Though the Governor appoints Notaries “with the advice and consent of the Senate” (RS 35:1), the Secretary of State administers the Notary application, qualification and examination process, and maintains records on Notaries (RS 35:191.C.B, 35:191.1.A and 35:201.B).
Office of Secretary of State Notary Division P.O. Box 94125 Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125 1-225-922-0507
Physical Address: 8585 Archives Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Qualifications: An applicant for a commission as a Louisiana Notary Public must (RS 35:191.A, B and C.B[i]; LAC 46:XLVI.101.A, B and C): (a) Be at least 18 years old; (b) Be a resident citizen or an alien lawfully residing in the state; (c) Be registered to vote in the parish in which the commission is sought; (d) Read, write, speak and be sufficiently knowledgeable in the English language; (e) Have received a high school diploma or an equivalency diploma based on passing a high school equivalency test approved by the Board of Supervisors of Community and Technical Colleges; (f) Not be under interdiction or incapable of serving as a Notary because of mental infirmity; (g) Not have been convicted of a felony or, if convicted, have been pardoned; and (h) Have good moral character, integrity and sober habits.
Pre-Assessment Exam: Effective June 12, 2014, applicants must register online to take a pre-assessment test administered by the Secretary of State to determine the probability that the applicant will pass the statewide exam (RS 35:191.C.A; LAC 46:XLVI.109.E).
“(b) To qualify to take the pre-assessment test, the applicant shall have satisfied all requirements to be commissioned as a notary public in the parish, except for passing the examination as provided in R.S. 35:191.1. “(c) The pre-assessment test provided by this Paragraph shall be dispensed with if the applicant has been duly admitted to practice law in this state or holds a valid notarial commission in this state” (RS 35:191.C[b]-[c]).
The application fee to qualify for a commission is $35 and the fee for the pre-assessment test is $30 (LAC 46:XLVI.129.A; website, “File Notary Documents: What Do I File?”).
Statewide Notary Exam: All nonattorney applicants must take and pass the statewide Notary examination. Attorneys licensed to practice law in Louisiana are exempt from the exam (RS 35:191.C.A and C.C; LAC 46:XLVI.103.A and 46:XLVI.113.C).
To qualify to register for and take the exam, applicants must complete and submit to the Secretary of State an “Application to Qualify” (available on the website), accompanied by the application fee of $35. Once the application has been approved, the applicant may register to take the exam, at which time the exam registration fee of $100 must be paid. Applicants either may register on the Secretary of State’s website and pay the fee with a credit card or may complete and submit a hard copy of the examination registration form (available on the website). If registering online, the applicant must contact the Secretary’s Notary Division to obtain an access code. If submitting in hard copy, the applicant may either mail the exam registration form along with a check or money order made payable to the Secretary of State or send the form by fax or email along with a credit card cover sheet (RS 35:191.C.C; LAC 46:XLVI.103.B and C).
“The qualified candidate shall be permitted to register for any notary public examinations administered by the secretary of state within one year after the date the secretary of state notifies the candidate of his approval to take the examination. No further application fee shall be required during this period” (RS 35:191.C[b][iii]). However, applicants must complete the exam registration process at least 30 days prior to the exam (RS 35:191.C.D).
A new law effective May 15, 2018, requires the examination to be given at least twice a year on dates scheduled by the Secretary of State (RS 35:191.C.[b][i]).
The exam is in two parts (general knowledge and scenario/critical knowledge), both of which must be passed, and it lasts about five hours (website, “Prepare for the Notary Exam: Get Exam Information”). To help applicants prepare for the exam, “The Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice,” the official study guide, is available through the Secretary of State’s office at a cost of $100 (LAC 46:XLVI.105.A and C; RS 35:191.1.B).
Exams are administered by the LSU Office of Assessment and Evaluation at regional testing centers throughout the state. The exam may be taken in a computer-testing or paper-and-pencil format (RS 35:191.1.A; LAC 46:XLVI.103.F and 46:XLVI.109.A and B).
Parish Exam: A nonattorney Notary commissioned by passing a parish Notary exam may take the statewide exam to obtain statewide jurisdiction. Failure to pass the statewide exam has no effect on the status of the existing commission of the nonattorney Notary (RS 35:191.P[b] and P; LAC 46:XLVI.103.G.).
Course: Applicants for a commission are not required by law to take an instructional course in preparation to take the Notary exam (LAC 46:XLVI.107.A).
However, “the secretary of state is authorized to develop, with the advice and assistance of academically credentialed professionals, a notary education program for the formal education of candidates for a notary commission” (RS 35:191.1.C).
All providers offering exam-preparation courses must register with the Secretary of State’s office and are listed on its provider registry. Effective February 28, 2015, all such providers are required to be commissioned Notaries with statewide authority (RS 35:191.4.B; LAC 46:XLVI.107.B and D).
Post-Exam Filing Requirements: Applicants who have taken and passed the exam will receive a Notary commission after they have submitted the following items to the Secretary of State’s office: (a) two properly executed original oaths of office, one to be filed with the Secretary of State and the other to be filed with the clerk of court in the applicant’s parish of residency; (b) an official signature page; (c) a Notary surety bond, a personal surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court, or an errors and omissions policy in the amount of $10,000; and (d) a $35 commission filing fee, payable to the Secretary of State. Attorneys do not have to file a bond or insurance policy but must submit a certificate of good standing issued by the Louisiana Supreme Court within 30 days prior to application to become a Notary (RS 35:71.A and B, 35:72 and 35:201.A; LAC 46:XLVI.111.A, 46:XLVI.113.C. and 46:XLVI.129.A; website, “File Notary Documents: What Do I File?”).
Background Screening: Not required.
Dual Commissions: “Dual commissions can only be obtained for one other parish in which the notary maintains an office and is not reciprocal with the existing commission (see reciprocal parish list)” (LAC 46:XLVI.119.A).
Notaries requesting a dual commission must file the following items with the Secretary of State’s office: (a) two properly executed original oaths of office, one to be filed with the Secretary of State and the other to be filed with the clerk of court in the applicant’s new parish of residency; (b) an official signature page; (c) a Notary surety bond, a personal surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court or an errors and omissions policy in the amount of $10,000; and (d) a $35 commission filing fee, payable to the Secretary of State. Attorneys do not have to file a bond or insurance policy (LAC 46:XLVI.119.B and 46:XLVI.129.A; see also (RS 35:191.E).
