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E-Mail:   Korey@IPS-Notary.com

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Massachusetts Notary Public
"We're not your average notary!"

Duties --- About Notaries--- Oaths of Office --- Notary Certificates---Subpoena/Summons

Verify Status of Notary---Applicable Laws --- Memberships 





NOTICE:  We are not the commissioning authority for Notaries Public in Massachusetts and are not responsible for granting or renewing notary public commissions. To reach the Notary Public Department of the Governor's Office, please call:  (617) 727-2836

This Network provides the following:

(1) provides information concerning the duties of a Massachusetts Notary Public;
(2) verifies the status of those Notaries Public who are members of this Network;
(3) acts as a referral service for members who provide notary services;  and
(4) provides mobile Notary Public services throughout Massachusetts.






OFFICIAL DUTIES

Issue Subpoenas
M.R.C.P. 45
Issue Summonses M.G.L. c. 233 § 1
Take Acknowledgments M.G.L. c. 222 § 1
Jurat's (Affidavit) Exec. Ord. 455 (04-04)
Take Testimony (Depositions) M.G.L. c. 233 § 46, et. al.
Administer Oath/Affirmation M.G.L. c. 222 § 1
Signature Witness Exec. Ord. 455 (04-04)
Open Safe Deposit Boxes / Vaults M.G.L. c. 158 § 17
Certify Copies of Documents Exec. Ord. 455 (04-04)
Protest's / Notice's of Dishonor M.G.L. c. 107 § 13

 




ABOUT NOTARIES PUBLIC

About Notaries Public

A Massachusetts Notary Public is a public officer and servant appointed under authority of law with power, among other things, to execute the above listed authority on behalf of the Commonwealth.

The notary is appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of his council. As set forth in Article IV of the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth, a person commissioned as a notary public may perform notarial acts in any part of the Commonwealth for a term of seven years, unless the commission is earlier revoked or the notary resigns.

In Massachusetts, a notary public has the same authority as a district court judge in issuing a subpoena or summons to compel a witness to appear before the notary to testify. The subpoenas or summonses may also compel a witness to appear in front of another notary public or justice of the peace, magistrate, arbitrator, government agency or court of law to testify. Notaries may issue subpoenas to order a person or entity to produce evidence for use at a trial or other hearing.

In addition, when you appear before a notary public and take an oath or affirmation, the oath or affirmation is as powerful as if it were made before a judge. If a person swears or affirms information in front of a notary public and is found to be lying, he or she can be charged with perjury which is a serious criminal offense.

In accordance with the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure and all other relevant laws, notaries public may take depositions and perpetuate testimony. A deposition is sworn testimony taken out of court that is presided over by an officer authorized to administer oaths (notary public, justice of the peace, etc.).

A notary may witness documents for use in other states and nations providing that the officer is physically in Massachusetts when performing the notarial act.

If a notary is simply notarizing the signature on an important document, the signer must appear before (in front of) the notary and produce satisfactory evidence of identification. If the signer is known to the notary, however, he or she does not need to produce proper identification because the notary's personal knowledge of the signers identity is considered "satisfactory evidence".  After the signer is properly identified by the notary public, and if the notary feels that the document is being signed freely and voluntarily, the notary will then notarize the signer's signature and fill out a notarial certificate (see below). In most cases, the signer will have to sign a book/journal that is a public record kept by the notary public that contains a detailed description of your identity and type of document being signed/witnessed.

I
n 2003 former Governor Mitt Romney issued Executive Order 455 (04-04) which commands the notaries public of the Commonwealth to act and perform their duties in a mandatory way. The order clarifies the duties and responsibilities of the public officer and guides the notary every step of the way in executing his/her official duties.
 
