Hours of Operation
A notary public is a public official whose powers and duties are defined by statute. It is a relatively simple matter to become a notary but the office has important responsibilities, limitations and liability potential that should be fully realized. This website is intended as a general guide and is especially designed to assist non-attorney notaries with the general requirements, duties, powers, limitations, liabilities and legal significance of his or her actions as a notary public. Legal counsel should be consulted whenever specific problems or questions arise concerning any aspect of the Office of Notary Public. Tennessee Code Annotated is referred to herein as T.C.A
It is a Class C misdemeanor to take office as a notary public if a disqualification exists. T.C.A. 8-18-102
A notary public may be removed from office just as any other county official. T.C.A. 8-47-101
Term of Office
The notary’s term is four years, beginning on the date of issuance of the commission by the Governor. T.C.A. 8-16-103
It is a Class C misdemeanor for any person who has been commissioned as a notary public to take an acknowledgement or otherwise to act in an official capacity after the expiration of the notary’s commission. T.C.A. 8-16-308
Application and Instructions (New and Renewal)
If you meet all the qualifications, submit a completed Notary Public Application along with a check of $14.00 made payable to the Rutherford County Clerk by the end of the last business day of the month for consideration in the next month's County Commission meeting. New applicates and renewing applicates complete the same application form.
Approximately two (2) weeks after approval of your application by the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners, the Office of the Rutherford County Clerk will notify you, by mail, to secure a ($10,000.00) Notary Public-at-Large Surety Bond. You may file one of the following types of bonds in the Office of the Rutherford County Clerk:
T.C.A. 8-16-105 states that...upon filing a surety bond, you will be required to take the following Oath of Office in the Office of the Rutherford County Clerk:
The Notary Public for the State of Tennessee Commission Certificate will be issued to you upon completion of the above stated requirements. Notary Public-at-Large Application
A notary must purchase an official seal at his or her own expense. T.C.A. 8-16-301. The seal must be a rubber stamp in any color other than black or yellow. T.C.A. 8-16-206. The current design prescribed by the Secretary of State for all notaries is circular, and has the notary’s full name printed at the top, the county in which elected at the bottom, and State of Tennessee Notary Public at Large in the center.
The seal must be surrendered to the county legislative body upon expiration of the notary’s term of office or resignation, and the personal representative must surrender the seal in the event of the death of the notary. Failure to properly surrender the seal constitutes a Class C misdemeanor. T.C.A. 8-16-301
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