Attorney Requirements: Attorneys who are licensed to practice law may obtain a Notary commission with statewide jurisdiction by filing a qualifying application and commission documents. Attorneys must file their commission in the parish of their residence (LAC 46:XLVI.113.A, B and D).
Attorneys are exempt from the statewide exam and the requirement to file a bond or insurance policy. They are, however, required to submit a certificate of good standing issued by the Louisiana Supreme Court (RS 35:72 and 35:191.C.C; LAC 46:XLVI.103.A, 46:XLVI.111.A.3. and .A.4 and 46:XLVI.113.C).
Ex Officio Requirements: “Any person may be appointed an ex officio notary as authorized in this Chapter, provided he: “(1) Is a resident citizen or alien of the state. “(2) Is eighteen years of age or older. “(3) Is able to read, write, and speak the English language and [is] possessed of sufficient knowledge of the English language. “(4) Is not under interdiction or incapable of serving as an ex officio notary because of a mental infirmity. “(5) Is not under indictment for a felony and has not been convicted of a felony for which he has not been pardoned. “(6) Has given bond, with good and solvent security, in the sum of ten thousand dollars conditioned for the faithful performance of all duties required by law toward all persons who may employ him in his profession of ex officio notary, or he has maintained a minimum of ten thousand dollars in errors and omissions insurance coverage. “(7) In the case of a state employee who serves as an ex officio notary in the course and scope of his employment, records his oath of office with the secretary of state” (RS 35:391).
“No ex officio notary who holds such office by virtue of duties affiliated with employment with a political subdivision of the state shall be required to file his or her oath of office as notary with any parish clerk of court” (RS 35:392.C).
An ex-officio Notary must meet the same qualifications as applicants for a Notary Public commission, file a bond or errors and omissions insurance in the amount of $10,000 (LAC 46:XLVI.141.A and B). If the ex-officio Notary is a state employee, the Notary must file the oath of office with the Secretary of State (LAC 46:XLVI.141.C).
For additional information on ex officio Notaries, see “Ex Officio Notaries” under “Other Notarial Officers,” below.
Nonresidents: Nonresidents of Louisiana are not qualified to receive a Notary commission in the state. However, nonresidents who are Louisiana attorneys in good standing and who maintain an office in the state may achieve ex officio status as a Notary (RS 35:412.A; see “Nonresident Attorneys” under “Other Notarial Officers,” below).
“A. The secretary of state’s website contains current contact information on all notaries commissioned in the state of Louisiana. “B. If a notary is listed on the notary database as being suspended, the notary did not file his annual report or his bond has expired” (LAC 46:XLVI.137).
The database to search for Louisiana Notaries Public may be found at the Secretary of State’s website, “Notary & Certifications,” “Search for Louisiana Notaries.”
Statewide for attorneys, but parish-wide for nonattorneys (RS 35:191[P][a]). However, any commissioned nonattorney Notary in and for any parish in Louisiana who passes the statewide written examination on or after June 13, 2005, may also exercise his or her notarial authority statewide. Failure to pass the exam has no effect on the status of the existing commission of the nonattorney Notary (RS 35:191[P][b] and [P]; LAC 46:XLVI.103.G).
Reciprocity: Reciprocity exists within each of the following 15 groups of parishes, and a nonattorney Notary commissioned for any parish within one of these groups may notarize in any other parish within that same group, without additional bonding or examination (RS 35:191.D, F through O and Q through U; LAC 46:XLVI.133.A):
Acadia, Evangeline and St. Landry
Acadia, Lafayette and Vermilion
Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vernon
Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana
Assumption, Lafourche, St. Mary and Terrebonne
Avoyelles, Grant and Rapides
Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto and Webster
Bienville, Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Union and West Carroll
Bienville, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Vernon, Winn
Catahoula and Concordia
Iberia and Vermilion
Iberia, St. Mary
Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary
Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard
Lafayette and St. Landry
Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa
Sabine and Vernon
Adjacent Parishes: “.A person validly appointed notary public in the parish of his residence may exercise any and all of the functions of a notary public in all adjacent parishes that have a population of less than forty thousand and in which he or his employer maintains an office, without additional bonding or further application or examination” (RS 35:191.A).
Notaries in Louisiana are commissioned for life pursuant to Attorney General Opinion 1940-42.
Bond or Policy
Nonattorney Notaries: $10,000 surety bond or a minimum of $10,000 in errors and omissions insurance. Notaries who are bonded or insured must renew their bonds or policies every five years; Notaries who are bonded by a personal surety must renew the bond upon the death of the surety (RS 35:71.A and D, 35:75 and 35:391; LAC 46:XLVI.121.A and B).
Notaries who are licensed attorneys are not required to file a bond or insurance (RS 35:72; LAC 46:XLVI.111.A.3 and 46:XLVI.113.C)).
Certain ex officio Notaries are not required to be bonded; see “Bonding and Fees” under “Ex Officio Notaries,” above.
Notary surety bonds and errors and omissions policies are renewable every five years. When a Notary is bonded by a personal surety, the bond is renewed upon the death of the surety and must be approved by the presiding judge of the parish for which the Notary is commissioned. Attorneys do not have to file a bond or insurance policy, so they are exempt from this requirement (RS 35:71.D and 35:75; LAC 46:XLVI.121.A and B).
Bond or policy renewals must be accompanied by a renewal filing fee of $20 (LAC 46:XLVI.121.C and 46:XLVI.129.A).
“A notary who fails to renew his notarial bond timely or fails to file his new or renewed bond or evidence of insurance coverage will be automatically suspended and will not have authority to perform the functions of a notary” (LAC 46:XLVI.121.D).
Changes of Status
Name Change: If a Notary’s name changes, the Notary must submit to the Secretary of State’s office a name-change form (available on the website) stating the name on the current commission, the name on the requested commission, and the reason for the change. The Notary also must file the following items, using the new name, with the Secretary of State’s office: (a) two properly executed original oaths of office, one to be filed with the Secretary of State and the other to be filed with the clerk of court in the applicant’s parish of residency; (b) an official signature page; (c) an original or certified true copy of a Notary surety bond, an original or certified true copy of a personal surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court or an original errors and omissions policy in the amount of $10,000, or a rider that changes the name on an existing surety bond and that has been approved by the parish clerk of court; and (d) a $35 commission filing fee, payable to the Secretary of State. Attorneys do not have to file a bond or insurance policy (LAC 46:XLVI.117 and 46:XLVI.129.A; website, “File Notary Documents: What Do I File?”).
