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How To Become A Notary Public In Mississippi

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

Mississippi Notary Process
Requirements to be a Notary in Mississippi
What Can I Do With My Mississippi Commission?
General Notary Public Information

 


 

Mississippi Notary Process

What is the process to become a Notary Public?
  1. Make sure you meet all of Mississippi’s eligibility requirements.
  2. Complete the application and mail it, along with the $25 filing fee, to:
    • Secretary of State
      Business Services Division
      P.O. Box 136
      Jackson, MS 39205-0136
  3. Wait for the state to issue your commission letter.
  4. Purchase a bond from a surety company.
  5. Return your completed bond and oath form to the Secretary of State’s Office.
    • You must submit your bond within 60 days, or your application will be in lapse and you will have to start the process over again.
  6. Purchase your Notary seal from an office supply store or a Notary trade association.
  7. Consider purchasing E&O insurance to limit your financial exposure.
  8. Begin performing notarizations for the public.
  9. Continuing education and Notary experts are always available if you believe you need additional training or guidance.

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

You should begin the renewal process no earlier than 60 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.

  1. Make sure you meet all of Mississippi’s eligibility requirements.
  2. Complete the application and mail it, along with the $25 filing fee, to:
    • Secretary of State
      Business Services Division
      P.O. Box 136
      Jackson, MS 39205-0136
  3. Wait for the state to issue your commission letter.
  4. Purchase a bond from a surety company.
  5. Return your completed bond and oath form to the Secretary of State’s Office.
    • You must submit your bond within 60 days, or your application will be in lapse and you will have to start the process over again.
  6. Purchase your Notary seal from an office supply store or a Notary trade association.
  7. Consider purchasing E&O insurance to limit your financial exposure.
  8. Begin performing notarizations for the public.
  9. Continuing education and Notary experts are always available if you believe you need additional training or guidance.
How long does it take?

The processing time depends on the state, which can take from two to 10 weeks.

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.

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Requirements to be a Notary in Mississippi 

Who can become a Notary?

There are basic qualifications for a person to become a Notary in Mississippi. Applicants must be 18 years old, reside in the state and be a U.S. citizen or legal resident of the U.S. You must also be a resident of the county in which you apply for at least 30 days before you apply. You must also be able to read, write, and understand English. Additionally, you may not be currently incarcerated, on probation, on parole, or have a lifetime felony conviction, unless pardoned by the Governor or had your voting rights restored by the state Legislature.

What kind of training will I need?

Training is not required for Mississippi Notaries.

Do I need to take an exam?

No, passing an exam is not required to become a Notary in Mississippi.

What kind of equipment will I need?

You’ll need a Notary seal for every notarization you perform. The Notary seal may be a stamp or an embosser with black or blue ink, but must contain your name, “State of Mississippi”, and the county where you reside on the margin. The words "Notary Public,” your identification number of commission, and "Commission expires ______ (date)” across the center of your seal.

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.

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, and an embosser can help add an additional layer of fraud prevention 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. For example, if you are a mobile or retail Notary, an ID checking guide is recommended because you are constantly dealing with different people, as opposed to someone who notarizes in the same setting for the same group of people day after day.

Do I need a 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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What Can I Do With My Mississippi Commission?

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. 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 or relative. If you perform notarizations as part of your employment, your employer may limit the notarizations you perform during your work hours.

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General Notary Public Information

Why become a Notary?

Anyone who is interested in serving the public as an impartial witness should become a Notary. Notaries properly identify signers, and verify that the signer understands and is willing to sign the document in hand. Notaries help prevent fraud and add integrity, trust and authenticity to signatures on various important documents. Many companies in the healthcare, real estate finance and legal industries employ 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.

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.

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.

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