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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 26-1-130 SO AS TO REQUIRE A NOTARY PUBLIC TO IDENTIFY POSITIVELY AN INDIVIDUAL REQUESTING A NOTARIAL ACT AND TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS; AND BY ADDING SECTION 26-1-140 SO AS TO REQUIRE A NOTARY PUBLIC TO KEEP AN OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF NOTARIAL ACTS, TO RECORD SPECIFIED ENTRIES IN THE JOURNAL FOR A NOTARIAL ACT, AND TO RETAIN THE JOURNAL FOR SEVEN YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF THE LAST RECORDED ENTRY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 1, Title 26 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 26-1-130. (A) In performing a notarial act as provided in Section 26-1-90, a notary public shall determine, from personal knowledge or from satisfactory evidence, the identity of an individual requesting a notarial act.
(B) For the purposes of this section, 'personal knowledge' or 'personally known' means familiarity with an individual resulting from interactions with that individual over a period of time sufficient to dispel reasonable uncertainty that the individual has the identity claimed.
(C) For the purposes of this section, 'satisfactory evidence' means:
(1) identification of an individual based on a current identification document issued by a federal or state government agency bearing a photographic image of the individual's face and signature and a physical description, except that a properly stamped passport without a physical description is acceptable; or
(2) upon the oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally known to the notary public or of two credible witnesses who present an identification document as provided in this section.
Section 26-1-140. (A) A notary public shall keep, maintain, and protect a chronological paper or electronic official journal of his notarial acts.
(B) For every notarial act he performs, the notary shall record in the journal the:
(1) date and time of the notarial act;
(2) type of notarial act;
(3) type, title, or description and date of the document or matter;
(4) name, address, signature, and, in the case of real estate documents, the right thumbprint of a person who requests a notarial act;
(5) evidence of identity of a person requesting a notarial act including, if applicable, the type, issuing agency, serial or identification number, and date of issuance or expiration of an identification document, or the name and signature of a credible witness, and if applicable, the type, issuing agency, serial or identifying number, and date of issuance or expiration of a document identifying the witness; and
(6) the fee, if any, charged for the notarial act.
(C) A notary public shall retain the official journal of his notarial acts under the notary's exclusive control for a period of seven years after the date of the last recorded entry."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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