NOTARY INFORMATION

Unlike any other state in the Union, Louisiana's Civil Law System, based upon the French Napoleon Code takes a civil law approach and provides that much of our legal documentation is to be passed before a NOTARY PUBLIC.  In Louisiana, a Notary is considered a public official who has qualified for a Governor's Commission which authorizes a broad range of powers that you will not find in practice by the Notaries of other states.

Many of the legal documents that you would typically find reserved to be done strictly by attorneys in other states can be performed by a Civil Law Notary in Louisiana.  Non-Attorney Notaries must demonstrate by a proficiency test in several areas of the law that are within the scope of the powers of a notary public.  This test is so extensive that the majority of the participants will fail on their first try and it requires extensive study to master the elements of the material.  Licensed attorneys may be exempted from the exam but otherwise all Louisiana Notaries, whether they are Attorneys or Non-Attorneys must go through the same process to obtain a commission.

The Notary shall, as a government official, serve all of the public in an honest, fair and unbiased manner. The Notary shall act as an impartial witness. La. Law requires 2 witnesses on most documents, such as bill of sale, car titles, authentic acts, acts of donation, wills , power of attorneys and other legal documents....Neither can be the Notary. The Notary shall require the presence of each signer and oath-taker in order to carefully screen each for identity and willingness, and to observe that each appears aware of the significance of the transaction requiring a notarial act. Louisiana does not require a seal, but the document may go across state lines which does require a seal therefore it is prudent to afix a seal. The Notary shall seek instruction on notarization and keep current on the laws, practices and requirements of the notary office to develop and promote notarial procedures that deter impropriety, injustice and fraud.

 

Louisiana Notaries - often misunderstood

Wikipedia defines a Louisiana Notary Public, as the following:
 

"Louisiana notaries public are commissioned by the Governor. They are the only notaries to be appointed for life. The Louisiana notary public is a civil law notary with broad powers, as authorized by law, usually reserved for the American style combination "Barrister/Solicitor" lawyers and other legally authorized practitioners in other states. A commissioned notary in Louisiana is a civil law notary that can perform/prepare many civil law notarial acts usually associated with attorneys and other legally authorized practitioners in other states, except represent another person or entity before a court of law for a fee (unless they are also admitted to the bar). Notaries are not allowed to give "legal" advice, but they are allowed to give "notarial" advice - i.e., explain or recommend what documents are needed or required to perform a certain act - and do all things necessary or incidental to the performance of their civil law notarial duties. They can prepare any document a civil law notary can prepare (to include inventories, appraisements, partitions, wills, protests, matrimonial contracts, conveyances, and, generally, all contracts and instruments in writing) and, if ordered or requested to by a judge, prepare certain notarial legal documents, in accordance with law, to be returned and filed with that court of law." (emphasis added) www.wikipedia.com .


 


THE FIRST NOTORIAL ACT OF LOUISIANA

April 9th, 2012 marks the 340th anniversary of la Salle's claim in the name of the king of France, Louis XIV, of all the territory drained by the Mississippi river. All of which set the stage for us having just title to our land today.  In case it might be useful as you take the bankers to the table on behalf of Louisiana notaries and the public we serve, I'd like to share with you a story about the role of the notary in the perfecting of the claim made in the name of the king.

Several years after la Salle had done his deed –an old priest named Hennepin claimed that he had traveled to the mouth of the Mississippi two years before la Salle, and that it was he who claimed Louisiana for the king.

The story was later debunked. But it wouldn't have mattered much if the priest had been telling the truth, because the procès verbal of Jaques de la Metairie, the kings notary, was recorded in the king's court in France. This notarial instrument is held today in the archives of the Ministère de la Marine et des Colonies, Paris. (If it were in some place like that here in Louisiana, it would probably be under your trust and you'd be struggling right about now with the legislature to allow you enough money to keep it safe!)

Anyway, the written record of la Salle's claim made it to the courthouse, and just like it works today, it worked back then – nobody could dispute that the king had established just title to the land, and he could subdivide it as he pleased.

This notarial procès verbal is a notary's writing telling the particulars of how la Salle's expedition wound up at a place we know now as Venice, La., where the long-suffering adventurer posted a large cross with a representative coat of arms of France (hammered from a pot of some sort), and the whole lot of them immediately went on-and-on with all due ceremony as one would expect to mark any such significant event as claiming nearly half a continent in the name of a king.