Address Change: If a Notary changes a residential or mailing address, the Notary must inform the Secretary of State’s office by mail, fax, or email within 60 days after the date of change (RS 35:191.3.A; website, “File Notary Documents: Frequently Asked Questions”).
Parish Change: In changing a parish of residence, both attorney and nonattorney Notaries must transfer their commission to the new parish of residence, even if the parish is within a reciprocal group (LAC 46:XLVI.133.B; website, “File Notary Documents: Frequently Asked Questions”).
Any person who has been a Notary in one parish for five years or who took and passed the statewide exam on or after June 13, 2005, may, upon changing residence to another parish, be given a notarial commission by the Governor without the advice and consent of the Senate and without passing an examination (RS 35:191.E).
“A notary who is establishing a residence in a parish other than the parish of his commission and who seeks a commission in the parish of the new residence shall be deemed to be validly commissioned in the parish of his former residence for a period of sixty days, during which time he shall meet all the qualifications for appointment in and for the parish of the new residence” (RS 35:191.E).
To transfer a commission to a new parish, the Notary must submit to the Secretary of State’s office a new “Application to Qualify” (available on the website), along with a $35 application fee. The Notary must also file the following items: (a) two properly executed original oaths of office, one to be filed with the Secretary of State and the other to be filed with the clerk of court in the applicant’s new parish of residency; (b) an official signature page; (c) a Notary surety bond, a personal surety bond approved by the parish clerk of court or an errors and omissions policy in the amount of $10,000, or a rider that changes the parish on an existing surety bond and that has been approved by the parish clerk of court; and (d) a $35 commission filing fee, payable to the Secretary of State. Attorneys do not have to file a bond or insurance policy (LAC 46:XLVI.115 and 46:XLVI.129.A).
Notaries who change their parish of residence but maintain an office in their previous parish of residence may apply for a dual commission; see “Dual Commissions,” above.
Resignation: “Any notary may resign his commission by signing a letter of resignation and forwarding it to the secretary of state’s office. After resigning, the notary shall not exercise any duties or functions of a notary public and may become an active notary again only by completing the application process of his parish including taking the exam, if applicable” (LAC 46:XLVI.127).
Leave of Absence: “A. The secretary of state, on behalf of the governor, may grant a leave of absence to any notary that is absent from the state for a period not to exceed 36 months. The notary must provide the secretary of state with a letter requesting the leave specifying the date the notary is to be absent and the date of return. “B. If a notary is in the military service, he should notify the secretary of state’s office certifying that he is a member of the military service of the United States or state of Louisiana. Included on the notification letter, he should show the expiration date of his bond and the period of leave which begins when the leave is granted. The notary will then have 60 days after the date of discharge to give the notary time to apply for a new bond” (LAC 46:XLVI.123; see also RS 35:131 through 35:134).
Retirement: “A regularly commissioned nonattorney notary who is seventy years of age or older shall be permitted to elect a special commission status upon retirement from active service as a notary public by filing with the secretary of state a written request for such status along with an affidavit attesting to such status and certifying that he will no longer exercise the duties and functions of a notary public during such time as such status is in effect. A notary with such inactive status shall not be required to maintain a bond or file an annual report. However, a notary granted inactive status shall notify the secretary of state of any change of address to ensure the accuracy of information contained in the notary database maintained by the secretary of state. A notary may resume active commission status by filing a current annual report with the required fees with the secretary of state and posting bond in the amount then required by law” (RS 35:202.G; see also LAC 46:XLVI.125).
Ex Officio Notaries
Specially designated personnel for the following public agencies have certain ex-officio notarial powers:
Department of Public Safety and Corrections (RS 35:393.A and 35:393.1.A);
Louisiana State Police, State Fire Marshall, and Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (RS 35:393.B);
Department of Insurance (RS 35:396)
Department of Justice (RS 35:394.A);
Department of State (RS 35:395.A);
Louisiana State Racing Commission (RS 35:397.A);
District Attorney Offices (RS:398.A);
U.S. Forest Service (RS 35:400.A);
Sabine River Authority (RS 35:401.A);
State Registrar of Vital Records (RS 35:402.A);
Hospital Service District Hospitals (RS 35:403.A);
Office of Financial Institutions (RS 35:404.A);
Levee District Police (RS 35:405.A);
Adult Protection Agency (RS 35:406.A);
Municipal Police Departments (RS 35:407.A);
University Police Departments (RS 35:409.A);
Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority or Department of Agriculture and Forestry (RS 35:410.A);
Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration (RS 35:411.A);
Municipal and Parish Fire Departments and Fire Protection Districts (RS 35:413.A);
Employees of the President of Natchitoches Parish (RS 35:414.A);
Causeway Police Department (RS 35:415).
Coroners (RS 35:416).
DeSoto Parish Government (RS 35:417).
Beauregard Parish School Board (RS 35:418).
Term and Jurisdiction: “An ex-officio notary is authorized to perform functions, powers, and authority only as directly related to and required for the operation of the office, agency, or department under which the authority is granted” (LAC 46:XLVI.141.D).
The jurisdiction of the exofficio Notaries designated by the above public agencies is limited to matters within the scope and course of their employment (RS 35:392.1.A, 35:393.B through 35:411.B, 35:413.B and 35:414.B). However, ex officio Notaries who are clerks of court or deputy clerks of court may notarize vehicle titles or take the acknowledgment of signatures for authentic acts even if this is not done in the course and scope of their employment (RS 35:392.1.B).
In most cases, the term of the ex officio Notaries designated by the above public agencies ends upon separation from their agencies (RS 35:393.1 through 35:414 passim, subsections D or E).
Bonding and Fees: In most cases, the ex officio Notaries designated by the above public agencies may not charge for their notarial acts (RS 35.393.A and 35:393.1 through 35:414 passim, subsections C or D). In some cases, these ex officio Notaries need not be bonded (RS 35:393.1.C, 35:407.C, 35:411.C, 35:413.C and 35:414.C).
Nonresident Attorneys: In addition to the ex officio Notaries designated by the agencies listed above, as of August 15, 2010, any nonresident who is licensed to practice law in Louisiana and who maintains an office in the state may be designated an ex officio Notary Public. Such an attorney is authorized to perform notarial acts in any parish in which he or she maintains an office to practice law, is required to post the bond or insurance required under RS 35:71 and may charge reasonable fees for notarial services (RS 35:412).
