Notary Public Information
Notary PublicA notary public is an officer commissioned by the Michigan Secretary of State to serve as an unbiased and impartial witness. The most common function of the notary is to prevent fraud by attesting to the identity of a person signing a document. Notarization on a document certifies that the person whose signature is entered on the document personally appeared before the notary, established his or her identity, and personally signed the document in the presence of the notary.
Every citizen appointed as a notary has a duty to learn the notarial laws on their own initiative. Before a notary performs any notarial act, the notary is required to read the Notary Public Act, 2003 PA 238 (MCL 55.261, et seq.)
- Be at least 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 presence;
- 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 in the English language;
- Be free of any felony convictions within the past 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 2 or more misdemeanor offenses involving a violation of the Michigan Notary Public Act within a 12-month period while commissioned, or 3 or more misdemeanor offenses involving a violation of this Act within a 5-year period regardless of being commissioned;
- Have filed with the appropriate county clerk a proper surety bond in the amount of $10,000 and taken the oath of office as prescribed by the State Constitution;
- Sign a declaration that all information on your application for Michigan Notary Public Commission is correct, that you have read the Michigan Notary Public Act, and that you will perform all notarial acts faithfully;
- 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.
Complete the Application for Michigan Notary Public Commission. Forms are also available at the Jackson County Clerk's Office.
Once you have completed the application form, you must then obtain and file a $10,000 surety bond with the county clerk. Bonds are available through insurance agencies or bonding companies. Attorneys licensed in Michigan are not required to file a surety bond.
The filing fee at the county level is $10. Cash, check, credit cards are accepted. At the time of filing, an oath of office will be administered by a deputy clerk and the application will be verified that all requirements have been completed. Your original signature must then be placed on the form agreeing to all conditions stated.
After you have fulfilled the filing requirements at the county level, the next step is to forward your completed application along with a $10 (non-refundable) check or money order payable to the State of Michigan to:
Michigan Department of State
Office of the Great Seal
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918
Once approved, your notary commission certificate will be mailed directly to your residence address as indicated on the application form. Your notary commission is not valid until you receive your certificate of commission in the mail.
Term of Appointment
Notary commissions expire six (6) years from your next birthday at the time of commission issuance.
Change of Name or Address
All changes of name and/or address must be reported to the Office of the Great Seal on the Michigan Notary Public Request for Duplicate/Notice of Change form.