Oklahoma laws on notaries public can be found in Title 49 of Oklahoma Statutes. Pursuant to 49 Okl. St. § 1, it is the duty of the Secretary of State to appoint and commission in the State of Oklahoma notaries public, who should hold their office for four years. An applicant for a notary commission should be:
- eighteen years of age or older,
- a citizen of the U.S., and
- employed within the State of Oklahoma or a legal resident of Oklahoma.
A felony conviction is a ground for removal of a person from the office of notary public. All notary commissions should run in the name and by the authority of the State of Oklahoma, be signed by the Secretary of State, and sealed with the Great Seal of the State of Oklahoma.
49 Okl. St. § 1.1 provides that the application for a notary commission should set forth:
- The printed name of the applicant;
- Former names, if applicable;
- If a resident of this state, the county of residence and street address;
- If a resident of another state, the county and street address of employment in Oklahoma and residence address;
- A statement that the applicant is at least eighteen years of age;
- A designation of new, renewal or expired commission including an expiration date if applicable; and
- Signature of the applicant.
Before entering upon the duties of his/her office every notary public so appointed and commissioned should file in the office of the Secretary of State[i]:
- the notary’s oath of office,
- the notary’s loyalty oath,
- the notary’s official signature,
- an impression of the notary’s official seal, and
- a good and sufficient bond to the State of Oklahoma, in the sum of One Thousand Dollars, to be approved by the Secretary of State, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of the notary’s office.
Upon the filing of his/her bond with the Secretary of State, every notary public should pay to the Secretary of State the sum of ten dollars to be deposited to the credit of the Revolving Fund for the Office of the Secretary of State.
49 Okl. St. § 5 provides that every notary should obtain a notarial seal containing the words State of Oklahoma and Notary Public and the notary’s name. This seal may be either a metal seal which leaves an embossed impression or a rubber stamp used in conjunction with a stamp pad and ink.
Each notary should authenticate all official acts, attestations, and instruments with this seal and should add to the notary’s official signature, the commission number of the notary and the date of expiration of the commission of the notary.
If any notary public neglects or refuses to attach to the notary’s official signature the date of expiration of the notary’s commission, the notary is deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof is fined in any sum not exceeding fifty dollars. The maximum fee a notary may charge and collect for each notarial act is five dollars.
Pursuant to 49 Okl. St. § 6, notaries public has authority within any county in this state to:
- make the proof and acknowledgement of deeds and other instruments of writing required to be proved or acknowledged;
- administer oaths;
- demand acceptance or payment of foreign or inland bills of exchange and promissory notes, and protest the same for nonacceptance or nonpayment, as the same may require, and
- exercise such other powers and duties as by law of nations and commercial usage may be performed by notaries public.
A notary may not notarize his/her own signature. Also, no notary public, except those who are licensed attorneys or otherwise authorized by law to represent persons on immigration or citizenship matters, should hold himself/herself out as having expertise in providing legal advice on any proceeding, filing or action affecting the immigration or citizenship status of another person.
49 Okl. St. § 6.1 provides that any individual convicted of violating the statutory provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor and will be subject to a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars. Further, upon receipt of a final judgment against a notary public from a district court of this state or its equivalent from a foreign jurisdiction, the Secretary of State should revoke the appointment of the notary for a period of eight years.
In cases of protests for banks, notaries should keep a register thereof in a book provided for that purpose by the bank, and the notary is not required to deliver such register to the county clerk, but should leave the same in the possession of such bank[ii].
49 Okl. St. § 10 provides that no suit should be instituted against any such notary or his/her securities more than three years after the cause of action accrues. Also, if a notary’s resident address changes, the notary must inform the Secretary of State in writing within thirty days of such change[iii]. However, the notary is not required to file a new bond or obtain another seal if the notary moves from one county to another.
[i] 49 Okl. St. § 2.
[ii] 49 Okl. St. § 7.
[iii] 49 Okl. St. § 11.