LA Senate Bill 285


State: Louisiana
Signed: July 09, 2008

Effective: August 15, 2008
Chapter: Act No. 856


Senate Bill 285 transfers from the local parishes to the Secretary of State all remaining duties involving the commissioning of Notaries. The bill also clarifies many procedures related to the application process and procedure for appointments issued by the advice and consent of the Senate. (Keep in mind that all Louisiana Notaries are attorney-like, civil law officers who are unique in the United States.)


Enacts Sections 35:2, 35:191.3, and 35:201, amends Sections 35:1, 35:199 and 35:201, and repeals Section 44:184.2 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes.

  1. No longer requires an applicant for a Notary commission to present a certificate of competency from a district court and a statement of the applicant’s good moral character sworn to and subscribed by two parish citizens in order to obtain a commission.
  2. Adds the following three qualifications for a Notary commission: (a) must read, write, speak, and be sufficiently knowledgeable of the English language; (b) must not be under interdiction or incapable of serving as a Notary because of mental infirmity; and (c) must meet the requirements established by law for each commission sought.
  3. Requires an applicant on the application for a Notary commission to attest to the applicant’s good moral character and sober habits, and authorizes the Secretary of State to request the district court to investigate any questions of the applicant’s integrity and, if found competent, return a certificate to the Secretary signed by a judge and forward the certificate to the Governor.
  4. Stipulates that an application for a commission must be received no later than 60 days prior to the date of the examination.
  5. Requires the Notary examination to be waived for an applicant who is an attorney in Louisiana or who holds a valid Notary commission in the state.
  6. Clarifies that the Secretary of State will oversee the following matters related to commissioning of Notaries: (a) receiving applications for commissions; and (b) administering the examination. The law repeals all previous provisions giving parish application committees oversight over Notary commission applicants.
  7. Permits a Notary to notarize in an adjacent parish with a population of less than 35,000 without an additional bond, application or examination if the Notary files an affidavit giving the location of the Notary’s office with the Secretary of State (previously this affidavit was filed with the district court in the parish of residence).
  8. Clarifies that a Notary who is establishing a residence and seeking a commission in a new parish is validly commissioned in the Notary’s old parish for 60 days during which time the Notary shall satisfy all requirements for a commission in the new parish. If the Notary desires to retain commissioning in the old parish, the Notary shall file an affidavit to this effect with the Secretary of State and satisfy the requirements for holding a dual commission.
  9. Requires a Notary who has been issued a Notary identification number to inform the Secretary os State within 60 days of a change in residential address, mailing address or both.
  10. Stipulates that a Notary must register with the office of the clerk of Orleans Parish an act of sale or any other act evidencing a transfer of real property situated in the parish of Orleans within forty-eight hours after passage of the act.
  11. Authorizes a Notary to certify copies of any authentic act, instrument under private signature, certificate, research, resolution, survey or other document annexed to the original of any authentic act.
  12. Prescribes the process for appointments made by the advice and consent of the Louisiana Senate and the granting of interim commissions until such time that the Senate can take action on a commission.
  13. Repeals R.S. 44:184.2.

In the past couple of years, a number of new laws affecting the commissioning process of Louisiana Notaries have been enacted, including transferring responsibility for administering the required Notary examination to the Secretary of State. This most recent new law transfers commissioning responsibilities from local parish application committees to the Secretary of State. Senate Bill 285 also revises the qualifications of the Notary office, outlines application, examination and dual-commission procedures, clarifies a Notary’s responsibility with respect to an address change and the process for being commissioned in a new parish of residence, authorizes Notaries to certify copies of various acts and documents and prescribes the process for the appointment of Notaries with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Read Senate Bill 285.