GA House Bill 322 | NNA
Law

GA House Bill 322

Notary Law Update: GA House Bill 322

State: Georgia

Summary:

House Bill 322 removes the requirement for an acknowledgment for certain real property instruments, but requires these documents to be "attested" by the Notary and signed by one other witness.

Signed:  May 06, 2015

Effective:  July 01, 2015

Chapter: Act No. 145

Affects:

Amends OCGA 44-5-30, 44-12-137, 44-12-238, 44-14-33, 44-14,34, 44-14-37, 44-14-61, 44-14,62, 44-14-160, 

Changes:
  1. Requires a deed to lands to be attested by an officer as provided in OCGA 44-2-15, and attested by one other witness.
  2. In order to admit a mortgage for recording, no longer requires a mortgage to be acknowledged or attested before an officer in the same manner as a bargain and sale deed, but requires a mortgage to be signed by the maker, attested by an officer as provided in OCGA 44-2-15, and attested by one other witness.
  3. In order to admit a deed to secure debt or bill of sale to secure debt for recording, no longer requires a deed to secure debt or bill of sale to secure debt to be attested or proved in the manner prescribed by law for mortgages, but requires these real property documents to signed by the maker, attested by an officer as provided in OCGA 44-2-15, and attested by one other witness.
  4. Provides that when executed outside of Georgia, no longer must a mortgage be attested, acknowledged, or probated in the same manner as a bargain and sale deed, but requires a mortgage to be signed by the maker, attested by an officer as provided in OCGA 44-2-15, and attested by one other witness.
  5. Provides that when executed outside of Georgia, no longer must a deed to secure debt or bill of sale to secure debt be attested, acknowledged or probated in the same manner as a bargain and sale deed, but requires these real property documents to signed by the maker, attested by an officer as provided in OCGA 44-2-15, and attested by one other witness.
Analysis:

House Bill 322 removes the requirement for an acknowledgment for certain real property instruments, but requires these documents to be "attested" by the Notary and signed by one other witness. In the Notary code, OCGA 45-17-1(2) defines “notarial act” as any act that a notary public is authorized by law to perform and includes, without limitation, attestation, the taking of an acknowledgment, the administration of an oath or affirmation, the taking of a verification upon an oath or affirmation, and the certification of a copy.” In Georgia, there are no statutory certificates for any notarial act. It would be in line with the new law if the Notary signed these documents with his or her signature and affixed the Notary’s seal. In this regard, note OCGA 45-17-8.1 which reads: "(a) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, in documenting a notarial act, a notary public shall sign on the notarial certification, by hand in ink, only and exactly the name indicated on the notary's commission and shall record on the notarial certification the exact date of the notarial act. (b) The requirement of subsection (a) of this Code section for recording of the date of the notarial act shall not apply to an attestation of deeds or any other instruments pertaining to real property." Thus, whereas with a standard notarial act, subsection (a) says the Notary must sign and date the “notarial certification,” this is not required for attestation of a real property document.

Read the bill text.

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