Changes to Oregon Notary Law

Oregon has two new laws 2009 HB 2085 and 2009 HB 2090 that affect notaries and notarizations, starting on January 1, 2010. 

Identification Documents

2009 HB 2085 makes changes to the acceptable forms of identification that a notary may use when identifying a signer. 

The following types of identification may be used to positively identify a client, if they are current, i.e. not expired.  

  • A current drivers’ license or current identity card issued by any state.
  • A current United States passport or a current officially recognized passport of a foreign country. A United States passport means a U.S. passport and a U.S. passport card issued by the U.S. Department of State.
  • A current United States military identification card.
  • A current identity card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe
  • At least one current document issued by the federal government or a state, county, municipal or other local government and containing the person’s photograph, signature, and physical description.

New Fees 

Beginning January 1, 2010, 2009 HB 2085 authorizes notaries to charge up to $10 for each notarial act. These fees may be turned over to an employer (public agencies and private businesses) by agreement. 

Notary Protest of Commercial Paper 

2009 HB 2090 also restricts when notaries may protest commercial paper.  A notary public may protest commercial paper only if the notary public is:

  • An officer or employee of a financial institution or investment company, or a person serving under the direct supervision of the officer or employee or
  • An active member of the Oregon State Bar, or a person serving under the direct supervision of an active member of the Oregon State Bar.
  • A notary public may not protest any commercial paper owned or held for collection by a financial institution or investment company if the notary is individually a party to the commercial paper.
  • Notaries who do not meet this requirement cannot notarize Commercial Protests. A notary public who violates this law will be subject to revocation of their notarial commission.

Budget Limitations Affect Renewals and Notices

Due to budget limitations, the Corporation Division will no longer send courtesy commission renewal notices prior to the commission expiration. Notaries are responsible for tracking and renewing their own commission. Renewal applications received after the commission expiration are subject to the 3-hour mandatory training requirement in ORS 19 

Due to budget reductions, the Secretary of State Corporation Division will no longer use postcards to notify Oregon notaries of important changes in laws and rules. Oregon notaries should subscribe to the Secretary of State’s free e-mail subscription service,  to get updates on Oregon notary law, rules, and procedures. 

Questions/Additional Resources

For more information on notary rules, including notary name and signature, journal requirements, and public education, visit the Notary News.  

Adapted and reposted from Dee Crocker’s Law Practice Tip of the Week and Filing in Oregon – Notary News

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