2017 ORS 194.315¹
Commission as notary public
  • qualifications
  • no immunity or benefit

(1) An individual qualified under subsection (2) of this section may apply to the Secretary of State for a commission as a notary public. The applicant shall comply with and provide the information required under rules adopted by the secretary and pay the application fee described in ORS 194.365 (Application fee).

(2) An applicant for a commission as a notary public must:

(a) Be at least 18 years of age;

(b) Be a resident of this state or have a place of employment or practice in this state;

(c) Be able to read and write English;

(d) Not have been convicted of a felony or any crime involving fraud, dishonesty or deceit during the 10-year period preceding the date of application;

(e) Not have been convicted of:

(A) Acting as or otherwise impersonating a notary public as described in ORS 194.990 (Criminal penalties) (1)(b);

(B) Obstructing governmental or judicial administration under ORS 162.235 (Obstructing governmental or judicial administration) (1)(b); or

(C) Engaging in the unlawful practice of law as described in ORS 9.160 (Bar membership required to practice law);

(f) Not have been found by a court to have:

(A) Practiced law without a license in a suit under ORS 9.166 (Enjoining practicing law without a license); or

(B) Engaged in an unlawful trade practice described in ORS 646.608 (Additional unlawful business, trade practices) (1)(vvv);

(g) Not have entered into an assurance of voluntary compliance, pursuant to ORS 646.632 (Enjoining unlawful trade practices), based on an alleged violation of ORS 646.608 (Additional unlawful business, trade practices) (1)(vvv);

(h) Not have had a commission as a notary public revoked during the 10-year period preceding the date of application;

(i) Not be disqualified under ORS 194.340 (Grounds to deny, revoke, suspend or condition commission of notary public) to receive a commission;

(j) Complete the course of study described in ORS 194.325 (Examination of notary public); and

(k) Have passed the examination required under ORS 194.325 (Examination of notary public).

(3) Before the Secretary of State may issue a commission as a notary public, the applicant shall execute an oath of office and submit it to the secretary.

(4) Upon the applicant’s compliance with this section, the Secretary of State shall issue a commission as a notary public to the applicant for a term of four years.

(5) A commission as a notary public authorizes the notary public to perform notarial acts. The commission does not provide the notary public any immunity or benefit conferred by law of this state on public officials or employees of this state.

(6) Each notary public may file with the Secretary of State a statement waiving the fees specified under ORS 194.400 (Fees for notarial acts). If a notary public files the statement waiving the fees, the office of that notary public is not considered a lucrative office.

(7) The functions of a notary public are not considered official duties under Article III, section 1, of the Oregon Constitution.

(8) A commission as a notary public is not considered a commission under Article V, section 18, of the Oregon Constitution. [2013 c.219 §20; 2016 c.47 §3]

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Under Former Similar Statute (Ors 194.010)

Constitu­tionality of the dura­tional residency require­ment imposed on notaries public, (1976) Vol 37, p 1223

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 194—Uniform Law on Notarial Acts; Unsworn Foreign Declarations, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors194.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 194, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano194.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.