Recent Law Updates for Notaries

Much like the laws governing other professions that require certification, regulation of the notary service industry is constantly changing. Whether you’re a notary professional or you deal with notaries in the course of your business, it’s smart to know the recent law updates so you can stay current with new requirements. Each state has different rules, so these laws will vary in their impact upon various transactions. Here are some of the key changes that pertain for notary publics and notary signing agents.


A couple of new rules apply to notary public professionals in the State of Texas.

  1. The Secretary of State’s office – the agency that handles notary public commissions – is required to assign an ID number to all credentials issued on or after January 1, 2016. This identification number must appear on a notary’s official seal when used for executing documents.
  2. A new administrative regulation effective February 10, 2016 clarifies the requirements for notary application, seal and requests for public information. The rule also describes the process for notary public candidates who seek to submit an electronic application to the Secretary of State’s Office.



The California Assembly enacted legislation that impacts individuals with a notary commission, effective January 1 2016.

  1. Bill 432 allows notary professionals to accept “electronic signatures” and goes into detail in defining the term.
  2. Bill 1036 allows notaries to accept new forms of ID as they relate to prisoners in county jail or a local detention facility. A notary public can use photo identification issued by the sheriff’s office if it’s current or was issued within the last five years.



The Illinois General Assembly enacted one legislative bill that impacts the information a notary professional must supply on an application for a notary public commission. There is no longer the requirement for a notary to provide the address where the individual will be using his or her seal to execute documents and accept fees. The same bill defines the rules governing the state’s online application system for commissions.


Other States

  • Oklahoma: As of November 2015, the Secretary of State’s Office must use new criteria for issuing notary commissions; specifically, there are updated rules for the grounds upon which the office may deny, revoke or reject renewal of commissions.
  • Mississippi: Notary professionals are prohibited from notarizing a signature if they have reason to believe that the execution of a document is unlawful or for an improper purpose. Notaries public must review the document to make the determination on whether execution is appropriate and not contrary to the public interest.


These are just a few of the recent law updates for notaries. New regulations are becoming effective and being enacted almost daily. If you require the services of a notary professional, it’s important to find the right agent to handle your needs – which includes knowledge of the current legal landscape. The best notary public or notary signing agent for you should also be one that provides top customer care and professionalism to ensure the process is done properly.

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