register a complaint about a notary, please understand that our office has
oversight of notaries. We can only act on violations of Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 194.
Depending on the notary's violation, we can issue advice letters, official warnings, suspensions and revocations. We don't have the authority to sue, throw people in jail, or "stop them from doing it again." We don't have investigators, so we rely on
self-incrimination. That is, notaries have to report to us what they did and we make a decision based on their self-report and the information
in the complaint.
complaints of alleged forgery or fraud
to a local law enforcement agency first.
Come to us when you have
positive proof of the notary's involvement, at which point
proceed with the sanctioning process. You can get
either through the criminal complaint process or through the services of a professionally certified handwriting expert. Contact
an attorney for the best legal course of action.
It's important to know that complaints are not anonymous. They are public record and subject to disclosure under the Oregon Public Records Law. In fact, copies of the complaint are forwarded to the accused.
The investigation of a complaint usually proceeds like this:
An initial request for information is sent to the accused notary, along with
- A copy of the complaint and
- A request for supporting documentation and other sources of information.
The notary must disclose the contents of the notary
journal or journals
as part of the investigative process. The notary must
provide accurate, true and complete copies of the requested information, and/or the journal in question, for examination by the Secretary of State.
Once the Secretary of State has made an official finding, copies of the finding are mailed to the complainant and the accused.
The finding becomes a permanent record in the