AZ House Bill 2253 | NNA
Law

AZ House Bill 2253

Notary Law Update: AZ House Bill 2253

State: Arizona

Summary:

The amendments to Arizona’s Notary laws in House Bill 2253 aim at ensuring Notaries meet the ethical standards inherent in the Notary’s public office and give the Secretary of State greater authority to sanction Notaries for failure to faithfully discharge his or her duties. 

Signed:  April 07, 2004

Effective:  July 24, 2004

Chapter: 54

Affects:

Amends Arizona Revised Statutes 41-311, 41-312, 41-313, 41-319, 41-323, 41-327, 41-330 and 41-331

Changes:
  1. Expands the definition of “Incomplete document” to include a document that does not contain a notarial certificate.
  2. Clarifies the definition of “notarial certificate” as the part of a document or attachment completed by the Notary that “states the facts that are attested by the Notary in a particular notarization.”
  3. Clarifies that IDs accepted for identification must be issued by the “United States government” (replaces “federal”).
  4. Requires a Notary to keep an approved Notary reference manual.
  5. Authorizes the Secretary of State to suspend a Notary for a period of 30 to 180 days on the same grounds that the Secretary of State is currently allowed to refuse or revoke a commission. 
  6. Adds notarizing a document that contains no notarial certificate to the list of grounds in which a commission may be refused, revoked or suspended.
  7. Applies the notice, hearing and appeals procedures to suspension of a commission. 
  8. Requires a Notary to respond to any requests for information and comply with investigations initiated by the Secretary of State or the Attorney General.
  9. Specifies that a Notary has failed to fully and faithfully discharge the duties and responsibilities of a Notary (ARS 41-330[A][4]) for: (a) failing to respond to an investigation by the Attorney General; (b) failing to notify the Secretary of State of a change in address and name change; and (c) failing to report loss or theft of an official journal or seal.
  10. Makes technical and conforming changes. 
Analysis:

The amendments to Arizona’s Notary laws in House Bill 2253 aim at ensuring Notaries meet the ethical standards inherent in the Notary’s public office and give the Secretary of State greater authority to sanction Notaries for failure to faithfully discharge his or her duties. Arizona, perhaps reticent to instigate a mandatory education or testing requirement, takes a small step forward with the new requirement that Notaries keep a reference manual outlining the Notary’s duties and ethical responsibilities. The clarifications to the definitions no doubt address specific problems (Notaries failing to complete a certificate, confusion over whether foreign IDs are acceptable as identification).

Read the bill text.

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