But no matter how much ceremony somebody might talk about later, in the culture of the time, nobody could really say anybody owned anything until a writing telling about it made by a notary made its way to the king's court!

The procès verbal was recorded! Old priest's imaginings notwithstanding. La Salle had a notary there, and got his notarial act recorded. If it is about immovable property, it's going to involve a notarial act if anybody is to have just title.

And to this day, whenever we transfer the pieces of that continent amongst ourselves, we rely on the writing – the story told by the notary – that we've done whatever we've done – and signed by all present and acting and witnessing in the presence of the notary, and signed by him. We call that "just title," and it's about as fundamental as it gets when talking property ownership.

And that's why it's really ridiculous to think that notaries and most lawyers with any sense will just sit back and watch while bankers pass a law in this state that presumes that Louisiana notaries shouldn't be expected to be able to write a relatively uncomplicated act of sale involving a seller and a buyer dealing with some immovable property, and including everything the law wants included in the act.

Enjoy, if you will, reading the first notarial act made in Louisiana, and recorded with the king of France:

PROCÉS VERBAL or THE TAKING POSSESSION OF LOUISIANA, AT THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI, BY THE SIEUR DE LA SALLE, ON THE 9TH OF APRIL, 1682.

JAQUES DE LA METAIRIE, Notary of Fort Frontenac in New France, commissioned to exercise the said function of Notary during the voyage to Louisiana, in North America, by M. de la Salle, Governor of Fort Frontenac for the King, and commandant of the said Discovery by the commission of his Majesty given at St. Germain, on the 12th of May, 1678.

To all those to whom these presents shall come, greeting;– Know, that having been requested by the said Sieur de la Salle to deliver to him an act, signed by us and by the witnesses therein named of possession by him taken of the country of Louisiana, near the three mouths of the River Colbert[1], in the Gulf of Mexico, on the 9th of April, 1682.

In the name of the most high, mighty, invincible, and victorious Prince, Louis the Great, by the Grace of God, King of France and of Navarre, Fourteenth of that named and of his heirs, and the successor of his crown, we, the aforesaid Notary, have delivered the said act to the said Sieur de la Salle, the tenor whereof follows.

On the 27th of December 1681, M. de la Salle departed on foot to join M. De Tonty, who had preceded him with his followers and all his equipage 40 leagues into the Miamis country, where the ice on the River Chekagou, in the country of the Mascoutens, had arrested his progress, and where, when the ice became stronger, they used sledges to drag the baggage, the canoes, and a wounded Frenchman, through the whole length of this river, and on the Illinois, a distance of 70 leagues.

At length, all the French being together, on the 25th of January, 1682, we came to Pimiteoui. From that place, the river being frozen only in some parts, we continued our route to the River Colbert, 60 leagues, or thereabouts, from Pimiteoui, and 90 leagues, or thereabouts, from the village of the Illinois. We reached the banks of the River Colbert on the 6th of January, and remained there until the 13th, waiting for the savages, whose progress had been impeded by the ice. On the 13th, all having assembled, we renewed our voyage, being 22 French, carrying arms, accompanied by the Reverend Father Zenobe Membre, one of the Recollet Missionaries, and followed by 18 New England savages, and several women, Ilgonquines, Otchipoises, and Huronnes.

On the 14th, we arrived at the village of Maroa, consisting of a hundred cabins, without inhabitants. Proceeding about a hundred leagues down the River Colbert, we went ashore to hunt on the 26th of February. A Frenchman was lost in the woods, and it was reported to M. de la Salle, that a large number of savages had been seen in the vicinity. Thinking that they might have seized the Frenchman, and in order to observe these savages, he marched through the woods during two days, but without finding them, because they had all been frightened by the guns which they had heard, and had fled.

