Chapter 147: NOTARIES PUBLIC AND COMMISSIONERS

147.01 Appointment and commission of notaries public - notary public for state.

(A) The secretary of state may appoint and commission as notaries public as many persons who meet the qualifications of division (B) of this section as the secretary of state considers necessary.

(B) In order for a person to qualify to be appointed and commissioned as a notary public, the person must satisfy both of the following:

(1) The person has attained the age of eighteen years.

(2) One of the following applies:

(a) The person is a legal resident of this state who is not an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state by the Ohio supreme court.

(b) The person is a legal resident of this state who is an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state by the Ohio supreme court.

(c) The person is not a legal resident of this state, is an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state by the Ohio supreme court, and has the person's principal place of business or the person's primary practice in this state.

(C) A notary public shall be appointed and commissioned as a notary public for the state. The secretary of state may revoke a commission issued to a notary public upon presentation of satisfactory evidence of official misconduct or incapacity.

Cite as R.C. § 147.01

Effective Date: 09-26-2003

147.02 Certificate of qualifications.

(A) Before the appointment of a notary public is made, the applicant shall produce to the secretary of state a certificate from a judge or justice of the court of common pleas, court of appeals, or supreme court that contains the following:

(1) A statement that the applicant is of good moral character;

(2) If the applicant is not an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state by the Ohio supreme court, a statement that the applicant is a citizen of the county in which the applicant resides;

(3) If the applicant is an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state by the Ohio supreme court, a statement that the applicant is possessed of sufficient qualifications and ability to discharge the duties of the office of notary public.

(B) No judge or justice shall issue a certificate required by division (A) of this section until the judge or justice is satisfied from personal knowledge that the applicant possesses the qualifications necessary to a proper discharge of the duties of the office or until the applicant has passed an examination under any rules that the judge or justice may prescribe.

(C) If the applicant is a citizen of this state who is an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state by the Ohio supreme court, the judge or justice also shall certify this fact in the certification required by division (A) of this section.

(D) If the applicant is not a citizen of this state but is an attorney who is admitted to the practice of law in this state by the Ohio supreme court and whose principal place of business or primary practice is in this state, the judge or justice also shall certify these facts in the certification required by division (A) of this section.

(E) For the purposes of sections 147.03 , 147.04 , 147.05 , and 147.13 of the Revised Code, the county in which an attorney who is not a citizen of this state and who is a notary public has the attorney's principal place of business or the attorney's primary practice shall be deemed the county in which the attorney resides.

Cite as R.C. § 147.02

Effective Date: 06-06-2001

147.03 Term of office - oath - removal for violating oath.

Each notary public, except an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state by the Ohio supreme court, shall hold office for the term of five years unless the commission is revoked. An attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state by the Ohio supreme court shall hold office as a notary public as long as the attorney is a resident of this state or has the attorney's principal place of business or primary practice in this state, the attorney is in good standing before the Ohio supreme court, and the commission is not revoked. Before entering upon the duties of office, a notary public shall take and subscribe an oath to be endorsed on the notary public's commission.

A notary public who violates the oath of office required by this section shall be removed from office by the court of common pleas of the county in which the notary public resides, upon complaint filed and substantiated in the court, and the court, upon removing a notary public from office, shall certify the removal to the secretary of state. The person so removed shall be ineligible for reappointment to the office of notary public.

Cite as R.C. § 147.03

Effective Date: 06-06-2001

147.04 Seal and register.

Before entering upon the discharge of his duties, a notary public shall provide himself with a seal of a notary public. The seal shall consist of the coat of arms of the state within a circle one inch in diameter and shall be surrounded by the words "notary public," "notarial seal," or words to that effect, the name of the notary public and the words "State of Ohio." The seal may be of either a type that will stamp ink onto a document or one that will emboss it. The name of the notary public may, instead of appearing on the seal, be printed, typewritten, or stamped in legible, printed letters near his signature on each document signed by him. A notary public shall also provide himself with an official register in which shall be recorded a copy of every certificate of protest and copy of note, which seal and record shall be exempt from execution. Upon the death, expiration of term without reappointment, or removal from office of any notary public, his official register shall be deposited in the office of the county recorder of the county in which he resides.

