AR Senate Bill 807 | NNA
Law

AR Senate Bill 807

Notary Law Update: AR Senate Bill 807

State: Arkansas

Summary:

Senate Bill 807 makes a number of changes affecting the commissioning process and practice of Notaries in the state, including statements an applicant must make on the application for a commission and clarifying the color of ink Notaries must use in signing and sealing notarial certificates.

Signed:  March 22, 2013

Effective:  August 21, 2013

Chapter: Act No. 492

Affects:

Amends Sections 21-14-101, 21-14-102, 21-14-104, 21-14-112 and 21-14-202 of the Arkansas Code

Changes:
  1. Requires applicants for a Notary commission to state in the application for a commission that they have not been convicted of a felony.
  2. Provides that the Secretary of State may require commission applicants to demonstrate that he or she has reviewed the law concerning Notaries and understands the duties of a Notary.
  3. Clarifies that Notaries are authorized to take depositions under Rule 28 of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure and Rule 28 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  4. Clarifies that a Notary who changes residency or, for nonresident Notaries, changes the place of employment, to a new county must file either the original or a certified copy of the original bond from the original county of residence to the new county.
  5. Requires a Notary to sign and affix the Notary’s seal in blue or black ink.
  6. Requires a Notary who uses a facsimile signature or seal to use a facsimile signature or seal with blue or black ink
  7. Authorizes the Secretary of State to deny the application or revoke the commission of a Notary who is found by a court to have overcharged fees.
  8. Makes minor technical changes.
Analysis:
Senate Bill 807 affects the commissioning process, and administration and practice of
Notaries Public in the state. On the commissioning front, applicants now must
declare on the application for a commission that they not have been convicted of a
felony, and the Secretary of State may require applicants to demonstrate that they
have reviewed Arkansas’ Notary laws and are familiar with a Notary’s duties. The
latter change most likely will be implemented in the form of an additional question
on the application asking applicants to state that they have read the Notary laws of
Arkansas. It is unlikely that the Secretary would use this change in the law to require
applicants to take a training course, but certainly this undoubtedly is the most
effective way to demonstrate that one has mastered the requirements of being a
Notary. The bill clarifies that Notaries who change their county of residency (or
nonresident Notaries who change the county of their employment) during the
commission term may either file their original or a certified copy of the original bond
in the new county of residence (or employment). SB 807 also clarifies that Notaries
may perform depositions under Rule 28 of the Arkansas and federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. These rules state that depositions may be taken before an officer
authorized to administer oaths either under federal law or the law in the place of
examination. Furthermore, SB 807 contains provisions that a Notary’s signature and
seal – whether made by hand or facsimile stamp – must be affixed using blue or
black ink. Presumably, blue or black ink is now being required because of the need
for Notary signatures and seals to meet county recording requirements. Finally, SB
807 gives the Secretary of State authority to either deny the application or revoke the
commission of any Notary who charges more than the statutory maximum fee.
 

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