A 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.) An electronic copy of the Act may be found on the Legislature's Web site at www.legislature.mi.gov
To apply to become a Michigan Notary public you must:
- 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.
Licensed attorneys in the State of Michigan are not required to file a surety bond with the county clerk as of April 1, 2007.
Application forms are available in the County Clerk's Office or from the Michigan Secretary of State
Once you have completed the application form, you must obtain a surety bond through an insurance agency and file the bond and a $10.00 fee with the County Clerk.
At the time of filing at the County Clerk's Office, an Oath of Office will be administered. After the clerk verifies that you have complied with all requirements, you will be asked to sign the application. You will then be required to mail your completed application to the "State of Michigan" along with a check or money order to:
Michigan Dept. of State Office of the Great Seal
7064 Crowner Blvd.,
Lansing, MI. 48918
Your notary commission will be mailed directly to your address in approximately 5-10 working days after it is received by the state.
Notary commissions expire six (6) years from your next birthday at time of commission issuance.
Please direct any questions to the OFFICE OF THE GREAT SEAL or by calling 1-888-767-6424.
Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 A.M to 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Closed for all legal holidays.
For more information, call the Montmorency County Clerk at 989-785-8022.
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