Several important changes to Michigan notary laws took place April 1, 2004, under the Michigan Notary Public Act (PA 238 of 2003). These are the first comprehensive changes to Michigan's notary statute since 1846.
The new act, MCL 55.261-MCL 55.315, clarifies notary rules and restrictions, revises fees, amends the application process, and creates new notary crimes. A summary of the changes can be found at online.
Highlights include the establishment of statewide appointments, which allows notaries to keep their commissions when moving to different counties within Michigan; an increase in the length of commission (up to 6-7 years); an increase in the allowable amount charged for performing a notarial act (now $10); and the requirement that notary applicants provide a driver's license or other state ID and proof of U.S. citizenship or legal presence before commission is granted.
In addition, under MCL 55.287 of the new rules, immediately following the signature of the notary, the notary must:
"…print, type, stamp or otherwise imprint mechanically or electronically clearly an legibly and in a manner capable of photographic reproduction all of the following:
The name of the notary public exactly as it appears on his or her notary public certificate of appointment.
The statement: "Notary public, State of Michigan, County of _____________." The statement: "My commission expires ________________." The statement: "Acting in the County of ________________." Forms that must be notarized should be updated to meet these requirements.
MCL 55.283 requires that before performing a notarial act, a notary must read the current statute(s) regulating notarial acts. The statute is available from the Michigan Legislature. Violations of PA 238 of 2003 are misdemeanors, punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 of imprisonment for up to one year or both.