Notary Law Updates

2022 - 2023 Adopted/Enacted Notary Legislation
Page Last Updated: March 9, 2023

CLICK HERE to view previous years' Notary Law Updates from the American Society of Notaries.
 EFFECTIVE:
APRIL 2022
MAY 2022 JUNE 2022
• Arizona-HB2645
• Maryland-HB576-SB36
• Mississippi- Admin Rules • Arizona-SB1115
• New York-SB1780
• Maryland-HB663/SB317
• Mississippi-Admin Rule
• Vermont- Emer Remote Rules Extended
• Rhode Island-HB7363
• Kansas-Temp RULONA Regulations
• South Carolina-Admin Rules
JULY 2022 AUG. 2022 SEPT. 2022
• Colorado-SB21-199
• Illinois-SB2664
• Vermont-HB512
• Arizona-HB2612
• Georgia-SB96
• Mississippi-HB1351
• New York-SB4784
• Louisiana-HB903
• Louisiana-HB39
• Delaware-SB262, Section 12 only
• Dist. of Columbia-Act24-529
• Vermont-Emer Rule 22-E13
OCT. 2022
NOV. 2022 DEC. 2022
• Colorado-Notary Program Rules (8CCR1505-11)
• Dist. of Columbia-Notary, Elect Not. Admin Rules
• Kansas-Permanent eNotarization, RON Regs
• Maryland-Notary Admin Rules
• Washington-Notary Admin Rules

JAN. 2023 FEB. 2023 MARCH 2023
• Pennsylvania-SB807
• New York-Admin Rules
   
APRIL 2023 MAY 2023 JUNE 2023
     
JULY 2023 AUG. 2023 SEPT. 2023
• Maine-LD2023
• North Carolina-HB776
• Delaware-SB262  
OCT. 2023 NOV. 2023 DEC. 2023
    • Delaware-SB262
• Ohio-SB131
 
ARIZONA – HB 2612
Effective July 23, 2022
View this bill

Removes “honesty” and “integrity” from the list of personal attributes necessary to qualify for an Arizona Notary Public commission.
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ARIZONA- SB 1115
Effective June 30, 2022
View this bill

Enacts the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, substantially revising Arizona’s Notary Public statutes.

Definitions
Defines “acknowledgment,” “commission,” “electronic,” “electronic signature,” “in a representative capacity,” “notarial act” or “notarization,” “notarial officer,” “Notary Public” or “Notary,” “official stamp,” “person,” “record,” “sign,” “signature,” “stamping device,” “state,” “verification on oath or affirmation.” (See Bill Section 9, 41-251.) Also defines “communication technology,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing,” “outside the United States,” and “remotely located individual.” (See Bill Section 10, 41-263.)
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Please note: Under Arizona’s RULONA, a notarial officer is a Notary Public or other individual who is authorized to perform a notarial act (under Arizona law); and a Notary Public or Notary is an individual commissioned by the Secretary of State to perform notarial acts.


Notary Public Commission and Related Matters
Provides the qualifications for an individual to obtain a commission as an Arizona Notary Public. Requires Notary Public commission applicants to comply with, and provide, the information established by rule of the Secretary of State and pay any application fee. Provides for the confidentiality of certain application information, and that the Secretary shall use the information provided on the application only for carrying out the purposes of Arizona’s RULONA. (Bill Section 10, 41-269.)

Requires an Arizona Notary Public applicant to hold a surety bond (“assurance”) in the amount of $5000, issued by a surety or other entity licensed or authorized to do business in Arizona. Requires the surety company or issuing entity to give the Secretary of State thirty days’ notice before cancelling any Notary bond. Also requires the surety company or issuing entity to notify the Secretary of State not later than 30 days after making a payment to a claimant under the bond. Emphasizes that an Arizona Notary Public may perform notarial acts only during the period that a valid assurance is on file with the Secretary of State. Prohibits an employer from cancelling any employee Notary’s bond due to the individual’s end of employment. (Bill Section 10, 41-269.)


Requires an Arizona Notary Public applicant to pass an examination IF such examination is required by the Secretary of State, and to keep as reference a manual approved by the Secretary of State. Such manual shall describe the duties, authority and ethical responsibilities of a Notary Public. (Bill Section 10, 4-269.) Provides that the Secretary of State or an entity approved by the Secretary shall administer the examination, and that the examination must be based on the course of study described in Arizona’s RULONA. (Bill Section 10, 41-270.)

Further provides that if the Secretary of State requires an examination, the Secretary or an entity approved by the Secretary may offer a course of study to applicants who do not hold Arizona Notary Public commissions, as well as applicants seeking a renewed Arizona Notary commission and individuals whose Arizona Notary commission has been suspended. Specifies that the course of study must cover the laws, rules, procedures and ethics relevant to notarial acts. Authorizes the Secretary of State to prescribe and assess a fee for administering the course of study and examination. (Bill Section 10, 41-270.)


Provides the reasons or conditions for which the Secretary of State may deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or impose a condition on, a Notary Public commission. Further provides for the Secretary of State’s timely notice and a hearing, relative to these reasons or conditions. Prohibits an applicant that has appealed denial of his/her/their application from submitting a new commission application while the appeal is pending. Also prohibits an individual whose Arizona Notary commission is revoked from submitting a new application for commission for one year after the date of revocation. Clarifies that the Secretary’s authority to deny, refuse to renew, suspend, revoke or impose conditions on a Notary Public commission does not prevent a person from seeking and obtaining other criminal or civil remedies provided by law. (Bill Section 10, 41-271.)

