Chapter 147: NOTARIES PUBLIC AND COMMISSIONERS

147.01 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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.

Effective Date: 09-26-2003.

147.01 [Effective 9/20/2019] 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 shall demonstrate to the secretary of state that the person satisfies all of the following:

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

(2)

(a) Except as provided in division (B)(2)(b) of this section, the person is a legal resident of this state .

(b)

The person is not a legal resident of this state, but 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.

(3)

(a) Except as provided in division (B)(3)(b) of this section, the person has submitted a criminal records check report completed within the preceding six months in accordance with section 147.022 of the Revised Code demonstrating that the applicant has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a disqualifying offense, or any offense under an existing or former law of this state, any other state, or the United States that is substantially equivalent to such a disqualifying offense.

(b) An attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state shall not be required to submit a criminal records check when applying to be appointed a notary public.

(4)

(a) Except as provided in divisions (B)(4)(b) and (c) of this section, the person has successfully completed an educational program and passed a test administered by the entities authorized by the secretary of state as required under section 147.021 of the Revised Code.

(b) An attorney who is commissioned as a notary public in this state prior to the effective date of this amendment shall not be required to complete an education program or pass a test as required in division (B)(4)(a) of this section.

(c) Any attorney who applies to become commissioned as a notary public in this state after the effective date of this amendment shall not be required to pass a test as required in division (B)(4)(a) of this section, but shall be required to complete an education program required by that division.

(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.

(D) The secretary of state shall oversee the processing of notary public applications and shall issue all notary public commissions. The secretary of state shall oversee the creation and maintenance of the online database of notaries public commissioned in this state pursuant to section 147.051 of the Revised Code. The secretary of state may perform all other duties as required by this section. The entities authorized by the secretary of state pursuant to section 147.021 or 147.63 of the Revised Code shall administer the educational program and required test or course of instruction and examination, as applicable.

(E) All submissions to the secretary of state for receiving and renewing commissions, or notifications made under section 147.05 of the Revised Code, shall be done electronically.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

Effective Date: 09-26-2003.

147.011 [Effective 9/20/2019] Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Acknowledgment" means a notarial act in which the signer of the notarized document acknowledges all of the following:

(1) That the signer has signed the document;

(2) That the signer understands the document;

(3) That the signer is aware of the consequences of executing the document by signing it.

(B) "Criminal records check" has the same meaning as in section 109.572 of the Revised Code.

(C) "Disqualifying offense" means a crime of moral turpitude as defined in section 4776.10 of the Revised Code and a violation of a provision of Chapter 2913. of the Revised Code.

(D) "Jurat" means a notarial act in which both of the following are met:

(1) The signer of the notarized document is required to give an oath or affirmation that the statement in the notarized document is true and correct;

(2) The signer signs the notarized document in the presence of a notary public.

(E) "Notarial certificate" means the part of, or attachment to, a document that is completed by the notary public and upon which the notary public places the notary public's signature and seal.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.02 [Repealed Effective 9/20/2019] 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.

Repealed by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §2, eff. 9/20/2019.

Effective Date: 06-06-2001.

147.021 [Effective 9/20/2019] Education and testing.

(A)

(1) Except as provided in division (B)(4) of section 147.01 of the Revised Code, no person shall be appointed as a notary public unless that person has completed an educational program related to the requirements of this chapter and passed a test demonstrating knowledge of such requirements.

(2) The secretary of state may authorize that such a program be completed online.

(B) The secretary of state shall adopt, in rules under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, standards and curricula for the educational program required under this section. The rules shall address all of the following:

(1) The entities authorized to administer the educational program and the required test, which shall include the following entities that meet the minimum requirements established by the secretary of state:

(a) Those entities providing notary public educational programming and testing services prior to the effective date of this section;

(b) Another entity that has a business relationship with an entity described in division (B)(1)(a) of this section.

(2) The standards and curricula of the program, which shall be established in coordination with the entities authorized to administer the program and the required test and shall include all of the following:

(a) The terms of notary commission;

(b) How to renew a commission;

(c) The conditions under which a commission may be revoked;

(d) What constitutes a legal notarial act;

(e) The manner of taking depositions;

(f) The taking of an acknowledgment;

(g) The administration of a jurat.

(3) The provisions and content of the required test, which shall be established in coordination with the entities authorized to administer the educational program and required test.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.022 [Effective 9/20/2019] Criminal records check.

(A)

(1) The secretary of state shall require each applicant for a notary commission, other than an attorney licensed to practice law in this state, to complete a criminal records check.

(2) The secretary shall not accept an application for a notary commission that includes the report of a criminal records check that is more than six months old.

(B) The secretary of state shall provide to each person applying for a notary commission, other than an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state, information about accessing, completing, and forwarding to the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation the form prescribed pursuant to division (C)(1) of section 109.572 of the Revised Code and the standard impression sheet to obtain fingerprint impressions prescribed pursuant to division (C)(2) of that section.

(C) Each person requesting a criminal records check under this section shall pay to the bureau of criminal identification and investigation the fee prescribed pursuant to division (C)(3) of section 109.572 of the Revised Code.

(D) The report of any criminal records check conducted by the bureau of criminal identification and investigation in accordance with section 109.572 of the Revised Code and pursuant to a request made under this section is not a public record for the purposes of section 149.43 of the Revised Code and shall not be made available to any person other than the following:

(1) The person who is the subject of the criminal records check or the person's representative;

(2) The secretary of state and the staff of the secretary of state;

(3) A court, hearing officer, or other necessary individual involved in a case dealing with a commission denial resulting from the criminal records check.

