How to Become a Notary in Massachusetts

Wondering how to become a notary in Massachusetts? Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to becoming a notary in no time!

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Notaries public in Massachusetts are commissioned by the Governor’s Council. The Secretary of State’s office provides a list of approved notary courses and online applications.

Applicants must:
-Be at least 18 years old
-Be a resident of Massachusetts
-Have the ability to read and write English
-Have no criminal record

Application Process
1. Complete an approved notary public course or demonstrate equivalent experience.
2. Submit a notary public application to the Secretary of State’s office. Include the $40 application fee and a completed Certificate of Completion for the notary public course (if applicable).
3. Take the Oath of Office before a magistrate, clerk-magistrate, assistant clerk, or notary public. The oath must be taken within one year of submitting your application. Notaries public are appointed for a four-year term.

What is a Notary Public?

A notary public is an official of integrity appointed by state government — typically by the secretary of state — to serve the public as an impartial witness in the taking of affidavits, depositions, and acknowledgments of documents. A notary’s primary function is to prevent fraud.

In Massachusetts, a notary public has the power to administer oaths and affirmations, take acknowledgments of deeds and other conveyances, solemnize marriages, take depositions, and certify copies of certain documents.

A notary public must be 18 years of age or older and must be a resident of Massachusetts or have a place of employment or business within the state. A notary public must also be able to read and write English.

The Appointment Process

Becoming a notary in Massachusetts is a two-step process. The first step is to submit an application to the Secretary of State’s office. The second step is to take the Oath of Office before a justice of the peace or a notary public.

You must be at least 18 years old and a resident of Massachusetts to be eligible for appointment as a notary public. You must also have a clean criminal record.

If you are appointed, you will be issued a commission certificate and an official seal. The term of your appointment is seven years, and you may renew your commission by taking the Oath of Office again before your term expires.

To apply for appointment, you must submit the following to the Secretary of State’s office:

-An application form (PDF)
-A $40 fee (check or money order made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts)
-A 2×2 inch photograph taken within the past six months

Duties of a Notary Public

Any person who is at least 18 years of age and resides in Massachusetts may apply to become a notary public. Notaries public are commissioned by the Governor for a four-year term. As a notary public, you will administer oaths and affirmations, take acknowledgments, certify copies of certain documents and perform other duties as allowed by law.

You must have your notary commission with you whenever you perform a notarial act. You must also keep a record book (notarial journal) of every notarization you perform in which you must include the type of notarization, the date and time of the notarization, the appearance of the person or persons before you, your fee (if any) and any other information required by law. This record book must be maintained throughout your term as a notary public and must be surrendered to your successor at the end of your term.

Notary Public Fees

A notary public in Massachusetts is a person who is commissioned by the Governor’s office to serve the public as an impartial witness in the taking of acknowledgments, affirmations, depositions, oaths, and affirmations. A notary public can also certify copy documents.

The following fees are set by state law and must be charged for notarial acts:

-Acknowledgments: $2 per person
-Affirmations: $2 per person
-Depositions: $5 per person
-Oaths or affirmations: $2 per person
-Certifying copies of documents: $1 per document

Notary Public Records

In order to become a notary public in the state of Massachusetts, you must complete an application and submit it to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The application must be accompanied by a surety bond in the amount of $5000, a certificate of successful completion of a notary public course, and the required fee. Once your application has been approved, you will be issued a commission which will expire four years from the date of issuance.

Notarizing a Document

To notarize a document, the notary public must:

– Personally know the person who is signing the document (or have satisfactory evidence that he or she does), OR
– See the person produce valid identification.

The notary public must then watch the person sign the document in his or her presence.

After the document has been signed, the notary public must add his or her official stamp, sign and date the document, and fill in all other required information.

When to Hire a Notary Public

The main duties of a notary are to prevent fraud and to ensure that all legal documents are properly executed. A Notary Public is an important safeguard against identity theft and other types of fraud, so it’s important to choose one that you can trust.

Here are some circumstances when you might need to hire a Notary Public:

-When you buy or sell a house
-When you sign a lease
-When you make a will
-When you open a bank account
-When you get married
-When you have a baby
-When you adopt a child
-When you get divorced

Notary Public Tips

To become a Notary Public in Massachusetts, you must:

1. Be a resident of Massachusetts or have a place of business in the state.
2. Be at least 18 years old.
3. Be able to read and write English.
4. Not have been convicted of a felony.
5. Complete a six-hour Notary Public education course approved by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
6. Pass a written examination administered by the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office or an accredited provider.
7. Apply to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for a four-year commission and pay the required fee.

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