Notaries Public

What is a Notary Public?

A notary public is an officer commissioned by the Michigan Secretary of State to serve as an unbiased and impartial witness. The most common function of the notary is to prevent fraud by attesting to the identity of a person signing a document. Notarization on a document certifies that the person whose signature is entered on the document appeared before the notary, established his or her identity, and personally signed the document. Every citizen appointed as a notary has a duty to learn the notarial laws on their own initiative.  Before a notary performs any notarial act, the notary is required to read the Notary Public Act, 2003 PA 238 (MCL 55.261 to 55.315) and the Uniform Recognition of Acknowledgments Act, 1969 PA 57 (MCL 565.261 to 565.270).  Electronic copies of both acts are available at:

Who can be qualified for this position?

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be a Michigan resident or maintain a place of business in Michigan;
  • Be a US citizen or possess proof of legal presence;
  • Be a resident of the county in which you request appointment;
  • For non-Michigan residents, maintain a principle place of business in the county where you request appointment;
  • Read and write in the English language;
  • Be free of any felony convictions within the past 10 years;
  • Have not been convicted of 2 or more misdemeanor offenses involving a violation of the Michigan Notary Public Act (2003 PA 238) within a 12-month period while commissioned, or 3 or more misdemeanor offenses involving a violation of this act within a 5-year period regardless of being commissioned;
  • Not be imprisoned in any state, county, or federal correctional facility.

How does a citizen apply or renew a notary certificate?

The person must appear at the County Clerk’s Office with a picture ID to:

  1. Submit a completed application available online through the State of Michigan. . They will not accept handwritten applications, they must be completed online. Bring your completed application into the Clerks Office.
  2. Submit a $10,000 surety bond (available through insurance agencies or bonding companies) to be kept on file at the Clerk’s Office.
  3. Submit the appropriate fee
  4. Once the filing requirements at the county level are finished, the completed application  is sent with a $10.00 non-refundable processing fee to the State of Michigan at the following address:
    Michigan Department of State
    Office of the Great Seal
    7064 Crowner Blvd.
    Lansing, MI 48918

    Do not send cash; please send a check or money order payable to the "State of Michigan".

  • To ensure that your appointment is accurately made without delay, please print or type your name as you wish to be commissioned on line 3 of the application. Your signature mustmatch the name that has been printed on line 3 as your commissioned name. This is the signature that you will use when notarizing documents. If your signature is not legible, please print your name next to it so that we are assured that line 3 and your signature match.
  • To avoid delays in processing your notary public application, please be advised that your current address must match on both the application and your driver's license or personal identification card that you have on file with the Secretary of State. 

How much does this application cost?


Methods of payment accepted

  • Cash
  • Local Dickinson County check (no Out of County checks)
  • Money orders
    Please make checks and money orders payable to: “Dickinson County Clerk”
  • MasterCard/Visa
     Credit card payments must include:  Full Name on Card, Card Number & Expiration Date (MM/YY), 3-Digit V-Code & Billing Address.