(E) The secretary of state shall deny a notary commission application if, after receiving the information and notification required by this section, a person subject the criminal records check requirement fails to do either of the following:

(1) Access, complete, or forward to the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation the form prescribed pursuant to division (C)(1) of section 109.572 of the Revised Code or the standard impression sheet prescribed pursuant to division (C)(2) of that section;

(2) Submit the completed report of the criminal records check to the secretary of state.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.03 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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.

Effective Date: 06-06-2001.

147.03 [Effective 9/20/2019] 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 secretary of state, upon complaint filed and substantiated by the secretary of state. The person so removed shall be ineligible for reappointment to the office of notary public.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

Effective Date: 06-06-2001.

147.031 [Effective 9/20/2019] Renewal of commission.

(A)

(1) Except as provided in division (A)(2) of this section, a commission for a notary public appointed prior to the effective date of this section shall remain valid until that commission's expiration date.

(2) A commission issued to an attorney shall be governed by section 147.03 of the Revised Code.

(B) A commission that is set to expire as described in section 147.03 of the Revised Code or as in division (A) of this section shall not be renewed unless the notary submits to the secretary of state through the entities authorized in section 147.021 of the Revised Code all of the following:

(1) A new criminal records check report as required under division (B)(3) of section 147.01 of the Revised Code;

(2) A fee of not more than sixty dollars, set by the secretary of state in a rule adopted under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code;

(3) An application for renewal on a form prescribed by the secretary.

(C) A notary public may apply to renew the notary's commission beginning three months prior to the expiration date of the commission.

(D) If the notary public's commission expires before the notary submits the application for renewal, the secretary of state shall not renew that expired commission but shall permit the person to apply for a new notary commission.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.032 [Effective 9/20/2019] Investigations; penalties.

(A)

(1) If the secretary of state believes that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the secretary of state may investigate such violations.

(2) The secretary of state may investigate possible violations of this chapter upon a signed complaint from any person.

(B) The secretary of state may hold a disciplinary hearing if the secretary of state determines a hearing to be appropriate after an investigation conducted under division (A) of this section.

(C) After holding an administrative hearing and concluding that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the secretary of state may do any of the following:

(1) Revoke the notary public's commission;

(2) Suspend the notary public's commission for a specified period of time or until fulfillment of a condition, such as retraining, or both.

(3) Issue a letter of admonition that shall be placed in the notary public's record.

(D) A person whose notary commission has been revoked may not apply for a subsequent notary commission.

(E) The secretary of state may adopt rules under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to set forth procedures for investigations and hearings regarding violations of this chapter and disciplinary actions taken.

(F) The secretary of state may establish an advisory board to meet as the secretary of state considers necessary to discuss matters related to notary law and procedures.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.04 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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.

Effective Date: 08-23-1977.

147.04 [Effective 9/20/2019] Seal.

Before entering upon the discharge of official duties, a notary public shall obtain the seal of a notary public. The seal shall consist of the coat of arms of the state within a circle that is at least three-quarters of an inch, but not larger than 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 the notary public's signature on each document signed by the notary public.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

Effective Date: 08-23-1977.

147.041 [Effective 9/20/2019] Persons commissioned prior to September 20, 2019.

A person commissioned as a notary public prior to the effective date of this section may continue to use a seal that met the requirements of section 147.04 of the Revised Code and that was in that person's possession before that date.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.05 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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.

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

147.05 [Effective 9/20/2019] Recordkeeping; change of address; notice of resignation or conviction of disqualifying offense.

(A)

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.

(B) 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 within thirty days after the name or address change. Such a notification shall be on a form prescribed by the secretary of state.

(C) A notary 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.

(D)

(1) A notary shall inform the secretary of state of being convicted of or pleading guilty or no contest to any disqualifying offense, as defined in section 147.011 of the Revised Code, or any offense under an existing or former law of this state, any other state, or the United States that is substantially equivalent to such a disqualifying offense during the term of the notary's commission.

(2) The secretary of state shall revoke the commission of any person who is convicted of or pleads guilty or no contest to a disqualifying offense, including an attorney licensed to practice law in this state.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

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

147.051 [Effective 9/20/2019] Database of notaries.

The secretary of state shall maintain a database of notaries public on a publicly accessible web site. The web site shall provide all of the following information in relation to each notary public:

(A) A verification of the authority and good standing of the individual to perform notarial acts;

(B) Whether the notary is registered to perform online notarizations, as defined in section 147.60 of the Revised Code;

(C) A description of any administrative or disciplinary action taken against the notary.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.06 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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.

Effective Date: 06-06-2001.

147.06 [Effective 9/20/2019] Certified copy of commission as evidence - fee.

Upon application, the secretary of state shall make a certified copy of a notary public commission and the endorsements on the commission. 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 secretary of state shall be entitled to receive a fee of five dollars.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

Effective Date: 06-06-2001.

147.07 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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.

Effective Date: 08-23-1977.

147.07 [Effective 9/20/2019] Powers - jurisdiction.

A notary public may, throughout the state, administer oaths required or authorized by law, take and certify depositions, and take and certify acknowledgments of deeds, mortgages, liens, powers of attorney, and other instruments of writing. In taking depositions, a notary public 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.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

Effective Date: 08-23-1977.