 
Korey Humphreys' Official Notary Public Seal
 
 

QUALIFYING OATHS OF OFFICE
Governor Deval Patrict taking the Qualifying Oaths of Office

Massachusetts law requires that every applicant applying to become a Notary Public must take the Qualifying Oaths of Office within three months from the date of his or her  appointment. The applicant must take the following Qualifying Oaths of Office, before acting in the capacity of a Massachusetts Notary Public:


"I, (name), do solemnly swear (affirm) that I will bear true faith and allegiance
 to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will support the constitution
 thereof, so help me God (this I do under the pains and penalties of perjury)."


"I, (name), do solemnly swear (affirm), that I will faithfully and impartially
discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as a notary public
according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably, to the rules
and regulations of the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth,
so help me God (this I do under the pains and penalties of perjury)."


"I, (name), do solemnly swear (affirm) that I will support the
Constitution of the United States."



Appointees may take the qualifying oaths at the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth located in the State House in Boston Massachusetts. Two Commissioners to Qualify Public Officers must administer the oaths and issue the commission certificate and a wallet identification card, which contains the commission expiration date.

If the appointee is unable to go to the State House to take the qualifying oaths, he or she can arrange to take the oaths in a more convenient location.

Once the appointee takes the qualifying oaths, he or she will be able to exercise the authority granted to Notaries Public in Massachusetts. The person will now be a sworn public official of and for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The new notary public should study the notary laws and perform his or her duties in full compliance with Executive Order 455 (04-04). Failure to comply with the law could result in the revocation of the commission and/or civil or criminal liability.




REVISED MASSACHUSETTS NOTARIAL CERTIFICATES
 
Former Governor Mitt Romney has issued Executive Order 455 (04-04) that clarifies the duties and conduct of the Commonwealth's appointed Notaries Public. The order requires that the notaries use state-specific notarial certificates (see examples below). 
 
A notary public must use the certificates depicted in the Order (or one substantially the same) unless if the following applies, as mandated pursuant to Exec. Ord. 455 (04-04) § 5:
(j) This section does not require a notary public to use the forms set forth above if the form of acknowledgment, jurat, signature witnessing, or copy certification is required or allowed by the provisions of any court rule or court forms; a Massachusetts General Law, including but not limited to, chapter 183 § 42 or the forms set forth in the appendix thereto, or chapter 192 § 2; any Federal statute; or any regulation adopted pursuant to any such Massachusetts or Federal statute.
 
(k) This section does not require a notary public to use the forms set forth above if the form of acknowledgment, jurat, signature witnessing, or copy certification if a document contains an alternative form from another State if the document is to be filed or recorded in, or governed by the laws of that other State.
 
(l) This section does not require a notary public to use the forms set forth above if the form of acknowledgment, jurat, signature witnessing, or copy certification appears on a printed form that contains an express prohibition against altering that form.

Definitions of the most common notarial acts, pursuant to Exec. Ord. 455 (04-04) § 2, and examples of each corresponding notary certificate:

"Acknowledgment" shall mean a notarial act in which an individual, at a single time and place:

(a) appears in person before the notary public and presents a document;

(b) is identified by the notary public through satisfactory evidence of identity; and

(c) indicates to the notary public that the signature on the document was voluntarily affixed by the individual for the purpose stated within the document and, if applicable, that the individual had authority to sign in a particular representative capacity.

Example:
Massachusetts Acknowledgment


"Copy certification" shall mean a notarial act in which a notary public:

(a) is presented with a document;

(b) copies or supervises the copying of the document using a photographic or electronic copying process;

(c) compares the document to the copy; and

(d) determines that the copy is accurate and complete.

Example:
Massachusetts Copy Certification


"Jurat" means a notarial act in which an individual, at a single time and place:

(a) appears in person before the notary public and presents a document;

(b) is identified by the notary public through satisfactory evidence of identity;

(c) signs the document in the presence of the notary public; and

(d) takes an oath or affirmation before the notary vouching for the truthfulnees or accuracy of the signed document.

Example:

Massachusetts Jurat



"Signature witnessing" shall mean a notarial act in which an individual, at a single time and place:

(a) appears in person before the notary public and presents a document;

(b) is identified by the notary public through satisfactory evidence of identity; and

(c) signs the document in the presence of the notary public.