Establishes conditions that apply without regard to whether the Notary Public’s employer or any other person paid the fees and costs for commissioning of the Notary Public, including costs of a stamping device and journal (the Notary’s stamping device, commission and journal containing only public record entries remain the property of the Notary Public; the Notary may perform notarial acts outside of the workplace except during normal hours of duty for the Notary’s employer; all fees received by the Notary for notarial services provided while not on duty for the employer remain the property of the Notary Public). (Bill Section 10, 41-269.)

Prohibits an employer of a Notary Public from limiting the Notary’s services to customers or other persons designated by the employer. (Bill Section 10, 41-269.)


Requires a Notary Public with a change of mailing, business or residential address to deliver, within 30 days after such change, a signed notice of change to the Secretary of State. Specifies that such notice shall be sent by certified mail or other means providing a receipt, and shall provide both the old and new addresses. (Bill Section 17, 41-323.)

Requires a Notary Public suffering the loss, theft or compromise of an official journal or stamping device to delivery to the Secretary of State a signed notice of the loss, theft or compromise. The Notary must send the notice by certified mail or other means providing a receipt, and also inform the appropriate law enforcement agency in the case of theft. Makes the Notary’s failure to comply in these matters a failure to fully and faithfully discharge his/her/their duties, and allows the Secretary of State to impose a civil penalty of $25 against the Notary, which must be paid prior to renewal of the Notary’s commission. (Bill Section 17, Section 41-323.)


Notarial Acts Generally
Establishes the authority of a notarial officer to perform a notarial act authorized by Arizona’s RULONA or by any other law of Arizona. Prohibits a notarial officer from performing a notarial act with respect to a record to which the officer or officer’s spouse is a party or in which either has a direct beneficial interest, and provides that a notarization in violation of these prohibitions is voidable. (Bill Section 10, 41-252.)


Provides that certain individuals, including a Notary Public, are authorized to perform a notarial act in Arizona. Provides that the signature and title of an individual authorized to perform a notarial act in Arizona are prima facie evidence, that the signature is genuine and the individual holds the designated title, and that the signature and title of an Arizona notarial officer conclusively establish the authority of the notarial officer to perform the notarial act. (Bill Section 10, 41-258.) Provides for Arizona’s recognition of notarial acts performed in another state, under authority of federally recognized Indian tribes, under federal authority, and under authority and in the jurisdiction of named entities and governments outside of the United States. Provides that appropriately issued Apostilles and consular authentications conclusively establish that the signature of the notarial officer is genuine and that said officer holds the indicated office. Clarifies that for purposes of this section, “foreign state” means a government other than the United States, a state or a federally recognized Indian tribe. (Bill Section 10, 41-262.)

Performing Notarial Acts
Establishes the fundamental requirements for performance of an acknowledgment, verification on oath or affirmation, witnessing or attestation of a signature, certification or attestation of a copy of a record or copied item, and noting of a protest. (Bill Section 10, 41-253.)

Requires a Notary Public to communicate with an individual for whom the Notary is performing a notarial act, either directly in a language that both the Notary and the individual understand; or indirectly through a translator who communicates directly with the Notary Public and the individual in languages that the translator understands. Requires such translator to personally appear before the Notary Public. (Bill Section 10, 41-253 and 41-254.

Establishes that if a notarial act relates to a statement made in or a signature executed on a record, the individual making the statement or executing the signature shall appear personally before the notarial officer. (Bill Section 10, 41, 254.)

Prescribes the means by which a notarial officer may identify an individual appearing before the officer (personal knowledge, or prescribed forms of satisfactory evidence. Provides additional authorized means for a notarial officer to identify an individual personally present for a notarial act when such appearance is for purposes of a real estate conveyance or financing. (Bill Section 10, 41-255.)

Provides the circumstances under which a notarial officer may refuse to perform a notarial act, unless refusal is prohibited by other Arizona law. (Bill Section 10, 41-256)


Enables an individual who is physically unable to sign to direct an individual other than the notarial officer to sign a record; requires such notarial officer to insert specified language indicating this occurrence. (Bill Section 10, 41-257)

Notarial Certificates
Requires a notarial act to be evidenced by a certificate and establishes requirements for such notarial certificate, including that it must be worded and completed using only letters, characters and a language that are read, written and understood by the Notary Public. Prohibits a notarial officer from affixing to or logically associating his/her/their official signature to a (tangible or electronic) notarial certificate until the notarial act has been performed. (Bill Section 10, 41-264.)

Clarifies that if a notarial act is performed regarding a tangible record, a notarial certificate must be part of or securely attached to the record. Specifies requirements for notarial certificates that are attached to a record using a separate sheet of paper. Provides that if a notarial act is performed regarding an electronic record, the certificate must be affixed to or logically associated with the electronic record. Requires attaching, affixing or logically associating a certificate with a record to conform to standards, if any, established by administrative rule(s) of the Secretary of State. (Bill Section 10, 41-264.)

Provides for the sufficiency of a notarial certificate completed by an Arizona notarial officer. Specifies that by executing a notarial certificate, a notarial officer certifies that he/she/they has complied with the requirements and made the determinations specified in Arizona’s RULONA. (Bill Section 10, 41-264.) Provides short-form certificates of notarial acts that are sufficient under the RULONA. (Bill Section 10, 41-265.)