147.08 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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.

Effective Date: 10-12-1994.

147.08 [Effective 9/20/2019] Fees.

(A) A notary public is entitled to the following fees:

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(1) Up to five dollars for any notarial act that is not an online notarization;

(2) For an online notarization, up to twenty-five dollars.

(B) A notary charging the fee authorized under division (A)(2) of this section shall not also charge the fee authorized under division (A)(1) of this section.

(C) The fees charged under division (A) of this section shall not be calculated on a per signature basis.

(D) In addition to the fees authorized under division (A) of this section, a notary may charge a reasonable travel fee, as agreed to by the notary and the principal prior to the notarial act.

(E) The secretary of state may adopt rules under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to increase the fees authorized under this section.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

Effective Date: 10-12-1994.

147.09 [Repealed Effective 9/20/2019] 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.

Repealed by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §2, eff. 9/20/2019.

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.

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.

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.

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

147.13 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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.

Effective Date: 06-06-2001.

147.13 [Effective 9/20/2019] 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 secretary of state, upon complaint filed and substantiated by the secretary of state. The person so removed shall be ineligible for reappointment to the office of notary public.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

Effective Date: 06-06-2001.

147.14 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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.

Effective Date: 06-06-2001.

147.14 [Effective 9/20/2019] 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 secretary of state. The person so removed shall be ineligible to reappointment for a period of three years.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

Effective Date: 06-06-2001.

147.141 [Effective 9/20/2019] Prohibited acts.

(A) A notary public shall not do any of the following:

(1) Perform a notarial act with regard to a record or document executed by the notary;

(2) Notarize the notary's own signature;

(3) Take the notary's own deposition;

(4) Perform a notarial act if the notary has a conflict of interest with regard to the transaction in question;

(5) Certify that a document is either of the following:

(a) An original document;

(b) A true copy of another record.

(6) Use a name or initial in signing certificates other than that by which the notary public is commissioned;

(7) Sign notarial certificates using a facsimile signature stamp unless the notary public has a physical disability that limits or prohibits the notary's ability to make a written signature and unless the notary has first submitted written notice to the secretary of state with an example of the facsimile signature stamp;

(8) Affix the notary's signature to a blank form of an affidavit or certificate of acknowledgment and deliver that form to another person with the intent that it be used as an affidavit or acknowledgment;

(9) Take the acknowledgment of, or administer an oath or affirmation to, a person who the notary public knows to have been adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction, if the acknowledgment or oath or affirmation necessitates the exercise of a right that has been removed;

(10) Notarize a signature on a document if it appears that the person is mentally incapable of understanding the nature and effect of the document at the time of notarization;

(11) Alter anything in a written instrument after it has been signed by anyone;

(12) Amend or alter a notarial certificate after the notarization is complete;

(13) Notarize a signature on a document if the document is incomplete or blank;

(14) Notarize a signature on a document if it appears that the signer may be unduly influenced or coerced so as to be restricted from or compromised in exercising the person's own free will when signing the document;

(15) Take an acknowledgment of execution in lieu of an oath or affirmation if an oath or affirmation is required;

(16) Determine the validity of a power of attorney document or any other form designating a representative capacity, such as trustee, authorized officer, agent, personal representative, or guardian, unless that notary is an attorney licensed to practice law in this state.

(B) Division (A)(5) of this section shall not be construed as prohibiting a notary from notarizing the signature of a holder of a document on a written statement certifying that the document is a true copy of an original document.

(C) As used in this section, "conflict of interest" means either of the following:

(1) The notary has a direct financial or other interest in the transaction in question, excluding the fees authorized under this chapter.

(2) The notary is named, individually or as a grantor, grantee, mortgagor, mortgagee, trustor, trustee, beneficiary, vendor, lessor, or lessee, or as a party in some other capacity to the transaction.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.142 [Effective 9/20/2019] Advertisement as immigration consultant; other prohibited acts.

(A) A notary public who is not a licensed attorney in this state shall not represent or advertise himself or herself as an immigration consultant or an expert in immigration matters.

(B) A notary public who is not a licensed attorney in this state shall not do any of the following:

(1) Provide any service that constitutes the unauthorized practice of law in violation of section 4705.07 of the Revised Code;

(2) State or imply that the notary is an attorney licensed to practice law in this state;

(3) Solicit or accept compensation to prepare documents for or otherwise represent the interest of another person in a judicial or administrative proceeding, including a proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, United States citizenship, or related matters;

(4) Solicit or accept compensation to obtain relief of any kind on behalf of another from any officer, agency, or employee of this state or of the United States;

(5) Use the phrase "notario" or "notario publico" to advertise the services of a notary public, whether by sign, pamphlet, stationery, or other written communication, or by radio, television, or other non-written communication.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.31 [Repealed].

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.

Effective Date: 10-14-1963.

147.33 to 147.36 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 10-14-1963.

147.37 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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.

Effective Date: 09-26-2003.

147.37 [Effective 9/20/2019] Fees for commissions.

(A) The secretary of state shall establish a fee of not more than one hundred fifty dollars to be paid by each person receiving a commission as notary public.

(B) The notary public shall remit the fee to the authorized entity that administered the educational program and test required by section 147.021 of the Revised Code. The notary public shall remit to the secretary of state the portion of that fee specified pursuant to division (C)(2) of this section.

