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2023 Notary Laws: One of the busiest years ever for new Notary statutes

2023 in large letters over a pattern of legislative iconography

The 2023 legislative session was one of the most active in recent history, with 227 Notary bills introduced and 67 enacted throughout the country focused on issues like training, bonds, recordkeeping, and RON regulation, among others. The regulatory front was no different. Twelve states adopted Notary regulations. All told, it was one of the busiest years on record for policies affecting Notaries.

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Remote Notarization in 2023

It is hard to believe that more than a decade has passed since Virginia became the first state to enact and implement a remote notarization bill in 2011. Today, more than 40 states have implemented remote notarization laws. The story that unfolded in 2023 was the race to see which of the remaining states would win the dubious distinction of finishing last to enact remote notarization laws. California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts took themselves out of the running by passing bills this year. Now only three states — Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina — lack permanent remote notarization statutes.

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Other Important New Notary Laws

Several other 2023 new Notary laws merit inclusion in this year’s legislative roundup for their impact on Notaries of their respective states. A major Alabama bill created mandatory training for Alabama Notaries and doubled the already highest in the nation Notary surety bond from $25,000 to $50,000. To compensate somewhat, the maximum fee Notaries are allowed to charge also increased from $5 to $10.

In North Carolina, the General Assembly struck down a provision in a 2022 law requiring Notaries to keep a journal for all notarial acts and replaced it with a new 2023 law making journal-keeping optional. The new law was crafted in a behind-closed-doors, back-room conference committee without giving the public an opportunity for a hearing on the controversial provision.

In last year’s legislative feature, we reported on a Colorado administrative rule that allowed the use of interpreters for document signers with certain physical conditions. This year, the General Assembly enacted a broader bill allowing interpreters to be used for any document signer, but also put in place meaningful guardrails to protect document signers, relying parties, and Notaries. It also raised the fees Colorado Notaries could charge for a notarial act from $5 to $15, and for remote notarizations, from $10 to $25.

In 2017, the state of Ohio made Notaries mandated reporters of adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and created a maximum $500 fine for failing to make a report. This year, the law changed from a broad responsibility into a fourth-degree misdemeanor if a Notary knowingly fails to report abuse. The consequences now include a maximum $250 fine and up to 30 days in prison.

You can see the legislation the NNA is tracking on the NNA’s Notary law tracking map, and once bills are signed into law, read about them in the NNA’s searchable New Notary Laws database.

Bill Anderson is Vice President of Government Affairs at the National Notary Association


Add your comment

Kevin The Signing Resource

15 Dec 2023

I’m a “newbee” but not a! I just started my MNSA business in ca. I’ve opted to charge a flat rate of $100 ph in 15 min increments of course. I generally don’t break down travel fee’s. Acknowledgements and everything else are part of the $100 ph. It’s easier for my customer to understand my fees …customers like it because it is so straight forward. I just list the ak form fee (15. In ca) as “complementary” Is there anything that is violating notary laws in ca doing it this way? The next time someone asks me “how long will this take?” I tell them that I charge $100 per hour. That pretty much takes care of that! They can read and reread the doc. all they want!! Btw, most of my business is direct with escrow co.s so when I do work with signing platforms I obviously adjust to their offer or fee they want to pay my for my service.

National Notary Association

18 Dec 2023

Hello. In California, the maximum fee that can be charged for notarizing a signature, either by acknowledgment, proof or jurat: $15 per signature of principal (GC 8211[a] and [b]). According to the Secretary of State's Notary newsletter, “A notary is permitted to charge a fee, aside from the notarization fee, for traveling and other services completed as part of their notarial service, such as duplication of copies, provided that the customer is apprised of these charges in advance.”

Edward E. C. Wilkinson, Jr.

18 Dec 2023

What states currently have the highest notary fraud cases, and are they the same states that lack notary recording policies? I do not understand remote notary. How does one check the ID of the customer?

Jill Grey

18 Dec 2023

Thank you for all the information on the Notary business. Please keep me updated for the state of Florida.

National Notary Association

18 Dec 2023

You're very welcome, we are glad to be of help. You can find the latest information on new Florida bills and laws at our online New Notary Laws Database here:

Javid Owji

18 Dec 2023

Good articles.


18 Dec 2023

Kevin, be careful $15 is the current fee. Unless you just did nt break it down for us. LOL travel, loan signing and etc is something else. Barbara, from southern CA

28 Jan 2024

Thank you Bill Anderson and the NNA for keeping us informed about the law changes. I've been commissioned for 19 years and on two occasions I first heard about new laws from the NNA prior to hearing anything from my state. Your Knowledge Center and Notary Law Tracker is da bomb! You make me look good.

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