Cite as R.C. § 147.04

Effective Date: 08-23-1977

147.05 Commission to be recorded - fee.

(A) Before entering upon the duties of the office of notary public, a notary public shall leave the notary public's commission with the oath endorsed on the commission with the clerk of the court of common pleas of the county in which the notary public resides. The clerk shall record the commission in a book kept for that purpose. The clerk shall endorse on the margin of the record and on the back of the commission the time that the clerk received the commission for record and make a proper index to all commissions so recorded. For recording and indexing a commission, the fee of the clerk shall be as provided in division (R) of section 2303.20 of the Revised Code.

(B) The secretary of state shall maintain a record of the commissions of each notary public appointed and commissioned by the secretary of state under this chapter and make a proper index to that record.

The governor's office shall transfer to the secretary of state's office, on or after June 6, 2001, the record of notaries public formerly kept by the governor's office under section 107.10 of the Revised Code. The secretary of state's office shall maintain that record together with the record and index of commissions of notaries public required by this division.

(C) If a notary public legally changes the notary public's name or address after having been commissioned as a notary public, the notary public shall notify the secretary of state and the appropriate clerk of courts within thirty days after the name or address change. Notification to the secretary of state shall be on a form prescribed by the secretary of state.

(D) A notary, other than an attorney, who resigns the person's commission shall deliver to the secretary of state, on a form prescribed by the secretary of state, a written notice indicating the effective date of resignation.

Cite as R.C. § 147.05

Effective Date: 06-06-2001; 06-30-2005

147.06 Certified copy of commission as evidence - fee.

Upon application, the clerk of the court of common pleas shall make a certified copy of a notary public commission and the endorsements on the commission, under the seal of the court. The certified copy shall be prima-facie evidence of the matters and facts contained in it. For each certified copy of a notary public commission, the clerk shall be entitled to receive a fee of two dollars.

Cite as R.C. § 147.06

Effective Date: 06-06-2001

147.07 Powers - jurisdiction.

A notary public may, throughout the state, administer oaths required or authorized by law, take and certify depositions, take and certify acknowledgments of deeds, mortgages, liens, powers of attorney, and other instruments of writing, and receive, make, and record notarial protests. In taking depositions, he shall have the power that is by law vested in judges of county courts to compel the attendance of witnesses and punish them for refusing to testify. Sheriffs and constables are required to serve and return all process issued by notaries public in the taking of depositions.

Cite as R.C. § 147.07

Effective Date: 08-23-1977

147.08 Fees.

A notary public is entitled to the following fees:

(A) For the protest of a bill of exchange or promissory note, one dollar and actual necessary expenses in going beyond the corporate limits of a municipal corporation to make presentment or demand;

(B) For recording an instrument required to be recorded by a notary public, ten cents for each one hundred words;

(C) For taking and certifying acknowledgments of deeds, mortgages, liens, powers of attorney, and other instruments of writing, and for taking and certifying depositions, administering oaths, and other official services, the same fees as are allowed by section 2319.27 of the Revised Code or by law to clerks of the courts of common pleas for like services;

(D) For taking and certifying an affidavit, one dollar and fifty cents.

Cite as R.C. § 147.08

Effective Date: 10-12-1994

147.09 Protests are evidence.

The instrument of protest of a notary public appointed and qualified under the laws of this state or of any other state or territory of the United States, accompanying a bill of exchange or promissory note, which has been protested by such notary public for nonacceptance or for nonpayment constitutes prima-facie evidence of the facts therein certified. Such instrument may be contradicted by other evidence.

Cite as R.C. § 147.09

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

147.10 Notary public acting after commission expires.

No notary public shall do or perform any act as a notary public knowing that the notary public's term of office has expired or that the notary public has resigned the notary public's commission.

Cite as R.C. § 147.10

Effective Date: 10-01-1953; 06-30-2005

147.11 Forfeiture.

A person appointed notary public who performs any act as such after the expiration of the person's term of office or after the person resigns the person's commission, knowing that the person's term has expired or that the person has resigned, shall forfeit not more than five hundred dollars, to be recovered by an action in the name of the state. Such act shall render the person ineligible for reappointment.

