Notary Information and Forms

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Georgia Notary Public Laws

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General

The Clerk of Superior Court of Putnam County approves and issues Notary Public Commissions. The cost for a commission is $37.00 which must be tendered in cash or in the form of a company check approved by the clerk. Notaries are commissioned for a four-year term, after which time a commission may be renewed by submitting a renewal application provided by the Clerk’s Office. By law, all information contained in the application is open to public inspection.

Notary Public applications can be completed online at www.gsccca.org then print your Notary Package and follow the instructions that will print with your Notary Package. If you have questions concerning appointments or renewals, call 706-485-4501.  Please note that you will need two endorsers for a new notary public application.  They must also live in Putnam County, and cannot be related to you.

 

Powers and Duties

A Notary Public has the authority within any county of the State of Georgia to:

  • Witness or attest signature or execution of deeds and other written instruments
  • Take Acknowledgements
  • Administer oaths and affirmations in all matters incidental to their duties as commercial officers and all other oaths and affirmations which are not required by law to be administered by a particular officer
  • Witness affidavits upon oath or affirmations
  • Take verifications upon oath or affirmations
  • Make certified copies, provided the document presented for copying is an original document and is neither a public record nor a publicly recorded document of which certified copies are available from an official source other than a Notary and provided further that the document was photocopied under supervision of the Notary; and
  • Such other acts as a Notary is authorized to perform pursuant to state law.

Definition:
Notarial Act means any act that a Notary is authorized to perform, including attestions, taking of an acknowledgement, administration of an oath or affirmation, taking of a verification upon oath or affirmation, and the certification of a copy.

Disqualification

A Notary is disqualified from performing a notarial act in situations that impugn or compromise the impartiality of the Notary. Specific situations that require disqualification are:

  • When the Notary is the signer of the document to be notarized
  • When the Notary knows a statement on a document is false or an action is intended to deceive or defraud
  • When the Notary is a party to the document or transaction for which the notarial act is required
  • Notarizing for relatives is strongly discouraged

A Notary may not perform a notarial act without confirming the identity of the document signer, oath taker or affirmant.

The commission of a Notary may be revoked for violation of any provision of law.

A Notary is not obligated to perform a notarial act if the Notary believes such act is for transaction, which the Notary knows or suspect is illegal, false, or deceptive; for a person who is being coerced or for a person the Notary has doubts that they understand the consequences of the act.

Seal of Office and Notarial Certificates

This is only a guide and the Clerk of Superior Court of Putnam County strongly recommends that a Notary obtain a Notary Handbook, either through our office or the American Society of Notaries (800-522-3392). This handbook fully addresses the duties and responsibilities of a Notary.

A Notary must provide a seal of office for the authentication of notarial acts. The seal must have the Notary’s name and the words “Notary Public, Putnam County, Georgia.” Either an embossing or a rubber-stamp type seal is authorized by law. A copy of the original certificate of appointment must be presented in order to obtain a Notary seal from an office supply company.

Notarial acts must be made in ink, with the Notary’s name appearing exactly as it is on the Notary commission. The date of the notarial act is required except in connection with attestation of deeds or other instruments pertaining to real estate.

Fees

A Notary may charge for performing notarial services, but does not have to do so. If a fee is to be charged, the Notary must advise the person requesting the service in advance of such charges. The Notary may, upon request of the person requesting services, charge an additional $2.00 for providing a certificate from the Clerk of Superior Court of Putnam County of the effective date of the Notary’s commission.

Change of Name or Address

Any change of a Notary’s name or address must be reported to the Clerk of Superior Court of Putnam County. A copy of the notice must be sent to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA) AT 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 100. Atlanta, Georgia 30345 (Telephone 404-327-9058 or Fax 404-327-7877).

The notices must contain both the old and new addresses and names and must be received by the office within 30 days of the change. In the event of a name change, the new signature of the Notary must be included.

Notice of Loss or Theft of Seal

Within ten days of the loss or theft of an official notarial seal, the Notary shall send to the Clerk of the Superior Court of Putnam County written notice of such loss or theft and shall forward a copy of the notice to GSCCCA.

Resignation

A Notary desiring to resign his or her Notary commission shall send a letter or resignation to the Clerk of Superior Court of Putnam County and forward a copy to the GSCCCA. The Notary shall destroy his or her official seal in such event.

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