The National Notary Association offers introductory answers to frequently asked questions about the impact of the new Arizona Notary laws. To obtain the critical information you need to comply with these new requirements and avoid personal liability risk, select convenient Webcast OnDemand at right.
Senate Bill 1230 In General
Use of an Interpreter
What are the key changes to the law made by Senate Bill 1230?
Senate Bill 1230 contains new rules for notarizing Translator's Affidavits, using translators, completing notarial certificates and declining to notarize, and authorizes the Secretary of State to require certain Notaries to attend a Notary training course.
When are the changes to the law under Senate Bill 1230 effective?
The new law takes effect July 20, 2011.
What is a Translator's Affidavit and may a Notary notarize one?
A Translator's affidavit is a sworn written statement in which a translator of a foreign-language document certifies that an attached English translation is a complete and accurate translation of a foreign-language document. ARS 41-313(D) and 41-355(D) authorize a Notary or electronic Notary to notarize a Translator's Affidavit.
May a Notary or electronic Notary use a translator or interpreter?
Yes. ARS 41-313[B] and 41-353[B] allow a Notary or electronic Notary who is unable to communicate directly with a document signer to rely on a translator, subject to specific conditions.
What is the "venue" in a notarial certificate?
ARS 41-3(11) defines "venue" as the state of Arizona and county where the notarial act occurs.
What are the requirements for completing every notarial certificate under Senate Bill 1230?
Every notarial certificate must be worded and completed using only letters, characters and a language that are read, written and understood by the Notary or electronic Notary (ARS 41-313[B] and 41-355[B]).
What additional information must a Notary or electronic Notary add to every separately-attached notarial certificate?
If the Notary or electronic Notary attaches a separate certificate to a document, the certificate must contain the title or type of document, the document date, the number of pages of the document, and other information in addition to the wording for the notarial act performed (ARS 41-313[D] and 41-355[D]).
Under what circumstances is a Notary or electronic Notary disqualified from notarizing under Senate Bill 1230?
As amended by Senate Bill 1230, ARS 41-328 and 41-366 now prohibit a Notary or electronic Notary from notarizing if the Notary is an officer of any named party, a party to the document, or will receive any direct benefit from the transaction exceeding the amount specified by law.
May the Arizona Secretary of State require an individual to take a mandatory educational course?
Yes. Existing statute authorizes the Secretary of State to require applicants for a Notary commission to present proof of attendance at a Notary training course before receiving their commissions or within 90 days before renewing their commissions (ARS 41-312[H]). Senate Bill 1230 adds to ARS 41-312(H) that the Secretary of State may require suspended Notaries to present proof of attendance at a Notary training course before reinstatement of a suspended commission. ARS 41-353[I] now contains the same training provisions for electronic Notaries.
When is a Notary or electronic Notary prohibited from advertising fees for notarial services?
Senate Bill 1230 amended ARS 41-316 and ARS 41-358[C] to prohibit a Notary or electronic Notary from advertising a fee for performing a notarial act except as specifically authorized by rule.
May a Notary or electronic Notary perform a notarial act when the signer is not present before the Notary or electronic Notary?
No. ARS 41-313 and 41-355 specifically state that a Notary or electronic Notary may perform notarial services only if the signer is present at the time of notarization.
What other changes are made to Arizona statute by Senate Bill 1230?
In order to qualify for a commission, Notary or electronic Notary now must be able to read and write English. Also, SB 1230 contains a change requiring a Notary or electronic Notary to notify the Secretary of State within 30 days of a change of business address in addition to a change of mailing or residential address.
May a Notary or electronic Notary notarize if the principal signs the document in a language the Notary does not understand?
No. ARS 41-313(B)(2) and 41-355[B] state that a Notary or electronic Notary may perform a notarial act only if the signer signs in a language the Notary or electronic Notary understands.