CA NOTARIES! The CA Online Notary bill likely to pass

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The CA Online Notary bill amendments have been finalized and the bill is now awaiting it’s last vote on the Assembly floor before heading to the governor’s desk. Learn what made it in, what didn’t, when it will become effective and how this bill will affect you and your business.

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Well, they codified mail-in voting so online notarization was the next bad idea to gain favor. I’m not sure how that will affect my general notary business, not much I presume. But your LSA’s will be officially out of a job. Does that spell the end for signing services too?


That’s a Great question!


I took the most experienced notary I know to Matt’s webinar last night, and he was blown away by what he heard. I heard him whisper, “This RON thing is going to be a clown show,” and I nodded my head in agreement. Notaries are the target of this rush to digitize, but they decided to slow-walk it for seven years.

CA, mail-in voting, and notaries is an interesting combination. In CA pursuant to Government Code section 8211(d) no fee can be charged to notarize signatures on vote by mail ballot identification envelopes or
other voting materials. (Notary Public Handbook p. 18) Although CA does not require notarization of mail-in ballots, a few other states do. It isn’t 100% clear if the CA law about no fee applies to ballots and applications being sent to other states.

The other problem with ballots is the ballot envelope or application is likely to include a jurat for an oath. CA notaries must use CA jurat language. I wonder how election officials in, for example, Mississippi will react when a ballot envelope arrives with a CA compliant jurat stapled to it.

I think it will be the end of separate signing services. The scheduling of notaries will become part of the online notarization platforms for loan work.

(I liked the signing part of the post but not the mail-in voting part of the post.)

Today people present in CA can get RON from an out-of-state notary. CA notaries and CA notary laws are becoming more and more irrelevant.

For those who couldn’t make it to the roundtable, replay now available.

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Thank you for the very informative presentation, Matt! I join others in being disheartened by the timeline. It’s actually a bit shocking. Maybe the SOS will surprise us all and decide to be awesome and get it done ASAP (if the bill does pass)! :wink:

I just checked the status at Bill Status - SB-696 Notaries public. and the bill has been passed by both the Assembly and the Senate, and enrolled. It is the enrolled version of a bill which is presented to the governor for possible signature. In more detail:

9/1/2023 Read second time and amended. Ordered to second reading.

9/5/2023 Read second time. Ordered to third reading.

9/7/2023 Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Senate.

9/11/2023 Senate concurred in Assembly amendments. (Ayes 39, Noes 0.) Ordered to engrossing and enrolling.

9/13/2023 Enrolled version available on Legislature website.

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