Returning to camp, he sent in every direction French and savages on the search, with orders, if they fell in with savages, to take them alive without injury, that he might gain from them intelligence of this Frenchman. Gabriel Barbie, with two savages, having met five of the Chikacha nation, captured two of them. They were received with all possible kindness, and, after he had explained to them that he was anxious about a Frenchman who had been lost, and that he only detained them that he might rescue him from their hands, if he was really among them, and afterwards make with them an advantageous peace (the French doing good to everybody), they assured him that they had not seen the man whom we sought, but that peace would be received with the greatest satisfaction. Presents were then given to them, and, as they had signified that one of their villages was not more than half a day's journey distant, M. de la Salle set out the next day to go thither; but, after travelling till night, and having remarked that they often contradicted themselves in their discourse, he declined going farther without more provisions. Having pressed them to tell the truth, they confessed that it was yet four days' journey to their villages; and perceiving that M. de la Salle was angry at having been deceived, they proposed that one of them should remain with him, while the other carried the news to the village, whence the elders would come and join them four days' journey below that place. The said Sieur de la Salle returned to the camp with one of these Chikachas; and the Frenchman, whom we sought, having been found, he continued his voyage, and passed the river of the Chepontias, and the village of the Metsigameas. The fog, which was very thick, prevented his finding the passage which led to the rendezvous proposed by the Chikachas.

On the 12th of March, we arrived at the Kapaha village of Akansa. Having established a peace there, and taken possession, we passed, on the 15th, another of their villages, situate on the border of their river, and also two others, farther off in the depth of the forest, and arrived at that of Imaha, the largest village in this nation, where peace was confirmed, and where the chief acknowledged that the village belonged to his Majesty. Two Akansas embarked with M. de la Salle to conduct him to the Talusas, their allies, about fifty leagues distant, who inhabit eight villages upon the borders of a little lake. On the 19th, we passed the villages of Tourika, Jason, and Kouera; but as they did not border on the river, and were hostile to the Akansas and Taensas, we did not stop there.

On the 20th, we arrived at the Taensas, by whom we were exceedingly well received, and supplied with a large quantity of provisions. M. de Tonty passed a night at one of their villages, where there were about 700 men carrying arms, assembled in the place. Here again a peace was concluded. A peace was also made with the Koroas, whose chief came there from the principal village of the Koroas, two leagues distant from that of the Natches. The two chiefs accompanied M. de la Salle to the banks of the river. Here the Koroa chief embarked with him, to conduct him to his village, where peace was again concluded with this nation, which, besides the five other villages of which it is composed, is allied to nearly forty others. On the 31st, we passed the village of the Oumas without knowing it, on account of the fog, and its distance from the river.

On the 3d of April, at about 10 o'clock in the morning, we saw among the canes thirteen or fourteen canoes. M. de la Salle landed, with several of his people. Footprints were seen, and also savages, a little lower down, who were fishing, and who fled precipitately as soon as they discovered us. Others of our party then went ashore on the borders of a marsh formed by the inundation of the river. M. de la Salle sent two Frenchmen, and then two savages, to reconnoitre, who reported that there was a village not far off, but that the whole of this marsh, covered with canes, must be crossed to reach it; that they had been assailed with a shower of arrows by the inhabitants of the town, who had not dared to engage with them in the marsh, but who had then withdrawn, although neither the French nor the savages with them had fired, on account of the orders they had received not to act unless in pressing danger. Presently we heard a drum beat in the village, and the cries and howlings with which these barbarians are accustomed to make attacks. We waited three or four hours, and, as we could not encamp in this marsh, and seeing no one, and no longer hearing anything, we embarked.

An hour afterwards, we came to the village of Maheouala, lately destroyed, and containing dead bodies and marks of blood. Two leagues below this place we encamped. We continued our voyage till the 6th, when we discovered three channels by which the River Colbert (Mississippi) discharges itself into the sea. We landed on the bank of the most western channel, about three leagues from its mouth. On the 7th, M. de la Salle went to reconnoitre the shores of the neighboring sea, and M. de Tonty likewise examined the great middle channel. They found these two outlets beautiful, large, and deep. On the 8th, we reascended the river, a little above its confluence with the sea, to find a dry place, beyond the reach of inundations. The elevation of the North Pole was here about 27°. Here we prepared a column and a cross, and to the said column were affixed the arms of France, with this inscription:

"LOUIS LE GRAND, ROI DE FRANCE ET DE NAVARRE, RÈGNE; LE NEUVIÈME AVRIL, 1682"

