The Secretary of State is responsible for the administration of the notary public program. Its oversight includes investigating complaints made against notaries.
FILING A COMPLAINT
To submit a complaint concerning a notary public:
Please complete the Notary Public Complaint Form to include what alleged section of law has been violated.
Attach the actual record that is the basis for the complaint or a photocopy or other replica of the record along with any other supporting documents
Submit documents to the Secretary of State via fax: 517-241-1820, email:(firstname.lastname@example.org) or through the U.S. mail: Michigan Department of State, Office of the Great Seal, 7064 Crowner Drive, Lansing, MI 48918.
NOTE: The legality and validity of a document must be determined in a court of law. Notarization itself does not guarantee that a document is true, legal, valid or enforceable.
If the Secretary of State's investigation warrants action, the Secretary may take one or more of the following actions (usually after a hearing):
- Deny a person's application to become a notary
- Issue a letter of censure
- Require the individual to take affirmative action, including restitution to the injured person
- Suspend or revoke an existing notary appointment
- Impose a fine up to $1,000
- Require the notary to reimburse the costs of investigation
- Ask the Attorney General to petition a court for an injunction or restraining order
- Report the violations to the Attorney General and/or local prosecutor for prosecution
By law, the Secretary of State may automatically revoke a notary public's commission upon conviction of a felony or the conviction of misdemeanor offenses that involve violation of the Michigan Notary Public Act (3 or more offenses within a 5-year period or 2 offenses in a 12-month period).
In addition, notaries and their surety bond holders are liable in a civil action for damages sustained by the persons injured. To pursue legal action against a notary public, contact your own attorney, the local law enforcement agency or the prosecuting attorney's office in the county.