Cite as R.C. § 147.11

Effective Date: 10-01-1953; 06-30-2005

147.12 Acts done by notary public after term valid.

An official act done by a notary public after the expiration of the notary public's term of office or after the notary public resigns the notary public's commission is as valid as if done during the notary public's term of office.

Cite as R.C. § 147.12

Effective Date: 10-01-1953; 06-30-2005

147.13 Removal for receiving excess fees.

A notary public who charges or receives for an act or service done or rendered by the notary public a fee greater than the amount prescribed by law, or who dishonestly or unfaithfully discharges any official duties as notary public, shall be removed from office by the court of common pleas of the county in which the notary public resides, upon complaint filed and substantiated in the court. The court shall certify the removal to the secretary of state. The person so removed shall be ineligible for reappointment to the office of notary public.

Cite as R.C. § 147.13

Effective Date: 06-06-2001

147.14 Removal from office for certifying affidavit without administering oath.

No notary public shall certify to the affidavit of a person without administering the appropriate oath or affirmation to the person. A notary public who violates this section shall be removed from office by the court of common pleas of the county in which a conviction for a violation of this section is had. The court shall certify the removal to the secretary of state. The person so removed shall be ineligible to reappointment for a period of three years.

Cite as R.C. § 147.14

Effective Date: 06-06-2001

147.31 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 147.31

Effective Date: 10-14-1963

147.32 Representatives of veterans' organizations may be appointed as commissioners of the state.

Representatives of the United Spanish War Veterans, The Disabled American Veterans, The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and other congressionally chartered veterans' organizations, who are recognized as such representatives by the administrator of the veterans' administration, and who are engaged in the preparation and prosecution of claims of veterans and their dependents before the rating agencies of the veterans' administration within the state, may be appointed as commissioners of the state. Such commissioners shall continue in office for a term of three years. Each of such commissioners shall, before performing any of his duties, take and subscribe to an oath of office before a judge of a court of record within this state. Such oath, with his signature thereto and an impression of his seal of office and his residence address, shall forthwith be transmitted by him to the governor, and filed by the governor in the office of the secretary of state.

Each of such commissioners shall procure and employ a seal of the dimensions and inscription set forth and prescribed for notaries public, in section 147.04 of the Revised Code, except that the words shall be: "Commissioner of the State of Ohio for Veterans' Affairs."

Such commissioners may, without fee and within the state, administer oaths, take acknowledgments, and attest the execution of any instruments of writing only in connection with or used before the veterans' administration.

Cite as R.C. § 147.32

Effective Date: 10-14-1963

147.33 to 147.36 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 147.33 to 147.36

Effective Date: 10-14-1963

147.37 Fees for commissions.

Each person receiving a commission as notary public, including an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state by the Ohio supreme court, shall pay a fee of fifteen dollars to the secretary of state.

Cite as R.C. § 147.37

Effective Date: 09-26-2003

147.371 Duplicate commission.

(A) Upon receipt of a fee of two dollars and an affidavit that the original commission of a notary public has been lost or destroyed, a duplicate commission as notary public shall be issued by the secretary of state.

(B) Upon receipt of a fee of two dollars and the properly completed, prescribed form for a name and address change under division (C) of section 147.05 of the Revised Code, the secretary of state shall issue a duplicate commission as a notary public.

Cite as R.C. § 147.371

Effective Date: 06-06-2001; 06-30-2005

147.38 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 147.38

Effective Date: 05-31-1988

147.39 Prior notarial acts by armed forces officers valid.

Any acknowledgment or proof of execution of a deed, mortgage, lease, power of attorney, or other instrument that was taken, and any other notarial act that was performed, by a commissioned officer in active service with the armed forces of the United States for a person who was a member of the armed forces of the United States, for a person who was accompanying the armed forces of the United States, or for a person who was a dependent of either such category of persons, and that was taken or performed between January 1, 1941, and January 1, 1974, in conformity with the provisions of a prior statute that then was in effect is as valid as if the acknowledgment, proof of execution, or other notarial act was performed in conformity with the provisions of sections 147.51 to 147.58 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 147.39

