A Notary Public's job is to certify that the person(s) signing a document in front of him/her has produced the proper legal identification proving that they are said person.
Application Requirements and Procedure
- Can read and write English.
- Must be 18 years of age.
- U.S. citizen or possess proof of legal presence and a resident of the county in which you request appointment or maintain a principal place of business.
- No felony or misdemeanor convictions or violations, as specified by law and not be imprisoned in any state, county or federal correctional facility.
- File a $10,000 surety bond with the County Clerk (available through insurance agencies or bonding companies), if applicable. Attorneys licensed in Michigan who are in good standing do not need a bond.
- Complete the Application for Notary Public (PDF).
- There is a $10 application fee to the County Clerk.
- The County Clerk will administer an oath of office and a declaration for applicant signature to verify that you have complied with all requirements and that all information on your application is correct, that you have read and understand the laws, and that you will perform all notarial acts faithfully.
- Applicant will send completed application (and an additional $10 check payable to "State of Michigan")
Michigan Department of State
Office of the Great Seal
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing MI 48918
- Notification of appointment: will be mailed directly to you by the Secretary of State.
- Report a change of name/address to SOS.
Questions about the notary public application form may be directed to the Office of the Great Seal. Call (888) 767-6424 or visit the Secretary of the State's website.
Please note - you may not act as a notary public until the Secretary of State sends you your commission.
Six Steps to Notarizing a Document
- Your notarization on a document certifies that the person named in the document appeared before you and identified himself or herself to you.
- Obtain identification from the person wanting you to notarize his/her signature on a document (e.g., driver's license, state ID, passport, U.S. military ID, employer ID, resident alien ID or Green card).
- Have the person sign the document in your presence.
- If an oath is required, administer the oath. (Michigan law requires oaths and affirmations to begin with "do you solemnly swear or affirm..." The right hand should be raised. In case of a disability, the left hand may be used.)
- Complete the notarization by filling in the date and sign your name exactly as appointed and as it appears on your commission.
- Type, print, or stamp the document with your appointed name, county and expiration date.
Where You May Notarize
As long as you reside in the county or an out-of-state resident's principal place of business remains in the appointed county, you may act as a notary anywhere in Michigan. When notarization takes place in another county, the words "Acting in __________ County" must be added after your county of commission.
Use of an embossed seal or stamp-type seal is not required in Michigan. However, a seal may be required on documents intended for use outside of Michigan. (They can be purchased from a bonding company, an independent office or rubber stamp supplier.)
Although not required by law, it is recommended that you keep a ledger or journal in which you record the signer's name, ID presented, date and other pertinent data on every notorial act you perform.