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    Notary and Document Certification

    Michigan Notary Public Information

    The Michigan Department of State commissions approximately 800 notaries public each month. The total number of notaries public currently commissioned in the State of Michigan is over 127,000. A notary public is an officer appointed by the Michigan Secretary of State to attest to the authenticity of a person's signature, to administer oaths, and to witness acknowledgements. Notarization on a document certifies that the person named on it appeared before the notary, displayed valid identification, and signed the document in the physical presence of the notary.

    Becoming a Notary Public
    A step-by-step instructional guide to becoming a Notary Public.

    Notice to Michigan Attorneys - The Michigan Notary Public Act (2003 PA 238) requires all applicants for notary public commission to file a surety bond and take the oath of office at the county clerk's office within the county of their residence. 2006 PA 510, effective April 1, 2007, amended the Act such that Michigan attorneys at law, in good standing with the State Bar of Michigan, are no longer required to file a surety bond. However, they are still required to take the oath of office administered at the county clerk's office prior to forwarding the commission application to the Office of the Great Seal.

    Please note the following amended section to the Michigan Notary Public Act:

    ***** 55.309.amended THIS AMENDED SECTION IS EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2012 *****

    55.309.amended Violation as misdemeanor or felony; jurisdiction; penalties and remedies as cumulative.

    Sec. 49. (1) Except as otherwise provided for in section 41(4) or as provided by law, a person who violates this act is guilty of 1 of the following:
    (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.
    (b) If the person knowingly violates this act when notarizing any document relating to an interest in real property or a mortgage transaction, a felony punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or by imprisonment for not more than 4 years, or both.
    (2) An action concerning a fee charged for a notarial act shall be filed in the district court in the place where the notarial act occurred.
    (3) The penalties and remedies under this act are cumulative. The bringing of an action or prosecution under this act does not bar an action or prosecution under any other applicable law.
    History: 2003, Act 238, Eff. Apr. 1, 2004 - - Am. 2011, Act 204, Eff. Jan. 1, 2012.


    Click here for: The duties and responsibilities, the history, and the location and hours of the Office of the Great Seal.
    Click here for: The types of public records maintained by the Office of the Great Seal, including official acts, executive orders, oaths of office and various other original documents.
    Click here for: The types of certification, documents and SOS records commonly certified, and the certification process.
    Click here for: The qualifications and application process to become a notary public, as well as duties and responsibilities.
    Click here for: Notary and document certification. Find the most requested forms and brochures.

    Notary & Document Certification Quick Links
     •  Authenticating Your Document
     •  About the Office of the Great Seal
     •  Becoming a Notary Public
     •  Michigan Notary Public Act (2003 PA 238)
     •  Notary Public Search
     •  Hague Treaty
     •  International Adoption
     •  Vital Records
     •  U.S. Department of State Authentications Office
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