NE Legislative Bill 315 | NNA
Law

NE Legislative Bill 315

Notary Law Update: NE Legislative Bill 315

State: Nebraska

Summary:

LB 315, introduced in 2003 but tabled for much of the 2003 session, institutes welcome changes to Nebraska’s Notary laws, including solid identification standards, ethical imperatives and a new testing requirement that will surely provide greater protection to the public. 

Signed:  April 09, 2004

Effective:  July 16, 2004

Chapter: 54

Affects:

Amends Nebraska Revised Statutes sections 33-133, 64-101, 64-102, 64-113, and 64-210 and creates 4 new sections within Chapter 64 Article I

Changes:
  1. Removes fees for a deposition.
  2. Eliminates the previously required 25 signature endorsements on application.
  3. Requires applicants to take a written test and prohibits felons and persons convicted of fraud from becoming a Notary.
  4. Raises the Notary bond from $10,000 to $15,000.
  5. Prohibits a Notary from notarizing if the principal is not in the Notary’s presence or is not personally known to the Notary or identified by satisfactory evidence.
  6. Defines “satisfactory evidence” as a current government-issued ID with a photograph, signature and physical description; 1 credible witness known to the Notary and signer; and 2 credible witnesses known to the signer and identified through satisfactory evidence.
  7. Defines “personal knowledge.”
  8. Permits notarization of a signature by mark and signature by proxy.
  9. “Signature witnessing” mentioned for the first time as a notarial act, although no certificate wording is provided.
  10. Prohibits Notaries from notarizing for close relatives.
  11. Prohibits various practices constituting the unauthorized practice of law by nonattorneys, including counseling on immigration matters, as class III misdemeanors.
  12. Forbids use of the terms “Notario” and “Notario Publico” by nonattorneys.
  13. Requires prescribed written notice to be placed in non-English advertisements.
  14. Defines “malfeasance” (misconduct).
  15. Provides for temporary revocation of a commission for misconduct, requires a suspended Notary or a Notary removed from office to turn in the official seal and commission within 15 days and raises the fine to $1,000 for failing to do so; requires suspended Notary to take written exam.
  16. Requires Notaries to notify the Secretary of State of any residence address change within 45 days on prescribed form.
  17. Removes option of using an embosser as the official Notary seal (inking seal is required).
  18. Transfers oversight of Notaries from the Governor to the Secretary of State.
Analysis:

LB 315, introduced in 2003 but tabled for much of the 2003 session, institutes welcome changes to Nebraska’s Notary laws, including solid identification standards, ethical imperatives and a new testing requirement that will surely provide greater protection to the public. Nebraska joins New Mexico and Massachusetts in adopting portions of the Model Notary Act, joins the ranks of states requiring Notary applicants to take and pass a mandatory examination and follows the lead of several states forbidding use of the terms “Notario” and “Notario Publico.” The new testing requirement will give us an opportunity to educate and serve Nebraska Notaries in new ways. 

Read the bill text.

Knowledge Center