Louisiana notary powers include more powers than notary powers in other states. A Louisiana notary is a civil law notary, based on French law from the code of Napoleon. French law derives from the Roman law because France was conquered by the Roman Empire.
In other states, notary powers are based on English common law, with less notary training required and fewer notary powers.
§2. General Notary Powers; Administration of Certain Oaths in any Parish
A.(1) Notaries public have power within their several parishes:
(a) To make inventories, appraisements, and partitions;
(b) To receive wills, make protests, matrimonial contracts, conveyances, and generally, all contracts and instruments of writing;
(c) To hold family meetings and meetings of creditors;
(d) To receive acknowledgements of instruments under private signature;
(e) To make affidavits of correction;
(f) To affix the seals upon the effects of deceased persons, and to raise the same.
(2) All acts executed by a notary public, in conformity with the provisions of Civil Code Art. 1833, shall be authentic acts.
(3) to exercise all of the functions of a notary public and to receive wills in which he is named as administrator, executor, trustee, attorney for the administrator, attorney for the executor, attorney for the trustee, attorney for a legatee, attorney for an heir, or attorney for the estate.
B. to administer oaths in any parish of the state, to swear in persons who appear to give testimony at a deposition before a general reporter or free-lance reporter and to verify interrogatories and other pleadings to be used in the courts of record of this state.
C. to certify true copies of any authentic act or any instrument under private signature passed before him or acknowledged before him, and
to make and certify copies, by any method, of any certificate, research, resolution, survey or other document annexed to the original of any authentic acts passed before him.
§2.1. Affidavit of corrections– an act of correction executed before two witnesses and a notary public.
§3. Oaths and acknowledgments– Oaths and acknowledgments, in all cases, may be taken or made by or before any notary public.
The notary must pass an initial examination, given twice per year in June and December. The official study guide for the notary exam is “The Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice.” Applicants are not required by law to take a course or instruction class in order for an applicant to take the notary exam. The exam is difficult. An exam pre-assessment test is available to show the likelihood of a candidate’s ability pass the notary exam.
An attorney who is licensed to practice law in Louisiana can apply to obtain a notary commission and is exempt from taking the notary exam.
Louisiana Ex-Officio Notaries
In addition to notaries public, Louisiana notary law also authorizes certain ex-officio notaries public, with limited powers for use in their jobs, in the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Department of Justice, Department of State, Governor’s Consumer Protection Division, Department of Insurance, Louisiana State Racing Commission, district attorney offices, police and fire departments, and several other government agencies.
Louisiana Notary Laws
Notarial certificates must begin with a caption specifying the state and place (parish) where the act is completed. Note: Louisiana uses parishes rather than counties.
Art. 1833. Authentic act– A. An authentic act is a writing executed before a notary public or other officer authorized to perform that function, in the presence of two witnesses, and signed by each party who executed it, by each witness, and by each notary public before whom it was executed. The typed or hand-printed name of each person shall be placed in a legible form immediately beneath the signature of each person signing the act.
46:XLVI.131. Notary Seal– A. A notary’s signature is his seal. If he elects to have a seal to use when notarizing documents, he is not required to have a particular style of seal to give authenticity to his copies.
B. The name of the notary and the witnesses must be typed, printed legibly, or stamped.
C. Every document notarized in the state of Louisiana shall have the notary identification number assigned to him/her by the secretary of state and that number shall be typed or printed legibly and placed next to the notary’s name.
46:XLVI.135. Fees to be Charged by a Notary Public– A. Louisiana does not have a statutory fee schedule which would determine or limit what a notary can charge for his services.
Notaries in other states should be aware that notary laws in Louisiana are different than notary laws in the other 49 states.
See our article on the La Salle Expedition of 1682, claiming Louisiana for King Louis XIV of France.
1. Louisiana welcome sign, by ErgoSum88 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
2. Napoleon, oil on canvas painting, 1806, Édouard Detaille [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons