How to Become a Mississippi Notary
The Mississippi Notary Process:
Are you interested in becoming a Mississippi notary? Are you interested in generating extra income as a notary, starting your own Mississippi notary business, adding a Mississippi notary title to your resume, or helping to notarize documents for people in your community? Mississippi notaries are appointed by the state to serve the public as an unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. The process to become a notary in Mississippi a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the state notary law requirements listed below, you can apply to become a Mississippi notary. The American Association of Notaries can help you with the Mississippi notary application process from start to finish, and when your application is approved, we can manufacture your notary stamp and notary supplies and provide you with support during your Mississippi notary commission term so you can fulfill your notary duties accurately. The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994. We can help you, too, become a notary!
This guide will help you understand:
- The process to become a Mississippi notary
- Who can become a Mississippi notary
- Basic Mississippi notary duties
What are the qualifications to become a Mississippi notary?
To become a notary in Mississippi, a notary applicant must meet all of the requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Be a citizen or legal resident of the United States.
- Be a resident of the State of Mississippi and have resided in the county of residence for at least thirty days prior to the submission of the application.
- Be able to read and write the English language,
- Not have been convicted of a felony.
What is the process to become a Mississippi notary?
To become a Mississippi notary public and receive a Mississippi notary public commission, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements listed in the next section.
- Complete an application with the Secretary of State online, print it, and have it notarized.
- Pay a $25 application fee.
- Purchase a $5,000 surety bond.
- Take the oath of office before a notary public.
- Forward the notarized application, together with the $5,000 bond, the oath of office, and the $25 filing fee to the Secretary of State.
The Secretary of State forwards the application to the Governor for approval. After the Governor approves the application, the Secretary of State mails a commission certification to the notary applicant when all the required documents have been filed and are in order.
Can a non-resident become a notary in Mississippi?
No. A notary applicant who is not a resident of Mississippi does not qualify for a Mississippi notary public commission.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Mississippi?
A Mississippi notary applicant’s expenses include the cost for the following: (1) a $25 filing fee to process the application for appointment or reappointment; (2) a $5,000 surety bond; (3) a notary seal; (4) a notary journal; and (5) an E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to acquire one for his or her legal protection.
How do I renew my Mississippi notary commission?
A current Mississippi notary public may submit an application to be recommissioned ninety days prior to the expiration of his or her existing commission and must follow the same procedures required for a new appointment.
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become a Mississippi notary public or to renew my Mississippi notary public commission?
No. Mississippi state law does not require a course of study or testing to become a notary public in the state of Mississippi. However, all notary applicants for a Mississippi notary public commission are encouraged by the Secretary of State to “comply with the statutes governing Mississippi Notary Acts,….” as stated on their FAQ for the requirements of becoming a notary public in Mississippi.
Can I perform electronic notarization in Mississippi?
The State of Mississippi has not adopted rules and/or procedures for electronic notarizations. However, Mississippi has enacted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, Mississippi Code Annotated, Title 75, Chapter 12, Sections 75-12-1 through 75-12-39. Section 75-12-21 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.” In addition, Mississippi has enacted the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act that includes, “A requirement that a document or a signature associated with a document be notarized, acknowledged, verified, witnessed, or made under oath is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform that act, and all other information required to be included, is attached to or logically associated with the document or signature. A physical or electronic image of a stamp, impression, or seal need not accompany an electronic signature” (MCA 89-5-105[c]).
Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Mississippi?
No. Currently, Mississippi notaries public are prohibited from performing remote notarizations. Pursuant to the Mississippi Administrative Code, Title 1, Part 5, Chapter 1, Rule 1.5 definitions, “appears in person before the notary” means that the principal and the notary are physically close enough to see, hear, communicate with, and give identification documents to each other.”
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Mississippi?
The term of office of a Mississippi notary public is four years commencing with the date specified in the commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void: (1) by resignation; (2) by death; (3) by revocation; (4) when the notary public ceases to reside in Mississippi; or (5) when the notary is no longer a citizen or legal resident of the United States.
Is a Mississippi notary bond required to become a notary in Mississippi?
Yes. A surety bond in the amount of $5,000 is required for new and renewing notaries public. The surety bond must be issued by a surety licensed by the Mississippi Department of Insurance. To purchase a Mississippi surety bond, please visit the American Association of Notaries’ website at www.usnotaries.com or call 800.721.2663.
Do I need a Mississippi notary errors and omission insurance?
