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Title 26 - Notaries Public and Acknowledgements
Appointment and term.
The Governor may appoint from the qualified electors as many notaries public throughout the State as the public good shall require, to hold their offices for a term of ten years. A commission shall be issued to each notary public so appointed and the record of such appointment shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State. All commissions issued or renewed after July 1, 1967 shall be for the specified term. All commissions issued prior to July 1, 1967, unless renewed for the term herein provided, shall expire and terminate on January 1, 1970 for any person whose last name begins with A through K and on January 1, 1971 for any person whose last name begins with L through Z.
Endorsement of application.
Each county legislative delegation shall determine whether the endorsement of notaries public must be by (1) one-half of the members of the legislative delegation representing that county in which the applicant resides or, (2) endorsement by the Senator and Representative in whose district the applicant resides, without other endorsers. Each county legislative delegation shall notify the Secretary of State in writing if it chooses to utilize method (2) within the individual county. If the county legislative delegation chooses to utilize method (2), the applicant, Senator, and Representative shall indicate their respective districts on the application provided to the Secretary of State. If the office of Senator or Representative from that district is vacant at the time the application is submitted, the notary public may be appointed upon the endorsement of a majority of the legislative delegation representing the county in which the applicant resides.
Additional methods of endorsement of applications.
In addition to the methods of endorsement of applications for notary public commissions provided in Section 26-1-20, a legislator may provide for the endorsement of these applications by authorizing either the member serving as chairman or the member serving as secretary of the legislative delegation of the county in which the applicant resides to sign on the legislator's behalf.
A copy of the resolution adopting any or all of these endorsement methods for a county must be forwarded to the Secretary of State, after which the method or methods of endorsement shall continue to apply in the county unless rescinded by a subsequent delegation resolution.
The fee for the issuance or renewal of a commission is twenty-five dollars, collected by the Secretary of State as other fees.
Every notary public shall take the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution, certified copies of which shall be recorded in the office of the Secretary of State.
Enrollment of commission.
Every notary public shall, within fifteen days after he has been commissioned, exhibit his commission to the clerk of the court of the county in which he resides and be enrolled by the clerk.
Seal of office; notary shall indicate date of expiration of commission.
Each notary public shall have a seal of office, which shall be affixed to his instruments of publications and to his protestations. He shall indicate below his signature the date of expiration of his commission. But the absence of such seal or date prior to and after May 30, 1968 shall not render his acts invalid if his official title be affixed thereto.
Effect of change of name by notary.
Any notary public whose name is legally changed during his term of office may apply to the Secretary of State in such manner as may be prescribed by him, and the Secretary of State may change the name of the notary upon proper application and upon payment of a fee of ten dollars. The term expires at the same time as the original term.
The jurisdiction of notaries public shall extend throughout the State.
A notary public may administer oaths, take depositions, affidavits, protests for nonpayment of bonds, notes, drafts and bills of exchange, acknowledgments and proof of deeds and other instruments required by law to be acknowledged and renunciations of dower and perform all other acts provided by law to be performed by notaries public.
False certification by notary.
A notary public who, in his official capacity, falsely certifies to affirming, swearing, or acknowledging of a person or his signature to an instrument, affidavit, or writing is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days. A notary public convicted under the provisions of this section shall forfeit his commission and shall not be issued another commission. The court in which the notary public is convicted shall notify the Secretary of State within ten days after conviction.
No jurisdiction in criminal cases.
A notary public shall exercise no power or jurisdiction in criminal cases.
Effect of employment of notary as attorney.
Any attorney at law who is a notary public may exercise all his powers as a notary notwithstanding the fact that he may be interested as counsel or attorney at law in any matter with respect to which he may so exercise any such power and may probate in any court in this State in which he may be counsel.
Effect of status of notary as stockholder, director, officer or employee of corporation.
A notary public who is a stockholder, director, officer or employee of a corporation may take renunciation of dower in any written instrument, take the acknowledgment or the oath of a subscribing witness of any party to a written instrument executed to or by such corporation, administer an oath to any stockholder, director, officer, employee or agent of such corporation or protest for nonacceptance or nonpayment bills of exchange, drafts, checks, notes and other negotiable instruments which may be owned or held for collection by such corporation. But when a notary public is individually a party to an instrument it shall be unlawful for him to take the acknowledgment or probate to such instrument executed by or to a corporation of which he is a stockholder, director, officer or employee or to protest any such negotiable instrument owned or held for collection by such corporation.