Complaint Against a Notary
If you wish to register a complaint about a Notary, please understand that our office is limited in its oversight of notaries, and we can only operate on violations of Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 194. Specifically, depending upon the notary's violation, we can issue advice letters, official warnings, suspensions and revocations. We do not have the authority to sue, throw people in jail, or "stop them from doing it again." We have no discovery capabilities beyond self-incrimination; that is, notaries have to report to us what they did and we make a decision based on that information and the information provided in the complaint.
Complaints of alleged forgery or fraud should always be directed to your local law enforcement agency first. You must provide us with positive proof of the notary's involvement before we will proceed with the sanctioning process. This may be obtained either through the criminal complaint process or through the services of a professionally certified handwriting expert. You should contact an attorney to find out what is your best legal course of action.
The Complaint Process (OAR 160-100-0430):
It's important to know that complaints are not anonymous. They are public record and are 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 includes the following steps:
An initial request for information is sent to the accused notary, along with
The notary must disclose the contents of the notary's journal or journals, or any parts thereof, as part of the investigative process. The notary shall provide accurate, true and complete copies of the requested information, and/or shall provide the journal in question for examination by the Secretary of State.
Upon a finding by the Secretary of State, copies of the finding are mailed to the complainant and the accused.
The finding becomes a permanent record in the Notary's file.
If you would like to register a complaint, please call our information line at (503) 986-2200, and ask for our Notary Investigator.