A Mississippi errors and omissions insurance policy is optional. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Mississippi notaries public obtain errors and omissions insurance for their personal protection against liability. Errors and omission insurance is designed to protect notaries public from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial damages to the public or a document signer. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a Mississippi notary public selects. To purchase an E&O insurance policy, please visit the American Association of Notaries’ website at www.usnotaries.com or call 800.721.2663.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Mississippi?
Mississippi notaries public have statewide jurisdiction, and they must be physically within the geographic borders of the state of Mississippi. While Mississippi notaries may notarize in any county within Mississippi, their official notary seal must show the county of their residence in Mississippi.
Who appoints Mississippi notaries public?
The Governor of Mississippi technically appoints Mississippi notaries public, and the Secretary of State administers the application process, maintains all the records pertaining to these notaries, and authenticates their acts.To contact the Mississippi Secretary of State:
Secretary of State
Business Services Division
P.O. Box 136
Jackson, MS 39205-0136
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Mississippi?
Yes. Mississippi notary law requires all Mississippi notaries public to use a sharp, legible, and photographically reproducible ink impression of the notarial seal to authenticate all notarial acts. Section 25-33-3 of the Mississippi Code Annotated and the Mississippi Administrative Code, Title 1, Part 5, Chapter 5, Rule 5.20 provides the legal specifications regarding the layout and the information required on all official notarial seals.
Dimensions: Be round with a border in a circular shape with a diameter no less than one and one-half inches and no larger than two and one-half inches, surrounding the required words.
Required Elements: The official seal of a Mississippi notary public must contain the following elements arranged in the manner described (MCA 25-33-3):
On the Margin:
- The notary’s name exactly as indicated on the commission
- The words "State of Mississippi”
- Name of County (notary’s county of residence)
On the Center:
- The identification number of the notary’s commission
- The words "Notary Public"
- The words "Commission Expires:_______"
Note: An embosser seal with the required elements may be used, but not in lieu of the rubber ink stamp. If the notary seal is stolen, the notary must notify the Secretary of State within ten days and provide a copy or number of any pertinent police report.
Is a notary journal required in Mississippi?
Yes. Every Mississippi notary public is required to keep, maintain, protect, and provide for lawful inspection a chronological official journal of notarial acts in a permanently bound book with numbered pages. A notary shall keep no more than one active journal at the same time. If the record book is stolen, lost, destroyed, damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable, the notary must notify the Secretary of State within ten days by any means providing a tangible receipt or acknowledgment with a copy of the police report. For Mississippi notary supplies, please visit the American Association of Notaries’ website at www.usnotaries.com or call 800.721.2663.
How much can a Mississippi notary charge for performing notarial acts?
“Notaries public may charge a fee in an amount of not less than two dollars ($2.00) normore than five dollars ($5.00) for services rendered” (MCA §25-7-29). The maximum allowable fees that a Mississippi notary public can charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- Acknowledgments - $5.00 per signature
- Oaths or affirmations without a signature - $5.00 per person
- Jurats - $5.00 per signature
- Witnessing or attesting a signature - $5 per signature
Note: A notary public may charge a travel fee when traveling to perform a notarial act if: (1) the notary and the person requesting the notarial act agree upon the travel fee in advance of the travel and (2) the notary explains to the person requesting the notarial act that the travel fee is both separate from the notarial fee and neither specified nor mandated by law. Notaries who charge for their notarial services shall conspicuously display in their places of business, or present to each principal outside their places of business, an English-language schedule fee for notarial acts.
What notarial acts can a Mississippi notary public perform?
A Mississippi notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (MCA 25-33-11 and 25-33-9; 1 MAC Pt. 5, Chapter 5, Rule 5.1A):
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Execute jurats
- Witness signatures
- Perform any other acts authorized by law
How do I update my address for my Mississippi notary commission?
Within thirty days after the change of a Mississippi notary’s residence, business, or mailing address, the notary must file with the Secretary of State a signed notice of the change, giving both old and new addresses on their prescribed form along with a filing fee of $20. If the notary moves to a new county, the notary must obtain a new seal or stamp showing the new county of residence. Click here to download the Application for Change of Notary Address form.
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Mississippi?
Mississippi notaries public whose names have legally changed during the term of their notary public commissions are required to notify the Secretary of State. These notaries must send to the Secretary of State a signed notice of the change, giving both former and new names, with a copy of any official authorization for such change on an Application for Change of Notary Name Form NP 005 with a filing fee of $20. A notary public with a new name shall continue to use the former name in performing notarial acts until the preceding steps have been completed, at which point the notary shall use the new name, obtain a new seal bearing the new name, and obtain a new surety bond with the new name. Click here to download the Application for Change of Notary Name form.
Revised: June 2019
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 the information from a variety of 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.