Example:

Massachusetts Signature Witness

For your convenience, we have created a template of each new notarial certificate that can be easily downloaded into Microsoft Word® format by visiting our
download center.


ISSUANCE OF A SUBPOENA OR SUMMONS
Supreme Court Flag 
A Massachusetts Notary Public has the authority to issue subpoenas. A subpoena may be issued to order a person to do any of the following:

                1.    appear at court to give testimony (subpoena ad testificandum);

                2.    appear before a notary public, justice of the peace, or other officer authorized to
                        administer oaths, at the taking of a deposition (deposition subpoena);

                3.    produce books, papers, documents, or other tangible things that may be used
                        during a trial or hearing (subpoena duces tecum);

                4.    appear at a court or at a deposition AND produce books, papers, documents, or
                        other tangible things that may be used as evidence.
 

A Massachusetts Notary Public may also issue subpoenas that can command a person to appear before a hearing officer who is working for a state agency such as the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). DTA subpoenas are issued in accordance with
106 CMR 343.360(B). 

Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 233 § 1, a notary public, justice of the peace, or clerk of court, may issue summonses for witnesses in all cases pending before courts, magistrates, auditors, referees, arbitrators or other persons authorized to examine witnesses, and at hearings upon applications for complaints wherein a person may be charged with the commission of a crime. However, a notary public or justice of the peace shall not issue summonses for witnesses in criminal cases except upon the request of the attorney general, district attorney or other person who acts in the case in behalf of the commonwealth or of the defendant.

The average notary public will never be asked to issue a subpoena or summons because it's a task that should be completed by a legal professional who is familiar with the court rules that detail how a subpoena or summons shall be issued. If the subpoena or summons fails to comply with a court rule or agency rule, the court or agency may invalidate it.

Since our Network has degreed paralegals and licensed attorneys available, we can issue your subpoena or summons that will comply with the applicable laws/rules. This Network considers our notaries public to be"legal notaries" and not just "average notaries" because our notaries public also work as legal support professionals (i.e., paralegals) and have been trained in the law. (Notice: the two titles above are not official titles. They are used by our Network members only.)

If you need a subpoena or summons issued, please click here and fill out the form. We will promptly respond to you and arrange for your subpoena or summons to be issued and served.


Failure by any person without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena
 issued and served upon him may be deemed a contempt of the court
 in which the action is pending.



 Jobs in which nobody understands what you do.


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VERIFY STATUS OF NOTARY PUBLIC
State House in Boston, MA

If you need to verify the status of a Massachusetts Notary Public, or have questions about the notary public process and duties, please call the Notary Public Department of the Governor's Office at:

(617) 727-2836

You may also write to the Notary Public Office at the following address:

Notary Public Office, Room 184
State House
Boston, MA 02133




APPLICABLE NOTARY LAWS


All notaries public serving for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must read, understand and comply with Executive Order 455 (04-04) as amended, "Standards of Conduct for Notaries Public".

The General Laws of Massachusetts     

M.G.L. c. 222 § 1: Appointment and Jurisdiction:

Justices of the peace and notaries public shall be appointed, and their commissions shall be issued, for the commonwealth, and they shall have jurisdiction throughout the commonwealth when acting under the sole authority of such a commission. Unless otherwise expressly provided they may administer oaths or affirmations in all cases in which an oath or affirmation is required, and take acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments.

M.G.L. c. 222 § 8: Acknowledgment of Instrument; Printed or Typed Name; Expiration Date:
A justice of the peace or notary public, when taking acknowledgment of any instrument provided by law to be recorded, shall print or type his name directly below his signature and affix thereto the date of the expiration of his commission in the following language: "My commission expires ____". Failure to comply with this section shall not affect the validity of any instrument, or the record thereof.

