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Notary Public Rules in Michigan

    • A notary public is considered a legal witness when signing important documentsmichigan map image by Vladislav Gajic from

      According to the Michigan Secretary of State, there are currently over 120,000 certified notary public professionals serving within the state, all of which are capable of serving as a legal witness when signing important documentation. Because this is such a lucrative and sensitive position within Michigan's government, it is important that notary publics are fair, partial and honest when providing their services to their general public. In order to make sure each notary public holds up their end of the bargain, there is a strict set of rules that must be followed at all times by each and every notary public in the state.

    General Requirements

    • The Michigan Secretary of State has established a strict set of guidelines that one must meet in order to be considered for a role as a notary public. Individuals must be 18 years of age and must be a resident in the county they are applying to; the only exception is business owners who own and operate a business. Finally, all individuals who wish to be appointed as a notary public must be able to read, write and understand the English language.

    Criminal Background

    • In order to qualify to become a notary public in the state of Michigan, your criminal record must be clear of any felony convictions within the previous 10 years. Furthermore, individuals who are commissioned as a notary public that have been convicted of two or more misdemeanor charges in a period of 12 months that relate to the Michigan Notary Public Act will have their notary public certification revoked. Individuals who have accumulated three or more misdemeanors involving the Michigan Notary Public Act, regardless of whether they have been commissioned or not, are also considered ineligible.

    Surety Bond

    • Any Michigan resident who wishes to become a certified notary public must file a $10,000 surety bond with their local county clerk. This surety bond is meant to prevent fraud, misconduct and other improper behavior on behalf of the notary public. A surety bond of $10,000 will cost anywhere from $50 to $100, depending on the county and agency you are working with.


    • An oath of office is required by all individuals who wish to become a notary public in the state of Michigan. As of April 1, 2004, this oath is taken at the very beginning of one's application. Your oath of office can be made verbally or written down, and it must be made with the local county in which you are applying.


    • A notary public's term lasts no less than six years and no longer than seven years, depending on the individual's birth date.

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