Alaska Laws on Notaries Public


Alaska laws on notaries public can be found in Chapter 50, title 44 of Alaska statutes.  Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 44.50.010, The lieutenant governor may commission for the state, notaries public without limitation, who are authorized to use the notary seal for all legal purposes, and limited governmental notaries public, who are state, municipal, or federal employees authorized to use the notary seal only for official government business.  The term of a notary public commission is four years, except that the term of a limited governmental notary public commission coincides with the term of government employment.

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 44.50.020, to be commissioned as a notary public, a person shall submit an application under AS 44.50.032.  The applicant shall be at least 18 years of age.  The applicant shall have established residency in Alaska and shall reside legally in the United States.  The applicant may not, within 10 years before the commission takes effect, have been convicted of a felony or incarcerated in a correctional facility for a felony conviction.  The applicant may not, within 10 years before the commission takes effect, have had the person’s notary public commission revoked  and have been disciplined under the notary public laws of Alaska  or any other jurisdiction at the time the person applies for a notary public commission, the disciplinary action prohibits the person from holding a notary public commission.

A person applying for a commission as a notary public shall submit a completed application as required by this section, using the forms or format required by the lieutenant governor[i].  The lieutenant governor shall deny an application for a notary public commission if the application contains a material misstatement or omission of fact relating to the requirements for a commission, if the applicant has, within 10 years before the commission is to take effect, been convicted of a felony or incarcerated in a correctional facility for a felony conviction or if the applicant’s commission as a notary public has been revoked, within 10 years before the commission is to take effect[ii].

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 44.50.060, a notary public may administer oaths and affirmations.  The notary public  take the acknowledgment of or proof of execution of instruments in writing, and give a notarial certificate of the proof or acknowledgment, included in or attached to the instrument.  The notarial certificate shall be signed by the notary public in the notary public’s own handwriting or by electronic means as authorized by regulations adopted by the lieutenant governor.

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 44.50.061, a notary public who is not an attorney may complete but may not select notarial certificates, and may not assist another person in drafting, completing, selecting, or understanding a document or transaction requiring a notarial act.  However, a notary public who is qualified in and, if required, licensed to practice, a particular profession can give advice relating to matters in that professional field.  A notary public may not make representations to have powers, qualifications, rights, or privileges that the office of notary public does not have.

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 44.50.062, a notary public may not influence a person to enter into or avoid a transaction involving a notarial act by the notary public.  A notary public shall not affix the notary public’s signature or seal on a notarial certificate that is incomplete.  A notary public shall not charge a fee for a notarial act unless a fee schedule has been provided to the signer before the performance of the notarial act.  A notary public shall not affix the notary public’s official seal to a document unless the person who is to sign the document appears and signs the document before the notary public or, for an acknowledgment, gives an oath or affirmation and is personally known to the notary public.  A notary public shall not perform a notarial act if the notary public is a signer of or named in the document that is to be notarized or will receive directly from a transaction connected with the notarial act a commission, fee, advantage, right, title, interest, cash, property, or other consideration exceeding in value the normal fee charged by the notary for the notarial act.

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 44.50.063 when performing a notarization, a notary public shall sign in the notary public’s own handwriting, on the notarial certificate, or sign an electronic document by electronic means as authorized by regulations adopted by the lieutenant governor and  affix the official signature only at the time the notarial act is performed.

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 44.50.064, a notary public shall keep an official seal, which is the exclusive property of the notary public, and shall ensure that another person does not possess or use the official seal.  A notary public’s official seal must contain the notary public’s name exactly as indicated on the notary public’s commission certificate the words “Notary Public” and “State of Alaska”. The seal may be a circular form not over two inches in diameter, may be a rectangular form not more than one inch in width by two and one-half inches in length, or may be an electronic form as authorized by regulations adopted by the lieutenant governor.  In order to avoid misuse, a notary public’s official seal shall be destroyed or defaced upon the notary public’s resignation or death or upon the revocation or termination by the lieutenant governor of the notary public’s commission.

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 44.50.067, to resign a commission, a notary public shall notify the lieutenant governor in writing of the resignation and the date that it is effective.  The notary public shall sign the notification.

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 44.50.068, the lieutenant governor may suspend or revoke a notary public’s commission or reprimand a notary public for good cause shown, including a ground on which an application for a commission may be denied, failure to maintain residency in Alaska and incompetence or malfeasance in carrying out the notary public’s duties.

A person harmed by the actions of a notary public may file a complaint with the lieutenant governor.  If the lieutenant governor determines that the allegations in the complaint do not warrant formal disciplinary action, the lieutenant governor may decline to act on the complaint.  The lieutenant governor shall notify the notary public and the complainant of the determination in writing.  If the lieutenant governor determines that the complaint alleges sufficient facts to constitute good cause for disciplinary action, the lieutenant governor shall serve the notary public with a copy of the complaint.  The notary public may file a written response to the complaint with the lieutenant governor within 20 days after receipt of the complaint.  The lieutenant governor shall review the complaint and the response to determine whether formal disciplinary action may be warranted.  If the lieutenant governor finds that formal disciplinary action may be warranted, the lieutenant governor may suspend or revoke a notary public’s commission or reprimand a notary public.  A person who is issued a reprimand, suspension, or revocation may appeal the reprimand, suspension, or revocation by requesting a hearing within 15 days after receiving the statement.  If a hearing is requested, the lieutenant governor shall deny or grant the request and refer the matter to the office of administrative hearings under AS 44.64.060(b)[iii].  A notary and the sureties on the official bond are liable to persons injured for the damages sustained on account of misconduct or neglect of the notary[iv].

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 44.50.180, postmasters in Alaska may perform the functions of a notary public in Alaska.  Each official act of a postmaster as a notary public shall be signed by the postmaster, with a designation of the person’s title as postmaster, shall have the cancellation stamp of the post office affixed, and shall state the name of the post office and the date on which the act was done.

[i] Alaska Stat. § 44.50.032.

[ii] Alaska Stat. § 44.50.036.

[iii] Alaska Stat. § 44.50.068.

[iv] Alaska Stat. § 44.50.160.