Official Stamp, Stamping Device
Requires a Notary Public performing a notarial act regarding a tangible record to affix an official stamp to the record’s notarial certificate. Allows other notarial officers with regard to a tangible record to choose whether to affix an official stamp, but only if certain specified information is included in the notarial certificate. Provides that if a notarial act regarding an electronic record is performed by a Notary Public or other notarial officer, and the notarial certificate contains certain specified information, an official stamp “may” (not must) be attached to or logically associated with the notarial certificate. (Bill Section 10, 41-264) Clarifies that the official stamp of a Notary Public is an official seal of office for the purposes of Arizona law. (Bill Section 10, 41-266.) Prohibits a vendor of stamping devices to provide a stamping device to an individual unless the individual presents a copy of his/her/their commission. Requires stamping device vendors to retain copies of notary commissions for four years.


Allows a Notary Public to possess only one physical stamping device for use regarding notarization of tangible records. Clarifies that a Notary Public may possess an embosser in addition to his/her/their physical stamping device, but may use such embosser only in conjunction with the physical stamping device. Further clarifies that an embosser or impression made by an embosser is not an official seal of office for the purposes of Arizona law. (Bill Section 10, 41-267.)

Specifies certain information to be included on the official stamp of a Notary Public. Requires the official stamp to be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed or attached, or with which it is logically associated. Provides that a Notary Public’s official stamp may be any shape, but a physical image of an official stamp created by a physical stamping device may not be more than one and one-half inches high and two and one-half inches wide. Further requires the official stamp to include an image of Arizona’s great seal. Requires the electronic image of an official stamp created by an electronic stamping device to be legible when reproduced together with the record with which it is logically associates. (Bill Section 10, 41-266.)


Prohibits a Notary Public from affixing or attaching his/her/their official stamp over the Notary’s signature or any other signature on the record that is the subject of the notarial act. (Bill Section 10, 41-266.)

Provides that a Notary Public is responsible for the security of his/her/their stamping device and may not allow another individual to use the device to perform a notarial act. Requires a Notary Public, or if applicable the Notary’s personal representative, guardian or other person knowingly in possession of the Notary electronic stamping device, to render it unusable upon the Notary’s resignation, commission revocation or commission expiration. (Bill Section 10, 41-267)


Journal Requirements
Requires a Notary Public to keep a paper journal in which to chronicle all notarial acts regarding tangible (paper) records. Requires a Notary Public to keep either a paper journal, or one of more electronic journals, in which to chronicle all notarial acts regarding electronic records. Requires a Notary to keep only one (paper) journal at a time unless the Notary has one or more entries in the journal that are not public records, in which case the Notary must keep one journal containing entries that are not public records and one journal containing entries that are public records. Clarifies that if a Notary keeps only one journal, it is presumed to be a public record. Further clarifies that a Notary Public’s journal that contains entries that are not public records is the property of the Notary’s employer and shall be retained by the employer if the Notary leaves employment. Also clarifies that a Notary Public’s journal that contains only public records is the property of the Notary Public without regard to whether the Notary’s employer purchased the journal or provided commission application fees. Provides that if the Notary Public has personal knowledge of the principal’s identity, the Notary shall either retain a paper or electronic copy of the notarized document(s) for each notarial act in lieu of making a journal entry; or make a journal entry as ordinarily required. (Bill Section 14, 41-319.)

Specifies the minimum information to be recorded in each journal entry. Eliminates prior law’s requirement that the serial or ID number of the principal’s satisfactory evidence of identity, be recorded in the journal entry. Requires the principal’s signature to be recorded in a paper journal entry only. (Bill Section 14, 41-319.)


Provides, that except for notarial acts performed for remotely located individuals, a Notary that performs more than one notarization for an individual within a six-month period shall have that individual provide satisfactory evidence of identity for the first notarization, but may neither require satisfactory evidence of identity from this person nor require him/her/them to sign the journal for subsequent notarizations performed during the six-month period. (Bill Section 14, 41-319.)

Clarifies that if a Notary Public performs more than one notarization of the same type for a signer either on similar records or within the same record and at the same time, the Notary Public may group the records together and make one journal entry for the transaction. (Bill Section 14, 41-219.)


Electronic, Remote Online Notarizations
Amends existing law to provide that if a law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified or made under oath, that requirement is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform those acts, together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law, is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record. (Bill Section 24, 44-7011.)

Allows a Notary Public to select one or more tamper-evident technologies to performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records. Prohibits any person from requiring a Notary Public to notarize an electronic record using a technology that the Notary has not selected. (Bill Section 10, 41-268.)


Requires a Notary Public, prior to performing the Notary’s initial notarial act regarding an electronic record, to notify* the Secretary of State that he/she/they will be performing notarial acts regarding electronic records and identify the technology the Notary intends to use. Requires such technology to conform to standards, if any, established by the Secretary of State. Provides that if the technology conforms to such standards, the Secretary of State shall approve use of the technology. (Bill Section 10, 41-268)
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NOTE: The Secretary of State will issue an authorization to perform electronic notarizations to qualified individuals who comply with all notification requirements. (See Bill Section 10, 41-276.)

Establishes that a remotely located individual may comply with specified Arizona law by using communication technology to appear before a Notary Public. Authorizes a Notary Public to perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual, including a remotely located individual who is outside of the United States, subject to requirements of Arizona law and administrative rules. Requires a Notary Public, prior to performing his/her/their initial notarial act for a remotely located individual, to notify the Secretary of State that he/she/they will perform notarial acts in this manner, and identify the technologies the Notary Public intends to use. Further requires the Notary’s chosen technology to conform to any standards established by the Secretary of State with regard to communication technology or identity proofing.
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NOTE: The Secretary of State will issue an authorization to perform remote online notarizations to qualified individuals who comply with all notification requirements. (See Bill Section 10, 41-276.)