(C) The secretary of state shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to do all of the following:

(1) Establish the amount of the fee authorized by division (A) of this section;

(2) Establish the portion of the fee, not to exceed fifteen dollars, that the notary public is required to remit to the secretary of state;

(3) Establish the portion of the fee that a notary who is an attorney shall remit to the entity that administered the educational program.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

Effective Date: 09-26-2003.

147.371 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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.

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

147.371 [Effective 9/20/2019] 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 (B) of section 147.05 of the Revised Code, the secretary of state shall issue a duplicate commission as a notary public.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

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

147.38 [Repealed].

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.

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.

Effective Date: 05-31-1988.

147.51 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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.

Effective Date: 01-01-1974.

147.51 [Effective 9/20/2019] 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, attesting documents, and executing a jurat.

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 for a dependent of one of the following:

(1) A member of the merchant marines 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.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

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.

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.

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.

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) The person acknowledging acknowledged executing the instrument ;

(C) In the case of:

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

(2) A corporation, the officer or agent acknowledged holding the position or title set forth in the instrument and certificate, the officer or agent 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 signing the instrument on behalf of the partnership by proper authority and the partner or agent 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, the attorney in fact 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, the person signed the instrument by proper authority and the person 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.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 31, §1, eff. 2/20/2018.

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2017.

Effective Date: 06-13-1975.

147.542 [Effective 9/20/2019] Notarial certificates.

(A) A notary public shall provide a completed notarial certificate for every notarial act the notary public performs.

(B) For an acknowledgment and a jurat, the corresponding notarial certificate shall indicate the type of notarization being performed.

(C) If a notarial certificate incorrectly indicates the type of notarization performed, the notary public shall provide a correct certificate at no charge to the person signing in question.

(D)

(1) An acknowledgment certificate shall clearly state that no oath or affirmation was administered to the signer with regard to the notarial act.

(2) A jurat certificate shall clearly state that an oath or affirmation was administered to the signer with regard to the notarial act.

(E)

(1) A notary public shall not use an acknowledgment certificate with regard to a notarial act in which an oath or affirmation has been administered.

(2) A notary public shall not use a jurat certificate with regard to a notarial act in which an oath or affirmation has not been administered.

(F) A certificate required under this section may be provided through any of the following means:

(1) Preprinting on a notarial document;

(2) Ink stamp;

(3) Handwritten note;

(4) A separate, attached document.

(G) A notarial certificate shall show all of the following information:

(1) The state and county venue where the notarization is being performed;

(2) The wording of the acknowledgment or jurat in question;

(3) The date on which the notarial act was performed;

(4) The signature of the notary, exactly as shown on the notary's commission;

(5) The notary's printed name, displayed below the notary's signature or inked stamp;

(6) The notary's notarial seal and commission expiration date;

(7) If an electronic document was signed in the physical presence of a notary and notarized pursuant to section 147.591 of the Revised Code, or if an online notarization was performed pursuant to sections 147.60 to 147.66 of the Revised Code, the certificate shall include a statement to that effect.

(H) A notary public may explain to a signer the difference between an acknowledgment and a jurat, but shall not, unless that notary is an attorney, advise the person on the type of notarial act that best suits a situation.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.543 [Repealed].

Repealed by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 31, §2, eff. 2/20/2018.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2017.

147.55 [Effective Until 9/20/2019] 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)"

Effective Date: 01-01-1974.

147.55 [Effective 9/20/2019] Statutory short forms of acknowledgment.

Notwithstanding section 147.542 of the Revised Code, 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 the individual's own right:

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

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

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

(Signature of person taking acknowledgment)

(Title or rank)

(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)

(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)

(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)

(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)

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

Effective Date: 01-01-1974.

147.551 [Effective 9/20/2019] Jurat form.

Notwithstanding section 147.542 of the Revised Code, a jurat may take the following form:

State of Ohio

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

Sworn to or affirmed and subscribed before me by (signature of person making jurat) this date of (date).

(Signature of notary public administering jurat)

(Affix seal here)

(Title of rank)

(Commission expiration date)

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

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.

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.

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."

Effective Date: 01-01-1974.

147.59 [Effective 9/20/2019] Designated alternative signer.

(A) An individual whose physical characteristics limit the individual's ability to sign a document presented for notarization may direct a designated alternative signer to sign on the individual's behalf, if all of the following are met:

(1) The individual clearly indicates, through oral, verbal, physical, electronic, or mechanical means, to the notary public the individual's intent for the designated alternative signer to sign the individual's name on the notarial document.

(2) Both the individual and the designated alternative signer provide satisfactory identification to the notary public.

(3) The designated alternative signer signs the document in the presence of the notary public.

(4) The designated alternative signer is not named in the document.

(5) The notarial certificate provided to the individual gives the name of the designated alternative signer and states that the document was signed under this section at the direction of the individual.

(B) An individual may use a designated alternative signer to perform an online notarial act if all of the requirements of division (A) of this section are met.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.60 [Effective 9/20/2019] Definitions.

As used in this section and sections 147.61 to 147.66 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Appear in person" means being in the same physical location as another person and being close enough to hear, communicate with, and exchange tangible identification credentials with that individual. "Appear in person" also means being in a different location as another person and interacting with that individual by means of live two-way, audio-video communication.

