Massachusetts.Notary Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a new notary public? This is a list of our most frequently asked questions about becoming a notary
and what supplies you will need in the state of Massachusetts.

 

Massachusetts Notary Public: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities such as taking acknowledgements, issuing subpoenas, issuing summonses for witnesses, certifying copies, taking oaths or affirmations, witnessing signatures and witnessing the opening or a bank safe, box or vault. A notary can also be referred to as a signing agent.

How can I become a notary?

To become a notary in Massachusetts you must complete the application which requires the signatures of four known members of your community. One of the signatures needs to be from an attorney. Additionally, you must read Chapter 222 of the General Laws, as amended by Chapter 289 of the Acts of 2016 and agree to abide by all of the terms. Once the application has been approved, you will be sworn in with the Secretary of the Commonwealth and you must pay a $60 filing fee.

Types of notarization Massachusetts notaries are authorized to perform:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Jurats
  • Oaths/Affirmations
  • Certify Copies
  • Signature Witnessing
  • Issue summonses for witnesses
  • Issue subpoenas
  • Witness the opening of a bank safe, vault or box

Who can become a notary in Massachusetts?

  • Anyone 18 years of age or older
  • Must legally reside or conduct business on a regular basis in Massachusetts
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor that resulted in a prison sentence
  • Must not have been convicted of a misdemeanor associated with a probation or fine 
  • Must not have been convicted of drunk driving
  • Must not have been convicted of any crime
  • Must not have has a commission or profession license revoked, suspended, restricted or denied in any state
  • Must not have has a finding or admission of liability in a civil lawsuit that was based on deceit

Where can I practice my notary services?

Anywhere in the state of Massachusetts.

Who can I notarize for?

You can notarize for any member of the public who makes a sensible request and meets all the requirements for notarization. For Example: Must have proof of identity and be physically present.

What kind of training do I need?

No training or exam is required in the state of Massachusetts.

Do I need a bond or insurance?

There are no bond or insurance requirements in the state. Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O) is NOT required, but it is recommended for your protection.

What are the upfront costs?

The application filing fee is $60 The price of the bonds and insurance will vary depending on the vendor Prices on Notary Supplies may vary (Notary seal stamps and embossers)

What type of equipment will I need?

  • Notary Seal Stamp or Embosser

Stamp must have black ink that does not bleed during or after use because documents can be rejected due to smudging. Seal impression inker is required for those with an embosser to make your impressions visible for copying official documents. Your notary seal and stamp will contain the following information: Name, Notary Public, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Commission Expiration Date and the Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

  • Notary Records Journal

Journal of notarial acts must be listed in chronological order in a paper format. It is mandatory to use one to keep track of all notarization for your own protection because it makes it harder for pages to be misplaced or removed.

Should I get business cards or marketing materials?

Although not a requirement, if you believe it is helpful for your business to have these, then it is a good idea. If you work for a company as a notary singing agent, then discuss with them if this would be necessary.

Is there legal risk?

Yes, since being a notary grants you certain permissions and responsibilities, there is also the need for insurance which was noted earlier.

How much legal risk will I face?

Risk should be assessed on a case by case basis, but being a notary signing agent comes with the responsibility of fully understanding the risks involved. Having E&O Insurance can potentially reduce your exposure to risk.

How long does my commission last?

A Massachusetts notary term is valid for seven years. You will receive a renewal notice five weeks prior to your commission expiration date.