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Law

New York Senate Bill 5672A

Notary Law Update: NY Senate 5672A

State: New York

Summary:

Senate 5672A prohibits a non-attorney Notary who advertises in a foreign language from using any terms meaning or implying that the Notary is an attorney licensed to practice law in New York or in any other jurisdiction of the U.S., and requires Notaries who advertise in a language other than English to include in the advertisement a prescribed notice in the foreign language.

Signed:  September 23, 2011

Effective:  March 21, 2012

Chapter: 586

Affects:

Amends Section 135-b of the Executive Law

Changes:
  1. Requires a Notary who advertises in a language other than English to post the following notice in the foreign language: I am not an attorney licensed to practice law and may not give legal advice about immigration or any other legal matter or accept fees for legal advice.
  2. Defines advertisement to include material designed to give notice of or to promote or describe the services offered by a Notary for profit and includes business cards, brochures, and notices, whether in print or electronic form.
  3. Prohibits a non-attorney Notary from using terms in a foreign language advertisement that mean or imply the Notary is an attorney licensed to practice law in New York or in any jurisdiction of the U.S.
  4. Requires the Secretary of State to designate by rule or regulation the terms in a foreign language that mean or imply that a Notary is licensed to practice law in the state of New York and authorizes the Secretary to promulgate any other rules to implement the new law, including the type of statements that a Notary is require to post.
  5. States that any person who violates the new law or any rule or regulation promulgated by the Secretary may be liable for civil penalty of up to $1,000 recoverable in an action instituted by the Attorney General on his or her own initiative or at the request of the Secretary.
  6. Authorizes the Secretary to suspend a Notary upon a second violation of the new law and to remove the Notary from office upon a third violation, provided that the Notary has been served with a copy of the charges and has been given an opportunity to be heard.
Analysis:

Senate 5672A prohibits a non-attorney Notary who advertises in a language other than English from using any terms that mean or imply that the Notary is an attorney licensed to practice law in New York or in any other jurisdiction of the U.S., and requires Notaries who notarize in such a foreign language to include in the advertisement a prescribed notice. The Secretary of State is required to promulgate rules specifying the terms a Notary must avoid using to mean or imply the Notary is an attorney. The Secretary also has been granted rulemaking authority to publish any other rules needed to implement the new law. There is a hefty civil penalty that may be imposed upon any Notary who violates the new law and the Secretary may suspend and revoke the commission of the Notary upon repeated violations.

Read the bill text.

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