Mississippi Laws on Notaries Public
Mississippi laws on notaries public can be found in Chapter 33, Title 25 of Code of Mississippi. Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-1, the Governor appoints notaries public to serve in the counties of the state of Mississippi. A notary public in the state of Mississippi holds the office for a term of four years.
Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-1, notaries public appointed and commissioned after July 1, 1988, should give bond for a sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($ 5,000.00) with sufficient sureties, licensed by the Department of Insurance. All such bonds must be conditioned and approved by the Secretary of State. Notaries public are not considered as state officers. A notary public files the oath and bond in the Office of the Secretary of State. A notary public commission containing language limiting the jurisdiction of a notary public must be returned to the Secretary of State. On receiving the returned commission, the Secretary of State issues a new certificate indicating that such notary public can serve in any and all counties of the state of Mississippi. Moreover, the Secretary of State issues notary public commissions on behalf of the Governor to qualified applicants. In order to apply for a notary commission, the applicant must:
- be at least eighteen years of age;
- be a citizen or legal resident of the U S.;
- have resided in the state of Mississippi for a period of not less than thirty days immediately preceding the date of the application; and
- meet other requirements as the Secretary of State establishes by rule[i].
Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-5, all notaries public must keep a fair register of all his/her official acts. A notary must give a certified copy of his/her record to a person applying and paying the legal fees.
Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-9, all notaries public are empowered to administer oaths and affirmations in all matters incident to his/her notarial office. Additionally, a notary public is qualified and empowered to administer oaths and affirmations for the purpose of taking oral testimony under oath or affirmation within the state of Mississippi. A notary public files an affidavit regarding the truth of the attestation along with any corrected language and can file the affidavit with the land records in the office of the Chancery Clerk where the land is located. An affidavit attested by a notary public is presumed to be true and correct[ii].
Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-11, a notary is empowered to receive the proof or acknowledgment of all instruments of writing relating to commerce or navigation. Instruments include: bills of sale, bottomries, mortgages; and hypothecations of ships, vessels or boats, charter parties of affreightment and letters of attorney. Moreover, a notary public performs all other duties required of notaries by commercial usage[iii].
Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-17, all justice court judges and clerks; clerks of the circuit and chancery courts; and assistant secretaries of state are notaries public by virtue of their office. These ex officio notaries possess all the powers and discharge all the duties belonging to the office of notary public. Ex office notaries authenticate all acts, instruments and attestations by the common seal of office. All acts done by the ex officio notaries receive the same credit and legal effect as are attached to the acts of notaries public[iv].
Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-23, notarial acts of commissioned officers of U S armed forces are legal, valid, and binding. All the instruments and documents acknowledged, authenticated, or sworn by the armed force is admissible in evidence. Such documents are eligible to record in the state of Mississippi under the same circumstances and with the same force and effect as acknowledgment, attestation, oath, affirmation, deposition, affidavit, or other notarial act of a duly qualified notary public[v].
Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-27, a notary public not licensed to practice law, is prohibited from representing or advertising that the notary public is an immigration consultant, immigration paralegal or expert on immigration matters.
Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-25, a notary public who is not a licensed attorney advertising as a notary public must include with such advertisement the notice declaring that s/he is not a licensed attorney and is not entitled to give legal advice. A person knowingly and willfully violating the above provision is guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable for an amount not to exceed One Thousand Dollars. Moreover, for second and third conviction for same charge severe punishment is provided under the Code[vi].
Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-33, the Secretary of State prescribes forms and establish fees for services not otherwise provided by law. The Secretary of State issues rules to implement rules laid down in the Code including regulations providing for the suspension or revocation of a notary commission for misfeasance or malfeasance in his/her office[vii].
[i] Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-1.
[ii] Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-9.
[iii] Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-11.
[iv] Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-17.
[v] Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-23.
[vi] Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-31.
[vii] Miss. Code Ann. § 25-33-33.