The whole party, under arms, chaunted the Te Deum, the Exaudiat, the Domine salvum fac Regem; and then, after a salute of fire-arms and cries of Vive le Roi, the column was erected by M. de la Salle, who, standing near it, said, with a loud voice, in French :—"In the name of the most high, mighty, invincible, and victorious Prince, Louis the Great, by the Grace of God King of France and of Navarre, Fourteenth of that name, this ninth day of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty-two, I, in virtue of the commission of his Majesty which I hold in my hand, and which may be seen by all whom it may concern, have taken, and do now take, in the name of his Majesty and of his successors to the crown, possession of this country of Louisiana, the seas, harbors, ports, bays, adjacent straits; and all the nations, people, provinces, cities, towns, villages, mines, minerals, fisheries, streams, and rivers, comprised in the extent of said Louisiana, from the mouth of the great river St. Louis, on the eastern side, otherwise called Ohio, Alighin, Sipore, or Chukagona, and this with the consent of the Chaouanons, Chikachas, and other people dwelling therein, with whom we have made alliance; as also along the River Colbert, or Mississippi, and rivers which discharge themselves therein, from its source beyond the country of the Kious or Nadouessious, and this with their consent, and with the consent of the Motantees, llinois, Mesigameas, Natches, Koroas, which are the most considerable nations dwelling therein, with whom also we have made alliance, either by ourselves or by others in our behalf; as far as its mouth at the sea, or Gulf of Mexico, about the 27th degree of the elevation of the North Pole, and also to the mouth of the River of Palms; upon the assurance which we have received from all these nations, that we are the first Europeans who have descended or ascended the said River Colbert; hereby protesting against all those who may in future undertake to invade any or all of these countries, people, or lands, above described, to the prejudice of the right of his Majesty, acquired by the consent of the nations herein named. Of which, and of all that can be needed, I hereby take to witness those who hear me, and demand an act of the Notary, as required by law."

To which the whole assembly responded with shouts of Vive le Roi, and with salutes of fire-arms. Moreover, the said Sieur de la Salle caused to be buried at the foot of the tree, to which the cross was attached, a leaden plate, on one side of which were engraved the arms of France, and the following Latin inscription:—

VDOVICVS MAGNVS REGNAT.
NONO APRILIS CIO IOC LXXXII.

ROBERTVS CAVELIER, CVM DOMINO DE TONTY, LEGATO, R. P ZENOBIO MEMBRÈ RECOLLECTO, ET VIGINTI GALLIS, PRIMVS HOC FLVMEN, INDE AB ILINEORVM PAGO, ENAVIGAVIT, EJVSQUE OSTIVM FECIT PERVIVM, NONO APRILIS. ANNI CIƆ IƆC LXXXII.

After which the Sieur de la Salle said, that his Majesty, as eldest son of the Church, would annex no country to his crown, without making it his chief care to establish the Christian religion therein, and that its symbol must now be planted; which was accordingly done at once by erecting a cross, before which the Vexilla and the Domine salcum fac Regem were sung. Whereupon the ceremony was concluded with cries of Vive le Roi.

Of all and every of the above, the said Sieur de la Salle having required of us an instrument, we have delivered to him the same, signed by us, and by the undersigned witnesses, this ninth day of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty-two.

La Metairie,
Notary.

De La Salle.
P. Zenobe, Recollet Missionary.
Henry de Tonty.
Francois de Boisrondet.
Jean Bourdon.
Sieur d'autray. 
Jaques Cauchois.
Pierre You.
Gilles Meucret.
Jean Michel, Surgeon.
Jean Mas.
Jean Dulignon.
Nicolas de la Salle.

Translated from a copy of the original manuscript, deposited in the archives of the Ministère de la Marine et des Colonies, Paris
Source: Historical collections of Louisiana: embracing translations of many rare and valuable documents relating to the natural, civil and political history of the state, Volume 1 Published January 1846 Publisher: Wiley and Putnam.

Special Thanks to Alan Jennings for providing this historical note to us.  Used by Permission.

 

 

A COLLECTION OF INFORMATION AND FACTS ON LOUISIANA NOTARY PUBLICS

NOTARY FACTS

Notary Seal

 

A Louisiana notary's signature is his seal. A notary is not required to have a particular style of seal to give authenticity to his copies. See Flemming v. Richardson & Smith, 13 La. Ann. 414, (1858)

 

Notary Commission

A Louisiana notary's commission does not expire until his death. See La.Op.Atty.Gen., 1940-42, p. 2346.

 

Surety Bond — must be renewed every 5 years.

