Summary: The Notario Fraud Prevention Act stops the use of the title “notario publico” and other terms that in another language suggest a license to act as a lawyer or legal advocate.
Source: Virginia SB 503 enacted April 2014
For a discussion about notario fraud, here is one from the American Bar Association and another from Colombo & Hurd PL in Florida.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act shall be called the “Notario Fraud Prevention Act.”
SECTION 2. PURPOSE
This law is enacted to prevent fraud and misunderstanding through the use of terms that, in a language other than English, suggests that a person is a lawyer or may act as a legal advocate.
SECTION 3. NOTARIO FRAUD PREVENTION
After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:
1. A notary public shall not offer or provide legal advice on immigration or other legal matters, or represent any person in immigration proceedings, unless such notary public is authorized or licensed to practice law in the state or is accredited pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 292.2 to practice immigration law or represent persons in immigration proceedings.
2. A notary public shall not assume, use, or advertise the title of “notario,” “notario publico,” or “licenciado,” or a term in a language other than English that indicates in such language that the notary is authorized to provide legal advice or practice law, unless such notary public is authorized or licensed to practice law in this state.
3. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $500 for a first violation and a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for a second or subsequent violation.
4. Any notary public who violates the provisions of this subsection is subject to the loss of his or her commission as a notary.
5. Nothing in this section shall preempt or preclude additional civil, administrative, or criminal penalties authorized by law.
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE
This law shall become effective on July 1, 20XX.