Requires the notarial certificate related to a notarial act performed for a remotely located individual to indicate that the notarial act was performing using communication technology. Provides that such a notarial certificate is sufficient if it complies with rules adopted by the Secretary of State, or it is in the form provided by Arizona’s RULONA and contains a statement substantially like, “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.” (Bill Section 10, 41-263.)

Requires a Notary Public or person acting on behalf of the Notary Pubic to create an audiovisual recording of the performance of a notarial act for a remotely located individual. Establishes requirements for retention of such recording(s). (Bill Section 10, 41-263.)


Prohibited Acts
Establishes certain activities that a Notary Public commission (alone) does not authorize a person to engage in (the practice of law, giving of legal advice, assisting in the drafting of legal records and related activities; acting as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters; representing a person in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, United States citizenship or related matters). Prohibits receiving of fees for performing any such unauthorized activities. (Bill Section 10, 41-273.)


Specifies other prohibited acts including engaging in false or deceptive advertising; using the term “notario” or “notario publico” when not also a licensed Arizona attorney; advertising various legal services when not a licensed Arizona attorney; and withholding access to or possession of an original record provided by a person seeking a notarial act. (Bill Section 10, 41-273.)

Addresses the validity of notarial acts; establishes that a notarial officer’s failure to perform a duty or meet a requirement specified in Arizona’s RULONA does not invalidate a notarial act performed by the notarial officer. Clarifies that aggrieved persons are not prevented from seeking to invalidate a record or transaction that is the subject of such notarial act, or from seeking other legal remedies. Further clarifies that these provisions do not validate a purported notarial act by an individual who did not have authority to perform a notarial act. (Bill Section 10, 41-274.)


Administrative Rules
Authorizes the Secretary of State to adopt administrative rules to implement the RULONA. Requires the Secretary to adopt administrative rules on or before July 1, 2022 regarding performance of notarial acts involving electronic records. Establishes the scope of the Secretary’s rulemaking authority. (Bill Section 10, 41-275.)

Notary Commissions in Effect
Provides that Arizona Notary commissions in effect on the effective date of the RULONA continue until their date of expiration. Provides that the Secretary of State’s issued authorizations to perform electronic or remote online notarizations that were in effect on the RULONA’s effective date also continue until their date of expiration. (Bill Section 10, 41-276.) Provides that Notaries Public, in performing notarial acts after the effective date of the RULONA, shall comply with the RULONA. Also provides that Notaries notifying the Secretary of State on or after the effective date of RULONA that they will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records, or with respect to remotely located individuals, are subject to and shall comply with the RULONA. (Bill Section 10, 41-276.)


Bank and Corporate Notaries
Provides that a notarial act performed by a Notary who acts as a stockholder, director, officer, or employee with a disqualifying interest is voidable. (Bill Section 15, 41-320.)

Other Provisions
RULEMAKING – Provides the Secretary of State authority to adopt rules to implement the Act, and establishes the scope of rulemaking authority. (Bill Section 10, 41-263 and 41-275
.)

Requires the Secretary of State to maintain an electronic database of Notaries Public through which a person may verify the authority of a Notary Public to perform notarial acts. Allows the Secretary of State to also indicate whether a Notary Public has notified the Secretary that the Notary will be performing notarial acts regarding electronic records or for remotely located individuals. (Bill Section 10, 41-272.)

Requires Arizona county recorders to accept for recording a tangible copy of an electronic record containing a notarial certificate as satisfying any requirement that a record accepted for recording be an original. Provides that the notarial officer executing the notarial certificate of such tangible copy must certify that the tangible copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record. (Bill Section 10, 41-268.)

Makes various minor and/or conforming amendments.
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ARIZONA – HB 2645
Effective April 29, 2022
View this bill

Amends Arizona’s law regarding a Notary Public’s notification to the Secretary of State concerning a change of address; and concerning loss, theft of compromise of an official journal or stamping device.

Amends existing law that requires a Notary Public to notify the Secretary of State of a change of mailing, business or residential address within thirty days after the change and to do so in the manner prescribed by statute. Clarifies that the Secretary of State may impose a $25 civil penalty against a Notary Public who fails to comply with this notification requirement (underlined text is amendatory).

Existing law requires a Notary Public to notify the Secretary of State within 10 days after the loss, theft or compromise of an official journal or stamping device, and to do so in the manner prescribed by statute. Existing law also requires the Notary to notify law enforcement in the case of theft of either of these items.

Requires the Secretary of State to impose a civil penalty of $1000 against a Notary Public who fails to comply with the statutory notification requirements regarding loss, theft or compromise of an official journal or stamping device. Provides that a Notary’s failure to pay a penalty may be referred to Arizona’s Attorney General for collection.

Provides that in a judicial proceeding where the identity of a party to a notarized instrument is in question… the Notary’s official journal is lost, stolen or compromised… and the Notary fully complied with the notification requirement, a presumption shall be given to the validity of the identify of the party who signed the instrument.

Clarifies that if it is determined that a Notary’s journal never existed or that the Notary failed to comply with the statutory notification requirements regarding loss, theft or compromise of an official journal, no presumption as to the validity of the party who signed the notarized instrument shall apply.

Further provides that in an action in which the validity of a notarized instrument is at issue and the Notary failed to comply with the notification requirements in this section of law, the court will notify the Secretary of State and the County Attorney (for the county in which the Notary’s violation occurred) of such finding.

Provides that should a violation of Section 47-9527, Arizona Revised Statutes occur, the Attorney General or county attorney for the county in which an alleged violation of the Section occurred may prosecute such violation(s).
 
