Notary publics in California are licensed by the California Secretary of State (SOS). The state authorizes a California notary to notarize any documents within the state. To be licensed as a notary public by SOS, you must be at least 18 years of age, be a legal resident of California, and not be convicted of a felony or a lesser crime that involves moral turpitude or conduct against the duties of a notary. Crimes involving moral turpitude include tax evasion, fraud, sexual assault, and other related crimes.
You must also complete a six-hour course and pass a state-issued exam to be licensed as a notary public in California. When a notary public license is issued, there are several ongoing requirements that the licensee must follow to avoid license sanction. If you are facing a professional licensing issue, then it is important that you speak to an experienced professional licensing defense attorney.
Attorney Scott J. Harris is a former Deputy Attorney with the California Department of Justice. He is dedicated to protecting state-issued licenses during investigations and disciplinary actions. If you have a California notary public license and were recently notified of a complaint against you to SOS, then you must respond immediately to protect your license.
Notary Public License Denial Attorney
A notary public license can be denied for several reasons. Common reasons for a license being denied include criminal convictions as described above or making misstatements on the license application. If you have been denied a notary public license, then you have the opportunity to challenge that denial before the Office of Administrative Hearings in a Statement of Issues hearing. It is important that you understand the appropriate procedure and present your case in the most effective way to change the minds of SOS to award you your license.
Accusations Against Notary Public Licenses
Most SOS accusations start as consumer complaints. If a notary is met with a complaint, then SOS can sanction or even take away the notary’s license as a punishment. If a notary receives notice that their license is in danger of being revoked by SOS, then the license holder has 15 days to respond and file a notice of defense. A failure to appropriately respond within the allotted time can result in a default judgment against the license holder. A default judgment immediately strips the licensee of their notary public license and prohibits them from notarizing documents.
Notary Public License Defense Hearings
If you are unable to reach a resolution in your case, then your case will be heard by the California Office of Administrative Hearings. Notary public licensing hearings are before administrative law judges in administrative court. About 30 days after the hearing, the administrative law judge will issue a written decision and findings in your case. You may petition for reconsideration or appeal depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.
S J Harris’s Notary Public Defense Attorneys
If you are facing a complaint against your notary public license, then it is essential to consult with an experienced license defense attorney. At the SJ Harris Law Office, we offer free consultations to any professional facing a licensing complaint. Contact us today at 323-794-0701 to schedule your appointment.