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South Carolina Proposes Major Statute Revamp Based On The Model Notary Act; Increased Maximum Fees For Notarial Acts

200px-Flag_of_South_Carolina-svg.pngA bill based on the NNA’s Model Notary Act has been introduced in the South Carolina Senate seeking to strengthen and expand the state’s statutes, and provide clear rules and procedures for its 135,000 Notaries Public.

The bill, introduced on March 28 as S1382, also proposes increased fees Notaries can charge for their official acts, capping them at $5. Currently, Notaries can charge a maximum fee of between 25 and 50 cents, depending on the notarial act.

Incorporating many elements of the Model Notary Act, the bill proposes several new provisions and notarial acts, including authority to perform signature witnessing and verifications of fact; clear definitions of satisfactory evidence of identity and personal knowledge; procedures for notarizing for persons physically unable to sign; clear prohibitions and definitions of what constitutes the unauthorized practice of law; prohibition of the term “notario publico” in advertising; and penalties for a violation of Notary statutes, among many others.

Sponsored by State Senators Glenn G. Reese and Thomas C. Alexander, the bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for review.

Developed by the National Notary Association in cooperation with legal and notarial experts from across the nation, the Model Notary Act was created to assist state lawmakers in strengthening and modernizing notarial laws and is available in PDF format to the public through the NNA website.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

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