New law clarifies notary services

Services provided by New Hampshire notaries public may be a bit more expensive after the New Year, but little else will change despite a new law that goes into effect in the new year.

The changes contained in House Bill 672, which takes effect on Jan. 1, “are really being made to clarify things for our notaries,” said Karen Ladd, media contact for Secretary of State William Gardner.

The changes introduced by Rep. Cynthia Dokmo and written by Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlon and Assistant Attorney General Bud Fitch more clearly specify identification standards to be used by notaries and outline civil and criminal charges for not following protocol.

These changes are expected to better enhance the ability of notaries to detect attempts at document fraud and are considered to be the most significant changes in the state’s notary laws in 40 years.

The introduction of HB 672 earned Dokmo the Calvin Coolidge Notary Award, given by the National Notary Association. This is the third such award given by the NNA.

“The NNA bestows this national award on government officials who have spearheaded efforts to strengthen the ability of Notaries to safeguard citizens’ property and personal rights,” said Timothy Reiniger, executive director and vice president of the NNA. “Representative Dokmo has strengthened the fraud-fighting role of the notary through legislation that established identification standards for notaries to use in identifying document signers.”

“This was a pleasant surprise but it really needs to be shared with Dave Scanlon and Bud Fitch,” Dokmo said. “They really worked very hard on this.” – TRACIE STONE

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