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In this comprehensive guide on how to become a notary in Massachusetts, we lay out the roadmap to achieving this goal. With easy-to-follow, actionable steps, we’ll help you navigate this intriguing process, turning the complex into the simple.
Whether you’re looking to serve your community or generate additional income, this article will offer everything you need to know to get started.
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Become a Notary in Massachusetts
In order to become a notary public in Massachusetts, you will need to complete a few simple steps.
Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements
First and foremost, make sure you meet the essential Massachusetts notary requirements:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must be a legal resident of Massachusetts or have a regular place of work or business in the state
Keep in mind that the Massachusetts governor has a certain degree of discretion when it comes to denying applications.
In accordance with statutory law, this can be done if an applicant has been convicted of an offense that:
- Resulted in a prison sentence
- Was a result of fraud or deceit
Meeting these basic requirements is your starting point. Once you’ve confirmed that you satisfy them, you will be able to proceed with the next steps.
Step 2: Complete Massachusetts’ Education Requirements
Even though the state of Massachusetts does not require prospective notaries to take an online course or sit an exam in order to submit an application, there are still some pre-application requirements that you will need to follow.
Specifically, you will need to read Chapter 222 of the General Laws, as amended by Chapter 289 of the Acts of 2016, and agree with all of its terms.
You can find the specific chapter and statute on the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ website.
Note: Even though a third-party course is not a requirement, it’s still recommended. This is because it can go a long way in helping you get accustomed to the notary laws of your state, as well as give you scope in relation to how you will be operating on a day to day basis.
For all of your Massachusetts notary training course needs, StateRequirement recommends Notary.net
Step 3: Complete Your Notary Public Application Form
After you’ve made sure that you satisfy all of Massachusetts’ qualifying requirements, you will need to complete your notary public application. This can only be done by mail.
You will need to include your personal information, including your:
- Legal name, address, phone number, and date of birth
- Current occupation
- Name of current employer
- Length of residence in Massachusetts
- Previous residences for the past 10 years
The application form entails four pages; page three will need to be notarized by an already-commissioned notary public before you submit it.
The last page is for your references; you will need to provide four references of “known and respected members” of your community. This will need to be signed under penalty of perjury.
Step 4: Submit Your Notary Application
After your application is complete, you will need to staple all four pages together alongside an up-to-date resume and a business card (if applicable).
You will then need to mail it to the following address:
Notary Public Office
24 Beacon St.
Room 184, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Your notice of approval will be mailed to you within 18 days. This date is provided on your application form. If approved, the Secretary of the Commonwealth will email you with the notification of your appointment (including directions for being sworn in).
The instructions will also include how you will go about paying the $60 processing fee for your notary commission (this is only paid if you are accepted).
Note: For information relating to renewing your commission, we recommend contacting the Public Records Division in the Secretary of State’s Office at (617) 727-2836.
Step 5: Protect Yourself With Errors and Omissions Insurance
While not required by law, it’s a good idea to consider protecting yourself with Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance.
This type of insurance provides coverage for any potential mistakes or omissions that you might make as you perform notarial acts.
It’s an extra layer of protection that can give you peace of mind while operating for a relatively low opportunity cost.
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Step 6: Equip Yourself With the Necessary Supplies
Once your notary commission is approved, you will need to set yourself up with the necessary notary supplies.
These include a notary stamp or seal and a Massachusetts notary journal.
The official notarial seal is used to authenticate any notarial acts performed, while the record book is for logging all the services that you provide as a notary.
Recommended: Interested in getting started? We recommend having a look at notary.net’s affordable and state-specific notary supplies package.
How to Become a Notary in Massachusetts FAQ
How do I become a certified public notary in Massachusetts?
To become a certified Massachusetts notary public, you must be at least 18 years old and live or work in the state. You’ll need to complete an application, which will entail submitting four character references and an up-to-date resume. Keep in mind that certain parts of the application form will need to be notarized.
How much can notaries charge in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, notaries have statutory limits when performing notarial acts. They can charge $1 for protesting a bill, order, draft, check or promissory note of $500 or more; this is 50 cents if it’s less than $500. Recording costs 50 cents, and noting non-acceptance/non-payment costs 75 cents. The cost of a non-payment notice is 25 cents.
What type of notary makes the most money?
Loan signing agents often make the most money among different types of notaries. This is because, as a signing agent, you will facilitate loan closings, particularly in real estate transactions, which can yield higher fees due to the complexity and volume of the paperwork involved. For more information, have a look at our How to Become a Notary in Massachusetts article.
Do notaries get paid in Massachusetts?
Yes, notaries in Massachusetts do get paid for their notary services. They can charge a state-approved fee per signature, and may also charge reasonable travel fees. However, it’s important for notaries to disclose any fees upfront to the signers and maintain a record of all transactions as they conduct business. See our How to Become a Notary article for more information.
For all related articles, have a look at our How to Become a Notary page.