What is a notary public?
According to the Michigan SOS website, “A notary public is an officer commissioned by the Michigan Secretary of State to serve as an unbiased and impartial witness on business, public, and other documents. The most common function of the notary is to prevent fraud by attesting to the identity of a person signing a document. A 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.”
What are the requirements for becoming a notary public?
- 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 don’t reside in Michigan, you must 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)
- Haven’t 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 (Michigan licensed attorneys are exempt)
- 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
- Aren’t currently serving a term of imprisonment in any state, county, or federal correctional facility; if so, you are prohibited from being appointed or serving as a notary public