(B) "Credential analysis" means a process or service operating according to standards adopted by the secretary of state under section 147.62 of the Revised Code through which a third person affirms the validity of a government-issued identification credential through review of public and proprietary data sources.

(C) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.

(D) "Electronic document" means information that is created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored in an electronic medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

(E) "Electronic seal" means information within a notarized electronic document to which all of the following apply:

(1) The information confirms the notary public's name, jurisdiction, and commission expiration date.

(2) The information generally corresponds to the contents, layout, and format of the notary public's seal for use on paper documents, as required under section 147.04 of the Revised Code.

(F) "Electronic signature" means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with an electronic document and executed or adopted by a natural person with the intent to sign the electronic document.

(G) "Identity proofing" means a process or service operating according to standards adopted by the secretary of state under section 147.62 of the Revised Code through which a third person affirms the identity of a natural person through the review of personal information from public and proprietary data sources.

(H) "Notarial act" means the performance of a function authorized under sections 147.07 and 147.51 of the Revised Code. "Notarial act" does not include the taking or certifying of depositions.

(I) "Online notarization" means a notarial act performed by means of live two-way video and audio conference technology that conforms to the standards adopted by the secretary of state under section 147.62 of the Revised Code.

(J) "Online notary public" means a notary public who has been duly appointed and commissioned under section 147.01 of the Revised Code and has received authorization by the secretary of state under section 147.63 of the Revised Code to perform online notarizations.

(K) "Principal" means a natural person whose electronic signature is notarized in an online notarization, or the natural person taking an oath or affirmation from the online notary public. "Principal" does not include a natural person taking an oath or giving an affirmation in the capacity of a witness for the online notarization.

(L) "Remote presentation" means transmission to an online notary public through live two-way video and audio conference technology of an image of a government-issued identification credential that is of sufficient quality to enable the online notary public to identify the principal seeking the online notary public's services and to perform credential analysis.

(M) "Territory of the United States" means the United States, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and any territory, insular possession, or other location subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.61 [Effective 9/20/2019] Applicability.

Sections 147.60 to 147.66 of the Revised Code apply to online notarizations and online notaries public. To the extent that a provision of sections 147.60 to 147.66 of the Revised Code conflicts with another provision of this chapter or other applicable law, sections 147.60 to 147.66 of the Revised Code supersede the provision.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.62 [Effective 9/20/2019] Standards for online notarizations and online notaries public.

(A) The secretary of state shall adopt rules under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code necessary to implement, set, and maintain standards for online notarizations and online notaries public. Such rules shall address, at a minimum, all of the following:

(1) The standards, procedures, application forms, and fees for the authorization of a notary public to act as an online notary public;

(2) The means of performing online notarizations;

(3) Standards for the technology to be used in online notarizations;

(4) Standards for remote presentation, credential analysis, and identity proofing;

(5) Standards for the retention of records relating to online notarizations;

(6) The modification of forms of notarial certificates for any notarial act that is an online notarization;

(7) Standards and requirements for the termination of a notary public's authorization to perform online notarizations.

(B) The office of information technology in the department of administrative services shall provide assistance to the secretary of state relating to the equipment, security, and technological aspects of the standards established under this section.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.63 [Effective 9/20/2019] Application to be authorized as online notary public.

(A) A notary public who has been duly appointed and commissioned under section 147.01 of the Revised Code, and who is a resident of this state, may apply to the secretary of state to be authorized to act as an online notary public during the term of that notary public's commission. A state resident commissioned as a notary public qualifies to be an online notary public by paying the fee described in section 147.631 of the Revised Code and submitting to the secretary of state an application in the form prescribed by the secretary that demonstrates to the satisfaction of the secretary that the applicant will comply with the standards adopted in rules under section 147.62 of the Revised Code and that the applicant is otherwise qualified to be an online notary.

(B)

(1) Before an individual may be authorized to act as an online notary public, that individual shall successfully complete a course of instruction approved by the secretary of state and pass an examination based on the course. The content of the course shall include notarial rules, procedures, and ethical obligations pertaining to online notarization contained in sections 147.60 to 147.66 of the Revised Code or in any other law or rules of this state. The course may be taken in conjunction with the educational program required under section 147.021 of the Revised Code for a notary public commission.

(2) The secretary of state shall approve one business entity comprised of bar associations with statewide scope and regional presence that have expertise and experience in notary laws and processes to provide the course and administer the examination to become an online notary.

(C) The application required under division (A) of this section shall be transmitted electronically to the secretary of state and shall include all of the following information:

(1) The applicant's full legal name and official notary public name to be used in acting as an online notary public;

(2) A description of the technology the applicant intends to use in performing online notarizations;

(3) A certification that the applicant will comply with the rules adopted under section 147.62 of the Revised Code;

(4) An electronic mail address of the applicant;

(5) Any decrypting instructions, keys, codes, or software necessary to enable the application to be read;

(6) Proof of successful completion of the course and passage of the examination required under division (B) of this section;

(7) A disclosure of any and all license or commission revocations or other professional disciplinary actions taken against the applicant;

(8) Any other information that the secretary of state may require.

(D)

(1) If the secretary of state is satisfied that an applicant meets the standards adopted in rules under section 147.62 of the Revised Code, and that the applicant is otherwise qualified to be an online notary public, then the secretary shall issue to the applicant a written authorization to perform online notarizations.

