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What a Massachusetts Notary Public Does
A notary public is an individual licensed under the authority of the State to serve as impartial witness to events and signatures; to administer oaths of office; to accept affidavits and depositions; to issue subpoenas and summons, and to certify copies of legal documents. Her signature above the seal of her office verifies the aforementioned. In Massachusetts, the process of becoming a notary is neither complicated nor expensive. The term of office is 7 years.
To become a Massachusetts notary public, you must be at least 18 years old. While residency is not a requirement, if you do not live in the state, you must be able to provide evidence that you regularly conduct business in Massachusetts.
At the Governor's Discretion
You must also pass minimum ethical standards that include having a clean criminal and driving record. While there are no hard-and-fast exclusions, the Governor's office can deny licensure if an applicant has a felony conviction; a driving-under-the-influence conviction; previous revocation of another professional license, whether in Massachusetts or another state; or an admission of guilt in a civil matter; or if there are any provable and intentional falsehoods on the candidate's application. The Governor may also deny a license if there are questions of a candidate's character that may cause the Governor of the State to believe that candidate is unfit for office.
To complete an application to become a notary public, download the form from the State website (in Resources). Fill out the form completely, including your name, date and place of birth, address, occupation, contact information, employer, and reasons for application. You will also need to tell whether you have ever had a professional license revoked or whether you have a criminal record. Sign your application and have your signature notarized. Include with your application the names of four people who will attest to your "high standing and character." One of the four must be a member of the Massachusetts Bar. Also include a current resume. Staple all of the pages of the application, references and resume together and mail to: Notary Public Office, Room 184 State House, Boston, MA 02133.
Upon the approval of your application, you will be required to remit a $60 licensing fee. You will also need to purchase the required seal of office.
Linda Emma is a long-standing writer and editor. She is also a digital marketing professional and published author with more than 20 years experience in media and business. She works as a content manager and professional writing tutor at a private New England college. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.