This is a question I hear often.

A Notary is commissioned through the State of Michigan. According to MCL 55.271 in order to become a Notary Public, you must meet the following qualifications:

  1. At least 18 years of age
  2. A resident of the State of Michigan or have a business with its principal place of business in Michigan
  3. Read and writes the English language
  4. Has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor

If those qualifications are all met, the first step is to go to the Michigan Secretary of State page. Under the “Notary Services” tab there is a link for the Notary Application. You will be required to create an account which should then take you step by step through the application process. In the alternative, you can print an application here, fill it out and file according to the instructions.

As you are going through the process (and as soon as you are commissioned) you will need certain notarial supplies: $10,000 Surety Bond, notarial stamp, journal (optional but strongly recommend), E&O insurance (optional but strongly recommend), embossing seal, notary primer, etc. There are many places you can go to get these items, with a few websites listed below. Make sure to note that the National Notary Association and Notary Bonding offer package deals that will not only include supplies such a stamps, embossers and journals, but the required Michigan Surety Bond and optional E&O insurance.

National Notary Association

Notary Bonding

American Association of Notaries

All State Notary Supplies

When my assistant became a Notary back in 2020, the entire process took her about four weeks, with an additional two weeks for her background check. With that being said, keep in mind that in 2020 we were at the height of Covid with many public facilities open through appointments only, and many individuals still working in a remote fashion. (Additionally, as a side note, background checks are not required for Notaries in Michigan. Her background check was for her Signing Agent certification, which is different than being just a commissioned notary.)

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