(2) Except as provided in division (D)(4) of this section, the authorization shall expire when the notary public's commission expires or is revoked under section 147.03, 147.031, or 147.032 of the Revised Code.

(3)

(a) Except as provided in division (D)(5) of this section, the authorization shall be renewed when the notary public's commission is renewed.

(b) An authorization to perform online notarizations that is set to expire shall not be renewed unless the notary submits to the secretary of state through the entity authorized in this section all of the following:

(i) A fee, set by the secretary of state, of not more than four times the fee prescribed in division (B)(2) of section 147.031 of the Revised Code;

(ii) An application for renewal on a form prescribed by the secretary;

(iii) Evidence of having completed continuing education, as required under division (G) of this section.

(c) If a notary public's online notarization authorization expires before the notary submits the application for renewal, the secretary of state shall not renew that expired authorization but shall permit that person to apply for a new online notarization authorization.

(4) An authorization to perform online notarizations granted to an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state by the Ohio supreme court shall expire on the earlier of five years after the date the authorization is granted or when the attorney's term of office as a notary public ends.

(5) An attorney authorized to perform online notarizations may apply to renew the attorney's authorization three months prior to the authorization's expiration date.

(6)

(a) The secretary may deny an application for an online notary public if any of the required information is missing or incorrect on the application form.

(b) The secretary may also deny an application if the technology the applicant identifies pursuant to division (C)(2) of this section does not conform to the standards developed by the secretary pursuant to section 147.62 of the Revised Code.

(E) Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting an online notary public from receiving, installing, and utilizing a software update to the technology that the online notary public disclosed pursuant to division (C)(2) of this section if that software update does not result in a technology that is materially different from the technology that the online notary public disclosed pursuant to division (C)(2) of this section.

(F)

(1) If a notary public changes either the hardware or the software that the notary intends to use to carry out online notarizations, then the notary shall inform the secretary of this intent on a form prescribed by the secretary.

(2) If the secretary determines that the new hardware or software does not meet the standards prescribed in rules under section 147.62 of the Revised Code, then the secretary may suspend or revoke the notary's authority to perform online notarizations.

(G)

(1) The secretary of state shall not renew an online notarization authorization unless the applicant has completed continuing education as required under rules adopted pursuant to division (G)(2) of this section.

(2) The secretary shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code related to continuing education requirements for an online notarization authorization. The rules shall specify the number of hours of continuing education a notary must complete over the duration of the notary's license and may specify content to be included in the continuing education.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.591 [Effective 9/20/2019] Electronic documents.

(A) As used in this section, "electronic document," "electronic seal," "electronic signature," and "online notarization" have the same meanings as in section 147.60 of the Revised Code.

(B)

(1) An electronic document that is signed in the physical presence of the notary public with an electronic signature and notarized with an electronic seal shall be considered an original document.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code to the contrary, a printed copy of a document executed electronically by the parties and acknowledged or sworn before a notary acting pursuant to this section shall be accepted by county auditors, engineers, and recorders for purposes of approval, transfer, and recording to the same extent as any other document that is submitted by an electronic recording method and shall not be rejected solely by reason of containing electronic signatures or an electronic notarization, including an online notarization, if that document contains the certificate required under division (G) of section 147.542 of the Revised Code, including the notification required under division (G)(7) of that section.

(C) Any notary public may obtain an electronic seal and an electronic signature for the purposes of notarizing documents under this section.

(D) A notary public shall comply with the provisions of section 147.66 of the Revised Code pertaining to the electronic seal and electronic signature.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.631 [Effective 9/20/2019] Online notary ees.

(A)

(1) The secretary of state may charge a fee for the online notary course of instruction and examination to each person who is registering to be an online notary.

(2) The secretary shall not charge a fee to a notary obtaining an electronic seal and signature solely for the purpose of conducting notarizations as described in section 147.591 of the Revised Code.

(B) The notary public taking the online notary course of instruction and the examination shall remit the fee to the authorized entity that administered the online notary course of instruction and examination required by division (B) of section 147.63 of the Revised Code. The notary public shall remit to the secretary of state the portion of that fee specified pursuant to division (C)(2) of this section.

(C) The secretary of state shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to do both of the following:

(1) Establish the amount of the fee authorized by division (A) of this section, which shall not exceed four times the amount of the fee established pursuant to division (C)(1) of section 147.37 of the Revised Code;

(2) Establish the portion of the fee, not to exceed twenty dollars, that the notary public is required to remit to the secretary of state.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.64 [Effective 9/20/2019] Authority of online notary public.

(A)

(1) Except as provided in division (A)(3) of this section, an online notary public has the authority to perform any notarial act as an online notarization.

(2) An electronic document notarized through an online notarization shall be considered an original document.

(3) An online notary public shall not take or certify a deposition as an online notarization.

(B) A notary public of this state who has been authorized by the secretary of state to perform online notarizations may perform online notarizations only if both of the following conditions are met:

(1) The online notary public is a resident of this state.

(2) The online notary public is located within the geographical boundaries of this state at the time of the online notarization.

(C)

(1) A notary public may perform an online notarization by means of audio-video communication in compliance with this act and any other rules adopted by the secretary of state for any principal who is located within the territory of the United States.

(2) A notary public may perform an online notarization for a principal located outside the territory of the United States only if both of the following conditions are met:

(a) The act is not known by the notary public to be prohibited in the jurisdiction in which the principal is physically located at the time of the act.

