Georgia: Notary Laws

§ 45-17-8. Powers and duties generally

(a) Notaries public shall have authority to:

(1) Witness or attest signature or execution of deeds and other written instruments;

(2) Take acknowledgments;

(3) Administer oaths and affirmations in all matters incidental to their duties as commercial officers and all other oaths and affirmations which are not by law required to be administered by a particular officer;

(4) Witness affidavits upon oath or affirmation;

(5) Take verifications upon oath or affirmation;

(6) Make certified copies, provided that the document presented for copying is an original document and is neither a public record nor a publicly recorded document certified copies of which are available from an official source other than a notary and provided that the document was photocopied under supervision of the notary; and

(7) Perform such other acts as they are authorized to perform by other laws of this state.

(b) No notary shall be obligated to perform a notarial act if he feels such act is:

(1) For a transaction which the notary knows or suspects is illegal, false, or deceptive;

(2) For a person who is being coerced;

(3) For a person whose demeanor causes compelling doubts about whether the person knows the consequences of the transaction requiring the notarial act; or

(4) In situations which impugn and compromise the notary's impartiality, as specified in subsection (c) of this Code section.

(c) A notary shall be disqualified from performing a notarial act in the following situations which impugn and compromise the notary's impartiality:

(1) When the notary is a signer of the document which is to be notarized; or

(2) When the notary is a party to the document or transaction for which the notarial act is required.

(d) A notary public shall not execute a notarial certificate containing a statement known by the notary to be false nor perform any action with an intent to deceive or defraud.

(e) In performing any notarial act, a notary public shall confirm the identity of the document signer, oath taker, or affirmant based on personal knowledge or on satisfactory evidence.

(f) The signature of a notary public documenting a notarial act shall not be evidence to show that such notary public had knowledge of the contents of the document so signed, other than those specific contents which constitute the signature, execution, acknowledgment, oath, affirmation, affidavit, verification, or other act which the signature of that notary public documents, nor is a certification by a notary public that a document is a certified or true copy of an original document evidence to show that such notary public had knowledge of the contents of the document so certified.

Ga. L. 1863-64, p. 58, § 2; Code 1863, § 1451; Code 1868, § 1508; Code 1873, § 1502; Code 1882, § 1502; Civil Code 1895, § 503; Civil Code 1910, § 621; Code 1933, § 71-108; Ga. L. 1947, p. 1108, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 1105, § 1; Ga. L. 1986, p. 1446, §§ 5, 6; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1113, § 1.

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