Louisiana Notaries are unique in the United States. Deriving their authority from statutes based on the French Napoleonic Code, they have broad powers to prepare documents and execute “authentic acts.” Among their authorized official powers are the following (RS 35:2.A, B and C, and 35:3):
Make inventories, appraisements, and partitions;
Receive wills and make protests, contracts, conveyances and all instruments of writing;
Hold family meetings and meetings of creditors;
Make affidavits of correction;
“Affix the seals upon the effects of deceased persons, and … raise the same” (RS 35:2.A[f]);
“Each notary public of this state shall have authority to administer oaths in any parish of the state, to swear in persons who appear to give testimony at a deposition before a general reporter or free-lance reporter certified under the provisions of R.S. 37:2551 et seq., and to verify interrogatories and other pleadings to be used in the courts of record of this state” (RS 35:2.B).
Notaries also have the power to swear in public officials: “The oath of all officers of the state may be administered by the governor, any judge, justice of the peace, notary public, or clerk of court, and shall be subscribed to by the party taking it, and certified in his commission by the person administering it. This oath or affirmation shall be deposited in the office of the secretary of state and recorded by him …” (RS 42:162.A).
“Notwithstanding any provision in the law to the contrary, a notary public shall have power, within the parish or parishes in which he is authorized … to receive wills in which he is named as administrator, executor, trustee, attorney for the administrator, attorney for the executor, attorney for the trustee, attorney for a legatee, attorney for an heir, or attorney for the estate” (RS 35:2.A).
Affidavits of Correction
A clerical error in a notarial act affecting movable or immovable property or any other rights, corporeal or incorporeal, may be corrected by any of the following: (a) the person who was the Notary or one of the Notaries before whom the act was passed; (b) the Notary who actually prepared the act containing the error; (c) in the event that the person described in (a) or (b) above is deceased, incapacitated or missing, a Notary who has possession of records supporting the correction (RS 35:2.1.A).
“The act of correction shall be executed before two witnesses and a notary public” (RS 35:2.1.A).
“Every qualified notary public is authorized to certify true copies of any authentic act or any instrument under private signature hereafter or heretofore passed before him or acknowledged before him, and to make and certify copies, by any method, of any certificate, research, resolution, survey or other document annexed to the original of any authentic acts passed before him, and may certify such copies as true copies of the original document attached to the original passed before him” (RS 35:2.C).
Paper Printout Copy Certification: “The recorder shall not refuse to record a tangible copy of an electronic record on the ground that it does not bear the original signature of a party if a notary public or other officer before whom it was executed certifies that the tangible copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record” (RSr 9:2760).
“A. An authentic act is a writing executed before a notary public or other officer authorized to perform that function, in the presence of two witnesses, and signed by each party who executed it, by each witness, and by each notary public before whom it was executed. The typed or hand printed name of each person shall be placed in a legible form immediately beneath the signature of each person signing the act. “B. To be an authentic act, the writing need not be executed at one time or place, or before the same notary public or in the presence of the same witnesses, provided that each party who executes it does so before a notary public or other officer authorized to perform that function, and in the presence of two witnesses and each party, each witness, and each notary public signs it. The failure to include the typed or hand printed name of each person signing the act shall not affect the validity or authenticity of the act. “C. If a party is unable or does not know how to sign his name, the notary public must cause him to affix his mark to the writing” (Civil Code Article 1833, “Authentic act”).
According to Alan Jennings, editor of “Louisiana Notary” an author of the official study guide for the statewide Notary exam, “the authentic act is Louisiana’s ‘gold standard’ for proof of an agreement between parties. It binds the parties and their heirs and successors as much as any law. An authentic act is, under Louisiana law, afforded the presumption of accuracy and is directly admissible into evidence in a court of law without further proof. La. C.C. art 1835.”
A Louisiana Notary may not exercise any notarial function in the state during any period when the Notary: (a) has a commission which has been statutorily or judicially suspended or revoked; (b) is no longer validly commissioned in Louisiana; (c) has elected to place his or her commission in retirement status; (d) no longer possesses the office from which his or her notarial authority was derived; (e) has been convicted of a felony and has not been pardoned; or (f) is not authorized by law to exercise a particular notarial function (RS 35:602.A).
Bank and Corporate Notaries: A Notary who is an employee, officer, stockholder or director of a bank or other corporation may notarize for that bank or corporation, unless the Notary is a party to the instrument, either individually or as a representative of the bank or corporation (RS 35:4).
A nonattorney may have his or her Notary commission revoked or suspended if it is proven that the Notary engaged in any of the following: (a) dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; (b) a felony for which the Notary has been convicted and no pardon has been issued; (c) gross misconduct or malfeasance in the exercise of notarial powers; (d) officially certifying as true what the Notary knew or should have known was false; (e) violation of any provision of RSr Title 35 or any other law governing the office of Notary or exercise of any notarial power or duty; (f) ceasing to hold any qualification required for the Notary office; or (g) abandonment of the Notary commission (RS 35:15.A).
Transactions Involving Immovable Property and Foreign Adversaries
“No foreign adversary or person connected with a foreign adversary may purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire immovable property in this state” (RS 9:2717.1.A).
“No attorney, title insurer, title insurance producer, title insurance agency producer, lender, mortgage loan servicer, notary public, real estate agent, real estate broker, seller, or lessor shall have a duty to make any investigation as to whether a party to a transaction involving immovable property is a foreign adversary, nor shall any such person be liable for failing to identify that a party to a transaction involving immovable property is a foreign adversary” (RS 9:2717.1.E.
“Either the forms of acknowledgment now in use in this State, or the following, may be used in the case of conveyances or other written instruments, whenever such acknowledgment is required or authorized by law for any purpose” (RS 35:511).
Acknowledgment by Individual (RS 35:511)
State of Louisiana Parish of _________
On this _____ day of _____, 20___, before me personally appeared _________ (name[s] of signer[s]), to me known to be the person (or persons) described in and who executed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged that he/she/they executed it as his/her/their free act and deed.
(Notary’s Signature, Title, and Typed, Printed or Stamped Name and Identification Number)
Acknowledgment by Attorney in Fact (RS 35:511)
State of Louisiana Parish of _________
On this _____ day of _____, 20___, before me personally appeared _________ (name of attorney in fact), to me known to be the person who executed the foregoing instrument in behalf of _________ (name of principal signer), and acknowledged that he/she executed it as the free act and deed of said _________ (name of principal signer).
