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Ohio Secretary of State - Notary
THE GUERNSEY COUNTY CLERK OF COURTS WILL NO LONGER PROCESS NOTARY REGISTRATIONS, RENEWALS AND CERTIFICATIONS. This is due to law changes in the State of Ohio.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE OHIO NOTARY COMMISSION
The Ohio Secretary of State’s office commissions and maintains records of all notaries public in Ohio. The Notary Modernization Act takes effect on September 20, 2019. Under the new law, all applications for notary commissions, renewals, online authorizations and updates to contact information must submit an application electronically to the secretary of state. This law eliminated the need to record the notary commission with the county or any other office, the commission’s status is maintained on our public database.
SUMMARY OF NOTARY LAW CHANGES
One of the main goals of this new act was to ensure all notaries public are properly educated on notary laws and responsibilities. The law requires a new notary applicant to take a three-hour education class and pass a test to obtain a notary commission. An existing notary must take a one-hour class to renew an active commission. Non-attorney notary applicants must submit a BCI Criminal Records Check report with a new notary application and renewal application.
Some of the significant changes to consider:
- A notary public must submit a renewal application prior to the expiration date of the commission. If the commission expires without renewal, then the applicant must apply as a new notary.
- A notary public must report any disqualifying offenses to the Secretary of State. Disqualifying offenses are sexually oriented offenses, offenses of violence, theft/fraud offenses or any other felony that has a direct nexus to the role of notary public.
- All active notaries public may perform in person electronic notarial acts, but you must obtain additional authorization to perform a remote online notarization.
- A notary public may not take an acknowledgment in lieu of an oath or affirmation when an oath or affirmation is required.
- A notary public may charge a fee of $5.00 per act for any notarial act that is not an online notarization and $25.00 for an online notarial act. The fee is per notarial act, not per signature.
- The Ohio Secretary of State has the authority to investigate and discipline notaries public for failure to uphold the duties of their office.
For additional information, please visit the Secretary of State’s website: https://www.sos.state.oh.us/notary/.