FULL FRONTAL NOTARY:      Thoughts from OSN President Roger Rill

 

 Receiving the pen used by Governor Kasich to sign the Ohio Notary Modernization Act!

 

A National Honor!

I am truly honored and humbled at being selected as National Notary of the Year Special Honoree for 2019 by the NNA! This helps increase our credibility and exposure around the country and in Ohio. Thanks so much for all the support from the OSN community!!

 

Upcoming Notary Seminars!

We are approved by the SOS as an Authorized Provider of Notary Training & Testing! So when renewing or applying for the first time, you can have your required training (and testing if a first-time applicant) done in Columbus (or at our classes around the state) with THE Ohio notary expert! We are now providing training under our new affiliate,The Ohio Notary Institute. We'll be resuming in-person classes this Spring. Watch for announcements on our Training Page.

 

January/February 2023

We had a good time presenting classes around the state in Dayton/Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Athens, Bowling Green, Stow, and Columbus.THE best and most comprehensive Ohio notary class anywhere. 

Class announcements will always be made on our Ohio Notary Network Facebook forum, and details will appear on the TRAINING page of our website. 

 

We will be discussing some legislative issues this Winter/Spring concerning acknowledgement wording, use of translators, notarizing for relatives, and vendors for RON training. Stay tuned.

 

It's always Krazy Kar Title season! Please review the Ohio Notary 101 and Cautionary Documents tabs on this site for tips on Ohio Title Transfer procedures, in a variety of situations. 

While many notaries have understandably cut back on their businesses during covid, people still have important and time-sensitive documents they need every day. With banks, BMV, and other notary resources often having reduced staff, there has been a markedly increased demand for mobile notary services.

The virus situation has also prompted a mad, lemming-like rush among Ohio notaries to be certified by the Secretary of State to handle Remote Online Notarization; these are done over a video device, with the signer at a different physical location than the notary. The application process through the SOS includes a $250 fee for the training and testing, and there are ongoing costs for platforms, electronic journal, each notarization, etc. The single Authorized Provider specifically for RON training can be found on the SOS website.

Before taking the RON plunge, research thoroughly what the true expenses of operating as a RON are to you, and determine whether it is a cost-effective venture for your notary business.

Note that traditional face-to-face notarization will always be around, and in demand for your community.

We'd also like to help recruit more bilingual notaries to provide notary service to underserved populations.

NEW OHIO NOTARY LAWS! 

Many of you know how long I've worked for years on trying to update Ohio's antiquated notary laws. These efforts have finally culminated with the passage of landmark Notary Reform legislation, entitled The Ohio Notary Public Modernization Act.

Governor Kasich signed it into law on December 19, 2018 and it became effective September 20, 2019.

 Highlights of the Bill include:

  • Eliminates the 88 separate county notary applicant criteria; all notary applications will be handled directly by the Secretary of State, and will be online.
  • Notary applicants will be required to 1) Pass a statewide, uniform examination; 2) Pass a national background check (with fingerprints) administered by the Ohio BCI; 3) Receive 3 hours of mandatory training. This includes new attorneys.
  • Recording of commissions with County Clerks of Court is eliminated.
  • Defines Jurat certificate wording
  • Allows Copy Certification by Document Custodian
  • No Bond Requirement; Journals remain optional (although strongly recommended in an employment situation)
  • Prohibit certain felons from holding a notary commission
  • Permits reasonable travel fees
  • Increases fees for any notarial act up to $5 per notarization (NOT per signature)
  • Maintains satisfactory ID acceptance to Notary’s discretion
  • Allows reduction in required size of Notary Seal(!!)
  • Notary responsible to ensure proper certificate for notarial act performed, and to correct if certificate is improper
  • Eliminates Notary Protests
  • Notary Complaints & Disciplinary actions handled directly by SOS
  • Allows a “Designated Signer” for disabled/incapacitated signers
  • Upon death or resignation, journals to be deposited with SOS
  • Permits notarization via video devices; $25 notary fee. 

 

NEW attorneys WILL have to take the training class to obtain a notary commission - it will no longer be automatic for them. Ohio will be the second state in the nation with this requirement.

In addition to the major changes to the commissioning system and notarial duties, the Bill also permits Remote Notarization in Ohio. This involves notarizations over a webcam without the physical presence of the signer, and I feel will be largely utilized for real estate transactions. The Secretary of State, Frank LaRose has developed standards and procedures for this new addition, and for obtaining an electronic seal. 

For the first time in 27 years, the fee for performing a notarial act will markedly increase. The new fee will be up to $5, which brings us to a little above average compared to most of the country. As before, the fee is per notarization (not per signature), and eliminates the fee distinction between Acknowledgements and Jurats. All notarial Acts will have the same $5 fee.

The other major change involves the Ohio Vehicle Title form. For many years, this document has had a non-compliant notary certificate, and NO room for an inked seal. I FINALLY got the BMV folks to listen to me, and was on the Committee to re-design the document.

The major changes for Ohio notaries include: 1) the document will be letter-sized, with much more room for your seal; 2) it will include the state/county venue that was missing until recently; 3) Under the signature line for the Seller, there will be wording stating that the Seller MUST sign in front of a notary! This should eliminate all those excuses we hear, that the Seller just signed it over to the Buyer without a notary. BMV anticipates issuing the the new titles around the first of the year.

So it has indeed been a very successful few years for OSN, and the law changes and updates we have sought for so long are finally a reality!