AZ Senate Bill 1174 | NNA
Law

AZ Senate Bill 1174

Notary Law Update: AZ Senate Bill 1174

State: Arizona

Summary:

Senate Bill 1174 removes from the counties all functions related to the filing of Notary bonds and oaths of office, authenticating of notarial acts, and surrendering of Notary seals, journals and official papers and centralizes these functions in the office of the Secretary of State.

Signed:  April 28, 2008

Effective:  April 28, 2008

Chapter: 80

Affects:

Amends Sections 12-284, 41-126, 41-178, 41-312, 41-315, 41-317, 41-322 and 41-330; adds Sections 41-178 and 41-314; and repeals Section 41-332 of the Arizona Revised Statutes

Changes:
  1. Stipulates that the official bond and oath of office of a Notary Public shall no longer be filed with the clerk of superior court in the county in which the Notary is appointed, but instead shall be filed with the office of the Secretary of State, and clarifies that the $18 fee for filing the bond and oath shall be paid to the Secretary of State.
  2. Specifies that authentications of the character and authority of an Arizona Notary shall no longer be provided by the clerk of a court of record in the place in which the notarial act is performed, but instead shall be provided by the Secretary of State, and clarifies that the $18 fee for providing the authentication shall be paid to the Secretary of State.
  3. Clarifies that the Secretary of State shall provide notice of appointment within twenty days to a Notary commission applicant and shall deliver the commission to the appointed Notary (rather than to the superior court clerk, as before) upon filing of the Notary’s bond and oath.
  4. Clarifies that the Secretary of State may refuse to appoint any person as a Notary or may revoke or suspend the commission of any Notary for the return for insufficient funds or for nonpayment of a check issued for the bond filing fees to the Secretary.
  5. Imposes a fine of $50-$500 upon a Notary or Notary’s representative who neglects for three months after resignation or revocation of a commission, or upon the death of a Notary, to deposit the Notary’s seal with the Secretary of State. (Note: existing law also requires the Notary’s journal of public records and papers to be deposited.)
  6. Clarifies that upon resignation or revocation of a commission or upon the death of the Notary, the Notary seal, journal and records shall no longer be delivered by certified mail to the county recorder in the Notary’s county of residence, but instead shall be delivered to the Secretary of State.
  7. Requires the Secretary of State to keep all records and journals of Notaries for five years and to provide copy certifications of entries upon request. (Note: while commissioned, a Notary is required to keep all journals of public records for five years after the date the act was performed.)
  8. Provides that the clerk of superior court shall no longer approve sureties for the bond of a Notary, but that the state of Arizona shall approve sureties.
  9. Establishes a Notary Bond Fund consisting of monies received from the filings of Notary bonds and earmarks state and county programs as recipient of the filing fees.
  10. Repeals a previous statute permitting clerks of superior courts to centralize functions related to Notaries in the office of Secretary of State.
  11. Makes technical corrections.
Analysis:

Senate Bill 1174 removes from the counties all functions related to the authenticating of notarial acts, filing of Notary bonds and oaths, and depositing of seals, journals and records and centralizes these functions in the office of the Secretary of State. Previously, a Notary applying for a commission filed the application with the Secretary of State but filed the oath of office and official bond with the clerk of superior court in the Notary’s county of appointment and picked up the new commission at that office. Upon resignation or revocation of a commission, a Notary deposited the journal and all official papers with the county recorder in the county of the Notary’s residence. It was difficult to keep straight where certain items were to be filed. While the establishment of a state Notary Bond Fund is not a provision which directly impacts Notaries, the fees collected from bond filings will fund a variety of state and county programs.

Read the bill text.

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