Massachusetts law about notaries public

Laws, forms, and web sources on being a notary public.

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Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.9, § 15A Change of name and commission expired

MGL c.222 Justices of the peace, notaries public and commissioners

  • Note: Amended by St.2023, c.2, which repealed temporary "virtual" electronic notarization measures put in place during COVID-19, and enacted remote online notarization. (Effective Jun. 27, 2023 & Jan. 1, 2024)

Falsifying

MGL c.268, § 33 Pretending to be a notary public

Recorded instruments

St.2016, c.289 An act regulating notaries public to protect consumers and the validity and effectiveness of recorded instruments 

Fees of notaries public

MGL c.262, § 41 Fees that notaries may charge

Uniform electronic transactions

MGL c.110G, § 11 Fulfillment of notarization, acknowledgement, verification, or oath requirements

Witnessing the opening of a bank safe, vault or box

MGL c.167, § 32 Property deposited with bank; disposition

Issuing witness summons

MGL c.233, § 1 Issuance of summonses for witnesses

Selected cases

Richardson v. The UPS Store, Inc., 486 Mass. 126 (2020)
"The $1.25 fee cap set forth in G. L. c. 262, § 41, applies only to a particular notarial act known as "noting," i.e., a step in the process of protesting a dishonored negotiable instrument." It does not limit the fees for any other act by notaries.

Forms

To become a notary

For use by notaries

Notary journal

"A journal may be created on a fixed tangible medium or in an electronic format. If the journal is maintained on a tangible medium, it shall be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages. If the journal is maintained in an electronic format, it shall be in a permanent, tamper-evident electronic format complying with the rules of the state secretary, including rules concerning the regular transfer of electronic journal entries to the secretary." -- MGL c.222, § 22 (effective June 27, 2023)

Regardless of the kind of medium you use, you must record all the information required by law. Available at the State BookstoreSee Public Records.

Web sources

Apostilles and certificates of documents, Mass. Secretary of State.
Explains the process for getting an Apostille or Certification for a notarized document going to a foreign country. Also explains in plain language the four types of notarial acts.

Becoming a notary public, Mass. Governor.
Includes information on applying to become a notary public, and finding a notary public.

Find a notary public, Mass. Governor.
Places to look for a notary.

Massachusetts notary public, Massachusetts Notary Public & Legal Support Network.
This site has more valuable information on notaries in Massachusetts than any other site we've found. Includes duties, oaths, forms, applicable laws and more.

Memo re: Repeal of electronic notarization as authorized by section 12 of chapter 22 of the acts of 2022 and enactment of "Remote online notarization", Chief Title Examiner, Mass. Land Court. (Issued: March 31, 2023)

Notary fees by state, National Notary Association.
Each state sets the fees that notaries can charge. Notaries may charge any fee (or none) up to the maximum allowed.

Properly disposing of expired notary stamps and seals, Notaries.com (April 18, 2019 / Notary Association of America) Steps to destroy notary materials.

Questions about notaries public? Here’s who to contact, Mass. Governor.
Several offices oversee different aspects of notaries public.

What if I need to have something notarized?, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, February 2022.
Discusses what getting a document notarized means, how do I find a notary, what do I need to give to the notary, how much does it cost and what if the notary says it costs more.

What is a notary public?, National Notary Association. 

What to do with old notary seals, National Notary Association, Notary Bulletin (by David Thun, updated 12-31-2021)
Tips on destroying your notary seal.

Print sources

Legal forms, 5th ed. (Mass. Practice v. 16-16A) West Group, 2008 with supplement.
Chapter 43 Notarizations, Chapter 92 Acknowledgments. 

Massachusetts-Statutory Forms of Acknowledgment for Notary Public, 1 AmJur Legal Forms 2d Sections 7:173-7:183 (Individual, Corporation, Partnership, Attorney-In-Fact, Executor or Administrator, Trustee, and Guardian or Conservator).

Contact for Massachusetts law about notaries public

Last updated: May 22, 2023

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