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What is a Notary?
A Notary is a position created by state law allowing individuals, as state public officials, to:
What are the duties/ responsibilities of a Notary?
A Notary has the power to administer oaths and take depositions, affidavits, and acknowledgments. A Notary’s powers and duties can be exercised in all counties in the State of Tennessee.
Are all notaries required to maintain a record of all transactions?
Attorney General Opinion No. 14-89 states:
“Yes. Beginning October 1, 2014, notaries public are required to maintain "a record in a well-bound book of each of the notaries public's acts, attestations, protections, and other instruments of publication" regardless of whether the notary public receives a fee or compensation for his or her services.”
Does the “well-bound book” need to be a specific format?
The Attorney General stated that the notary is not required to keep the record in a particular type of “well bound book,” but that the notary may keep the information in another recorded format, as long as certain standards are met, as set forth fully in the opinion.
This Attorney General’s opinion is available here: Attorney General Opinion No. 14-89
What fee can a notary charge for their services?
According to Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-21-1201, “Notaries public are entitled to demand and receive reasonable fees and compensation for the notaries public's services.”
How do I renew a Notary Commission?
The renewal process for a notary is the same process as obtaining your original commission.
How do I handle a complaint about the conduct of a Notary?
With regard to criminal conduct of a notary, Attorney General Opinion No. 07-157 states:
"Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-7-103, the District Attorney General has the duty of prosecuting all violations of state criminal statutes which occur in his or her district. This duty includes prosecutions of criminal acts committed by notaries. A citizen who wishes to file a criminal complaint against a notary public may do so by contacting the District Attorney General of the judicial district in which the alleged criminal conduct occurred and proceeding through the complaint process."
Additionally, as explained in the above opinion of the Attorney General, a notary may be removed from office through the ouster proceedings set forth in Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-17-101.
A directory of District Attorneys can be found at Tennessee District Attorneys General Directory.
How long does a Notary Commission last?
A Notary’s term of office is four years. The four-year term begins on the date that the notary commission is issued by the Governor. It is a Class C misdemeanor for a Notary to act in an official capacity after the expiration of their notary commission.
Can I notarize my spouse's signature?
In 2010, the Attorney General's office gave its opinion on Notarization of Spouse's Signature.
Is a Notary a state or county official?
Notaries are state officials. View Attorney General opinion on Whether notaries public are state or county officials.