Nebraska Laws on Notaries Public can be found in Chapter 64, Article 1 of the Statute of Nebraska. Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-101, the Secretary of State appoints and commission adequate number of persons to the office of notary public as s/he deems necessary.
Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-101, there should be one class of notary public appointment valid in the entire state. Such appointment is referred to as general notaries public. A general commission should contain a provision showing that the person named in the commission is authorized to act as a notary public anywhere within the State of Nebraska or contain the word general or refer to the office as general notary public. Effective date with reference to a commission of a notary public means the date of the commission. However, when the commission states when it goes into effect, the effective date is the date will be the date given by the commission[i].
Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-101, a person to be appointed as a notary public should have attained the age of nineteen years. The applicant must certify to the Secretary of State under oath that s/he has carefully read and understood the laws relating to the duties of notaries public. Additionally, s/he must certify that, when commissioned, s/he shall faithfully discharge the duties pertaining to the office and keep records according to law. A person should not be appointed as a notary public unless s/he has taken and passed a written examination on the duties and obligations of a notary public. An applicant convicted of a felony or other crime involving fraud or dishonesty cannot be appointed as a notary public. A notary public holds office for a term of four years from the effective date of his/or her commission[ii].
Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-102, a person can apply for a commission authorizing the applicant to act as a notary public anywhere in the State of Nebraska. The Secretary of State issues a commission authorizing the notary public to act as notary public anywhere in the State of Nebraska. A general commission does not authorize the holder to act as a notary public anywhere in the State of Nebraska. In order to practice anywhere in the state of Nebraska, the applicant must furnish a bond in the sum of fifteen thousand dollars, with an incorporated surety company as surety is executed and approved by and filed in the office of the Secretary of State. Upon the filing of such bond with the Secretary of State and the issuance of such commission the notary public is authorized and empowered to perform any and all the duties of a notary public in any and all the counties in the State of Nebraska. Such bond is conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of office. A person so appointed to the office of notary public should make oath or affirmation, to be endorsed on bond, and subscribed by him/ her before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. The officer certifies that s/he will support the Constitution of the U S and the Constitution of Nebraska; and will faithfully and impartially discharge, and perform the duties of the office of notary public[iii].
Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-104, a commissions for general notaries public can be renewed within thirty days prior to the date of expiration by filing a renewal application along with the payment of the fee and a new bond with the Secretary of State.
Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-105, a notary public should not perform a notarial act when the principal:
- is not in the presence of the notary public at the time of the notarial act; and
- is not personally known to the notary public or identified by the notary public through satisfactory evidence.
Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-105,identification by the notary public through satisfactory evidence means:
- identification of an individual based on at least one document issued by a government agency that is current and bearing the photographic image of the individual’s face and signature and a physical description of the individual;
- identification of an individual based on the oath or affirmation of one credible witness; and
- identification of an individual based on personal knowledge of identity.
Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-105.01, a notary public is disqualified from performing a notarial act , when the notary is a spouse, ancestor, descendant, or sibling of the principal, including in-law, step, or half relatives.
Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-105.03, unauthorized practice of law by a notary public who is not an attorney is prohibited. When a notarial certificate wording is not provided or indicated for a document, a notary public who is not an attorney should not determine the type of notarial act or certificate to be used. A notary public who is not an attorney should not assist another person in drafting, completing, selecting, or understanding a document or transaction requiring a notarial act. A notary public who is not an attorney should not claim to have powers, qualifications, rights, or privileges that the office of notary public does not provide. Prohibited acts include: the power to counsel on immigration matters. A notary public who is not an attorney, advertising notarial services in a language other than English should include in any advertisement, notice, letterhead, or sign a statement to the effect that s/he has no authority to give advice on immigration or other legal matters. A notary public who is not an attorney should not use the term notario publico in any business card, advertisement, notice, or sign. However, a notary public who is duly qualified, trained, or experienced in a particular industry or professional field from selecting, drafting, completing, or advising on a document or certificate related to a matter within that industry or field is not prohibited to act under authority. A notary public violating prohibited unauthorized practice is subject to the penalties[iv].
Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-107, powers and duties of a notary public include:
- administering oaths and affirmations in all cases;
- taking depositions, acknowledgments, and proofs of the execution of deeds, mortgages, powers of attorney, and other instruments in writing, to be used or recorded in this or another state;
- exercising and performing such other powers and duties as authorized by the laws of this state.
Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-107, through signature and official seal, a notary public certifies the performance of duties and the certificate issued by a notary public is received in all courts of the state of Nebraska as presumptive evidence of the facts certified.
Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-109, when a person is damaged or injured by the unlawful act, negligence or misconduct of any notary public in his/ her official capacity, the person damaged or injured can maintain a civil action on the official bond of such notary public against such notary public and his/her sureties. A recovery in such action should not be a bar to any future action for other causes to the full amount of the bond[v].
Pursuant to R.R.S. Neb. § 64-112, a notary public removing from the State of Nebraska should notify the Secretary of State of removal. A removal terminates the term of his/her office.
[i] R.R.S. Neb. § 64-101.
[iii] R.R.S. Neb. § 64-102.
[iv] R.R.S. Neb. § 64-105.03.
[v] R.R.S. Neb. § 64-109.