Michigan Notary Public Act of 2003

House Bill 4938, signed into law as Public Act 238 of 2003, and effective as of April 1, 2004, marks the first comprehensive revision of the notary statutes since they were enacted in 1846.

The new law creates the Michigan Notary Public Act:

Extends the length of new appointments by an additional two years, resulting in less data-entry work for the state.

Streamlines the application and appointment process. For example, commissions will now be mailed to applicants upon appointment, rather than going through a two-step process of identification and filing at the county clerk level.

Establishes monthly reporting between county clerks and the Secretary of State.

Allows for use of electronic signatures already on file with the Department of State for future online processing.

Clarifies rules, responsibilities and restrictions.

Specifies "Plain English" notary forms that do not prohibit the use of other notary forms.

Establishes a statewide appointment, which eliminates the need to reapply when moving within the state.

Creates new notary crimes, including sanctions for the notary's employer.