The Office of the Registrar has notary services available at no cost to students, faculty, and staff. Please note that an appointment is required for notary services. To make an appointment, please email [email protected].
What is a Notary Public?
A notary public acts as an impartial third-party witness to not only the signature of a document but also that all parties who signed a document did so willingly and under their own free will.
Notary Services We Provide (by appointment only)
- Notarizing various documents. We can notarize documents such as wills, affidavits, and power of attorneys (please note that non-attorney staff cannot assist or advise you on the completion of forms or give any type of legal advice). Please review your document to see if witnesses are required, along with the notarization. If so, please call ahead to ensure that we have sufficient staff available.
Documents for Apostille. To have a document apostilled is a multi-step process. We only provide the notary service. An apostille is issued for documents intended for use only in foreign countries that are party to the Hague Treaty. A Certificate of Authority is issued for all other countries. The original document must be signed in front of a notary and must contain original signatures. You must then complete the process by having the document apostilled through the State of Michigan. For more information, please call the Office of the Great Seal at (888) 767-6424. You can also learn more at the Secretary of State's website.
Notary Services We Cannot Provide
- True Copy Certification. A notary cannot certify that a document is a true copy in the state of Michigan. You may instead make a copy of the document(s) and attach a signed statement attesting to the validity of that copy*. We can then notarize your signature. The procedure is:
- Make a copy of the document(s). If you do not have access to a copy machine, we can make a copy for you.
- Download the True Copy Attestation document (click to download the Word file). After the statement ". . . the original document of:", type a description of the document.
- Print the document without completing the date or signing/printing your name. You will complete this at our office SLS.
- Bring the copy and the True Copy Attestation document with included description to SHMS.
- SHMS will provide a letter explaining its True Copy Certification policy which you can give to the recipient of your documents.
*Please note that it is not permissible to attest to the validity of copies made of vital or recordable documents (whether recorded or not) such as birth certificates and marriage licenses. This is because the issuing agency holds the original document and you have a certified copy. It may also be an issue to attest to the validity of copies made from school records such as transcripts. You should instead contact those sources directly to obtain certified copies.
- I-9 Forms - Verifying Documentation. By Michigan law, the verification of documents is not a notarial act. Therefore, we cannot perform I-9 verifications. However, many UPS Store locations can assist with this service. Please contact the UPS Store location that you plan to visit to inquire about this service.
- Notarizing Employment Documents. One of a notary's primary functions is to verify the identity of a signer to a document and then view the signing of that document. However, we are not permitted by law to verify your identity (i.e. for security clearances required in some pre-employment processes).
The Notarization Process
Before you come to SHMS, please note the following:
- Do not sign the document(s) prior to coming to SHMS. If you have signed the document, you will be asked to re-sign in the notary's presence.
- Please bring a valid, government-issued photo ID (driver's license, state ID, passport).
- Typically the name on your ID must match the name on the document. If it does not, please call ahead so that we can discuss your situation.
- Please make sure that any and all required blanks are completed prior to coming to SHMS.
- Please review your document. If witnesses are needed, please call in advance to make sure that we have enough staff in the office.
Once at SHMS, please note the following:
- You will be asked for your ID to confirm your identity, as well as, your signature on the ID will be reviewed.
- You will be asked if you are familiar with the document and are signing freely.
- You will be asked to sign the document(s) in front of the notary.
- You will be asked to complete our notary log.