(b) The record meets any of the following:

(i) Is part of, or pertains to, a matter that is to be filed with or is before a court, governmental entity, or other entity located in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States;

(ii) Involves real or personal property located in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States;

(iii) Is part of, or pertains to, a transaction substantially connected with the United States.

(D) If an online notarization requires a principal to appear before an online notary public, the principal shall appear in person before the notary public and the principal and the notary public shall each sign the record with an electronic signature.

(E)

(1) In performing an online notarization, a notary public shall determine from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of identity as described in division (E)(2) of this section that the principal appearing before the notary by means of live audio-video communication is the individual that he or she purports to be.

(2) A notary public has satisfactory evidence of identity if the notary can identify the individual who appears in person before the notary by means of audio-video communication based on either of the following:

(a) All of the following:

(i) Remote presentation by the principal of a government-issued identification credential, including a passport or driver's license, that contains the signature and photograph of the principal;

(ii) Credential analysis of the identification credentials provided;

(iii) Identity proofing of the principal.

(b) Verification by one or more credible witnesses who appear in person before the notary and who can be identified by either personal knowledge or all of the following:

(i) Presentation of a government-issued identification credential, including a passport or driver's license, that contains the signature and photograph of the witness;

(ii) Credential analysis of the identification credentials provided;

(iii) Identity proofing of the witness.

(F) The secretary of state shall include in rules adopted under section 147.62 of the Revised Code modified forms of notarial certificates for any notarial act that is an online notarization.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.65 [Effective 9/20/2019] Electronic journals.

(A) An online notary public shall maintain one or more electronic journals in which the online notary public records, in chronological order, all online notarizations that the online notary public performs. The electronic journal shall enable access by a password or other secure means of authentication and be in a tamper-evident electronic format complying with the rules of the secretary of state adopted under section 147.62 of the Revised Code.

(B) For every online notarization, the online notary public shall record the following information in the electronic journal:

(1) The date and time of the notarial act;

(2) The type of notarial act;

(3) The title or a description of the record being notarized, if any;

(4) The electronic signature of each principal;

(5) The printed full name and address of each principal;

(6) If identification of the principal is based on personal knowledge, a statement to that effect;

(7) If identification of the principal is based on satisfactory evidence of identity pursuant to division (E)(2) of section 147.64 of the Revised Code, a description of the evidence relied upon, including the date of issuance or expiration of any identification credential presented;

(8) If identification of the principal is based on a credible witness or witnesses, the name of the witness or witnesses;

(9) If the notarization was not performed at the online notary public's business address, the address where the notarization was performed;

(10) A description of the online notarization system used;

(11) The fee, if any, charged by the notary;

(12) The name of the jurisdiction in which the principal was located at the time of the online notarization;

(13) The recording upon which the identification of the principal is based, as required under division (D)(3) of this section;

(14) Any other information required by the secretary of state.

(C) An online notary public shall not record a social security number in the electronic journal.

(D) An online notary public shall do all of the following:

(1) Take reasonable steps to ensure the integrity, security, and authenticity of online notarizations;

(2) Take reasonable steps to ensure that the two-way, audio-video communication used in an online notarization is secure from unauthorized interception;

(3) Create and maintain pursuant to this section a complete recording of the audio-video communication that is the basis for identification of a principal for each online notarization;

(4) Maintain a backup for the electronic journal required by division (A) of this section and the audio-video recordings required by division (D)(3) of this section;

(5)

(a) Safeguard the electronic journal and all other notarial records by doing all of the following:

(i) Not allowing the electronic journal to be used by another notary;

(ii) Creating the audio-video recording required under division (D)(3) of this section in a tamper-evident electronic format complying with the rules of the secretary of state adopted under section 147.62 of the Revised Code;

(iii) Protecting the electronic journal and audio-video recordings from unauthorized use.

(b) An online notary public may use a third party to keep and store the electronic journal. The secretary of state shall adopt, in rules under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, standards pertaining to the use of such a third party.

(6) Surrender or destroy the electronic journal and all other notarial records only by rule of law, by court order, or at the direction of the secretary of state;

(7) Not surrender the electronic journal to an employer upon termination of employment.

(E)

(1) An employer shall not retain the electronic journal of an employee who is an online notary public when the notary's employment ceases.

(2) Notwithstanding division (E)(1) of this section, an online notary public may make an agreement with a current or former employer pursuant to division (D)(5)(b) of this section.

(3) An online notary public may use any current or former employer approved as a repository by the secretary of state to meet all applicable repository requirements of this section or section 147.66 of the Revised Code and any associated rules.

(F)

(1) Except as provided in division (E) of section 147.66 of the Revised Code, an electronic journal required under division (A) of this section and the audio-video recordings required by division (D)(3) of this section shall be maintained by the online notary public during the term of the online notary public's authorization to perform online notarizations.

(2) Upon the expiration, pursuant to division (D) of section 147.63 of the Revised Code, of the notary public's authorization to conduct online notarizations, the online notary public shall transmit the electronic journal to the secretary of state or to a repository approved by the secretary of state. The secretary of state or repository shall maintain the electronic journal for a period of ten years. If the electronic journal is transmitted to a repository, the online notary public shall inform the secretary of state where the journal is located during this period.

