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Notary Rotary

Welcome to Notary Public 101

Here, you can learn how to become a notary, how to renew your notary commission, and where to find educational opportunities for notaries public.

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Notary Education
Become a Notary in Michigan
Find a Notary Class in Michigan
Begin Notary Public 101

In most states, becoming a notary public involves meeting a number of requirements. Generally, you must be 18 years of age, not have a serious criminal history, and successfully complete an application process. In some states, the notary application process will require notary education (ranging from a simple online course to a notary class and competency exam) and a background check, as well as the purchase of a surety bond. A more thorough explanation for your state is described below.


Become a Michigan notary public with Notary Rotary, Inc.


To apply for appointment as a notary public for the state of Michigan an individual must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a Michigan resident or maintain a place of business in Michigan
  • Be a U.S. citizen or possess proof of legal presence
  • Be a resident of the county (or maintain a principal place of business) in which you request appointment
  • Read and write in the English language
  • Be free of any felony convictions within the past ten years
  • Have not been convicted of two or more misdemeanor offenses involving a violation of the Michigan Notary Public Act within a 12-month period while commissioned, or three or more misdemeanor offenses involving a violation of this Act within a five-year period regardless of being commissioned
  • Have filed with the appropriate county clerk a proper surety bond in the amount of $10,000 and taken the oath of office as prescribed by the State Constitution
  • Sign a declaration that all information on your application for Michigan Notary Public Commission is correct, that you have read the Michigan Notary Public Act, and that you will perform all notarial acts faithfully
  • Any individual currently serving a term of imprisonment in any state, county or federal correctional facility is prohibited from being appointed or serving as a notary public

Length of Appointment:

Each notary public commission is for a six to seven year period ending on the notary's birthday. The term is not less than six or more than seven years from the date of appointment. For example, if your birthday is in April of 2008, and you apply for a commission in October of 2007, your notary commission will expire on your birthday in 2014. There is no renewal process so you must apply for a new commission when your current commission expires. It is your responsibility to apply for a new commission no more than 60 days prior to the commission expiration date.

Step 1: Download and complete the Michigan notary public application

Michigan Notary Public Application

Your Application for Michigan Notary Public Appointment must include your driver's license number, full name as you wish to be appointed, date of birth, residential address (as it appears on your Michigan driver's license or personal identification card), business address, telephone number, and, if a current notary, information about your current appointment.

To ensure that your appointment is accurately made without delay, please print or type your name as you wish to be commissioned to the right of the "Commissioned Name" field at the bottom of the application. Your signature must match the name that has been printed as your "Commissioned Name." This is the signature that you will use when notarizing documents.

To avoid delays in processing your notary public application, please be advised that your current address must match on both the application and your driver's license or personal identification card that you have on file with the Secretary of State.

Step 2: Order your official surety bond from Notary Rotary, Inc.

Notaries public are required to obtain a $10,000 surety bond and file it at the office of the county clerk in the county where the notary will be appointed.

A surety bond protects the public from a notary's misconduct or negligence.

  • The bond provides coverage for damages to anyone who suffers financially due to an improper official act on the part of the notary.
  • The surety may seek reimbursement from the notary for any damages it pays on the notary's behalf.
  • The Michigan Department of State is authorized to require the notary to purchase replacement bonding if the original $10,000 bond funds are depleted by damage claims.
  • Surety bonds are not insurance policies. The bond protects the public if a court judgment is rendered against a notary because of negligence or misconduct.

Blanket bonds or personal assets may not be used in place of an individual surety bond.

Please visit the Notary Rotary online store for your official surety bond. To order, enter the required information, and scroll through the product page to locate and select the bond, as well as any other supplies you might need, and follow the instructions through checkout. Your surety bond and other supplies will be shipped as soon as possible, usually within two to three days.

Step 3: File your $10,000 surety bond with the County Clerk

Once you receive your official surety bond from Notary Rotary, Inc., you will need to file it with your respective county clerk. The fee for filing at the county is $10.00 (with the exception of Wayne County, which may be more.) At that time, the county clerk will also administer an Oath of Office, and verify that you have complied with these requirements by completing the designated area on your completed Notary Public Application. Your original signature must then be placed on the form, agreeing to all conditions stated.

Step 4: Send the completed application to the Department of State

Once you have fulfilled the filing requirements at the county level, you must forward your completed application (with a $10.00 non-refundable processing fee) to the following address:

Michigan Department of State
Office of the Great Seal
7064 Crowner Blvd.
Lansing, MI 48918

Do not send cash; please send a check or money order payable to the "State of Michigan."

At this point in the application process the Office of the Great Seal reviews application and may conduct a background check. If the application is approved a notary public commission will be issued. If the application is not approved the applicant will receive a denial letter.

Step 5: Order any other supplies you may need from Notary Rotary, Inc.

Although not specifically required by the state of Michigan, many notaries public use a Michigan notary stamp to produce most of the requirements for a notarial certificate. The notarial certificate needs to be imprinted with a photographically reproducible image so a Michigan embossing seal alone is not sufficient, but may be used in conjunction with an ink seal.

The Michigan Notary Public Act requires a notary to maintain all records of a notarial act for at least five years. A notary is also required to provide copies of those records upon the request of the Department of State. However, the law does not describe the type of record that must be kept or what must be included in a record. A notary public is not required to keep a journal, but many notaries find journals to be an effective method for keeping records. If you keep a journal, it is recommended that you record the signer’s name, identification presented, date, type of document and other information you deem pertinent to the transaction. The Michigan journal of notarial acts, available in the Notary Rotary online store, was specifically designed for use by notaries public and contains many elements not available in other journals.

To order a seal and journal, go to the Notary Rotary online store. To order, enter the required information, and scroll through the product page to locate and select the products you would like and follow the instructions through checkout.  Supply orders usually ship in no more than two or three days.

Once you receive your seal and supplies you will be ready to begin your duties as a notary public for the State of Michigan.

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