130. Appointment of notaries public. 1. The secretary of state may appoint and commission as many notaries public for the state of New York as in his or her judgment may be deemed best, whose jurisdiction shall be co-extensive with the boundaries of the state. The appointment of a notary public shall be for a term of four years. An application for an appointment as notary public shall be in form and set forth such matters as the secretary of state shall prescribe. Every person appointed as notary public must, at the time of his or her appointment, be a citizen of the United States and either a resident of the state of New York or have an office or place of business in New York state. A notary public who is a resident of the state and who moves out of the state but still maintains a place of business or an office in New York state does not vacate his or her office as a notary public. A notary public who is a nonresident and who ceases to have an office or place of business in this state, vacates his or her office as a notary public. A notary public who is a resident of New York state and moves out of the state and who does not retain an office or place of business in this state shall vacate his or her office as a notary public. A non-resident who accepts the office of notary public in this state thereby appoints the secretary of state as the person upon whom process can be served on his or her behalf. Before issuing to any applicant a commission as notary public, unless he or she be an attorney and counsellor at law duly admitted to practice in this state or a court clerk of the unified court system who has been appointed to such position after taking a civil service promotional examination in the court clerk series of titles, the secretary of state shall satisfy himself or herself that the applicant is of good moral character, has the equivalent of a common school education and is familiar with the duties and responsibilities of a notary public; provided, however, that where a notary public applies, before the expiration of his or her term, for reappointment with the county clerk or where a person whose term as notary public shall have expired applies within six months thereafter for reappointment as a notary public with the county clerk, such qualifying requirements may be waived by the secretary of state, and further, where an application for reappointment is filed with the county clerk after the expiration of the aforementioned renewal period by a person who failed or was unable to re-apply by reason of his or her induction or enlistment in the armed forces of the United States, such qualifying requirements may also be waived by the secretary of state, provided such application for reappointment is made within a period of one year after the military discharge of the applicant under conditions other than dishonorable. In any case, the appointment or reappointment of any applicant is in the discretion of the secretary of state. The secretary of state may suspend or remove from office, for misconduct, any notary public appointed by him or her but no such removal shall be made unless the person who is sought to be removed shall have been served with a copy of the charges against him or her and have an opportunity of being heard. No person shall be appointed as a notary public under this article who has been convicted, in this state or any other state or territory, of a felony or any of the following offenses, to wit:
(a) Illegally using, carrying or possessing a pistol or other dangerous weapon; (b) making or possessing burglar's instruments; (c) buying or receiving or criminally possessing stolen property; (d) unlawful entry of a building; (e) aiding escape from prison; (f) unlawfully possessing or distributing habit forming narcotic drugs; (g) violating sections two hundred seventy, two hundred seventy-a, two hundred seventy-b, two hundred seventy-c, two hundred seventy-one, two hundred seventy-five, two hundred seventy-six, five hundred fifty, five hundred fifty-one, five hundred fifty-one-a and subdivisions six, ten or eleven of section seven hundred twenty-two of the former penal law as in force and effect immediately prior to September first, nineteen hundred sixty-seven, or violating sections 165.25, 165.30 or subdivision one of section 240.30 of the penal law, or violating sections four hundred seventy-eight, four hundred seventy-nine, four hundred eighty, four hundred eighty-one, four hundred eighty-four, four hundred eighty-nine and four hundred ninety-one of the judiciary law; or (h) vagrancy or prostitution, and who has not subsequent to such conviction received an executive pardon therefor or a certificate of relief from disabilities or a certificate of good conduct pursuant to article twenty-three of the correction law to remove the disability under this section because of such conviction.
2. A person regularly admitted to practice as an attorney and counsellor in the courts of record of this state, whose office for the practice of law is within the state, may be appointed a notary public and retain his office as such notary public although he resides in or removes to an adjoining state. For the purpose of this and the following sections of this article such person shall be deemed a resident of the county where he maintains such office.
Last modified: February 3, 2019