WA Senate Bill 6491


State: Washington
Signed: March 29, 2016

Effective: June 28, 2016
Chapter: 23


Senate Bill 6491 prohibits the Secretary of State from issuing an apostille or certification for a notarized document used for certain unlawful purposes.


Adds a new section to Chapter 43.07 of the Revised Code of Washington.

  1. Authorizes the Secretary of State to attest to the authenticity of the signature of a public official and Notary Public in the state of Washington.
  2. Prohibits the Secretary of state from certifying or attesting to the signature of a Notary public on a document: (a) regarding allegiance to a government or jurisdiction; (b) relating to the relinquishment or renunciation of citizenship, sovereignty, military status, or world service authority; or (c) setting forth or implying for the bearer a claim of immunity from the laws of the jurisdictions of Washington, immunity from the laws of the state of Washington, or immunity from federal law.
  3. Permits the Secretary of state to adopt rules to implement these provisions.

According to the bill report submitted to the Legislature, SB 6491 was introduced to help the Secretary of State tamp down on inappropriate requests for apostilles and certifications of notarized documents. The report states that there are people who are using apostilles for inappropriate purposes. These people come into the Secretary of State office and get documents authenticated that deny their US citizenship. They then take these documents and create fake IDs and driver's licenses in order to claim diplomatic immunity. The bill was vetoed by the Governor – not because the bill was unworthy of approval – but because the Governor had determined not to approve bills prior to the enactment of the state’s supplemental budget. The veto was overridden by a large majority.

Read Senate Bill 6491.