Notaries are required to file a Notary Surety Bond or a Personal Surety Bond or an Errors and Omissions Policy in the amount of $10,000. Please include latest mailing address and daytime telephone number.

 

Personal Surety

A new surety or a bond must be filed upon cancellation or death of the surety.

 

Dual Commission

Must maintain and purchase separate bonds or sureties in each parish. Any resident citizen or alien of the state, at least 18 years old, may be appointed a notary for the parish of the notary's residence and for any one other parish in which the notary maintains an office, provided that the parish requirements are met. R.S. 35:191 (A)

 

Parish Change

Any person who has been validly appointed as a notary in any parish for 5 years and who changes residence to another parish may obtain a notarial commission for the parish of new residence by complying with the laws governing notaries for the new parish; however, the validly appointed notary shall not be required to pass further examinations. R.S. 35:191 (E)

 

Reciprocal Parishes

A practicing notary in a parish may notarize in the group of parishes listed below without additional bonding or examination:

  1. Acadia, Evangeline, St. Landry

  2. Acadia, Lafayette, Vermilion

  3. Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Vernon

  4. Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston,  West Feliciana,  Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge

  5. Assumption, Lafourche, St. Mary, Terrebonne

  6. Avoyelles, Grant, Rapides

  7. Bienville, Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Union, West Carroll

  8. Bossier, Caddo, Bienville, Claiborne, DeSoto, Webster

  9. Catahoula, Concordia

  10. Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard

  11. Iberia, St. Martin, St. Mary

  12. Lafayette, St. Landry

  13. Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa

  14. Iberia, Vermilion

  15. Sabine, Bienville, Natchitoches, Red River, Vernon, Winn


Many Notaries have established Mobile Notary Services and will come to you at your office or your home, providing after hours services to accommodate your busy schedule for a fee.

The services provided by a Mobile Notary vary from person to person and should be discussed upfront.  If you are looking for a Mobile Notary, our Member's Directory is the place to start.  CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE MEMBERS DIRECTORY


SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority, personally came and appeared......

Have you noticed that most documents that you will need a notary to witness, have these words at the top of the document?  

You might ask yourself exactly what that means, until you consider for a moment the purpose of a Notary Public in the first place.  The Notary is there to witness your signature, to act as a neutral party to the transaction and to "officialize"  the document with his seal.  In Louisiana, a Notary's signature is considered his seal, but most Notories will use a seal that either stamps or embosses the document as well.

Therefore, it is impossible for a Notary Public to perform his or her duty if all parties that are signing the document are not in his presence and he does not witness their signature. 

Notaries are often asked to sign documents that have been signed by people that are not present, where the document was signed before and there is no way that the Notary Public can attest to the signature.

THINK ABOUT THAT THE NEXT TIME
YOU NEED A NOTARY


VANITY PLACE FOR CIVIL LAW NOTARIES

 

CIVIL LAW NOTARY LICENSE PLATE

Notaries in Louisiana can now have a special license plate that shows pride in their commission.  Learn more about this HERE

 


ANNUAL REPORTS

Annual reports are being mailed to notaries sixty (60) days prior to the anniversary date of their commission. According to Act 1142 of the 2003 Legislative Session (see www.legis.state.la.us) the annual report shall be completed in full, signed by the notary and returned with payment of the $10.00 filing fee. The completed annual report and fee must be returned by the anniversary date of their commission to avoid a late fee or suspension.

The annual reports are being mailed to the address located on the notary database. Notaries can keep the Secretary of State's office advised of any change in address and phone number by e-mail at notaries@sos.louisiana.gov or by fax at (225) 922-2650 .


IS YOUR NOTARY COMMISSION SUSPENDED?


The Louisiana Secretary of State maintains a Notary Database of all persons who have been issued a commission.  In a  cursory review of the database you will find a number of Notaries whose commission is Suspended.

Secretary of State Notary Database

The suspended status refers to your bond being expired or not filing an annual report.

Supply the SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE with an original or certified true copy of your bond signed by the clerk of court in your parish or an original or certified true copy of your Errors and Omission policy with a check or money order for the $20 filing fee.

*OR*

File your current and any past due annual reports. Follow the instructions under Notary - How to File - Bond Renewal.

If you have a Personal Surety and it is not indicated on the Notary Database, please supply the SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE  with the correct information.