COLORADO – Notary Program Rules, 8 CCR 1505-11
Effective 10-15-22
View these rulesscroll to view Section 2.3 Communication


Amends administrative rules regarding a Notary Public’s use of interpreters for deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind individuals seeking a notarial act.

Provides that a Notary Public may not use an interpreter, translator or related services to communicate with the individual for whom the Notary Public is performing a notarial act, unless the Notary is using an interpreter for deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind individuals who meets the requirements of Section 6-1-707(1)(e)(l), C.R.S. (Colorado’s Consumer Protection Act). Applies this prohibition to all methods of notarization, including electronic and remote notarization, authorized by Colorado’s Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts.


Prohibits any interpreter from having a disqualifying interest in the record that is the subject of a notarial act. Establishes that an interpreter has such a disqualifying interest in a record if:
  • the interpreter or the interpreter’s spouse, partner in a civil union, ancestor, descendent, or sibling is a party to or is named in the record that is to be notarized; or
  • the interpreter or the interpreter’s spouse or partner in a civil union may receive directly, and as a proximate result of the notarization, any advantage, right, title, interest, cash, or property exceeding in value the sum of any fee for interpreter services.

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COLORADO – SB 21-199
Effective July 1, 2022
View this bill


Provides that when verifying the lawful presence in the United States of every Notary Public commission applicant, the Secretary of State shall:

Accept one of the following documents from the applicant:
 (a) a United States military card or a military dependent’s identification card;
 (b) a United States coast guard Merchant Mariner card;
 (c) a Native American tribal document;
 (d) a valid Colorado driver’s license or a Colorado identification card issued pursuant to Article 2 of Title 42, unless the applicant holds a license or card issued pursuant to Part 5 of Article 2 of Title 2;
 (e) a valid driver’s license or identification card issued by another state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States that is compliant with the federal REAL ID Act, as amended;
 (f) a valid United States passport;
 (g) a valid United States permanent resident card; or
 (h) any other valid type of identification that requires proof of lawful presence in the United States to obtain; and
Execute an affidavit stating that the applicant is:
  (a) a United States citizen or legal permanent resident; or
  (b) otherwise lawfully present in the United States pursuant to federal law.

 
DELAWARE - Senate Bill 262
Effective 9/09/2022: Bill Section 12 extending the provisions of Paragraph B of the Eleventh Modification of the State of Emergency Declaration of April 15, 2020, until July 31, 2023
Effective 8/01/2023: Bill Sections 1-11, and Section 13.
View this bill


Enacts the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) in The First State, with comprehensive provisions for performance of notarial acts on tangible and electronic records, for physically-present and remotely present individuals.

Definitions
Defines key terms: “acknowledgment,” “electronic,” “electronic signature,” “in a representative capacity,” “notarial act,” “notarial officer,” “Notary Public,” “official stamp,” “person,” “record,” “sign,” “signature,” “stamping device,” “state,” “verification on oath or affirmation.”

Additionally, defines terms with respect to notarial acts performed for remotely located individuals: “communication technology,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing,” “outside the United States,” “remotely located individual.”


Commissioning
Amends and clarifies the qualifications for obtaining a Delaware Notary Public commission. Repeals provisions relating to a separate commission for electronic Notaries Public and the electronic Notary oath of office.

Provides that a qualified individual may apply to the Delaware Governor for a commission as a Notary Public. Retains in statute the ability of the Governor to delegate, to the Secretary of State, duties relative to appointment of Notaries.


Retains current law’s provisions allowing the Secretary of State to promulgate regulations or establish additional standards and guidelines governing applications, registrations, appointments, and the conduct of Notaries Public.

Establishes that an individual applying for a Delaware Notary Public commission shall be at least 18 years of age; be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States; be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in Delaware; be able to read and write English; not be disqualified to receive a commission under §4334, Title 29, Delaware Code (providing the grounds for the Governor to deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or impose a condition on a Notary Public commission for any act or omission demonstrating that the individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a Notary Public); and comply with all other requirements established by the Secretary of State by regulations as necessary to ensure the competence, integrity, and qualifications of a Notary Public and the proper performance of notarial acts.


Requires a Notary Public commission applicant who is not a Delaware resident to provide on his/her/their application a residential address and address of the individual’s place of employment or practice in Delaware.

Clarifies provisions on service of process, subpoenas and other documents on a nonresident who is a Delaware Notary.

Requires a Delaware Notary Public to notify the Secretary of State of a change of address within 30 days of the change, and clarifies that a Notary’s address of record must include a street address.


Requires that an individual applying for a Notary Public commission shall execute an oath of office and submit it to the Secretary of State, prior to issuance of his/her/their Notary Public commission. Establishes that upon an individual applicant’s compliance with §4301, Title 29, Delaware Code, the Governor shall issue a Notary Public commission for a 2-year term if the individual is a first-time Delaware Notary; or for a 2-year or 4-year term as chosen by an individual who is renewing his/her/their Delaware Notary commission.

Provides that the Secretary of State shall designate the commission appointing a Notary Public, and that such commission shall be executed by the Governor and Secretary of State. Establishes that these officials’ signatures on the commission may be electronic or a facsimile signature engraved, printed or stamped on the commission.

