‘Model Notary Act’ Basis For New Mississippi Regulations

July 17, 2007

In one of the most comprehensive adoptions of the NNA’s Model Notary Act of 2002 to date, Mississippi has put in place numerous new regulations governing the conduct of Notaries, drawing largely from the Act’s paper-based provisions.

As a result, the National Notary Association will be holding a series of seminars in Mississippi in September to help Notaries become familiar with the new rules.

The regulations took effect July 1. Of the 21 definitions of terms offered in these new rules for Notaries, 18 are taken or based largely on the Act.

The new additions to the Mississippi Administrative Code did not arise through the legislative process. Instead, they were established by regulations created by Mississippi Secretary of State Eric Clark, who, like many high-ranking state officials around the nation, has the discretion and authority to set certain rules for the programs he administers. In this case, the regulations established guidelines and procedures for Mississippi Notaries.

Among the new regulations:

    Among the new regulations:

  • New Notary procedures for a signing by mark and for when a signer cannot make a mark.
  • New definitions for “satisfactory evidence of identity” and “personal knowledge of identity.”
  • New notarial certificates to be used in executing acknowledgments, jurats and signature witnessings.
  • New requirements for a Notary seal (for new commissions issued on or after July 1): how large or small the seal can be, the information it must now contain, and the stipulation that a seal must be photographically reproducible.
  • Greatly expanded Notary journal requirements, including detailed specifications on journal entries and the procedure that must be followed to allow journal inspection.

Source: National Notary Association

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