IT'S AGAINST THE LAW TO ACT AS A NOTARY IF YOU ARE NOT COMMISSIONED OR IF YOU ARE SUSPENDED!

House Bill 781 (Act 904)
Effective date July 10, 2008

Defines unauthorized exercise of notarial powers.  Person not commissioned or whose commission is revoked shall not:

  • Exercise any notarial function,

  • Render or furnish notarial services,

  • Hold himself out to the public as a notary,

  • Execute any instrument as a notary,

  • Assume to be a notary or to be authorized to perform notarial powers,

  • Convey the impression he is authorized to exercise notarial powers.

Adds criminal penalties for violation

  • Fine of not more than $1000 or

  • Imprisoned for not more that 2 years

  • Shall require full restitution for all cost and damages

  • Defines unlawful exercise of notarial authorities

Notaries and ex officio notaries shall not exercise notarial functions during a period when:

  • Commission or authority to exercise notarial functions is either statutorily, judicially suspended or revoked

  • No longer validly commissioned

  • Commission in retirement status

  • No longer validly possessed of the office or position from which his authority to exercise notarial functions was derived

  • Has been convicted of a felony and has not been pardoned

  • Is not authorized by law to exercise that particular notarial function.

 Adds criminal penalties for knowing violation

  • Fine of not more than $1000

  • Shall require full restitution for all cost and damages

  • Subject to suspension or revocation of commission or permanently enjoined from exercising any notarial function.

  • Ability to file sworn complaints.  Upon receipt of sworn complaint of violation of the provision in this Act, the Secretary of State shall:

  • Determine status of notary
    If valid and active, notify complainant o If not valid or active, send 10 day notice to allow notary to remedy commission status

  • If notary does not remedy status, transmit a copy of the sworn complaint to the appropriate law enforcement or prosecutorial agency for further investigation or prosecution.

  • The authority of the Louisiana Supreme Court to regulate the practice of law shall supersede the provision of the Chapter with respect to the enforcement of its provisions against an attorney licensed to practice law in the state.

  •  Any ex officio of a municipal police department have the authority to notarize any affidavit required for the enforcement of R.S. 32:661-669.

HISTORY OF CIVIL LAW NOTARIES
Civil Law Notaries are unique in the trade. We are the only Civil Law Notaries in the United States. Civil Law Notaries are found only in parts of Canada, Europe, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Louisiana. Because of the Napoleonic Law, we go back to the 14th century and there were Civil Law Notaries before there were attorneys.

Read more about Civil Law Notaries at the New Orleans Notarial Archives

 

LOUISIANA LEGISLATION
THAT EFFECTED NOTARIES



2009 Regular Session Senate Bill 151 (Act 80)

  • All providers of examination preparation for the State Notary exam are required to register with the Secretary of State.

  • All registered providers will be listed on our Provider Registry. (effective date January 1, 2010)

Following are highlights of several bills affecting the office of notary public enacted during the 2006 Regular Legislative Session.  To read the entire text, click on the links below. 

House Bill 1219 (Act 423)

  • Eliminates the parish notary examining committees and assigns the duties of administering the state notary exam to the Secretary of State. The law did not change regarding the role of the courts and their involvement in the examination development process.  The law continues its requirement that the courts will provide advice and assistance in the development of exam content and standards.

  • The management of the application process has been assigned to a newly established court-appointed Parish Application Committee consisting of two persons.  No specific qualifications are prescribed in the new law for these appointees. The requirement that all persons seeking a notary commission must submit an application to the district court in the parish where the commission is sought remains unchanged.   

  • Establishes a statutory maximum for the application and court filing fees charged to an applicant who seeks to qualify for appointment as a notary.  No more than $35 can be charged by the parish court for the application, including any filing or recording fees. 

  • The examination fee has been increased to $75.

  • Exempts the notary who has passed the state notary exam will from the notary examination when qualifying for a commission in a new parish because of a change in residence. The notary will still be required to make application and otherwise qualify for the appointment in the new parish.

  • Grants notaries commissioned in specific parishes who were displaced by Katrina or Rita a limited-time opportunity to re-commission in any parish where they may permanently relocate without taking the state notary exam. The notary must apply and meet all requirements in and for the new parish for commissioning except taking the examination. This authorization expires January 1, 2007. To take advantage of this provision, you must submit the documents required under R.S. 35:201 to our office by the deadline.  Affected parishes include: Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Plaquemines, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Vermilion, and Washington.

