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How to Become a Notary in Massachusetts

To become a notary in Massachusetts, you must:

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements detailed in the next section.
  2. Complete a notary public application. Click here to download the application form.
  3. Staple an up-to-date resume to the end of your application.
  4. Staple a business card to the upper left corner of the first page of the application if you have one.
  5. Have the application signed by four persons, one of whom must be a member of the bar in good standing.
  6. Submit the completed and notarized application, with all pages stapled together, to Massachusetts’s Notary Public Office.
  7. When the application is favorably considered, you will receive a notification of appointment from the Secretary of the Commonwealth with instructions to be sworn in and the payment methods for paying the $60 commission fee to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Who can become a notary public in Massachusetts?

To become a notary in Massachusetts, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be at least eighteen years of age.
  2. Reside or have a regular place of work or business within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

This Massachusetts notary guide will help you understand the following:

  • Who can become a notary in Massachusetts
  • How to become a notary in Massachusetts
  • The basic duties of a notary in Massachusetts

How do I renew my notary commission in Massachusetts?

The Secretary of the Commonwealth mails renewal applications automatically to Massachusetts notaries five weeks before a notary’s commission expires. “Renewal applications are not available online” (Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website, “Notary Public Renewal”). If you have not received a renewal application, it may be due to a change of your address. If you do not receive an application, contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The renewal process is the same as the process of becoming a notary.

Who appoints notaries in Massachusetts?

The governor appoints Massachusetts notaries public with the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council. The Secretary of the Commonwealth processes renewal notary applications, updates notaries’ record information, maintains notaries’ appointments, and authenticates their notarial acts. To check the status of a notary application, call (617) 725-4016.

The Office of the Governor and the Secretary of the Commonwealth can be contacted at:

Office of the Governor 
Notary Public Office 
24 Beacon Street, Room 184
State House 
Boston, MA 02133 
(617) 725-4016 

Secretary of the Commonwealth
Public Records Division
Commissions Section
McCormack Building
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 727-2836
Fax: (617) 727-5914

Can a non-resident of Massachusetts apply for a commission as a notary public?

Yes. An individual who is not a resident of Massachusetts may apply for a Massachusetts notary public commission if such an individual has a regular place of work or business within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

How long is a notary public's commission term in Massachusetts?

The commission term of a Massachusetts notary public is seven years unless the commission is revoked earlier or the notary public resigns (MGL c222 §14).

Is notary training or an exam required to become a notary or to renew a notary commission in Massachusetts?

No. New applicants seeking appointments as Massachusetts notaries public and renewing notaries are not required to take and pass any notary course of study or examination to be appointed and commissioned. However, all applicants for a Massachusetts notary public commission must read Chapter 222 of the General Laws, as amended by Chapter 289 of the Acts of 2016, and agree to comply with all its terms.

How much does it cost to become a notary public in Massachusetts?

To become a notary in Massachusetts, you must pay a $60 filing fee to process a notary application. Other expenses include the cost of purchasing:

  1. An official notarial seal or stamp.
  2. A notarial journal.
  3. An errors and omissions insurance policy to protect yourself if you are sued for unintentional mistakes or a false claim is filed against you as a notary. (This step is optional.)

Do I need a notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy to become a notary in Massachusetts?

A notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance policy is optional in Massachusetts and is not required to become a Massachusetts notary public or to renew your notary commission. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that every Massachusetts notary obtain a notary E&O insurance policy. This insurance protects you from a claim if a client sues you as a notary. A notary E&O policy covers unintentional notarial mistakes and pays for legal fees and damages based on the coverage you select as a Massachusetts notary public.

Do I need a notary bond to become a notary in Massachusetts?

No. Massachusetts does not require a notary bond to become a notary public or to renew your notary public commission.

Note: A notary public is liable to any person for damages that result from their negligence, errors, official malfeasance, or omissions. Massachusetts notaries are encouraged to purchase a notary E&O insurance policy to insure themselves against such claims.

Do I need to order a notary stamp in Massachusetts?

Yes. The Massachusetts notary statute requires you to use an official notarial seal or stamp to authenticate all notarial acts. “If a notarial seal that requires ink is employed, black ink shall be used” [MGL c222 §8(b)].

Dimensions: Not specified by state notary statute.

Required Elements: The notarial seal or stamp must include the following:

  1. The notary public’s name exactly as indicated on the commission.
  2. The words “Notary Public.”
  3. The words “Commonwealth of Massachusetts” or “Massachusetts.”
  4. The words “My commission expires (date).”
  5. A facsimile of the seal of the Commonwealth.

The official notarial seal or stamp is the exclusive property of the notary public. A notary public shall not permit another to use their notarial seal or stamp [MGL c222 §8(b)].

To order a Massachusetts notary stampnotary seal, complete notary package, and notary supplies, please visit the American Association of Notaries website at https://www.notarypublicstamps.com/notary-stamps/massachusetts.

How much can a Massachusetts notary public charge for performing notarial acts?

The maximum allowable fees that a Massachusetts notary public may charge for notarial acts are not set by state statutes, except for protests.

