Kansas laws on notaries public can be found in Article 1, Chapter 53 of Kansas statutes. Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-101, the secretary of state appoints notaries public, who may perform notarial acts in any part of Kansas for a term of not more than four years, unless sooner removed. Any person who is a citizen of the United States, who is at least 18 years of age and who is a resident of Kansas, or who is a resident of a state bordering on Kansas and who regularly carries on a business or profession in Kansas or is regularly employed in Kansas, is eligible to be appointed as a notary public. Notaries public are not considered as state officers.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-102, every person must file with the secretary of state an application for appointment as a notary public, which shall also include an oath of office and a good and sufficient bond to the state of Kansas in the sum of $ 7,500, with one or more sureties to be approved by the secretary of state. The bond shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of all notarial acts in accordance with law. The applicant must also file with the secretary of state the official signature and an impression of the seal to be used by the notary public. The secretary of state furnishes forms for applications, bonds and oath of office[i].
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-104, the secretary of state shall receive a fee of $ 10 for applications, bonds and oath of office. The secretary of state must remit the money to the state treasurer in accordance with the provisions of K.S.A. 75-4215, and amendments thereto. Upon receipt of each such remittance, the state treasurer must deposit the entire amount in the state treasury to the credit of the state general fund.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-105, every notary public must provide a notarial seal containing such notary’s name exactly as it appears on the application for appointment as a notary public, and the words “notary public” and “state of Kansas” or words of like import indicating statewide notarial authority, approved by the secretary of state. Such seal authenticates all official acts, attestations and instruments therewith. Every notary public must add to such notary’s official signature the date of expiration of appointment as a notary public. The seal of every notary public must be either a seal press and the impression thereof inked or blackened or a rubber stamp to be used with permanent ink so that any such seal may be legibly reproduced by photographic process[ii].
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-105a, upon receipt of a completed application with sufficient corporate bond, an oath of appointment, the correct fee, the official signature and an impression of the seal to be used by such notary public, the secretary of state, if satisfied the applicant is qualified to be appointed as a notary public, prepares a certificate of appointment for the applicant and forward the appointment to the applicant’s residence. Each certificate of appointment must contain at least the applicant’s name and the date upon which the appointment expires. If any notary public willfully neglects or refuses to attach to the notary’s official signature the date of expiration of appointment, the notary is deemed guilty of a class C misdemeanor[iii].
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-107, notaries public shall have authority to: (1) Take acknowledgments; (2) administer oaths and affirmations; (3) take a verification upon oath or affirmation; (4) witness or attest a signature; (5) certify or attest a copy; (6) note a protest of a negotiable instrument; and (7) perform any other act permitted by law.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-109, a notary public who has a direct financial or beneficial interest in a transaction must not perform any notarial act in connection with such transaction. For purposes of this act, a notary public has a direct financial or beneficial interest in a transaction if the notary public:
1) With respect to a financial transaction, is named, individually, as a principal to the transaction;
2) with respect to real property, is named, individually, as a grantor, grantee, mortgagor, mortgagee, trustor, trustee, beneficiary, vendor, vendee, lessor or lessee, to the transaction.
For purposes of this act, a notary public has no direct financial or beneficial interest in a transaction when the notary public acts in the capacity of an agent, employee, insurer, attorney, escrow agent or lender for a person having a direct financial or beneficial interest in the transaction[iv].
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-113, a suit must not be instituted against any such notary or his or her securities more than three years after the cause of action accrues.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-114, if a notary public changes name by any legal action, such notary must obtain a new notary seal which meets the requirements established by K.S.A. 53-105, and the seal must contain the new name of the notary. Prior to performing any acts as a notary public after such change, the notary must mail or deliver to the secretary of state notice of the change of name which shall include a specimen of the new seal and a specimen of the notary’s new official signature. If a notary public obtains a new seal for any reason, the notary must mail or deliver to the secretary of state notice of the change of seal which must include an impression of the new seal[v].
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-115, a surety on a notary public must not cancel such bond without giving written notice thereof to the secretary of state. Fourteen (14) days after receipt of such notice by the secretary of state, said surety shall no longer be liable on such bond.
Whenever the secretary of state receives notice of a surety’s intention to cancel a notary’s bond, said secretary of state shall notify the affected notary public that unless such notary files another good and sufficient surety bond with the secretary of state on or before the cancellation date of such notary public’s surety bond, then such notary will no longer be authorized to perform notarial acts within Kansas.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-116, if a notary public no longer desires to be a notary public in Kansas, the notary must send immediately by mail or deliver to the secretary of state a letter of resignation informing the secretary of state of the notary’s desire to resign as a notary public in the state of Kansas. The appointment of the notary shall thereupon cease to be in effect.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-117, a person may not be automatically reappointed as a notary public. Every notary public who is an applicant for reappointment as a notary public shall comply with the provisions of K.S.A. 53-102.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-118, the secretary of state may refuse to appoint any person as a notary public or may revoke the appointment of any notary public upon any of the following grounds:
1) Substantial or material misstatement or omission in the application submitted to the secretary of state;
2) conviction of a felony or of a lesser offense involving moral turpitude or of a nature incompatible with the duties of a notary public. A conviction after a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction;
3) revocation, suspension or denial of a professional license, if such revocation, suspension or denial was for misconduct, dishonesty or any cause substantially relating to the duties or responsibilities of a notary public;
4) cessation of United States citizenship;
5) incapacitation to such a degree that the person is incapable of reading or writing the English language;
6) failure to exercise the powers and duties of a notary public in accordance with this act; or
7) violation of K.S.A. 2009 Supp. 53-121, and amendments thereto.
Any person whose notary public appointment has been removed pursuant to subsection (a)(1) through (a)(6) may not apply for an appointment until the expiration of four years from the date of removal of such appointment. Any person whose notary public appointment has been removed pursuant to subsection (a)(7) may not apply or receive an appointment for such person’s lifetime[vi].
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-119, any person injured by the failure of a notary public to faithfully perform any notarial act for which a bond is given under the laws of Kansas may sue on the bond in the person’s own name in any court of competent jurisdiction to recover the damages the person may have sustained by such failure.
If a surety on a notary bond receives a claim on the bond, the surety must notify the secretary of state of the outcome of that claim[vii].
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 53-121, a notary public who is not admitted to the practice of law in Kansas and who advertises notarial services in a language other than English shall include, in any advertisement, notice, letterhead or sign, a statement prominently displayed, in the same language in which such notarial services are offered, as follows: “I am not authorized to practice law and have no authority to give advice on immigration law or other legal matters.”
A notary public who is not admitted to the practice of law in Kansas mustl not use the term “notario publico” or any equivalent non-English term in any business card, advertisement, notice or sign unless it complies with the requirements of subsection (a). Violation of this section is a class B misdemeanor. Violation of this section constitutes a deceptive act or practice pursuant to K.S.A. 50-626, and amendments thereto, and shall be subject to the remedies and penalties provided by the Kansas consumer protection act.
[i] K.S.A. § 53-103.
[ii] K.S.A. § 53-105.
[iii] K.S.A. § 53-106.
[iv] K.S.A. § 53-109.
[v] K.S.A. § 53-114.
[vi] K.S.A. § 53-118.
[vii] K.S.A. § 53-120.