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. 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.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.
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)
A Louisiana notary’s commission does not expire until his death. See La.Op.Atty.Gen., 1940-42, p. 2346.
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.
A new surety or a bond must be filed upon cancellation or death of the surety.
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).
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)
- Acadia, Evangeline, St. Landry
- Acadia, Lafayette, Vermilion
- Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Vernon
- Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, West Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge
- Assumption, Lafourche, St. Mary, Terrebonne
- Avoyelles, Grant, Rapides
- Bienville, Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Union, West Carroll
- Bossier, Caddo, Bienville, Claiborne, DeSoto, Webster
- Catahoula, Concordia
- Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard
- Iberia, St. Martin, St. Mary
- Lafayette, St. Landry
- Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa
- Iberia, Vermilion
- Sabine, Bienville, Natchitoches, Red River, Vernon, Winn