CA AG Rob Bonta speaks and burns the SECURE Act to the ground!

If anyone has ever wondered what kind of work that I do and how you benefit from an organization like the CLIN, this a a great example…

And, my most favorite part, we now have the most powerful state AG in the country on the record looking out for notary’s jobs.

“… and lose jobs to other jurisdictions, including the jobs of those who have a long track record of effectively performing these duties within the state.”

“ The exportation of notary jobs to less-regulated jurisdictions is particularly problematic…”

This letter will have far reaching impact beyond CA. Please make sure your state’s AG, SoS and law makers get a copy of this letter! We can get our hands around this experiment we call RON and put the Notary back in the driver’s seat where we belong.


Thank you Matt.

We all need to wtie our own letters as our CA AG has done.

Thank for all you do, Matt. You are a treasure.

I’ve worked all year to build momentum on the opposition side. So far we have:

The ABA Technology Section
Consumers’ Research

and furthermore I conducted a letter campaign for notaries last summer. See link below:

Thanks, Matt. This also aligns with California’s ban on notaries completing I-9 forms, requiring extensive background checks to become a notary, and a continuing education requirement on renewal. Things that protect the integrity of our notary commission.

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I agree and disagree with ewing_joe. I agree with a continuing education requirement, and background check when becoming a notary. But I feel the CA exam that has to be repeated at each renewal is a bad exam. It focuses on legal requirements that are best looked up when the situation arises, such as how to renew a commission or what the penalties are for various offences. Maybe there are questions about material that should be in the back of a notary’s mind while in the midst of an appointment, such as the difference between an acknowledgement and an oath, but you never see any good questions mentioned in any of the forums.

I think the prohibition about helping with immigration forms unless one has the proper state registration is a step in the right direction. Maybe helping with immigration forms for pay should be forbidden altogether unless one is an attorney in some state or registered with the federal government. But it was an error for the CA SOS to classify the I-9 form as an immigration form. It’s mostly completed by people who are citizens or permanent residents, so in most cases, it has nothing to do with immigration.

Didn’t you say your commission is In Vermont?

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Yes, I’m commissioned in VT. But ideas tend to spread from one state to another, such as the rules for credible witnesses being word-for-word the same in CA and FL. So I think we should praise good laws and speak against bad laws wherever they are found.

I’ve read most of the negative comments regarding the CASOS exam. All of the criticism seems to come from signing agents who are also notaries. It seems that they feel the Secretary should be focusing on training but fail to realize that the SOS’s job is enforcement.

There’s always been plenty of third party training available for any new notary.

I’ve taken the exam seven times and have yet to see a question on anything pertaining to loan signings. And if I had my way a passing score would be 90% not 70%.

I think the I-9 issue out here on the west coast stems from our state having an ongoing notario problem.

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It’s certainly correct for an exam for notaries to exclude questions that would only pertain to signing agents, such as how to fill out a Patriot Act form, or the difference between a deed and a note. And it’s certainly correct that a notary regulator, such as an SOS, must prioritize enforcement over training that might be related to the business of being a notary, but isn’t about performing actual notarial acts. For example, training on how to write out an invoice would be inappropriate for a notary regulator.

But anyone who is creating an exam should consider the testing conditions, and create questions appropriate for the testing conditions. Since the CA exam is closed-book, it should only contain questions about things that should constantly in the back of the notaries mind, so that in the midst of performing a notarial act, the notary will know what to do, or at least know it’s time to pull out the notary handbook. A question like “for which of the following acts may the signer sign outside the notary’s presence? A… B… C… D…” would be fine. A question like “How long does a notary have to notify the Secretary of state of an address change: A: 15 days B: 30 days C: 1 calendar month D:when renewing commission” would be inappropriate for a closed book exam because it is the sort of thing the notary would have ample opportunity to look up when the situation arises.

Once again you’re missing the point. The notary public commission is not a business, it’s a public service.

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It’s nice to see some States trying to raise the bar. In Texas there only two requirements to become a notary; first, no felony convictions or convictions related to crimes of moral turpitude, second, can you fog a mirror?

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