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Law

AL Senate Bill 202

Notary Law Update: AL Senate Bill 202

State: Alabama

Summary:
Senate Bill 202 removes the requirement for a Notary to certify the backside of a photograph on a pharmaceutical license application.

Signed:  April 08, 2021

Effective:  July 01, 2021

Chapter: Act No. 2021-185

Affects:
Amends Sections 34-23-51 and 34-23-52 of the Code of Alabama.

Changes:
  1. No longer requires an applicant for a pharmaceutical license to include two recent photographs of the applicant, no larger than 2½ x 3¼ inches and certified on the back of each photograph by a Notary Public.
Analysis:

A seemingly minor new law will help remove big confusion over a common request: that a Notary certify a photograph. Although most statutes do not specifically address this issue, it is important because of frequent requests that photographs be notarized, particularly for certain medical license applications, such as Alabama’s pharmaceutical license application. The NNA’s Model Notary Act (Section 5-9[b]) explicitly prohibits this practice, as does the NNA’s Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility (Standard V-C-2). Making and certifying a subjective judgment about the accuracy, completeness, authenticity, or other attribute of a photograph, even if the Notary had a hand in its production, is not an appropriate function of a Notary. At best, a Notary may notarize another person’s signed statement of certain facts relating to the picture (which a North Carolina statute authorizes a Notary to do).

Read the bill text.

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