Mississippi Notary Handbook
A Notary Public is, in the true sense of the word, “a public servant,” conveniently located in the community so that he or she may be of service to the public. Each Notary Public takes an official oath of office to faithfully perform the duties of the office. To ensure such performance, the law requires a Notary Public to post a $5,000 surety bond with the secretary of state.
A Notary Public may be personally liable for negligence orfraud in the performance of the duties of the office. The surety bond is to ensure that the person injured can recover at least $5,000, but this does not protect the Notary Public from personal liability for the full extent of damages caused by a breach of official duty. In addition to civil liability, notaries public may be subject to criminal prosecution and the revocation or suspension of their Notary Public commissions.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR APPOINTMENT
...Each notary must give a bond, with sufficient sureties, in
the amount of $5,000 and must take the oath of office
prescribed by Section 268 of the Mississippi Constitution…
HOW TO BECOME A NOTARY
After receiving the pre-commission certificate, the applicant must obtain the proper $5,000 surety bond and oath. The bond should not be obtained prior to receiving the pre-commission certificate. The applicant should make certain he or she has signed the bond as principal, and signed the oath in the presence of a notary. The surety bond and oath should be mailed to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office.
The law requires that the surety bond be approved by the insurance commissioner and the governor before a commission can be issued. Once both officials have approved the bond, the Secretary of State’s Office will mail the applicant his or her original Commission Certificate.
Once the applicant has received his or her Commission Certificate, he or she should obtain a legally suitable notarial seal. Only after being properly commissioned, bonded, and obtaining his or her seal should the notary perform notarial acts.
Mississippi Notary Law
The Governor may appoint notaries public who may serve in any or all counties of this state. A Notary Public shall hold office for a term of four (4) years. Notaries public who are appointed and commissioned after July 1, 1988, shall give bond, with sufficient sureties, in the penalty of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00). All such bonds shall be conditioned and approved as bonds of state officers are required to be, except that notaries public shall not otherwise be considered as state officers. Each Notary Public shall take the oath of office prescribed by Section 268 of the Constitution. A Notary Public shall qualify by filing the oath and bond in the office of the Secretary of State.
The bond requirements, unexpired appointments and commissions of notaries public issued prior to July 1, 1988, shall be sufficient, regardless of any jurisdictional limitations, to authorize notaries public appointed and commissioned prior to July 1, 1988, to serve any or all counties of this state. Any Notary Public commission containing language limiting the jurisdiction of a Notary Public may be returned to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall then issue a new certificate indicating that such Notary Public may serve in any and all counties of this state.