  • The state notary exam will be administered only twice per year at regional testing centers. Dates are the first Saturday in June and December.

  • Leaves of absence will now be handled administratively on behalf of the governor by the secretary of state. If you’re going to be out of the state for an extended period, a leave of absence will enable you to maintain a valid commission. Requirements that a notary on leave must appoint a substitute have been repealed.

House Bill 1213 (Act 793)

  • Provides for statewide jurisdiction for notaries who have taken and passed the state notary exam.

  • Provides for any regularly commissioned notary public who was commissioned before the state exam was instituted to qualify for statewide jurisdiction by taking and passing the state exam. To apply, the notary

    • Must register directly with the Secretary of State no later than 45 days before a scheduled examination; and

    • Pay the examination fee of $75.

Failure to pass the examination shall have no effect on the status of the commission of the notary.

House Bill 1223 (Act 796)

  • Distinguishes a “suspended” commission from an “invalid” commission. Adding a new paragraph (3) under R.S.35:191(A), and amending R.S. 35:71, the law establishes a uniform definition for commission validity thereby eliminating questions at the parish level of whether a notary applicant may be required to take an examination in connection with their application for a commission based on moving from another parish, or for a dual commission. Under these provisions, a commission may not be deemed invalid solely for the reason that it was or is suspended. 

House Bill 1222 (Act 730)     

  • Consolidates the laws requiring notaries to record their acts affecting immovable property. Makes uniform the penalty for failure to comply—setting the fine at $200 per occurrence (1/2 payable to the informant) plus any damages the parties may suffer. R.S. 35:199.

  • Authorizes the parties to an act affecting immovable property to relieve the notary of the recordation obligations under this section by written directive signed by all the parties. Does not relieve the duty of the notary to provide a copy of a conveyance of property located in Orleans parish to the parish board of assessors. 

New Examination Schedule
Pursuant to Act 423 of the 2006 Regular Louisiana Legislative Session the Notary Examination will be administered by the Secretary of State on the first Saturday in June and December.

The Secretary of State must receive the applicant's Notary Examination Application which has been approved by the Parish Application Committee along with the examination fee of $75.00 on or before forty five (45) days prior to the date of the examination. Schedule.

This act deleted the revocation process for failure to file annual reports. The commission of any notary who fails to file his fully completed annual report within 60 days after its due date shall be automatically suspended, and the notary shall have no authority to exercise any of the duties or functions of a notary public until a current required annual report has been filed and the notary has paid all accrued fees and late charges for a period not to exceed three years.

Retirement
Non-attorney notaries who have reached the age of 70 are now permitted to retire their commission and no longer exercise the duties and functions of a notary. See Quick Facts Retirement Status and then How to File Retirement Status.

Senate Bill 143 (Act 62)

ID Cards Required
Clarifies language requiring all notarial acts to include the ID number of the notary. Any document notarized in this state on or after January 1, 2005 submitted for filing or recording in the office of any clerk of court may be refused if the document fails to contain the notary ID number or attorney bar roll number and the typed or printed name of the notary and the witnesses. (Civil and criminal suit records of any court are excluded) No state office, agency, department or political subdivision shall accept, file or record any document notarized in this state on or after January 1, 2005 unless the document contains the notary ID number or attorney bar roll number and the typed or printed name of the notary and of the witnesses.

Deputy Clerks
Limits deputy clerks to only employees of the clerk and allows deputy clerks to notarize documents within the course and scope of their employment.

House Bill 1447 (Act 562)

Errors and Omissions Policy

Corrects language to allow all non-attorney notaries to purchase and file $10,000 Errors and Omissions Policy in lieu of notary bond.

Notary Bond
Increased notary bond to $10,000 for all non-attorney notaries upon renewal of current bond.

Filing of Notary Bond
All non-attorney notaries shall file their new or renewed bond or current Errors and Omissions Policy with the secretary of state.

Suspension for Expired Bonds or EO Policy
The commission of any non-attorney notary who fails to renew his bond or fails to timely file his renewed bond or evidence of current Errors and Omissions Policy shall be automatically suspended and the notary shall have no authority to exercise any of the duties or functions of a notary public until the required bond or EO policy is in effect and properly filed with the secretary of state.