Provides the grounds under which the Governor of Delaware may deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or impose a condition on a commission as a Notary Public including:

1. any act or omission demonstrating that the individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a Notary Public;
2. failure to comply with Delaware’s Notary laws;
3. a fraudulent, dishonest or deceitful misstatement or omission in the Notary Public application submitted to the Secretary of State;
4. conviction of the application or Notary Public of any felony or a crime involving fraud, dishonesty or deceit;
5. a finding against, or admission of liability by, the applicant or Notary Public in any legal proceeding or disciplinary action based on the individual’s fraud, dishonesty or deceit,
6. failure by a Notary Public to discharge any duty required of a Notary Public whether such duty is required by any state or federal law, or by regulations of the Secretary of State;
7. use of false or misleading advertising or representation by the Notary Public that the Notary has a duty, right or privilege that the Notary does not have;
8. violation by the Notary of a Notary Public regulation adopted by the Secretary of State;
9. a Notary’s commission denial, refusal to renew, revocation, suspension or conditioning in or by another state;
10. a violation under Delaware Code’s §4311(c), Title 29 (dealing with a Notary’s overcharging of fees for notarial acts).


Clarifies that an applicant or Notary Public is entitled to timely notice and hearing, in accordance with Delaware law, if the Governor denies, refuses to renew, revokes, suspends, or imposes conditions on the individual’s Notary Public commission. Also clarifies that the Governor’s authority to deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend, or impose conditions on a Notary Public commission does not prevent the affected person from seeking and obtaining other criminal or civil remedies provided by law.

Makes various conforming and clarifying amendments.

Notary’s Official Stamp, Journal
Notary’s Official Stamp. Replaces existing provisions relating to the Notary’s seal of office with updated RULONA language requiring a Notary Public to use an “official stamp,” which may be placed on a notarial certificate by means of “affixing” (stamping) or embossing. Provides that “official stamp” also means an electronic image attached to or logically associated with an electronic record. Defines “stamping device” as a physical capable of affixing or embossing, on a tangible record, an official stamp; or an electronic device or process capable of attaching or logically associating an official stamp to, or with, an electronic record.


Requires that if a notarial act regarding a tangible record is performed by a Notary Public, an official stamp must be affixed to or embossed on the notarial certificate. Provides that if a notarial act regarding a tangible record is performed by any other notarial officer (not a Notary Public), and the notarial certificate is signed and dated by the notarial officer, identifies the jurisdiction (venue) where the notarial act is performed, and contains the notarial officer’s title of office, then an official stamp may be affixed to or embossed on the notarial certificate. Further provides that if a notarial act regarding an electronic record is performed by a notarial officer and the notarial certificate is signed and dated by the notarial officer; identifies the jurisdiction (venue) in which the notarial act is performed; and contains the notarial officer’s title of office, an official stamp may be attached to or logically associated with the notarial certificate.

Requires a Notary Public’s official stamp to include the Notary’s name as on file with the Secretary of State; “State of Delaware,” “My commission expires on” and the commission expiration date; and any other information required by the Secretary of State. Requires a Notary’s official stamp to be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed or attached, or with which it is logically associated.

Specifies that a Notary Public is responsible for the security of the Notary’s stamping device and may not allow another individual to use the device to perform a notarial act. Requires a Notary Public, upon commission resignation, revocation or expiration, to disable the stamping device by destroying, defacing, damaging, erasing, or securing it against (any possible) use. Places this same requirement on a Notary’s personal representative or guardian or any other person knowingly in possession of the stamping device, upon the death or adjudication of incompetency of the Notary Public.


Requires a Notary Public or the Notary’s personal representative or guardian, if applicable, to promptly notify the Secretary of State upon discovering that the Notary’s stamping device is lost or stolen.

Notary’s Journal. Repeals prior law’s provisions requiring a electronic Notary to use an electronic journal of notarial acts. Requires a Delaware Notary Public to maintain a journal in which the Notary chronicles all notarial acts (tangible or electronic) that the Notary performs.

Provides that a journal may be created on a tangible medium or in an electronic format. Allows a Notary Public to maintain only one journal at a time for chronicling all notarial acts, whether such acts are performed regarding tangible or electronic records. Specifies that if the journal is maintained on an tangible medium, it must be a permanent bound register with numbered pages; and if the journal is electronic, it must be in a permanent, tamper-evident electronic format complying with regulations adopted by the Secretary of State.

Requires an entry in an journal to be made contemporaneously with performance of a notarial act, and specifies the information to be included in each journal entry (date and time of the notarial act; description of the record, if any, and type of notarial act; the full name and address of each individual for whom a notarial act is performed; a statement, as applicable, that the individual was identified by personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence which must be described; and any fee charged by the Notary Public).


Requires a Notary Public to promptly notify the Secretary of State upon discovering that his/her/their journal is lost or stolen.

Specifies that upon resignation, or revocation or suspension of commission, a Notary Public shall retain the Notary’s journal for 10 years after performance of the last notarial act chronicled in it, and inform the Secretary of State where the journal is located.

Allows a current or former Notary Public to transmit the journal to the Secretary of State or a repository approved by the Secretary of State. Requires that upon death of adjudication of incompetency of a current or former Notary Public, the Notary’s personal representative or guardian or any other person knowingly in possession of the journal shall transmit it to the Secretary of State or a repository approved by the Secretary.


Performing Notarial Acts
Authorizes a notarial officer to perform a notarial act that is authorized under Delaware’s RULONA or by other Delaware law. Prohibits a notarial officer from performing a notarial act with respect to a record to which the officer or the officer’s spouse is a party, or in which either person has a direct beneficial interest. Provides that a notarial act performed in violation of this prohibition is voidable.

Authorizes a notarial officer to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record.

Establishes the fundamental requirements and prohibitions for performance of the authorized notarial acts (acknowledgment of a record, verification on oath or affirmation, witnessing or attesting a signature, certifying or attesting a copy of a record or an item that was copied, making or noting a protest of a negotiable instrument).