Effective Date: 05-31-1988

147.40 Manner of taking depositions.

Depositions taken in pursuance of sections 147.07 and 147.51 to 147.58 of the Revised Code by a person described in division (D) of section 147.51 of the Revised Code shall be taken on written interrogatories, on a written notice being given by the party desiring to take such depositions, which notice shall contain the names of the parties plaintiff and defendant, the court or tribunal in which the action is pending, the number of the regiment or battalion to which the witness belongs, and the names of the witnesses. The notice shall be served upon the adverse party, or his agent or attorney of record, or left at his usual place of abode, with a copy of the interrogatories, at least twenty days prior to the taking of such depositions. If the party on whom such notice is served desires to file cross-interrogatories, a copy of them shall be served on the adverse party, or his agent or attorney of record, or left at his usual place of abode, within six days after the notice of taking depositions has been served, and the party giving the notice to take depositions, shall forward with his notice and interrogatories, the cross-interrogatories so served on him; and neither party, by himself, or his agent or attorney, shall be present at the time of taking such depositions.

Cite as R.C. § 147.40

Effective Date: 05-31-1988

147.51 Notarial acts.

For the purposes of sections 147.51 to 147.58 of the Revised Code, "notarial acts" means acts which the laws and regulations of this state authorize notaries public of this state to perform, including the administration of oaths and affirmations, taking proof of execution and acknowledgment of instruments, and attesting documents.

Notarial acts may be performed outside this state for use in this state with the same effect as if performed by a notary public of this state by the following persons authorized pursuant to the laws and regulations of other governments, in addition to any other persons authorized by the laws and regulations of this state:

(A) A notary public authorized to perform notarial acts in the place in which the act is performed;

(B) A judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of any court of record in the place in which the notarial act is performed;

(C) An officer of the foreign service of the United States, a consular agent, or any other person authorized by regulation of the United States department of state to perform notarial acts in the place in which the act is performed;

(D) A commissioned officer in active service with the armed forces of the United States and any other person authorized by regulation of the armed forces to perform notarial acts if the notarial act is performed for one of the following or his dependents:

(1) A merchant seaman of the United States;

(2) A member of the armed forces of the United States;

(3) Any other person serving with or accompanying the armed forces of the United States;

(E) Any other person authorized to perform notarial acts in the place in which the act is performed.

Cite as R.C. § 147.51

Effective Date: 01-01-1974

147.52 Notarial acts by authorized person.

(A) If the notarial act is performed by any of the persons described in divisions (A) to (D) of section 147.51 of the Revised Code, other than a person authorized to perform notarial acts by the laws or regulations of a foreign country, the signature, rank, or title and serial number, if any, of the person are sufficient proof of the authority of a holder of that rank or title to perform the act. Further proof of his authority is not required.

(B) If the notarial act is performed by a person authorized by the laws or regulations of a foreign country to perform the act, there is sufficient proof of the authority of that person to act if:

(1) Either a foreign service officer of the United States residing in the country in which the act is performed or a diplomatic or consular officer of the foreign country residing in the United States certifies that a person holding that office is authorized to perform the act;

(2) The official seal of the person performing the notarial act is affixed to the document; or

(3) The title and indication of authority to perform notarial acts of the person appears either in a digest of foreign law or in a list customarily used as a source of such information.

(C) If the notarial act is performed by a person other than one described in divisions (A) and (B) of this section, there is sufficient proof of the authority of that person to act if the clerk of a court of record in the place in which the notarial act is performed certifies to the official character of that person and to his authority to perform the notarial act.

(D) The signature and title of the person performing the act are prima-facie evidence that he is a person with the designated title and that the signature is genuine.

Cite as R.C. § 147.52

Effective Date: 06-13-1975

147.53 Taking an acknowledgment.

The person taking an acknowledgment shall certify that:

(A) The person acknowledging appeared before him and acknowledged he executed the instrument;

(B) The person acknowledging was known to the person taking the acknowledgment, or that the person taking the acknowledgment had satisfactory evidence that the person acknowledging was the person described in and who executed the instrument.

