To become a Massachusetts notary public, a person must meet all of the requirements listed below:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Reside legally or conduct business on a regular basis within the state of Massachusetts
- Not have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor that resulted in a prison sentence
- Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor associated with a probation or fine
- Not have been convicted of drunk driving
- Not had a notarial commission or professional license revoked, suspended, restricted, or denied by any state
- Not have been convicted of any crime
- Not have had, based on deceit, a finding or admission of liability in a civil lawsuit
Obtaining a Massachusetts notary public commission requires following these steps:
- First, the applicant must meet the eligibility requirements.
- Next, he or she must properly complete and submit a notary application form to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
- The application must be signed by four references, one of which has to be an attorney. Click here to download the application form -
- When the application is favorably considered, the applicant will receive a notification of appointment from the Secretary of the Commonwealth with instructions to be sworn in and pay the required filing fees of $60.
Non-Resident Massachusetts Notary:
Permitted. Non-resident applicants must be employed or conduct business on a regular basis within the State of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Notary Bond:
None required. A notary bond is to protect the public from a notary’s negligence and/or omissions.
Notary Errors & Omissions Insurance:
Optional. A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from his or her official misconduct. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Massachusetts notaries public insure themselves against claims of negligence through the purchase of Notary Errors and Omissions insurance.
A $60 filing fee is required for new and renewal notary applications.
Massachusetts Notary Term:
Notary Commission Renewal:
Five weeks before the commission expires, the notary will receive a renewal notice from the Division of Public Records in the Office of the Secretary of Commonwealth. The application must be completed and returned to the Notary Public Office, which will submit the application to the Governor for reappointment with the advice and consent of the Council. Once reappointed, the notary must take the oath of office within 90 days in order for the commission to be valid.
Massachusetts Notary Stamp/Notary Seal:
Type – embosser or rubber-inked stamp
Ink color – black
Required elements - notary’s name; the words “Notary Public,” “Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” or “Massachusetts”; “my commission expires on (date)” or “commission expires on (date),” and a facsimile of the great seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The notary seal is the exclusive property of the notary and may not be used by any other person.
Required. A notary public is required to keep only one active, permanently bound notary record book with sequentially numbered pages of all notarial acts performed. Legal staff such as paralegals and secretaries who are providing notary services in the context of their employment are exempt from the journal-keeping requirement, although it is recommended as a best practice. For Massachusetts notary supplies, please contact the American Association of Notaries by calling (800) 721-2663 or visiting our website at www.usnotaries.com
Most notary fees are not set by state law. Fees charged for notarial services cannot be unreasonable or unfair.
A Massachusetts notaries have the authority to:
- Take acknowledgments
- Take oaths and affirmations
- Witness signatures
- Certify copies
- Issue summonses for witnesses;
- Issue subpoenas
- Witness the opening of a bank safe, vault, or box
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has not adopted rules and/or procedures for electronic notarizations. However, Massachusetts has enacted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act,Mass. General Laws, Part I, Title XV, Chapter 110G, Section 11, which authorizes a notary’s electronic signature.
Required. A notary must notify the Division of Public Records at (617) 727-2836 within 10 days after the change of his or her residence, business, or mailing address. The notary shall send a signed notice of the change, giving both the old and new addresses.
Required. A notary must notify the Secretary of State within 10 days after the change of his or her name using a re-registration form that can be obtained from the Division of Public Records (617-727-2836). The notary shall send a signed notice of the name change, giving both the old and new names. The Secretary of State will issue a new certificate with the new name.
When a notary public resigns, or when his or her commission expires or is revoked, the notary must destroy or deface all notary seals so that the seals may not be used. A notary must also retain the notarial journal and records for seven years after the date of expiration, resignation, or revocation.
A notary public may not:
- Prepare, draft, select, or give legal advice concerning legal documents or otherwise engage in the practice of law
- Claim to have powers, qualifications, rights, or privileges that the office of notary public does not provide, including the power to counsel on immigration matters
- Notarize a document without the signer being in the notary’s presence
- Use the phrase “notario” or “notario publico” or any equivalent in any business card, advertisement, notice, or sign
- Conduct real estate closings or act as a real estate agent
- Overcharge for notary services
- Notarize a photocopied or faxed signature
- Notarize a document if the signer cannot be identified through satisfactory evidence
- Notarize a document for a signer with a demeanor that causes the notary to have compelling doubt about whether the signer knows the consequences of the document
- Notarize the signature of a signer who is not acting of his or her own free will
- Notarize a document in which he or she has a direct financial or beneficial interest
- Notarize the signature of an immediate family member
- Refuse to provide notary services based on race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, health, disability, or non-customer/non-client status
- Influence a person either to enter into or avoid a transaction regarding a notarial act performed by the notary
- Execute a certificate containing information known or believed by the notary to be false
- Affix an official signature or seal on a notarial certificate that is incomplete
- Provide or send a signed or sealed notarial certificate to another person that will be completed or attached to a document outside the presence of the notary
- Notarize a signature on a blank or incomplete document
- Perform any official act with the intent to deceive or defraud
- Perform a notarial act that is prohibited by executive order or other applicable law
- Certify copies of documents recordable in the public records
Notaries public who commit official misconduct may be subject to criminal liability, which may include the revocation of their notary public commissions.
to view your state's notarial certificates.