Notary Complaints

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:

  1. Please complete the Notary Public Complaint Form to include what alleged section of law has been violated.

  2. 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

  3. Submit documents to the Secretary of State via fax: 517-241-1820, email:(disclosure@michigan.gov) 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.

 

REMEDIAL ACTION

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.