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GA House Bill 1292


State: Georgia
Signed: May 02, 2024

Effective: January 01, 2025
Chapter: Act No. 549


House Bill 1292 provides the forms of written ID that a Notary can use to verify identity for a notarial act and requires Notaries to keep a journal for all “self-filers,” as defined, and complete a training class pertaining to the duties of a Notary Public.


Amends Sections 44-2-2, 44-2-39, and 45-17-8 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.

  1. Defines “self-filer” to mean means any person who is a party to any of the following instruments that convey, transfer, encumber, or affect real estate and personal property listed in OCGA 44-2-2(b)(1): (a) a deed, (b) mortgage, (c) lien as provided by law, (d) maps or plats related to real estate in a county, and (e) state tax executions and state tax execution renewals as provided for in OCGA Title 48, Chapter 3, Article 2.
  2. Clarifies that the following individuals are not “self-filers”: (a) an insurance agent or a representative of an insurance agency licensed to sell title insurance in Georgia; (b) an attorney licensed to practice law in this state or a representative of an attorney licensed to practice law in this state; (c) Licensed under OCGA Title 43, Chapter 40; (d) an agent of a bank or credit union with federal deposit insurance or an affiliate thereof; (e) an agent of a licensed or exempt mortgage lender pursuant to OCGA Title 7, Chapter 1, Article 13; (f) an agent of a servicer as such term is defined in 12 C.F.R. Section 1024.2; (g) a public official or employee of a federal, state, or local government or a department, agency, board, commission, or authority thereof performing their official duties; or (h) a professional land surveyor licensed under OCGA Title 43, Chapter 15 and in good standing with the Georgia Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Board.
  3. Requires a Notary to maintain a written or electronic journal which includes an entry for each notarial act performed for a “self-filer.”
  4. Requires each journal entry to include the name of the self-filer; the self-filer’s address; the self-filer’s telephone number; the date, time, and location of notarization; the type of government issued photo identification document presented by the self-filer; elements of such identification document, including any identifying number; the self-filer’s signature; and the type of document presented for notarization.
  5. Requires a Notary to verify the identity of a signer by verification of a government issued photo identification document, including without limitation a valid driver's license, personal identification card authorized under OCGA 40-5-100 through 40-5-104, or a military identification card such as a Veterans Health Identification Card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or based on personal knowledge.
  6. Requires a Notary to complete an educational training class relating to the duties of Notaries Public prior to the initial appointment and within 30 days prior to each subsequent renewal appointment. 
  7. Authorizes the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority to adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement this subsection.
  8. Makes a technical change.

Seller impersonation deed fraud has become a vexing issue in the Notary and land title industries. Georgia’s solution is the enactment of House Bill 1292 which in part requires Notaries to keep a journal of all notarial acts affecting self-filers, as defined, for any document that conveys, transfers, encumbers, or affects real estate and personal property. The specific documents affected are deeds, mortgages, certain liens, and state tax executions and state tax execution renewals. The new law specifies the entries to be recorded in the journal, and further specifies the specific types of ID that may be presented as satisfactory evidence of identity to a Notary. Finally, House Bill 1292 requires Notaries to take an educational course prior to their initial appointment and within 30 days prior to each renewal appointment.

Read House Bill 1292.