CA Senate Bill 974 | NNA
Law

CA Senate Bill 974

Notary Law Update: CA Sentate Bill 974

State: California

Summary:

Senate Bill 974 requires Notaries to present ID when qualifying for their commissions in person at the county clerk's office and allows them to communicate with the Secretary of State's office by a means of delivery that provides a receipt, and not just by certified or registered mail.

Signed:  September 14, 2016

Effective:  January 01, 2017

Chapter: 366

Affects:

Amends Government Code Sections 6107, 8205, 8206, 8213 and 8213.5.

Changes:
  1. Requires a person taking the oath of office and filing the bond to serve as a Notary Public in person before the county clerk to present identification documents meeting the requirements of satisfactory evidence of identity specified in Civil Code 1185.
  2. Allows a person filing the oath of office and bond to serve as a Notary Public to use any means of delivery that produces a receipt, and not just certified or registered mail.
  3. Allows Notaries to use any other means of physical delivery that provides a receipt for satisfying the requirement to send specified communications required under the Government Code between the Secretary of State by certified mail.
Analysis:

Senate Bill 974 allows Notaries who must communicate with the Secretary of State to use, in addition to certified mail, any other means of physical delivery that produces a receipt. Specifically, these communications include responding within 30 days to any inquiry for information from the Secretary of State, notification of a lost, stolen, misplaced, destroyed, or damaged journal, notification that the journal was seized by a peace officer, and notification of an address change. SB 974 also allows Notaries who are filing their oaths of office and bonds with the county clerk to use any means of physical delivery that produces a receipt. For example, UPS, FedEx or USPS Priority Mail now may be used. In addition, Notaries who are in danger of missing the 30-day window for filing the oath and bond may use overnight or express delivery services to ensure they meet the filing deadline. Notaries may continue to use certified mail if they so choose. It is also important to emphasize they must use a "physical" delivery service. The new law does not allow these specified communications to be sent by email.

Senate Bill 974 also requires Notaries who appear in person before the county clerk to file their oath of office and bond to identify themselves to the county clerk as part of the process. This makes sense, because when a Notary elects to file by certified mail today, the Notary must have another Notary notarize the oath of office forms in the county where the Notary's principal place of business is located. As part of notarizing the oath of office forms, the Notary performing the notarizations must identify the Notary who is filing the oath forms. According to the new law, a Notary must produce one of the following IDs specified in Civil Code Section 1185: a California driver's license or non-driver's ID, a U.S. passport, a foreign passport, or an employee ID issued by an agency or office of the State of California, or by an agency or office of a city, county, or city and county of California.

Read the bill text.

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