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Question & Answer Center

Here are some questions that are frequently asked by notaries public. For your convenience, we divided the FAQs into several categories. If an answer to your question is not listed below, please email us at members@usnotaries.com. Our members-only Help Center will research your question and respond within two business days.

Maintaining Your Notary Commission: Criminal Convictions

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  I was recently convicted of a felony drug possession. Will this conviction affect my current notary commission?
Yes. In most states, a notary public will no longer be eligible to hold the public office if convicted of a felony offense that has become final and for which no pardon or certificate of restoration of citizenship rights has been granted. Contact your state’s commissioning authority for further instructions.
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  I was convicted of a misdemeanor class A for shoplifting. Will I be able to keep my notary commission?
In some states, a notary public who has been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor cannot continue to hold the office. Contact your state’s commissioning authority to determine whether such a conviction will affect your notary commission or seek legal advice from an attorney.
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  I was convicted of a felony DWI. Do I have to report my felony conviction to anyone?
Yes. The notary statutes in most states dictate that notaries public contact their state’s commissioning authority to disclose their felony conviction during the term of their notary commission.
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  I was placed on deferred adjudication for a felony offense titled “credit card abuse.” Will I have to surrender my notary commission because of this felony offense?
You may be required to contact your state’s commissioning authority to disclose that you were charged with a felony offense and placed on a deferred adjudication. Some states allow notaries public to keep their notary commissions if they were placed on a deferred adjudication as long as the deferred adjudication does not become a conviction. Please seek legal advice from an attorney or contact your state’s commissioning authority for further instructions regarding this subject matter.
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  I was convicted of a low misdemeanor for indecent exposure. Will this conviction affect my renewal notary commission?
It depends on your state’s notary laws. In some states, a notary public will no longer be eligible to hold the public office if he or she is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude and the conviction has not been set aside. However, in some states, a conviction for indecent exposure does not fall under the “moral turpitude” category. Check your state’s notary laws and contact your state’s commissioning authority for further instructions.
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  I was recently convicted of a misdemeanor for DWI. Do I have to surrender my notary commission?
It depends on your state’s notary laws. In some states, a notary public will no longer be eligible to hold the public office if he or she is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude and the conviction has not been set aside. Courts have held that a misdemeanor conviction for the offense of “Driving While Intoxicated” does not fall under “moral turpitude.” Check your state’s notary laws, and discuss this matter with your state’s commissioning authority for further instructions.
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  Do I have to report my convictions to my state’s commissioning authority during the term of my notary commission?
Yes, because some convictions may disqualify you from holding the office of notary public. Please contact an attorney for legal advice to determine whether your final conviction will affect the current term of your notary commission.
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