(Notary’s Signature, Title, and Typed, Printed or Stamped Name and Identification Number)
Acknowledgment by Corporation or Joint Stock Association (RS 35:511)
State of Louisiana Parish of _________
On this _____ day of _____, 20___, before me appeared _________ (name of corporate or association signer), to me personally known, who, being by me duly sworn (or affirmed) did say that he/she is the president (or other officer or agent of the corporation or association), of _________ (describing the corporation or association), and that the seal affixed to said instrument is the corporate seal of said corporation (or association) and that the instrument was signed (and sealed) in behalf of the corporation (or association) by authority of its Board of Directors (or trustees) and that _________ (name of corporate or association signer) acknowledged the instrument to be the free act and deed of the corporation (or association).
(Notary’s Signature, Title, and Typed, Printed or Stamped Name and Identification Number)
If the corporation or association has no corporate seal, the words “the seal affixed to said instrument is the corporate seal of the corporation (or association), and that” should be omitted, and the words “and that the corporation (or association) has no corporate seal” should be added at the end of the affidavit clause.
“(1) Notaries shall insert in their acts the Christian names and surnames of the parties in full and not their initial letters alone or the full names of the parties and not their initial letters alone, together with the permanent mailing addresses of the parties, and shall print or type the full names of the witnesses and of themselves under their respective signatures. “(2) For the purposes of this Section, a full name or a name in full shall include at least one given name and other initials in addition to the surname. It may be any combination of first name and middle initial or initials, if any, and the surname; or the first initial and at least one middle name and the surname; or the complete first and middle name or names and the surname. The notary shall type, print, or stamp his or her name as it appears on his or her commission” (RS 35:12.A).
“Whenever notaries pass any acts they shall give the marital status of all parties to the act, viz.: If either or any party or parties are men, they shall be described as single, married, or widower. If married or widower the Christian and family name of wife shall be given. If either or any party or parties are women, they shall be described as single, married or widow. If married or widow, their christian and family name shall be given, adding that she is the wife of or widow of _________ the husband’s name” (RS 35:11.A).
“The acknowledgment of a married woman when required by law may be taken in the same form as if she were sole and without any examination separate and apart from her husband” (RS 35:512).
A Louisiana Notary is not required by law to use a seal of office, though some Notaries do opt to use seals. “A notary’s signature is his seal. If he elects to have a seal to use when notarizing documents, he is not required to have a particular style of seal to give authenticity to his copies” (LAC 46:XLVI.131.A; see Flemming v. Richardson & Smith, 13 La. Ann. 414 ).
Examples of Optional Seals
Many Notaries elect to use seals of office. The below typical, actual-size examples of official Notary stamping devices and electronic Notary seals which are allowed by Louisiana law. Formats other than these may also be permitted.
Name, ID or Bar Number, Title
Name: On every document notarized, “the notary shall type, print, or stamp his or her name as it appears on his or her commission” (RS 35:12.A; see also LAC 46:XLVI.131.B).
ID or Bar Number: “Every document notarized in this state shall bear the notary identification number assigned by the secretary of state, except that if the notary is an attorney licensed to practice law in this state, he may use his Louisiana state bar roll number in lieu of his notary identification number. The number shall be typed or printed legibly and placed next to the typed, printed, or stamped name of the notary …” (RS 35:12.B; see also LAC 46:XLVI.131.C).
“(1) Any document notarized in this state on or after January 1, 2005, submitted for filing or recording in the office of notarial records, register of conveyances, or recorder of mortgages in and for the parish of Orleans, or in the office of any clerk of court or recorder of mortgages or conveyances may be refused by the clerk or his employee if the document fails to contain the notary identification or attorney bar roll number and the typed, printed, or stamped name of the notary and the witnesses. However, documents filed in the civil or criminal suit records of any court shall not be subject to the provisions of this Subsection. “(2) Except as otherwise provided in this Section, no state office, agency, department, or political subdivision shall accept, file, or record any document notarized in this state on or after January 1, 2005, unless the document contains the notary identification or attorney bar roll number and the typed, printed, or stamped name of the notary and the witnesses. “(3) No office, agency, department, or political subdivision, or any officer or employee thereof, refusing to accept, file, or record any notarized document pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be liable for any damages resulting from the refusal to accept, file, or record a notarized document for its failure to comply with the provisions of this Section” (RS 35:12.D).
Title: “No person other than a regularly commissioned notary public shall use the title ‘Notary Public.’ Every person, other than a regularly commissioned notary, who is otherwise given notarial powers or authorized as a notary ex officio, shall clearly indicate his actual position or title from which his authority to notarize is derived, in addition to his notary identification number” (RS 35:12.C).
Journal: Louisiana Notaries are not required by law to keep a journal of notarial acts.
Acts Affecting Immovables: “A. Notaries public shall record all acts of sale, exchange, donation, and mortgage of immovable property passed before them, together with all resolutions, powers of attorney, and other documents annexed to or made part of the acts, in their proper order, and after first making a careful record of the acts in record books to be kept for that purpose as follows: “1. If the immovable is located in this state outside of the parish of Orleans, the notary shall record the instrument within fifteen days after they are passed, with the appropriate recorder of the parish or parishes in which the immovable property is situated. “2. (a) If the immovable is situated within the parish of Orleans, the notary shall file the instrument in the office of the custodian of notarial records for the parish of Orleans and record the instrument with the register of conveyances or recorder of mortgages or both. “(b) If the instrument is an act of sale or any other act evidencing a transfer of immovable property situated in the parish of Orleans, it shall be the duty of the notary to cause the act to be registered with the clerk as the recorder for the parish of Orleans, within forty-eight hours after the passage of the act. “(c) The original of every authentic act, except chattel mortgages and acts relating to immovable property outside of Orleans Parish, passed before a notary public in Orleans Parish, and also every act, contract, and instrument except money judgments and chattel mortgages filed for record in the offices of either the recorder of mortgages or the registrar of conveyances for the parish of Orleans, shall, as a condition precedent to such filing in the office of the recorder of mortgages or the register of conveyances for the parish of Orleans, be first filed in the notarial archives of the parish of Orleans. “B. The provisions of Subsection A of this Section shall not be applicable to instruments affecting cemetery plots and shall not be so construed as embracing inventories or partitions or any other act required by law to be performed by notaries or parish recorders under any order of court, but the original of all such acts, without being recorded, shall be returned to the court from which the order is issued.... “D. A notary public shall be relieved of his obligations under Paragraph (A)(1) and Subparagraph (A)(2)(a) of this Section when he has been expressly directed in writing by all parties to the instrument to defer or refrain from such recordation or to deliver the instruments to one of the parties or to another person” (RS 35:199).
Notaries who violate any of the above provisions are subject to a fine of $200, as well as any damages the parties may suffer as a result (RS 35:199.C).