M.G.L. c. 222 § 8A: Duty to Print Name Below Signature on Probate Matters:
A justice of the peace, notary public or other person duly authorized, when taking an acknowledgment or administering an oath with relation to an instrument filed in a proceeding in the probate court shall print or type his name directly below his signature thereon. Failure to comply with this section shall not affect the validity of any instrument or the record thereof.

M.G.L. c. 222 § 9: Acting as Notary After Expiration of Commission:
Whoever presumes to act as a justice of the peace or notary public after expiration of his commission, and after receiving notice of such expiration, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars.

M.G.L. c. 222 § 10: Destruction of Notary's Records; Penalty:
Whoever knowingly destroys, defaces or conceals the records or official papers of a notary public shall forfeit not more than one thousand dollars and be liable for damages to any person injured thereby.

M.G.L. c. 222 § 12: Exemptions From Maintaining Journal of Notary Transactions:
Notwithstanding any general law, rule, regulation or order to the contrary, attorneys-at-law and counselors-at-law as well as paralegal, legal secretaries and other legal staff, who by virtue of their employment perform notary duties shall be exempt from maintaining a journal of their notary transactions.

M.G.L. c. 268 § 33: Falsely Assuming to be Notary Public or Other Officers:
Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be a justice of the peace, notary public, sheriff, deputy sheriff, medical examiner, associate medical examiner, constable, police officer, probation officer, or examiner, investigator or other officer appointed by the registrar of motor vehicles, or inspector, investigator or examiner for the department of telecommunications and energy, or investigator or other officer of the alcoholic beverages control commission, or investigator or other official of the bureau of special investigations, or examiner, investigator or other officer of the department of revenue, and acts as such or requires a person to aid or assist him in a matter pertaining to the duty of such officer, shall be punished by a fine of not more than four hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

M.G.L. c. 267 § 1: False or Forged Records or Certificates of Notary Public:
Whoever, with intent to injure or defraud, falsely makes, alters, forges or counterfeits a public record, or a certificate, return or attestation of a clerk of a court, public register, notary public, justice of the peace, town clerk or any other public officer. . . shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years or in jail for not more than two years.

M.G.L. c. 233 § 1: Issuance of Summonses for Witnesses:
A clerk of court of record, a notary public or a justice of the peace may issue summonses for witnesses in all cases pending before courts, magistrates, auditors, referees, arbitrators or other persons authorized to examine witnesses, and at all hearings upon applications for complaints wherein a person may be charged with the commission of a crime; but a notary public or a justice of the peace shall not issue summonses for witnesses in criminal cases except upon request of the attorney general, district attorney or other person who acts in the case in behalf of the commonwealth or of the defendant. If the summons is issued at the request of the defendant that fact shall be stated therein. The summons shall be in the form heretofore adopted and commonly used, but may be altered from time to time like other writs.

M.G.L. c. 233 § 26: Notice of Taking Deposition:
After service of process in an action, or after a submission to arbitrators or referees, either party may apply to a justice of the peace or a notary public, who shall issue a notice to the adverse party to appear and propose interrogatories before said justice or any other justice of the peace or before said notary or any other notary public at the time and place appointed for taking the deposition.

M.G.L. c. 233 § 29: Verbal Notice of Deposition; Waiver of Notice, etc.:
The justice or notary who takes the deposition may give a verbal instead of the written notice. If the adverse party or his attorney in writing waives notice, or if the defendant does not enter his appearance in the action within the time required by law, no notice shall be required.

M.G.L. c. 233 § 30: Oath and Examination of Deponent:
The deponent shall be sworn or affirmed to testify the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, relative to the cause for which the deposition is taken. The deponent shall then be examined by the justice of the peace or notary public, and may be examined by the parties, and the testimony may be taken in writing or by any recording device, including an electronic device, which will accurately preserve such testimony.

M.G.L. c. 233 § 32: Mode of Taking Deposition:
The deposition shall be written by the justice of the peace or notary public or deponent or by a disinterested person in the presence and under the direction of the justice or notary, shall be carefully read to or by the deponent, and then subscribed by him.

