(a) After an applicant submits to the clerk of superior court of the county the application, endorsements, and declaration of applicant as required in Code Section 45-17-2.1, the clerk of superior court shall either grant or deny a commission or recommission as a notary public within ten days following the applicant's submission of the necessary documents.
(b) The clerk of superior court may in his or her discretion deny a commission or recommission to an applicant based on any of the following grounds:
(1) The applicant's criminal history;
(2) Revocation, suspension, or restriction of any notary commission or professional license issued to the applicant by this or any other state;
(3) The commission in this or any state of any act enumerated in subsection (a) of Code Section 45-17-15, whether or not criminal penalties or commission suspension or revocation resulted; or
(4) The applicant is found by the State Bar of Georgia, a court of this state, or a court of any other state to have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.
(c) Any applicant who is denied a notarial commission or recommission by the clerk of superior court shall upon demand be allowed a hearing and adjudication before the superior court clerk with a right of de novo appeal to the superior court, such appeal to be determined by the court without the intervention of a jury. Code 1981, § 45-17-2.3, enacted by Ga. L. 1984, p. 1105, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 45; Ga. L. 2002, p. 630, § 1.