Remote Online Notarial Acts: “The notary public shall … “(1) Maintain electronic copies capable of being printed in a tangible medium of all remote online notarial acts for at least ten years after the date of the remote online notarization. “(2) Maintain an audio and video recording of each remote online notarization for at least ten years after the date of the remote online notarization. “(3) Take reasonable steps to secure the records required to be maintained by this Section from corruption, loss, destruction, and unauthorized interception or alteration” (RS 35:629.A).
Custodian of Remote Online Records: “The notary public may designate a custodian to maintain the electronic records required by Subsection A of this Section, provided that the notary public has unrestricted access to the electronic records and the custodian meets any standards established by the secretary of state for the maintenance of electronic records” (RS 35:629.B).
Annual Reports: “All regularly commissioned non-attorney notaries shall file an annual report with the secretary of state on or before the anniversary date of his commission on the form developed and mailed, or provided by electronic means, by the secretary of state pursuant to R.S. 35:191.2(2)(a), together with payment of the filing fee established by the secretary of state pursuant to R.S. 35:191.2(3). The annual report shall be completed in full and signed by the notary” (RS 35:202.A).
“A. Within 60 days prior to the anniversary date of the notary’s commission, the notary division shall mail out an annual report notice to all notaries in the state of Louisiana. “B. The notary can file his report by: “1. registering online at the secretary of state’s website using a credit card; or “2. completing the annual report form and: “a. attaching a check or money order made payable to the secretary of state and mailing to the notary division; or “b. completing the credit card cover sheet and faxing or emailing with the annual report to the notary division. “C. The annual report filing fee is shown in § 129. “D. To file online, the notary will be required to use his notary identification number and the unique access code which is printed on the front of the annual report renewal notice post card” (LAC 46:XLVI.139; see also RS 35:191.2.A and ).
The filing fee for the annual report is $25, payable to the Secretary of State (LAC 46:XLVI.129.A).
Failure to Timely File: “B. A notary who fails to timely file the required annual report and pay the filing fee … shall be assessed a late fee not to exceed fifty dollars by the secretary of state. “C. The commission of any notary who fails to timely file his fully completed annual report within sixty days after its due date … shall be automatically suspended, and the notary shall have no authority to exercise any of the duties or functions of a notary public until a current required annual report has been filed, and the notary has paid all accrued fees and late charges for a period not to exceed three years in connection with the suspension of his commission” (RS 35:202).
Other Notarial Officers: In regard to ex officio Notaries and persons other than regularly commissioned Notaries who have notarial powers, on July 1 of each year, all offices, agencies, departments and political subdivisions of the state must file an annual report showing all the persons currently appointed with such powers (RS 35:202.D).
Uniform Electronic Transactions Act: Louisiana has adopted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (RS 9:2601 through 2621), including the provision on notarization, thereby recognizing the legal validity of electronic signatures used by Notaries: “If a law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath, the requirement is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform those acts, together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law, is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record” (RS 9:2611).
Applicable Law: Lousiana enacted remote online notarization statutes effective February 1, 2022, in Act. No. 254 of 2020, and codified in the Lousiana Revised Statutes Title 35, Chapter 10 (Sections 621-630).
Rules implementing the new remote online notarization statutes may be found in the Lousiana Administrative Code Title 46, Part XLVI, Chapter 1 (Section 144).
These new laws are summarized below.
“'Communication technology' means an electronic device or process that allows substantially simultaneous communication by sight and sound” (RS 35:622.A).
“'Credential analysis' means a process through which the authenticity of an individual’s government-issued identification credential is evaluated by another person through review of public and proprietary data sources” (RS 35:622.A).
“'Identity proofing means a process through which the identity of an individual is affirmed by another person by either of the following means: “(a) Dynamic knowledge-based authentication, such as a review of personal information from public or proprietary data sources. “(b) Analysis of biometric data, such as facial recognition, voiceprint analysis, or fingerprint analysis” ” (RS 35:622.A).
“'Remote online notarial act' means an instrument executed before a notary public by means of communication technology that meets the standards adopted under this Chapter” (RS 35:622.A).
“'Remote online notarization' means the process through which an instrument is executed before a notary public by means of communication technology that meets the standards adopted under this Chapter' (RS 35:622.A).
Legality of Remote Online Notarial Acts
“Except as otherwise provided in Subsections B and C of this Section, a remote online notarial act that meets the requirements of R.S. 35:625 through 627 satisfies any requirement that a party appear before a notary public at the time of the execution of the instrument. In all other respects, a remote online notarial act shall comply with other applicable laws governing the manner of the execution of that act” (RS 35:623.A.)
Prohibited Documents: “The following instruments shall not be executed by remote online notarization: “(1) Testaments or codicils thereto. “(2) Trust instruments or acknowledgments thereof. “(3) Donations inter vivos. “(4) Matrimonial agreements or acknowledgments thereof. “(5) Acts modifying, waiving, or extinguishing an obligation of final spousal support or acknowledgments thereof” (RS 35:623.B).
Authentic Acts Prohibited: Remote online notarization may not be used to execute an authentic act as defined in Civil Code Article 1833. Except as otherwise provided in Subsection B of this Section, an act that fails to be authentic as a result of being executed by remote online notarization may still be valid as an act under private signature or an acknowledged act” (RS 35:623.C).
Authorization to Perform Remote Online Notarial Acts
Current Notaries Public: “Only a regularly commissioned notary public who holds a valid notarial commission in the state of Louisiana may be authorized by the secretary of state to perform remote online notarization” (RS 35:625.1.A).
Application: “In order to obtain authorization to perform remote online notarization, a notary public shall submit an application to the secretary of state in a format prescribed by the secretary of state, complete any course of instruction required by the secretary of state, and satisfy any other requirements imposed by rules adopted by the secretary of state” (RS 35:625.1.B).
According to the Louisiana Administrative Code, a Notary with a valid commission and whose authority to perform notarial acts has not been suspended may apply for authorization to perform remote online notarial acts by:
Submitting an application using the form provided by the Secretary of State;
Successfully completing an education program provided by the Secretary of State covering the statutes and rules governing the remote online notarization; and
Paying a one-time fee of $100 to the Secretary of State upon filing the application (LAC 46:XLVI.144.A).
Term of Authorization: “The authority to perform remote online notarization shall continue as long as the notary public is validly commissioned and the secretary of state has not revoked the notary public’s authority to perform remote online notarization” (RS 35:625.1.C).
