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South Carolina Laws on Notaries Public

South Carolina laws on notaries public can be found in Chapter 1, Title 26 of South Carolina Code.  Pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 26-1-10, the Governor may appoint from the qualified electors as many notaries public throughout the State as the public good requires, to hold their offices for a term of ten years.

S.C. Code Ann. § 26-1-40 provides that every notary public should take the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution, certified copies of which will be recorded in the office of the Secretary of State.

Every notary public should, within fifteen days after s/he has been commissioned, exhibit his/her commission to the clerk of the court of the county in which s/he resides and be enrolled by the clerk.

S.C. Code Ann. § 26-1-60 provides that each notary public should have a seal of office, which should be affixed to his/her instruments of publications and to his/her protestations.  S/he should indicate below his/her signature the date of expiration of his/her commission.

Pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 26-1-80, the jurisdiction of notaries public extends throughout the State. S.C. Code Ann. § 26-1-90 provides that a notary public may administer oaths, take depositions, affidavits, protests for nonpayment of bonds, notes, drafts and bills of exchange, acknowledgments and proof of deeds and other instruments required by law to be acknowledged and renunciations of dower and perform all other acts provided by law to be performed by notaries public.

A notary public who, in his/her official capacity, falsely certifies to affirming, swearing, or acknowledging of a person or his signature to an instrument, affidavit, or writing is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days.

Further, a notary public convicted should forfeit his/her commission and should not be issued another commission.  Also the court in which the notary public is convicted should notify the Secretary of State within ten days after conviction.

S.C. Code Ann. § 26-1-100 provides that a notary public should not exercise any power or jurisdiction in criminal cases.  Any attorney at law who is a notary public may exercise all his/her powers as a notary notwithstanding the fact that s/he may be interested as counsel or attorney at law in any matter with respect to which s/he may so exercise any such power and may probate in any court in this State in which s/he may be counsel.

Pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 26-1-120, a  notary public who is a stockholder, director, officer or employee of a corporation may take renunciation of dower in any written instrument, take the acknowledgment or the oath of a subscribing witness of any party to a written instrument executed to or by such corporation, administer an oath to any stockholder, director, officer, employee or agent of such corporation or protest for nonacceptance or nonpayment bills of exchange, drafts, checks, notes and other negotiable instruments which may be owned or held for collection by such corporation.

But when a notary public is individually a party to an instrument it is unlawful for him/her/her/her to take the acknowledgment or probate to such instrument executed by or to a corporation of which s/he is a stockholder, director, officer or employee or to protest any such negotiable instrument owned or held for collection by such corporation.

Inside South Carolina Laws on Notaries Public