'Full names' replaces 'Christian names' (as in R.S.35:12) and described as including at least one given name and other initial in addition to the surname. The notary shall type print or stamp his or her name as it appears on his or her commission.

House Bill 363 (Act 754) 

Schedule of Notary Exam

The first statewide standardized notary examination shall be given the first Saturday in June and December.

Following are highlights included in House Bill 1854 and House Bill 737 of the 2003 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature. To read the entire text, go to www.legis.state.la.us and select from the "Bill Search Menu" to view HB 1854 or HB 737.

Senate Bill 635 (Act 77)
Tort or breach of contract suits against notaries can only be filed within one year from date of discovery of the act or three years from the date of the act, regardless of the date of discovery. These provisions do not apply in the case of fraud or in the case where the notary is an attorney. 

Senate Bill 226 (Act 455)
Full Names

Notary Stamp
The notary shall place his typed, printed or stamped name and ID number under his signature on all documents notarized.

Annual Reports (11-4-03)
Annual reports are being mailed to notaries sixty (60) days prior to the anniversary date of their commission. According to Act 1142 of the 2003 Legislative Session (see www.legis.state.la.us) the annual report shall be completed in full, signed by the notary and returned with payment of the $10.00 filing fee. The completed annual report and fee must be returned by the anniversary date of their commission to avoid a late fee or suspension.

The annual reports are being mailed to the address located on the notary database. Notaries can keep the Secretary of State's office advised of any change in address and phone number by e-mail at notaries@sos.louisiana.gov or by fax at (225) 922-2650 .

Notary Cards with Notary ID Numbers Being Offered for $3.00
(10-21-03)

Notary Cards now contain the recently assigned Notary ID numbers. To get a replacement card containing your ID number, please send a request, along with a check or money order made payable to Secretary of State in the amount of $3.00, to: Secretary of State, Notary Division, P. O. Box 94125, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

Notary Identification Numbers (9-1-03)
Notary Identification Numbers have been assigned and are now in the Notary Database.

2003 Legislative Highlights -
House Bill 1854 and House Bill 737 (8-1-03)

Following are highlights included in House Bill 737 of the 2003 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature. To read the entire text, go to www.legis.state.la.us and select from the "Bill Search Menu".

Notary Identification Numbers and Annual Reports
The Louisiana Legislature of 2003 passed a Notary Reform Bill (Act 1142), which will make some changes in notarial reporting. Beginning in 2004, notaries will be required to file an Annual Report with the Secretary of State. This will allow the Secretary of State's Notary Department to compile an accurate data base of active notaries and keep it up to date. To achieve this mandate of the Legislature, the Secretary of State has will notary identification numbers when the office mails non-attorney notaries their first annual report to complete and return with the $10.00 filing fee. Attorney-notaries may use their bar roll numbers in place of an identification number.

Failure to file an annual report or pay the fee will cause the notary to be subject to a revocation proceeding.

Uniform Statewide Standards for Notary Examinations
The Department of State has also been charged with the responsibility of developing uniform statewide standards for, and preparation of notarial examinations. We will work with the parish examining committee members, subject matter experts, and educators to develop a large bank of questions and a uniform statewide format for examinations. The examinations, which will be created by a random selection of the questions to meet the format adopted, will be furnished to the parish committees for administration to local applicants.

Ex officio Notarial Powers
In regard to ex-officio notaries and other persons other than regularly commissioned notaries who have notarial powers, on July 1 of each year, all offices, agencies, departments and political subdivisions of the state must file an annual report showing all the persons currently appointed with such powers. Their notarial powers are restricted to be within the scope of the internal business of their agency.

Notary Bonds
The Louisiana Legislature of 2003 passed Act 926 that changes the bond amount required from $5,000 to $10,000. The law provides that notaries who maintain Errors and Omissions insurance of at least that amount are not required to post a bond. Complete bond renewal instructions can be found on the Notary Filing Requirements chart.

House Bill 370 (Act 206)

Annual Reports

2004 Regular Legislative Session Highlights - Several House and Senate Bills Passed Relative to Notaries (9-20-04)

 

 

READ THE LEGISLATIVE ALERTS  NOW




Professional Civil Law Notary Association
9701 Baird Road
Shreveport, Louisiana  71118
 

Website Designed & Maintained By
 
Creative Cyber Innovations