(3) If the notary public renews the notary public's authorization to conduct online notarizations pursuant to division (D) of section 147.63 of the Revised Code, the notary public shall, beginning on the date the renewal is effective, maintain a new electronic journal in accordance with this section.

(G)

(1) Except as provided in divisions (G)(2) and (3) of this section, any person may inspect or request a copy of an entry or entries in the online notary public's journal, provided that all of the following are met:

(a) The person specifies the month, year, type of record, and name of the principal for the notarial act, in a signed tangible or electronic request.

(b) The notary does not surrender possession or control of the journal.

(c) The person is shown or given a copy of only the entry or entries specified.

(d) A separate new entry is made in the journal, explaining the circumstances of the request and noting any related act of copy certification by the online notary public.

(2) Notwithstanding division (A)(5) of section 147.141 of the Revised Code, an online notary public may certify copies made from the online notary public's electronic journal.

(3) An online notary public who has a reasonable and explainable belief that a person requesting information from the notary's journal has a criminal or other inappropriate purpose may deny access to any entry or entries.

(4) An attorney authorized to conduct online notarizations shall only allow inspection, or provide copies, of an entry or entries in the attorney's journal if the requesting party was a principal in the transaction or transactions to which the journal entry or entries apply or if the requesting party is acting on a principal's behalf. An attorney may deny a request to inspect or receive copies of a journal entry based on attorney-client privilege.

(5) The secretary of state, or a repository approved by the secretary of state, shall only allow inspection, or provide copies of, an entry or entries in a journal deposited with the secretary or the repository by an attorney authorized to conduct online notarizations if the requesting party was a principal in the transaction or transactions to which the journal entry or entries apply or if the requesting party is acting on a principal's behalf.

(H)

(1) The journal may be examined and copied without restriction by a law enforcement officer, as defined in section 2901.01 of the Revised Code, in the course of an official investigation, subpoenaed by court order, or surrendered at the direction of the secretary of state.

(2) Notwithstanding division (H)(1) of this section, an attorney authorized to conduct online notarizations may object to the examination, or copying, of the attorney's journal pursuant to division (H)(1) of this section based on attorney-client privilege.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

147.66 [Effective 9/20/2019] Steps to ensure security.

(A) An online notary public shall take reasonable steps to ensure that any device or software used to create an official electronic signature is current and has not been recalled or declared vulnerable by the device or software's manufacturer, seller, or developer.

(B)

(1) An online notary public shall do both of the following:

(a) Except as provided in division (D)(5)(b) of section 147.65 of the Revised Code, keep the online notary public's electronic journal, official electronic signature, and electronic seal secure and under the online notary public's exclusive control;

(b) Use the online notary public's official electronic signature and electronic seal only for performing online notarizations or notarizations pursuant to section 147.591 of the Revised Code.

(2) An online notary public shall not allow another person to use the online notary public's electronic journal, official electronic signature, or electronic seal.

(C)

(1) A third party keeping and storing electronic journals for online notaries public pursuant to division (D)(5)(b) of section 147.65 of the Revised Code shall immediately, upon discovery, notify the secretary of state, an appropriate law enforcement agency, and any affected online notaries public of the unauthorized access, modification, transfer, duplication, or use of any electronic journals in the third party's possession or control.

(2) If notice has not already been given pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section, a third party keeping and storing electronic journals for online notaries public pursuant to division (D)(5)(b) of section 147.65 of the Revised Code shall immediately, upon discovery, notify the secretary of state and any affected online notaries public of the loss of any electronic journals in the third party's possession or control.

(3) If notice has not already been given pursuant to division (C)(1) or (2) of this section, an online notary public shall immediately, upon discovery, notify an appropriate law enforcement agency and the secretary of state of the unauthorized access, modification, transfer, duplication, or use of the online notary public's electronic journal, official electronic signature, or electronic seal.

(4) If notice has not already been given pursuant to division (C)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, an online notary public shall immediately notify the secretary of state of the loss of the online notary public's electronic journal, official electronic signature, or electronic seal.

(D) An online notary public shall attach the online notary public's electronic signature and electronic seal to the notarial certificate of an electronic document in a manner that is capable of independent verification and renders any subsequent change or modification to the electronic document evident.

(E)

(1)

(a) Upon resignation, revocation, or expiration without renewal of an online notary public commission, the online notary public shall transmit the electronic journal to the secretary of state or to a repository approved by the secretary of state. This requirement does not apply to electronic journals that, as of the date of the resignation or expiration, were no longer kept in accordance with division (F) of section 147.65 of the Revised Code. If the electronic journal is transmitted to a repository, the online notary public shall inform the secretary of state where the journal is located during this period.

(b) Upon death or adjudicated incompetence of a current or former notary public, the executor or administrator of the online notary public's estate, the notary's guardian, or any other person knowingly in possession of the online notary public's electronic journal, shall transmit the journal to the secretary of state or to a repository approved by the secretary of state.

(2) The online notary public, the notary's personal representative or guardian, or the administrator or the executor of the notary's estate shall provide access instructions to the secretary of state for any electronic journal maintained or stored by the online notary public, upon commission resignation, revocation, or expiration without renewal, or upon the death or adjudicated incompetence of the online notary public, if that person is in possession of such instructions.

(3) The secretary of state or repository receiving a journal transmitted under division (E)(1) of this section shall maintain the journal for a period of ten years.

Added by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 263, §1, eff. 9/20/2019.

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.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953.