Notary Public Law Took Effect April 1, 2004
by Lisa Martinuzzi
The Michigan State Legislature has adopted the Michigan Notary Public Act (Notary Act 2003 PA 23). The Notary Act took effect on April 1, 2004 and sets forth several changes to the current law. Of particular importance is the inclusion of a provision for employer liability in the event that the notary public was acting within the scope of his employment, and his misconduct was known and consented to or permitted by the employer.
A copy of the Notary Act can be obtained at the Michigan Legislature website at www.mileg.org. Please review the law with your employees and implement any necessary policy changes so as to be in compliance with the Act. And, of course, be sure to consult legal counsel about any questions you may have regarding the Notary Act.
Here are a few highlights of the new law:
1. Before performing a notarial act on or after April 1, 2004, the notary public must first read the Notary Act.
2. A notary public must not perform any notarial act on a document that contains a blank space.
3. In witnessing a signature, the person named in the document must sign the document in the presence of the notary public. Before acknowledging a signature, the notary must personally know the individual signing the documents, or require identification that contains the person’s photograph and signature.
4. The permitted fee for the notarial act has increased from $2 to $10 per act. A notary public must advise the person signing the documents of the fee before the notarial act is performed.
5. The notary public shall print, type, or stamp the following information on each document that is acknowledged, near the notary’s signature:
The name of the notary public exactly as it appears on his or her notary public certificate of appointment.
Notary public, State of Michigan, County
My commission expires___________________.
Acting in the County of____________________.
6. All records of notarial acts must be maintained by the notary for at least 5 years after the date of the notarial act.
7. The length of the notary’s commission is 6 to 7 years, depending on the date of the appointment and the notary’s birthday.
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