Notary Public

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I want to be the first thank you for your interest in becoming a Notary Public. Becoming a Notary is a very serious and important responsibility. Without Notaries, business transactions throughout the entire country would cease.

As the Clerk of Superior Court of Putnam County, it is my responsibility to approve and issue Notary Commissions for a term of four years, after which time a commission may be renewed.

As a Notary you are a sworn Officer of the State of Georgia and expected to understand and perform under the laws of this state. You will be asked to perform notarial acts involving a variety of documents, some of which will be of a sensitive nature to the signer. The integrity and professionalism you uphold is just as important as the trust the public places in you.

The information contained in this brochure is a summary of basic provisions of Georgia law for a Notary commissioned by the Clerk of Superior Court of Putnam County, Georgia. Should you ever have any questions, please feel free to consult your legal advisor, O.C.G.A. 45-17, or my office.

I have full confidence you will represent and serve the State of Georgia and Putnam County well.

Your Clerk,

Trevor J. Addison

This webpage is a Notary Public Summary Guide and the Clerk of Superior Court of Putnam County strongly recommends that a Notary obtain a Notary Handbook, which fully addresses the duties and responsibilities of a Notary. You may obtain a Notary Handbook through our website, in our office or through the American Society of Notaries.

Qualifications to Become a Notary

  • Be at least 18 years old

  • Be a citizen of the United States or a legal resident of the United States

  • Be a legal resident of the county in which he or she applies (or, if a non-Georgia resident, you must reside in a state bordering Georgia and carry on a business or profession in Georgia or be regularly employed in the Georgia county of application)

  • Have, and provide at the time of application, the applicant's operating telephone number

  • Be able to read and write English

Definitions

  • Notarial Act: Any act that a Notary Public is authorized to perform

  • Attesting and Attestation: The notarial act of witnessing or attesting to a signature or execution of a deed or other written instrument, where such notarial act does not involve the taking of an acknowledgement, administering of an oath or affirmation, taking a verification, or certification of a copy

  • Notarial Certificate: The Notary Public’s documentation of a notarial act

Seal of Office & Notarial Certificates

  • 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.” The seal may be an embosser or a rubber-stamp type seal. A copy of your 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 signature appearing exactly as it is listed on the Certificate of Appointment. 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 services, but is not required to do so. If a fee is to be charged, the Notary must advise the individual requesting the service in advance of such charges. The Notary may, upon request of the individual requesting services, charge an additional $2.00 for providing a certificate of the effective date of their commission from the Clerk of Superior Court of Putnam County.

Powers and Duties

A Commissioned 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

  • Acknowledge the signature of any party (when the Notary is an employee, officer, director, or stockholder of a bank or corporation) to a written instrument executed to or by such business or to officially witness any document by any party executed by or to such business

  • 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 Public and provided further that the document was photocopied under supervision of the Notary

  • Such other acts as Notary is authorized to perform pursuant to State law

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

Notice of Loss or Theft of a Seal

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

Resignation

A Notary desiring to resign his or her Notary Commission shall send a letter of resignation to the Clerk of Superior Court of Putnam County and forward a copy of the letter to the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority. The Notary shall then destroy his or her official seal (this is to also be done when a Notary does not renew their Commission).

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, which may be prosecuted as a crime

  • When the Notary is a party to the document or transaction for which the notarial act is required

  • When the Notary violates any provision of law

  • When the Notary performs a notarial act without first confirming the identity of the document signer, oath taker or affirmant; confirmation may be based on personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence.

  • Notarizing for relatives is strongly discouraged

Application, Renewal, Name & Address Changes