mississippi. Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the U.S.
  • Be a resident of Mississippi and have resided in the county of residence for at least 30 days prior to applying
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Not be currently incarcerated, on probation or on parole
  • Not have had a lifetime felony conviction unless pardoned by the Governor or had your voting rights restored by the state Legislature
  • Not have had a Notary commission revoked, suspended, restricted or denied, or been found to have engaged in official misconduct, misfeasance or malfeasance in Mississippi or any other state

Is there training or an exam required for MS Notaries?

No training or exam is required for Mississippi Notaries.

What kind of supplies will I need?

You'll need a Notary seal and journal for every notarization you perform. You may use an embossment inker in addition to your seal, but it cannot be photographically reproducible. The Notary seal must be an inked stamp in a circular shape with a diameter between 1.5" and 2.5". The following information must be within the border of the seal:

On the margin:

  • Your name as it appears on your commission
  • The words "State of Mississippi"
  • The county where you reside

Across the center:

  • The words "Notary Public"
  • Your identification number of commission
  • The words "Commission expires ______ (date)"

Starting July 1, 2021, requirements for the seal will only include your name, jurisdiction, commission expiration date and other information required by the SOS.

When shopping for seal stamps, quality and durability can vary greatly among vendors. Stamps should not bleed during or after use, as this can cause county officials to reject documents due to smudging. A second seal can help you avoid downtime if your seal is ever misplaced.

A Notary journal is also required by law. When purchasing a journal, there are a few important features to which you must pay close attention. A journal with numbered pages and tamper-proof sewn construction allows Notaries to identify missing pages in their journals, which becomes extremely helpful if you're ever named in a lawsuit. Simple notebooks or glue-bound journals simply do not offer the same level of security.

Supplies are sold by most vendors in packages, which can sometimes provide savings. However, not all vendor packages are created equal — they can vary greatly in terms of quality and content. If you are a new Notary or renewing your commission, the types and quantity of notarizations can require different tools of the trade.

Do I need a surety bond or insurance?

Yes, a $5,000 four-year bond is required for Mississippi Notaries. Additionally, many choose to purchase optional errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policies to protect themselves from legal expenses. E&O insurance is not a requirement in Mississippi.

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General Notary Public Information

Have more questions about being a Mississippi Notary? We have your answers.

Which state government office handles Notaries?

The Governor appoints Notaries Public, and the Secretary of State, located in Jackson, MS, oversees the Notary application process and maintains a record of all Notaries.

Although Mississippi does not require training, where can I get it?

You can find several reputable Notary Public training providers with a quick online search. It’s important to note that the Secretary of State does not provide workshops or seminars, nor does the Secretary endorse any business that advertises Notary Public training.

Can anyone help me become a Notary?

Yes. Several companies offer Notary training, supplies, insurance and assistance with the entire application process. Also, the Secretary of State's website has the application, if you want to get the process started on your own.

Where will I be able to notarize?

You will be able to notarize anywhere in the state of Mississippi.

Who can I notarize for?

You can notarize for everyone, excluding yourself and your relatives. You cannot notarize your own signature, nor can you notarize documents you are named in or would benefit from. Mississippi law also specifically prohibits notarizing for a spouse, ancestor, descendant or sibling, including in-laws, step-relatives and half relatives. MS Notaries are also disqualified from notarizing for people who live in their same household. If you perform notarizations as part of your employment, your employer may limit the notarizations you perform during your work hours.

How much can Mississippi Notaries charge for their services?

In Mississippi, Notaries can charge between $2 and $5 per notarial act. Starting July 1, 2021, the $2 minimum will no longer be required. An additional fee for travel can be charged, but only if the signer agrees to it in advance and the signer understands the extra fee is separate from the notarial fee. If you charge any fees, you must display an English-language fee schedule in your place of business or present it to signers when outside of your place of business.

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

If you change your address or name, you must notify the Secretary of State within 30 days of the change. Complete the Application for Notary Public Change of Address or Application for Notary Public Change of Name form, and mail it to the Secretary along with a $20 fee.

You must get a new seal or stamp with your new county of residence or name. For name changes, you must first receive a replacement commission from the SOS before getting your new seal and informing the surety for your bond about your new name in writing. You may continue using your former name in notarial acts until the SOS sends you a new commission and you’ve completed the above steps.

How much legal risk will I face?

It depends. Even the most careful and detail-oriented people can make mistakes. As a Notary Public, any unintentional mistake you make or intentional misconduct you engage in could be very costly for everyone involved. Notaries have been sued for financial damages that signers incur, and lawsuits are expensive even if you’re innocent. If you are diligent in following the law and keep thorough records, you’ll be better prepared if any legal action does come your way.

What is the process to renew my commission as a Mississippi Notary?

The process to renew your commission is the same as the process to become a Notary for the first time. You should begin the renewal process no earlier than 90 days before your commission expires. You may purchase a new Notary seal to reflect your updated commission expiration date. You may also choose to get a new record book (journal) if your old one is full.

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

Mississippi does not allow remote online notarization (RON), but there are 24 states that do. Check out this article on what you need to know about RON and how it works.

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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