Section 23 states, “No fee shall be charged by a notary public to notarize a signature on an absentee ballot identification envelope or other voting materials or any application or claim by a United States military veteran for a pension, allotment, allowance, compensation, insurance or other veterans' benefit” (MGL c222 §23).

Is a notary journal required in Massachusetts?

A notary journal (also known as a record book, log book, or register book) is your first line of defense in proving your innocence if a notarial act you performed is questioned or if you are requested to testify in a court of law about a notarial act you performed in the past. A properly recorded notarial act creates a paper trail that will help investigators locate and prosecute signers who have committed forgery and fraud. Properly recorded notarial acts provide evidence that you followed your state laws and notary’s best practices.


Notary journal requirements in Massachusetts:

  • Traditional Notarizations – A Massachusetts notary performing traditional notarizations is required to maintain an official journal of notarial acts. A journal may be created on a fixed tangible medium or in an electronic format. If the journal is maintained on a tangible medium, it shall be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages. If the journal is maintained in an electronic format, it shall be in a permanent, tamper-evident electronic format complying with the rules of the state secretary, including rules concerning the regular transfer of electronic journal entries to the secretary. A notary public can maintain only one notary journal at a time.
  • Remote Notarizations – Massachusetts notaries will be able to perform notarial acts using communication technology for remotely-located individuals beginning January 2024. The specific requirements of the notary journal have not been published, but a notary journal will be required.


  • A notary journal is not required for a notary public who is an attorney admitted to practice law in any jurisdiction or who is employed by any such attorney.
  • A notary public who works for a government entity is not required to maintain a journal for the notarial acts performed in the course of that employment.

The American Association of Notaries offers a wide variety of notary journals.

Click here to purchase a tangible notary journal.

Click here to become a member and access our electronic notary journal.

What information must Massachusetts notaries record in their notary journals?

For Traditional Notarizations - For every notarial act, except for the issuance of a summons or subpoena or the administration of an oral oath, a Massachusetts notary public is required to record the following information in their notary journal:

  1. The date and time of the notarial act, proceeding or transaction.
  2. The type of notarial act.
  3. The type, title or a description of the document, transaction or proceeding; provided, however, that if multiple documents are signed by the same principal in the course of a transaction or during a single date, a single journal entry shall be sufficient.
  4. The signature and printed name and address of each principal and witness, except that if a principal or witness informs the notary public that the principal or witness is a battered person, the notary public shall make a note in the journal that the person's address shall not be subject to public inspection.
  5. A description of the satisfactory evidence of identity of each person, including:
    • A notation of the type of identification document, the issuing agency, its serial or identification number and its date of issuance or expiration; provided, however, that if the identification number on the document is the person's social security number then, instead of including the number, the notary public shall write in the words “Social Security number” or the acronym “SSN”.
    • A notation if the notary public identified the individual on the oath or affirmation of a credible witness or based on the notary public's personal knowledge of the individual.
  6. The fee, if any, charged for the notarial act.
  7. The address where the notarization was performed.

Where can I perform notarial acts in Massachusetts?

As a Massachusetts notary public, you may perform notarial acts anywhere within the geographic borders of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (MGL c222 §14). You cannot perform notarial acts if you are physically outside the Commonwealth.

What notarial acts can a Massachusetts notary public perform?

A Massachusetts notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (MGL c222 §15a):

  1. Acknowledgments.
  2. Oaths and affirmations.
  3. Jurats.
  4. Signature witnessing.
  5. Copy certifications.
  6. Issuing summonses for witnesses pursuant to Section 1 of Chapter 233.
  7. Issuing subpoenas
  8. Witnessing the opening of a bank safe, vault, or box pursuant to Section 32 of Chapter 167.
  9. Protests

Can I perform electronic notarizations in Massachusetts?

Yes. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has enacted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, Mass. General Laws, Part I, Title XV, Chapter 110G, Section 11, which states: “If a law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath, the requirement is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform those acts, together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law, is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record.” Moreover, Chapter 222, Section 16 prohibits a notary public from performing a notarial act if the principal is not in the notary public’s presence at the time of notarization.

What is the process to become a Massachusetts electronic notary public?

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has neither enacted any electronic notarization provisions into the state notary statute nor adopted/published regulations or established standards and procedures for a notary public’s performance of electronic notarization.

How do I update my address on my Massachusetts notary commission?

Within ten days after a change of your residence, business address, or mailing address, you must send a signed notice of the change and provide both the old and new information (MGL c222 §25) to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. When submitting an address change notification, include your current commission expiration date.

You can also contact the Public Records Division in the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office at (617) 727-2836 to update your notary information.

How do I change my name on my notary commission in Massachusetts?

If your name legally changes while you are a Massachusetts notary public, you must notify the Secretary of the Commonwealth within ten days of the name change (MGL c222 §25). When you submit your name change notification, provide your old and new information and your current commission expiration date.

You can also contact the Public Records Division in the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office at (617) 727-2836 to update your notary information.


January 2023

Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page. Information on this page is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from various sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their states if they have legal questions about how to perform notarial acts.

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety.

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