M.G.L. c. 233 § 33: Certification of Deposition:
The justice or notary shall annex to the deposition a certificate of the time and manner of taking it, the person at whose request and the cause in which it was taken, the reason for taking it, and that the adverse party attended, or if he did not attend what notice was given to him.

M.G.L. c. 233 § 34: Delivery and Preservation of Deposition:
The deposition shall be delivered by the justice or notary to the court, arbitrators, referees or other persons before whom the cause is pending, or shall be enclosed and sealed by him and directed to it or them, and shall remain sealed until opened by it or them.

M.G.L. c. 233 § 45: Deposition for Use in Another State:
A person may be summoned and compelled, in like manner and under the same penalties as are provided for a witness before a court, to give his deposition in a cause pending in a court of any other state or government. Such deposition may be taken before a justice of the peace or a notary public in the commonwealth, or before a commissioner appointed under the authority of the state or government in which the action is pending. If the deposition is taken before such commissioner, the witness may be summoned and compelled to appear before him by process from a justice of the peace or a notary public in the commonwealth.

M.G.L. c. 233 § 46: Application to Take Deposition to Perpetuate Testimony:
If a person desires to perpetuate his own testimony or the testimony of another person, he shall apply in writing to two justices of the peace or notaries public, or a justice of the peace and a notary public, one of whom shall be an attorney at law, requesting them to take his deposition or the deposition of the person whose testimony he desires to perpetuate, and stating briefly and substantially his title, claim of interest in or to the subject relative to which he desires the evidence perpetuated, the names of all other persons interested or supposed to be interested therein and the name of the witness proposed to be examined.

M.G.L. c. 233 § 47: Notice of Taking Deposition; Compelling Testimony:
The justice or notaries shall thereupon cause notice of the time and place appointed for taking the deposition to be given to all persons named in said statement as interested in the case, in the manner provided in sections twenty-six to twenty-nine, inclusive; and if in the opinion of the justices or notaries no sufficient provision is made by law for giving notice to parties adversely interested, they shall cause such reasonable notice to be given as they consider proper. A person may be summoned and compelled to give a deposition in perpetuation of his testimony in like manner and under the same penalties as are provided for a witness before a court.

M.G.L. c. 210 § 2: Written Consent of Certain Persons; Form of Consent; I.D. of Father:
A decree of adoption shall not be made, except as provided in this chapter, without the written consent of the child to be adopted, if above the age of twelve; of the child's spouse, if any; of the lawful parents, who may be previous adoptive parents, or surviving parent; or of the mother only if the child was born out of wedlock and not previously adopted. A person whose consent is hereby required shall not be prevented from being the adoptive parent.

Such written consent shall be executed no sooner than the fourth calendar day after the date of birth of the child to be adopted. It shall be attested and subscribed before a notary public in the presence of two competent witnesses, on of whom shall be selected by said person. The agency or person receiving custody shall act as guardian of the child until such time as a court of competent jurisdiction appoints a guardian or grants a petition for adoption. Execution of such consent shall be carried out in a manner which shall preserve privacy and confidentiality. A copy of said consent shall be filed with the department of social services. A consent executed in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be final and irrevocable from date of execution. . .



Notice:
Many more laws exist in Massachusetts that relate to the duties
 of a Massachusetts Notary Public. Be sure to research the laws and applicable
 court rules. If you're a notary public, it's your obligation to discharge your
 duties competently. In fact, you are presumed to know the law that deals with
 your official duties.


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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The jurisdiction and commission of the notaries public comply with G.L. c. 222 § 1. A notary public is an officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and must conduct his or her duties only in Massachusetts. Notaries cannot offer advice concerning a document and/or transaction unless he or she is an attorney licensed to practice law or is trained in that particular field or industry. Our Network does not offer loan signing services to the public. All loan signings must be done under the supervision of an attorney.

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