Requires the personal appearance of an individual for performance of a notarial act relating to a statement made in or a signature executed on a record, unless the notarial act is performed for a remotely located individual and in compliance with §4320 of Title 29, Delaware Code.

Establishes that a notarial officer has personal knowledge of the identity of an individual present before the officer if the individual is personally known to the officer through dealings sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed.

Provides that a notarial officer has satisfactory evidence of the identity of an individual appearing before the officer if the officer can identify the individual by:

  • a passport, driver’s license or government issued non-driver identification card that is current and not expired before performance of the notarial act;
  • another form of government identification issued to an individual that is current and not expired before performance of the notarial act, that contains the individual’s signature or photograph, and is satisfactory to the officer;
  • verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally appearing before the notarial officer and known to the officer or whom the officer can identify on the basis of a passport, driver license or government-issued nondriver identification card, any of which are current and not expired before performance of the notarial act.

Authorizes a notarial officer to require an individual to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to assure the officer of the individual’s identity.

Allows a notarial officer to refuse to perform a notarial act if the officer is not satisfied that all of the following apply:

  • The individual executing the record is competent or has the capacity to execute the record;
  • The individual’s signature is knowingly and voluntarily made.

Authorizes a notarial officer to refuse to perform a notarial act unless refusal is prohibited by other Delaware law.

Establishes that an individual who is physically unable to sign a record may direct another individual who is not the (officiating) notarial officer to sign the individual’s name on the record. Requires the notarial officer to insert words indicating that the signature was affixed by the individual (name) at the direction of the physically unable signer of the record.

Requires a notarial act to be evidenced by a certificate that meets all of the following requirements:
1. It was executed contemporaneously with (at the same time as) performance of the notarial act;
2. It is signed and dated by the officiating notarial officer, and if that person is a Notary Public, it is signed in the same manner as on file with the Secretary of State;
3. It identifies the jurisdiction (venue) where the notarial act was performed;
4. It contains the officiating notarial officer’s title of office;
5. If the officiating notarial officer is a Notary Public, it indicates the Notary’s commission expiration date (if any).

Establishes the requirements for a certificate of a notarial act to be “sufficient” (contain all required information and the notarial officer’s signature). Provides that by executing a certificate of a notarial act, the notarial officer certifies that he/she/they have complied with the requirements and made the determinations specified in Delaware’s RULONA.


Prohibits a notarial officer from affixing the officer’s signature to, or logically associating it with, a notarial certificate before the notarial act has been performed.

Requires the notarial certificate for a tangible record to be part of, or securely attached to, the tangible record. Requires the notarial certificate for an electronic record to be affixed to, or logically associated with the electronic record. Requires the process of attaching, affixing or logically associating a notarial certificate to a record to conform to any standards established by the Secretary of State under §4338, Title 29, Delaware Code.

Provides “short form” notarial certificate formats for Delaware’s authorized notarial acts. Establishes the legal sufficiency of such short form certificates if completed with the information required under Delaware law.


Recognition of Notarial Acts
Provides RULONA’s concise provisions assuring that the notarial acts performed by Notaries and other notarial officers outside of Delaware will be recognized in Delaware, and that the notarial acts performed by Delaware Notaries and other notarial officers will be recognized outside of Delaware (interstate recognition).

Prohibited Acts
Provides that a Delaware Notary Public commission (alone) does not authorize a Notary to:
1. assist persons in drafting legal records, give legal advice, or otherwise practice law;
2. act as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters;
3. represent a person in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, U.S. citizenship or related matters;
4. receive compensation for performing any of the activities listed above.


Prohibits a Notary Public from:
1. engaging in false or deceptive advertising;
2. using the term “notario” or “notario publico” unless the Notary Public is also an attorney licensed to practice law in Delaware;
3. advertising or representing that the Notary may assist persons in drafting legal records, give legal advce or otherwise practice law, unless the Notary is also an attorney licensed to practice law in Delaware.

Requires any manner of advertising or representation of notarial services (including broadcast media, print media and the Internet) by a Notary Public who is not also a licensed Delaware attorney to include a specified statement, prominently and in each language used in the advertisement or representation: “I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in this State, I am not allowed to draft legal records, give advice on legal matters, including immigration, or charge a fee for those activities.” Clarifies that if the form of advertisement or representation is not broadcast media, print media or the Internet and does not permit inclusion of the statement due to size, then the statement must be displayed prominently or provided at the place of performance of the notarial act, before the notarial act is performed.


Prohibits a Notary Public from withholding access to or possession of an original record provided by a person seeking a notarial act from the Notary Public, except as otherwise allowed by law.

Notary Fees
Retains existing law’s maximum fees of $5 that a Notary may charge for performance of a notarial act with respect to a tangible record, and $25 for a notarial act with respect to an electronic record. Retains existing law’s penalty of commission revocation, if desired by the Secretary of State, for a Notary’s charging of fees in excess of the maximum allowed; and the waiting period following such commission revocation of two years before the Notary may apply for reappointment. Clarifies that a Notary may choose to waive any fee for any notarial act.


Electronic Notarization
Repeals existing statutory sections dealing with electronic notarization and separate appointment as a Delaware electronic Notary Public.

Authorizes a Delaware notarial officer to select one or more tamper-evident technologies to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records.

Establishes that before performing his/her/their initial notarial act with respect to an electronic record, a Notary Public shall notify the Secretary of State that the notarial officer will be performing such electronic notarial acts. Requires such notification to the Secretary of State to identify the technology the notarial officer intends to use for notarizing electronic records. Requires that if the Secretary has established standards for approval of technology, the selected technology must conform to the standards.


