S.C. Secretary of State Mark Hammondís office is offering a free notary public seminar in Aiken this fall for South Carolina notaries and those interested in becoming a notary.

The seminar will address new state laws governing the duties and responsibilities of notaries.

The unauthorized practice of law will also be addressed in a joint session with a representative from the South Carolina Bar.

The seminar will be held on Monday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m. at Aiken Technical College, 2276 Jefferson Davis Highway in Graniteville, room 142.

The key function of a notary is to protect citizens against fraudulent activity, Hammond said.

State law states a notary may administer oaths, take depositions and affidavits, take acknowledgments and proof of deeds and other instruments required by law to be acknowledged, perform marriage ceremonies and other acts provided by law.

Notaries are ministerial public officers and impartial witnesses for the state.

A notary commission exists for 10 years.

Anyone wishing to become a notary public must be a U.S. citizen, be at least 18 years old, must not be serving a prison sentence and must have never been convicted of a felony.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. on the day of the seminar. It will begin promptly at 6 p.m. and conclude by 7:30 p.m.

To register, visit bit.ly/1wytu7j.

For more information, email rdaggerhart@sos.sc.gov or call 803-734-0629.