MO House Bill 1193 | NNA
Law

MO House Bill 1193

Notary Law Update: MO House Bill 1193

State: Missouri

Summary:

HB 1193 modernizes Missouri's Notary statutes.

Signed:  July 01, 2004

Effective:  August 28, 2004

Chapter: TBD

Affects:

Repeals Revised Statutes of Missouri Sections 486.225, 486.235, 486.240, 486.260, 486.265, 486.280, 486.285, 486.295, 486.300, 486.310, 486.315, 486.330, 486.335, 486.340, 486.345, 486.350, 486.385, and 486.395, and enacts nineteen new sections to replace them

Changes:

Commissioning

  1. Removes the requirement that applicants provide their Social Security number on the application.
  2. Removes the requirement on the Notary application for endorsements from two registered voters.
  3. Requires applicants to list on the application all felonies and any misdemeanor conviction incompatible with the duties of a Notary.
  4. Allows the Secretary of State to prohibit persons from reapplying for a commission for a period of 30 days to one year after a previous application was denied.
  5. Requires applicants to read the Missouri Notary Public Handbook and complete a computer-based or other Notary training course approved by the Secretary of State prior to submitting an application for a new appointment or reappointment.
  6. Requires the Notary bond filed with the county clerk to commence at least 90 days (previously 30) after the date the applicant has submitted the application.
  7. Requires a county clerk within 30 days (new) to return to the Secretary of State the commission of any Notary who fails to appear and qualify within 90 days of commissioning.
  8. Authorizes the Secretary of State to prohibit persons from reapplying for a commission for 30 days to one year after failing to appear and qualify for a previous commission.

Journal

  1. Specifies the following required entries in the Notary’s permanently bound journal: (a) month, day and year of notarization; (b) type of notarization; (c) type of document; (d) name and address of signer; (e) method of identifying signer; (f) fee charged; and (g) signer’s signature.
  2. Exempts a Notary from recording in the journal notarizations connected with judicial proceedings or with acts whose public record the law provides, when the public record is publicly filed within 90 days of execution.
  3. Specifies that the journal is the Notary’s exclusive property.

Seal

  1. Requires that all words and numbers in the seal be in type no smaller than 8 points.
  2. Provides that effective August 28, 2004, the Secretary of State will issue a commission number to all new and renewal appointments. This number must be included in the Notary’s required seal or stamp in type not less than eight points.
  3. Requires Notaries to notify the Secretary of State immediately in writing if their Notary seal is stolen and directs the Secretary to issue a new commission number to the Notary and post a public notice on the Secretary of State’s Web site that the Notary’s prior commission number is no longer valid.

Changes of Status

  1. Requires Notaries to inform the Secretary of State within 30 days of a change in residence address within the county of commissioning
  2. Requires that a request for an amended commission due to name change or move to a residence in a new county be made within 30 days (new) of the change.
  3. Allows the Secretary of State to deny a future application to any Notary who resigns after a complaint is lodged against the Notary.

Miscellaneous

  1. Specifies that certificates for an acknowledgment, affirmation, executing witness (e.g., subscribing witness) and copy certification that are prescribed in statute must be in at least 8-point type.
  2. Allows Notaries to charge a travel fee not to exceed the federal IRS mileage rate and an “expedited convenience service fee” of up to $25 if the Notary first explains to the signer that these fees are separate from the Notary fee and not specified by law and they agree on the fees in advance.
  3. Grants the Secretary of State power to reject the application of any person who, prior to appointment as a Notary, commits any offense for which the Secretary may currently revoke a commission.
  4. Grants to the Secretary of State “further power and authority as is reasonably necessary” to administer the Notary Public laws, including the power to immediately suspend a Notary for harmful conduct, followed by a hearing as soon as possible.
  5. Makes other changes to the law.
Analysis:

With this legislation, Missouri modernizes its Notary laws. Many of the new provisions may appear on the surface to be minor in scope. However, the new provisions specifying mandatory education, required journal entries, responsibility to notify the Secretary of State when the seal is stolen, increased powers for the Secretary of State, and clarifying that the journal is the Notary’s exclusive property are important changes. The provision for an “expedited convenience service fee” is an entirely new concept, but it will compensate Notaries for delivering services quickly upon request when in the past Notaries were asked to bend their schedules without additional compensation.

Read the bill text.

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