2014 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 26 - Notaries Public and Acknowledgements
CHAPTER 1 - NOTARIES PUBLIC
SECTION 26-1-5. Definitions.

SC Code § 26-1-5 (2014) What's This?

For purposes of this chapter:

(1) "Acknowledgment" means a notarial act in which a notary certifies that, at a single time and place, all of the following occurred:

(a) an individual appeared in person before the notary and presented a record;

(b) the individual was personally known to the notary or identified by the notary through satisfactory evidence; and

(c) the individual signed the record while in the physical presence of the notary and while being personally observed signing the record by the notary.

(2) "Affirmation" means a notarial act which is legally equivalent to an oath and in which a notary certifies that, at a single time and place, all of the following occurred:

(a) an individual appeared in person before the notary;

(b) the individual was personally known to the notary or identified by the notary through satisfactory evidence; and

(c) the individual made a vow of truthfulness on penalty of perjury, based on personal honor and without invoking a deity or using a form of the word "swear".

(3) "Attest" or "attestation" means the completion of a certificate by a notary who has performed a notarial act.

(4) "Commission" means the empowerment to perform notarial acts and the written evidence of authority to perform those acts.

(5) "Credible witness" means an individual who is personally known to the notary and whom the notary reasonably believes to be honest and reliable for the purpose of confirming to the notary the identity of another individual and the notary believes is not a party to or beneficiary of the transaction.

(6) "Jurat" means a notary's certificate evidencing the administration of an oath or affirmation.

(7) "Moral turpitude" means conduct contrary to expected standards of honesty, morality, or integrity.

(8) "Notarial act", "notary act", and "notarization" mean acts that the laws and regulations of this State authorize notaries public of this State to perform, including the administering of oaths and affirmations, taking proof of execution and acknowledgments of instruments, and attesting documents.

(9) "Notarial certificate" and "certificate" mean the portion of a notarized record that is completed by the notary, bears the notary's signature and seal, and states the facts attested by the notary in a particular notarization.

(10) "Notary public" and "notary" mean a person commissioned to perform notarial acts pursuant to this chapter. A notary is a public officer of the State of South Carolina and shall act in full and strict compliance with this chapter.

(11) "Oath" means a notarial act that is legally equivalent to an affirmation and in which a notary certifies that at a single time and place all of the following occurred:

(a) an individual appeared in person before the notary;

(b) the individual was personally known to the notary or identified by the notary through satisfactory evidence; and

(c) the individual made a vow of truthfulness on penalty of perjury while invoking a deity or using a form of the word "swear".

(12) "Official misconduct" means a notary's performance of a prohibited act or failure to perform a mandated act set forth in this chapter or other law in connection with notarization.

(13) "Personal appearance" and "appear in person before a notary" means an individual and a notary are in the physical presence of one another so that they may freely see and communicate with one another and exchange records back and forth during the notarization process.

(14) "Personal knowledge" or "personally known" means familiarity with an individual resulting from interactions with that individual over a period of time sufficient to eliminate any reasonable doubt that the individual has the identity claimed.

(15) "Principal" means:

(a) in the case of an acknowledgment, the individual whose identity and due execution of a record is being certified by the notary;

(b) in the case of a verification or proof, the individual other than a subscribing witness whose identity and due execution of the record are being proven or signature is being identified as genuine; and

(c) in the case of an oath or affirmation, the individual who makes a vow of truthfulness on penalty of perjury.

(16) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium and called a traditional or paper record. Record also may mean information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium.

(17) "Satisfactory evidence" means identification of an individual based on either:

(a) a current identification document issued by a federal or state government agency bearing a photographic image of the individual's face, signature, and a physical description, except that a current passport without a physical description is acceptable; or

(b) upon the oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally known to the notary public or of two witnesses who present an identification document as described in subitem (a).

(18) "Seal" or "stamp" means a device for affixing on a paper record an image containing a notary's name, the words "notary public", and the words "State of South Carolina". The device may be in the form of an ink stamp or an embosser.

(19) "Secretary" means the South Carolina Secretary of State or the Secretary's designee.

(20) "Subscribing witness" means a person who signs a record for the purpose of being a witness to the principal's execution of the record or to the principal's acknowledgment of his execution of the record.

(21) "Verification" or "proof" means a notarial act in which a notary certifies that:

(a) an individual appeared in person before the notary;

(b) the individual was personally known to the notary or identified by the notary through satisfactory evidence;

(c) the individual was not a party to or beneficiary of the transaction; and

(d) the individual took an oath or gave an affirmation and testified that he is a subscribing witness and as such (i) witnessed the principal who signed the record, or (ii) received the acknowledgement of the principal's signature from the principal who signed the record.

HISTORY: 2014 Act No. 185 (S.356), Section 1, eff June 2, 2014.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. South Carolina may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.