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South Carolina raises Notary fees, enacts ‘Model Notary Act’ provisions

South Carolina State HouseA major revision of South Carolina notarial statutes based in part on the NNA’s Model Notary Act allows Notaries to charge higher fees for their services, provides clear guidelines for identifying document signers, defines various notarial acts and much more.

Senate Bill 356 raises the maximum fee for acknowledgments and jurats in South Carolina to $5 — a significant increase from the previous fee schedule, which ranged from 25 cents to $1 maximum. SB 356 also allows a Notary to charge a travel fee, provided the Notary and signer agree on the fee in advance, and the Notary explains to the signer that the travel fee is separate from the fee charged for the notarization. Notaries who charge for their services must also display an English-language schedule of their fees in their place of business.

Along with fee increases, here are some important changes made by SB 356:

  • Provides definitions for “acknowledgment,” “oath,” “jurat,” “official misconduct,” “personal appearance” and other key notarial terms based on the Model Notary Act of 2010.
  • Requires Notaries to identify signers through personal appearance or satisfactory proof of identity, which includes a current identification document issued by a federal or state government agency bearing a photo, signature and physical description; a current passport without a physical description; the oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally known to the Notary, or two credible witnesses who provide ID for themselves that fits the requirements listed above.
  • Requires Notaries to sign their name exactly as it appears on the commission and sign by hand in ink on the notarial certificate. However, Notaries with disabilities may use a signature stamp to sign their name upon prior approval by the Secretary of State.
  • Prohibits notarizing without the physical presence of the signer.
  • Removes protests of commercial paper as an authorized notarial act.
  • Provides procedures for notarizing a signature by mark when an individual cannot write his or her name, and also allows a third party or a Notary to sign a document on behalf of a signer who cannot sign his or her name or make a mark.
  • Adds prohibited acts and criminal penalties for certain offenses.

South Carolina is just one of several states that have enacted new Notary laws in recent months. More information about SB 356 is available here.

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

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Add your comment

James Thomas Mackay

14 Mar 2016

What fee can be charged to perform a last minute wedding?

National Notary Association

16 Mar 2016

Hello. South Carolina statute only states that the maximum fee that may be charged for a notarial act is $5. State law does not address fees for additional services performed by a Notary officiating a wedding.

Denise Beaird

23 Jul 2016

South Carolina needs to update the website

Thomas Doughty

22 Jan 2018

South Carolina is one of three states that allows a notary public to perform a marriage. The other two states are Florida and Maine. Also since performing a marriage is not considered a notarial act, there is no fee set and should be set by agreement of the parties. Marriages can be small or large, so some agreement should be needed.

Louis Chitty

01 Dec 2020

I live in another state and would like to have a Quit-Claim Deed notarized in S.C. I have two original copies (of the same Quit-Claim Deed) and I would like to have both notarized -- one to file with the assessor and one spare (just in case the original is lost in the mail). The Quit-Claim Deed requires the signature of the grantor and TWO witnesses, one of whom may be the notary. If the grantor appears with one witness (and the also notary acts as a witness), what will the cost be? What would the cost be if the grantor appears with no witnesses and the notary provides both witnesses?

National Notary Association

04 Dec 2020

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

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