On January 4, 2017 a new law governing standards of conduct for notaries public went into effect. As of that date, all notaries public, regardless of when they received their commission, must comply with chapter 222 as amended by chapter 289 of the acts of 2016. Executive Order No. 455, which had previously governed the conduct of notaries public in the past, has been rescinded. The text of the new law is available at: www.mass.gov/notarylaw.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth maintains notaries public appointments. This office also administers the oaths of office to notaries public, justices of the peace and other gubernatorial appointments. If you have any questions concerning an appointment application please call the Governor's Executive Council at 617-725-4016.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth does not regulate the conduct of Notaries Public. There is no single state-wide office that receives complaints against notaries. Section 18 of Chapter 222 of the General Laws empowers the attorney general and district attorneys to prosecute any notary public violating the provisions of Chapter 222. Citizen complaints that are criminal in nature may be made to a prosecutor's office or to a local police department.
ATTENTION: ALL NOTARIES
A journal to record notarial acts, which the Governor's Executive Order 455 suggests you keep for recordkeeping purposes, may be purchased across the street at the State Bookstore in Room 116 of the State House, at various retail office supply stores, or on our website at www.sec.state.ma.us/spr/sprcat/agencies/950.htm