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New Disciplinary Guidelines Go Beyond Notaries

Law_booksthumb.jpgLaw enforcement officials across the country are going after managers who pressure Notary-employees to perform illegal acts — as seen in the recent multi-state charges against former document service executive Lorraine Brown — and the largest state in the nation has posted a clear warning to supervisors that cutting notarial corners is a crime, even if they are not Notaries.

California revised its disciplinary guidelines for Notary misconduct last month, and the updated guidelines are now available in PDF format at the Secretary of State’s website. Page 29 of the revised guidelines states, “Any person who solicits, coerces, or in any manner influences a notary public to perform an improper notarial act knowing the act is improper, including any act required of a notary public in connection with the notary journal, is guilty of a misdemeanor. (Government Code section 8225(a).)”

The guidelines address several areas of Notary misconduct such as knowingly notarizing a fraudulent real estate document, and offering unauthorized immigration advice. It also lists examples of crimes of “moral turpitude” that can disqualify a person from receiving a Notary commission.

Sharing the guidelines with employers and co-workers could help avoid illegal notarization requests. Should you have any questions regarding state Notary law, the NNA’s Notary Hotline counselors are available to answer questions by phone at 888-876-0827 and by e-mail at


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