“A notary public authorized to perform remote online notarization may do so for as long as: “1. the notary maintains a valid notarial commission as provided by R.S. 35:191(A)(3); “2. the authority of the notary to perform notarial functions is not suspended; and “3. the authority of the notary to perform remote online notarization has not suspended or revoked” (LAC 46:XLVI.144.B).
Location of Notary, Parties, Witnesses, and Notarial Act
“A notary public physically located in any parish of this state in which the notary has the power to exercise the function of a notary public may perform a remote online notarization for a party who is not in the physical presence of the notary and who may be located in or outside this state. A witness to a remote online notarial act shall be in the physical presence of the party” (RS 35:626.A).
Location of Remote Online Notarial Act: “A remote online notarial act is deemed to be executed in any parish of this state where the notary public is physically located at the time of the remote online notarization if the notary public has jurisdiction in that parish” (RS 35:626.B).
Action on Contract: “An action on a contract that is a remote online notarial act may be brought in any parish in which a party was physically located at the time of the remote online notarization” (RS 35:626.C).
Remote Notarization System Providers
Approval of System Providers: Not required.
Self-Certification Required: “The Secretary of State shall maintain a registry of identity-proofing, credential- analysis, and communication providers who have certified by affidavit that their technologies meet the minimum requirements set forth in Subsections C and D of this Section” (LAC 46:XLVI.144.F).
Communication Technology Requirements: “Communication technology systems used to perform remote online notarization to do each of the following: “1. provide sufficient video resolution and audio clarity to enable the notary public, the party, and any witness to engage in substantially simultaneous communication by sight and sound; “2. provide sufficient captured-image resolution for credential analysis to be performed in accordance with Paragraph D.2 of this Section; 3. include a communication encryption protocol and means of authentication that reasonably ensures that only the parties, participating witnesses, and notary public have access to the audio-video communication; “4. ensure that the electronic record that is presented for remote online notarization is the same record electronically signed by the party; “5. create and store or transmit securely to be stored an electronic recording of the audio-video communication, keeping confidential the questions asked as part of any identity-proofing process and the means and methods used to generate the credential analysis output” (LAC 46:XLVI.144.E.1-5).
Communication technology systems used to perform remote online notarization must “… prevent unauthorized access to all of the following: “a. the live transmission of the audio-video communication; “b. any recording of the audio-video communication being stored or being transmitted by the communication technology; “c. the verification methods and credentials used to verify the indemnity of the party; and “d. the instrument presented for electronic notarization” (LAC 46:XLVI.144.E.6).
Communication technology systems used to perform remote online notarization must “… “7. provide for the notary public to maintain in the notary’s records a copy of the remote online notarial act; “8. provide the notary public a method of generating a paper copy of the remote notarial act; “9. provide the notary public a detailed audit record of the remote online notarization; “10. provide a means by which the notary public is able to add a statement to any document being notarized that the act is a remote notarial act; “11. provide a mean by which the notary public is able to attach the notary public’s electronic signature and insert the notary public’s identifying information into the remote online notarial act; “12. provide a means by which each party and each witness can attach such person’s electronic signature; and “13” provide a means by which the notary public can digitally sign the remote online notarial act in a manner that renders any subsequent change or modification of the remote online notarial act to be evident” (LAC 46:XLVI.144.E.7-13).
Identification of Remotely Located Individual
“At the time of a remote online notarization, the notary public shall verify the identity of any party or witness appearing remotely, both through use of communication technology and by one of the following means: “(1) The notary public’s personal knowledge of the individual. “(2) A process that includes all of the following: “(a) Remote presentation by the individual of a government-issued identification credential, such as a passport or driver’s license, that contains the signature and a photograph of the individual. “(b) Credential analysis. “(c) Identity proofing” (RS 35:627.A).
Identity Proofing: “Identity proofing shall be performed through either of the following: “1. dynamic knowledge-based authentication … “2. analysis of biometric data, including facial recognition, voiceprint analysis, or fingerprint analysis” (LAC 46:XLVI.144.C).
Dynamic Knowledge-Based Authentication: A dynamic knowledge-based authentication must be “performed through the administration of a quiz completed by the party or witness whose identity is being verified that satisfies the following requirements: “a. the quiz shall consist of five questions related to the personal history or identity of the party or witness, formulated from public or proprietary data sources; “b. each question shall contain a minimum of five possible answer choices; “c. all questions must be answered within two minutes; and “d. following a failed attempt by a party or witness, the quiz may be administered no more than once within a 24-hour period. The second administration may consist of no more than 40 percent of the questions presented during the first administration” (LAC 46:XLVI.144.C.1).
Credential Analysis: “Credential analysis shall ensure that the credential is unexpired, government-issued identification credential that contains the photograph and signature of the party or witness whose identity is being verified by a process that does both of the following: “1. uses automated software processes to aid the notary public in verifying the identity of a party or any witness; and “2. ensures the credential passes an authenticity test consistent with sound commercial practices that meet the following requirements: “a. confirms the integrity of visual, physical, or cryptographic security features; “b. confirms that the credential is not fraudulent or modified in a manner not authorized by the issuing authority; “c. confirms the validity of personal information set forth on the credential when the issuing authority provides access to the information; “d. provides output of the authenticity test to the notary public. “e. enables the notary public to visually compare the information and photo presented on the credential itself and the party or witness as viewed by the notary public through substantially simultaneous audio-visual transmission; and “f. enables the notary public to determine that the party or witness is in possession of the credential at the time of their remote online notarization” (LAC 46:XLVI.144.D).
Secure Authentication of Remote Online Notarial Act
“The notary public shall take reasonable steps to ensure … [t]he communication technology used in the performance of a remote online notarization is secure from unauthorized interception” (RS 35:628.1).
Confirmation of Record
“The notary public shall take reasonable steps to ensure … [t]he electronic record before the notary public is the same electronic record in which the party made a statement or on which the party executed or adopted an electronic signature” (RS 35:628.2).
Certificate of Remote Online Notarial Act
A Notary must “[i]nclude in the remote online notarial act a statement that it is a remote online notarial act” (RS 35:627.B).
Notary’s Electronic Signature
Requirement: A Notary must “[a]ttach to or cause to be logically associated with the remote online notarial act the notary public’s electronic signature, together with all other information required to be included in the act by other applicable law” (RS 35:627.B).
Tamper-Evident Signature: A Notary must “[d]igitally sign the remote online notarial act in a manner that renders any subsequent change or modification of the remote online notarial act to be evident” (RS 35:627.B).
