MS Administrative Rule (Improper Documents) | NNA
Rule

MS Administrative Rule (Improper Documents)

Notary Law Update: MS Administrative Rule (Improper Documents)

State: Mississippi

Summary:

A newly adopted final rule prohibits Notaries from notarizing a signature if the Notary believes that the notarization is desired for an unlawful or improper purpose, and requires Notaries to examine the document to determine if the requested notarization is appropriate and not contrary to the public interest.

Signed:  September 29, 2015

Effective:  October 29, 2015

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

Amends Title 1, Part 5, Chapter 5, Rule 5.6 of the Mississippi Administrative Code

Changes:
  1. Prohibits a Notary from notarizing a signature if he or she has good reason to believe that the certification is desired for an unlawful or improper purpose.
  2. Clarifies it is the duty of the Notary to examine the document, as may be necessary to establish that the requested notarization is appropriate and not contrary to public interest.
Analysis:

The Mississippi Secretary of State has amended its Notary rules with a provision requiring Notaries to determine if a notarial act they are asked to perform is desired for an unlawful or improper purpose prior to notarization. If the Notary determines the notarization on the document is intended for an improper or unlawful purpose, the Notary is prohibited from performing the notarization and must refuse the request. In recent years new laws have been enacted that allow a Notary regulating official to refuse to authenticate a notarized document for the same reasons as this new rule. These laws have been enacted to counter the so-called sovereign citizens, who try to use notarized documents and apostilles to protest paying legitimate debts, property taxes and other financial obligations. A Notary is not required to investigate the matter beyond looking over the document to have "good reason to believe" the notarization is intended for an improper or unlawful purpose. The NNA has concerns with the new rule creating a duty that typically goes beyond the traditional duties Notaries perform. Notaries are not generally expected or qualified to review the text or substance of documents for this purpose, unless they are attorneys.

Read the text of the administrative rule.

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