NV Senate Bill 77 | NNA
Law

NV Senate Bill 77

Notary Law Update: NV Senate Bill 77

State: Nevada

Summary:

Senate Bill 77 enacts substantive amendments to Nevada law regulating Notaries who perform protests, how certain journal entries are recorded, security of the journal and seal, and allowing the Secretary of State to fingerprint commission applicants. The new law also imposes a maximum civil penalty of $2,000 on Notaries and the employers of Notaries for certain violations.

Signed:  June 10, 2011

Effective:  January 01, 2012

Chapter: 285

Affects:

Amends Sections 240.030, 240.040, 240.075, 240.120, 240.150 and 240.210 of the Nevada Revised Statutes

Changes:
  1. Requires, if mandated by the Secretary of State, a person applying for appointment as a Notary Public to submit with the application a complete set of his or her fingerprints and a fee for processing the fingerprints.
  2. Requires a Notary to keep his or her stamp in a secure location during any period in which the Notary is not using the stamp.
  3. Prohibits a Notary from performing a notarial act on a document, including a form that requires the signer to provide information within blank spaces, unless the document has been filled out completely and has been signed.
  4. Prohibits a Notary from making or noting a protest of a negotiable instrument unless the Notary is employed by a depository institution and the protest is made or noted within the scope of that employment and provides that the term "depository institution" has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 657.037.
  5. Permits a Notary to make one entry in the journal which records more than one notarial act if the notarial acts so recorded are performed (a) for the same person and at the same time; and (b) on one document or on similar documents.
  6. Permits a Notary taking an acknowledgment for a person to not require the individual to sign the journal if the Notary has performed a notarial act for the person within the previous 6 months and the Notary has personal knowledge of the identity of the person.  In these cases, the Notary must enter "known personally" as the description required to be entered into the journal.
  7. Requires a Notary to keep his or her journal in a secure location during any period in which the notary public is not making an entry or notation in the journal.
  8. Provides that the appointment of a Notary may be suspended or revoked by the Secretary of State pending a hearing if the Secretary of State believes it is in the public interest or is necessary to protect the public.
  9. Clarifies that except as otherwise provided in Chapter 240 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and after an investigation and hearing to determine cause, a Notary may be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $2,000 for any willful violation or neglect of duty or other violation of Chapter 240 of the NRS, or upon proof that the Notary has been convicted of a crime described in paragraph (c) of subsection 2 of NRS 240.010 (a crime involving moral turpitude or burglary, conversion, embezzlement, extortion, forgery, fraud, identity theft, larceny, obtaining money under false pretenses, robbery or any other crime involving misappropriation of the identity or property of another person or entity).
  10. Clarifies that except as otherwise provided in Chapter 240 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and after an investigation and hearing to determine cause, an employer of a Notary may be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $2,000 for an employee-Notary’s willful violation or neglect of duty or other violation of Chapter 240 of the NRS, or upon proof that the Notary has been convicted of a crime described in paragraph (c) of subsection 2 of NRS 240.010 (a crime involving moral turpitude or burglary, conversion, embezzlement, extortion, forgery, fraud, identity theft, larceny, obtaining money under false pretenses, robbery or any other crime involving misappropriation of the identity or property of another person or entity). (Note: The employer also may be liable for any damages proximately caused by the misconduct of the employee-Notary.)
  11. Clarifies that the commission of a Notary may be revoked for any willful violation or neglect of duty or other violation of Chapter 240 of the NRS, or upon proof that the Notary has been convicted of a crime described in paragraph (c) of subsection 2 of NRS 240.010, after a hearing.
  12. Requires the Secretary of State to publish notice of the revocation or suspension of a Notary’s commission on the Secretary’s website and repeals the prior provision that the notice be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the notary public resides or works.
  13. Makes a technical change to NRS 240.201(1).
Analysis:

Senate Bill 77 enacts significant amendments to Chapter 240 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. It permits the Secretary to require fingerprinting of all commission applicants by the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Section 7 of the bill provides for an immediate effective date of this provision, allowing the Secretary of State to promulgate rules concerning the fingerprinting provision. SB 77 also imposes a potentially hefty maximum civil penalty of up to $2,000 to any Notary or the employer of a Notary for a Notary’s or employee-Notary’s willful violation or neglect of duty or other violation of Chapter 240 of the NRS. SB 77 also makes changes to Nevada’s journal statute, permitting a Notary to allow a person acknowledging a signature to sign once in the Notary’s journal if the Notary has performed a notarial act for the person within the previous 6 months and the Notary has personal knowledge of the identity of the person. The new law also permits a Notary to make one entry in the journal to record more than one notarial act, under certain circumstances. Following the lead of Oregon, Nevada also seeks to address problems caused by the so-called “sovereign citizens” in allowing only those Notaries who are employed by a depository institution to perform a protest during the course of their employment. We also note and are pleased with the rules emphasizing the Notary is to secure the Notary’s seal and journal and prohibiting Notaries from notarizing documents containing blank spaces.

Read the bill text.

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