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New laws mean a world of change for Oregon Notaries

Oregon.jpgOregon has made extensive changes to its Notary laws and procedures, which go into effect on September 1. The top changes Oregon Notaries need to know include:

ID Requirement Changes

  • Notaries may accept a signer ID that has been expired up to three years before the date of notarization.
  • Notaries may accept a driver's instruction permit, provisional or limited term driver's license as proof of signer identity.
  • Notaries may accept a U.S. government-issued ID from a signer that includes a photo and signature only. Previously, this ID could be accepted provided it had a physical description as well.

Credible Witnesses

  • Signers may now be identified by credible identifying witnesses who present proof of identity from the statutory list of acceptable signer identification documents.


  • Notaries may keep either a paper or electronic journal. Electronic journals must be accessible by the Secretary of State upon request.
  • Notaries may have more than one journal at a time, but each journal must be in chronological order.
  • Journal entries must be completed at the same time a notarial act is performed.
  • Notaries must now keep a journal 10 years from the date of the last entry in the journal, up from seven years as the law required before.


  • A stamp impression must be reproducible if copied. Notaries may own more than one stamp, but are responsible for keeping all stamps secure from tampering or fraudulent use.

Notarial Certificates

  • Notaries may correct any errors or omissions in a notarial certificate subsequent to the notarization.

Notarizing for Relatives

  • Notaries may not notarize a document in which a spouse is named or directly benefits from.

Unauthorized Practice of Law

  • The unauthorized practice of law is defined in greater detail, including assisting a person in drafting legal records, giving advice on legal matters and acting as an immigration consultant.

Signature by Proxy

  • A disabled signer may now have another person sign a document on their behalf in the presence of a Notary and have this signature notarized.

Electronic Notarization

  • After registering with the Secretary of State, a Notary may perform notarial acts on electronic records using a tamper-evident technology to affix the Notary's electronic signature.

The new law adds several other changes, including an updated commission application and investigative process. The state has provided a summary of other Oregon law changes and the NNA will also be presenting a webinar in September to update Notaries on the state's new laws and procedures.

David Thun is the Assistant Managing Editor with the National Notary Association.

View All: Laws & Regulations

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