New Notary Law 2012

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A notary-related law sponsored by Secretary of State Debra Bowen took effect January 1, 2012.

  • Under California Civil Code section 1195, in addition to quitclaim deeds, grant deeds (other than trustee’s deeds or deeds of reconveyance), mortgages, deeds of trust, or security agreements, a subscribing witness appearing before a notary public on behalf of the person who actually signed a document (a principal) cannot be used on powers of attorney or any documents requiring a notary public to obtain a thumbprint in the notary public journal from the party signing the document. The certificate used for a subscribing witness is modified to comply with all statutory requirements.
  • Under California Commercial Code section 3505, and Government Code sections 8205 and 8208, only notaries public employed by a financial institution, during the course and scope of the notary’s employment with the financial institution, are authorized to demand acceptance and payment of foreign and inland bills of exchange, or promissory notes, or to protest such bills or notes for nonacceptance or nonpayment. This change is intended to reduce the abuse of the protest process.
  • Maximum fees for protests are no longer prescribed. 
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