Cite as R.C. § 147.53

Effective Date: 01-01-1974

147.54 Recognized certificate of acknowledgment.

The form of a certificate of acknowledgment used by a person whose authority is recognized under section 147.51 of the Revised Code shall be accepted in this state if:

(A) The certificate is in a form prescribed by the laws or regulations of this state;

(B) The certificate is in a form prescribed by the laws or regulations applicable in the place in which the acknowledgment is taken; or

(C) The certificate contains the words "acknowledged before me," or their substantial equivalent.

Cite as R.C. § 147.54

Effective Date: 06-13-1975

147.541 Acknowledged before me defined.

The words "acknowledged before me" means that:

(A) The person acknowledging appeared before the person taking the acknowledgment;

(B) He acknowledged he executed the instrument;

(C) In the case of:

(1) A natural person, he executed the instrument for the purposes therein stated;

(2) A corporation, the officer or agent acknowledged he held the position or title set forth in the instrument and certificate, he signed the instrument on behalf of the corporation by proper authority, and the instrument was the act of the corporation for the purpose therein stated;

(3) A partnership, the partner or agent acknowledged he signed the instrument on behalf of the partnership by proper authority and he executed the instrument as the act of the partnership for the purposes therein stated;

(4) A person acknowledging as principal by an attorney in fact, he executed the instrument by proper authority as the act of the principal for the purposes therein stated;

(5) A person acknowledging as a public officer, trustee, administrator, guardian, or other representative, he signed the instrument by proper authority and he executed the instrument in the capacity and for the purposes therein stated; and

(D) The person taking the acknowledgment either knew or had satisfactory evidence that the person acknowledging was the person named in the instrument or certificate.

Cite as R.C. § 147.541

Effective Date: 06-13-1975

147.55 Statutory short forms of acknowledgment.

The forms of acknowledgment set forth in this section may be used and are sufficient for their respective purposes under any section of the Revised Code. The forms shall be known as "statutory short forms of acknowledgment" and may be referred to by that name. The authorization of the forms in this section does not preclude the use of other forms.

"

(A) For an individual acting in his own right:

State of....................................

County of...................................

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of person acknowledged.)

(Signature of person taking acknowledgment)

(Title or rank)

(Serial number, if any)"

(B) "For a corporation:

State of.....................................

County of....................................

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of officer or agent, title of officer or agent) of (name of corporation acknowledging) a (state or place of incorporation) corporation, on behalf of the corporation.

(Signature of person taking acknowledgment)

(Title or rank)

(Serial number, if any)"

(C) "For a partnership:

State of......................................

County of.....................................

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of acknowledging partner or agent), partner (or agent) on behalf of (name of partnership), a partnership.

(Signature of person taking acknowledgment)

(Title or rank)

(Serial number, if any)"

(D) "For an individual acting as principal by an attorney in fact:

State of......................................

County of.....................................

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of attorney in fact) as attorney in fact on behalf of (name of principal).

(Signature of person taking acknowledgment)

(Title or rank)

(Serial number, if any)"

(E) "By any public officer, trustee, or personal representative:

State of......................................

County of.....................................

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name and title of position).

(Signature of person taking acknowledgment)

(Title or rank)

(Serial number, if any)"

Cite as R.C. § 147.55

Effective Date: 01-01-1974

147.56 Notarial act performed prior to January 1, 1974.

A notarial act performed prior to January 1, 1974, is not affected by sections 147.51 to 147.58 of the Revised Code. These sections provide an additional method of proving notarial acts and do not diminish or invalidate the recognition accorded to notarial acts by other laws or regulations of this state.

Cite as R.C. § 147.56

Effective Date: 01-01-1974

147.57 Uniformity of the law.

Sections 147.51 to 147.58 of the Revised Code shall be so interpreted as to make uniform the laws of those states which enact it.

Cite as R.C. § 147.57

Effective Date: 01-01-1974

147.58 Uniform recognition of acknowledgments act.

Sections 147.51 to 147.58 of the Revised Code may be cited as the "Uniform Recognition of Acknowledgments Act."

Cite as R.C. § 147.58

Effective Date: 01-01-1974

147.99 Penalty.

(A) Whoever violates section 147.10 of the Revised Code shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars.

(B) Whoever violates section 147.14 of the Revised Code shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

Cite as R.C. § 147.99

Effective Date: 10-01-1953