Record of Remote Online Notarial Act
For the requirement that Notaries maintain records of remote notarial acts, see “Records of Notarial Acts,” above.
According to Alan Jennings, editor of “Louisiana Notary” and author of the official study guide for the statewide Notary exam, the role of the Louisiana Notary is to preside in the closing of any written contract where the parties desire the highest standard of legal authenticity. “In fact,” he said, “a lawyer in Louisiana may not preside over the execution of a notarial act unless he or she is also a notary.”
Jennings pointed out that in Louisiana title to real estate is transferred, and mortgages are established, by the contract between the parties, and Louisiana Notaries are authorized by law to make “all contracts and instruments of writing” (RS 35:2). He said the law provides for the sale or mortgage of real property in the state to be memorialized by an instrument of writing, and its proper execution before a Notary and witnesses establishes the authentic evidence for the title or “deed.” (See discussion under “Authentic Acts,” above.)
“That does not diminish the role or importance of the lawyer’s involvement in Louisiana real estate transactions,” Jennings said. “In fact, it elevates it considerably. The lawyer’s role is that of title examiner, whereby the lawyer examines the public record and issues his or her opinion as to the merchantability of the title and whether any existing mortgage outranks the mortgage contemplated by the lender. This title opinion is issued in advance of the closing, and the signing will take place only when the lender has the assurances necessary that his or her security interest ranks first in the event of the borrower’s default. “Louisiana’s civil law system establishes broad powers for its notaries — for example, the power to prepare notarial instruments. Such powers are reserved for attorneys in other states — that is, in states that operate under a common law rather than a civil law system. Louisiana notaries may also administer oaths and take acknowledgments of instruments ‘under private signature,’ just like notaries in the common law states.”
According to Jennings, whether a mortgage finance transaction is considered an “authentic act” or an “act under private signature” depends somewhat on the wording of the mortgage instrument, but the essence of the difference is whether the parties make their signatures privately or in the presence of the Notary.
Louisiana Notaries have the additional responsibility of recording “all acts of sale … and mortgage of immovable property passed before them,” unless the Notary has been directed to refrain from such recordation or to deliver the documents to one of the parties or to another person (RS 35:199.A and D). For further information, see “Acts Affecting Immovables” under “Records of Notarial Acts,” above.
Ex Officio Notaries: The numerous personnel for public agencies who by law have “ex officio” notarial powers are not authorized to oversee closings for the general public, because they may only notarize for their governmental agencies.
“All acts passed before any notary public and two witnesses in the District of Columbia, or any state of the United States other than Louisiana, except those performed by remote online notarization, shall be authentic acts and shall have the same force and effect as if passed before a notary public in Louisiana” (RS 35:6).
Notarial Acts Outside of the United States
“Every mortgage, sale, lease, transfer, assignment, power of attorney, or other instrument, and every oath or affirmation, made or taken in any foreign country, before any ambassador, minister, charge d’affaires, secretary of legation, consul general, consul, vice-consul, or commercial agent, or before one of the following officers commissioned or accredited to act at the place where the act is made or taken, and having an official seal, to wit: any officer of the United States, any notary public, or any commissioner or other agent of this state having power to take acknowledgements, and every acknowledgement, attestation or authentication of such instruments, oaths or affirmations made by any of these officers under their official seals and signatures, shall have the full force and effect of an authentic act executed in this state; and it shall not be necessary that the officer be assisted by two witnesses, as in the case of a notary executing an authentic act in this state, but the attestation, seal and signature of the officer shall of themselves be sufficient; nor shall it be necessary that the person appearing before the officer to execute any of these instruments, or to take any oath or affirmation, be a resident of the place where the officer is located. Whenever any such original instrument, oath, or affirmation has been deposited in the office of a notary in this state, the notary is authorized to make copies of the same, which shall have the same force and effect as copies of authentic acts executed in this state” (RS 35:9).
“All instruments requiring acknowledgment, if acknowledged without the United States, shall be acknowledged before an ambassador, minister, envoy or charge d’affaires of the United States, in the country to which he is accredited, or before one of the following officers commissioned or accredited to act at the place where the acknowledgment is taken, and having an official seal, viz.:--any officer of the United States; a notary public; or a commissioner or other agent of this state having power to take acknowledgments” (RS 35:551).
“A certificate of acknowledgment of a deed or other instrument acknowledged without the United States before any officer mentioned in R.S. 35:551 shall also be valid if in the same form as now is or hereafter may be required by law, for an acknowledgment within this state” (RS 35:553).
Notarial Acts Performed by U.S. Military Personnel
“A. Every mortgage, sale, lease, transfer, assignment, power of attorney, or other instrument, heretofore or hereafter executed before any person authorized to act as a notary pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1044a(b), and bearing the signature of such person and the proper designation of his rank and branch of service or subdivision thereof, shall be admissible in evidence and eligible to record in this state, and shall have the same force and effect of an authentic act executed in Louisiana. “B. Any oath, affirmation, deposition, or affidavit executed before any person authorized to act as a notary pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1044a(b) shall have the same force and effect as if made or executed before a notary in Louisiana. “C. Any testament, trust, or other legal instrument or act provided for in Subsections A and B executed before any person authorized to act as a notary pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1044a(b) shall have the same force and effect as if made or executed before a notary in Louisiana. “D. The provisions of this Section apply to persons serving in or with the armed forces or the Coast Guard of the United States and other persons eligible for legal assistance under the provisions of 10 U.S.C. 1044 or pursuant to regulations of the Department of Defense and all instruments and acts executed by persons designated in 10 U.S.C. 1044a(a)” (RS 35:7).
The Commissions Division of the office of the Secretary of State issues authenticating certificates, including apostilles (website, “Notary & Certifications”).
Fees: $20 per certificate (including apostilles); $10 for an adoption document (website, “Certifications: Authenticate Signatures of Louisiana Officials”).
Louisiana Secretary of State Commissions Division P.O. Box 94125 Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
Louisiana Secretary of State Commissions Division 8585 Archives Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Procedure: Persons requiring authentication should mail or present in person the original notarized document(s), with the printed name of the Notary underneath his or her signature, and the appropriate fee. The document(s) must be accompanied either by a completed “Authentication Request Form” (available on the website) or by a written request stating the country to which the document(s) will be sent and including a daytime telephone phone number. For document delivery by courier service (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.), the physical address must be used. For document return by courier service, a prepaid mailing envelope or a completed return label with the customer’s account number must be provided (website, “Certifications: Authenticate Signatures of Louisiana Officials”).