Prohibits any person from requiring a notarial officer to perform a notarial act with respect to an electronic record using a technology that the notarial officer has not selected.

Notarial Acts for Remotely Located Individuals
Allows a notarial officer to use communication technology to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual. Requires a notarial officer, before performing his/her/their initial notarial act for a remotely located individual, to notify the Secretary of State that he/she/they will be performing such notarial acts, and identify the technologies the notarial officer intends to use. Requires selected communication technology to conform to standards, if any, established by the Secretary of State, and for the Secretary to approve use of technology that conforms to the Secretary’s standards.


If all of the following apply in accordance with Delaware’s RULONA.
1. The notarial officer has one or more of the following:
  • personal knowledge of the identity of the remotely located individual;
  • satisfactory evidence of the identity of the remotely located individual by oath or affirmation from a credible witness appearing before the notarial officer;
  • satisfactory evidence of the remotely located individual by using at least 2 different types of identity proofing.
2. The notarial officer can reasonably confirm that a record before the notarial officer is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the individual executed a signature

Establishes additional requirements for performance of a notarial act involving a remotely located individual, when the remotely located individual is located outside of the United States at the time of the notarial act. Provides that the act of making the statement (in the record) or signing the record cannot be prohibited by the foreign state in which the remotely located individual is located.


Authorizes performance of a notarial act for a remotely located individual, using communication technology, and involving a tangible record. Prescribes detailed requirements for performance of the notarial act under these circumstances, including that:
  • The remotely located individual must display and identify the record during the audio-visual recording of the notarial act; sign the record and a declaration* during the audio-visual recording of the notarial act; and send the record and signed declaration to the notarial officer no later than three days after the notarial act was performed;
and
  • The notarial officer must record the individual signing the record and declaration; execute a certificate of notarial act on the signed record received from the remotely located individual; include in the notarial certificate a statement substantially as: “I (name of notarial officer) witnessed, by means of communication technology, (name of remotely located individual) sign the attached record and declaration on (date).”

__________
*The remotely located individual’s declaration must be part of or securely attached to the electronic record, and worded substantially as follows: “I declare under penalty of perjury that the record of which this declaration is a part or to which it is attached is the same record on which (name of notarial officer), a notarial officer, performed a notarial act and before whom I appeared by means of communication technology on (date).”

Provides that a notarial act performed as specified, for a remotely located individual executing a tangible record, complies with §4328(a)(1), Title 29, Code of Delaware, and is effective on the date the remotely located individual signed the required declaration. Clarifies that the law does not preclude use of other procedures used to satisfy the requirements of law for performance of a notarial act for a remotely located individual executing a tangible record.


Authorizes a Delaware notarial officer to use communication technology to administer an oath to a remotely located individual if, except as otherwise provided by other Delaware law, the notarial officer: identifies the individual in the same way that the law requires identifying a remotely located individual executing a record; creates or causes creation of an audio-visual recording of the individual taking the oath; and retains or causes retention of the recording of the individual taking the oath.

Requires the notarial certificate for a notarial act involving a remotely located individual to indicate that the notarial act was performed using communication technology. Provides that a short-form notarial certificate under §4329, Title 29, Code of Delaware, is sufficient if it does any of the following: complies with any regulations adopted by the Secretary of State; is in the form prescribed under §4329 and contains a statement substantially like “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”


Notarial Records
Requires a notarial officer, guardian, conservator or agent of a notarial officer, or personal representative of a deceased notarial officer to retain the audio-visual recording of a notarization performed for a remotely located individual or cause such recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the person required to retain the recording. Requires retention of a recording for at least 10 years, unless a different period is required by administrative rules of the Secretary of State
.

Requires that, prior to performing his/her/their initial notarial act for a remotely located individual, a notarial officer shall:
  • notify the Secretary of State that the notarial officer will be performing notarial acts with respect to remotely located individuals;
  • identify for the Secretary of State the technologies the notarial officer intends to use.

Validity of Notarial Acts; Applicability of Law; Relation to Other Law
Establishes that the newly enacted provisions of Delaware’s RULONA apply to notarial acts performed on or after the effective date of the Act. Clarifies that the provisions of Delaware’s RULONA do not affect the validity or effect of a notarial act performed before the Act’s effective date.


Provides that the failure of a notarial officer to perform a duty or meet a requirement specified in Delaware’s RULONA does not invalidate a notarial act performed by the notarial officer, but clarifies that the validity of a notarial act performed under the RULONA does not prevent an aggrieved person from seeking to invalidate the record or transaction that is the subject of the notarial act, or from seeking other remedies based on other Delaware law or U.S. law. Further clarifies that this section of the Act does not validate a purported notarial act performed by an individual who lacked authority to perform the notarial act.

Requires that in applying and construing the RULONA, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among (other) states enacting the RULONA.


Secretary of State
Provides the Secretary of State with broad rulemaking authority to specify the manner in which notarial acts—for physically present or remotely present individuals, with respect to tangible and electronic records—shall be performed in Delaware. Allows rules to include provisions ensuring that any change to or tampering with a recording bearing a notarial certificate shall be self-evident; ensuring integrity in the creation, transmittal, storage or authentication of electronic records or signatures; prescribing the process of granting, renewing, conditioning, denying, suspending or revoking a Notary Public commission and assuring the trustworthiness of an individual holding a commission as Notary Public; and preventing fraud or mistake in the performance of notarial acts.


Specifies that the Secretary—in adopting, amending or repealing rules about notarial acts with respect to electronic records—shall consider so far as is consistent with Delaware’s RULONA, all of the following: the most recent standards regarding electronic records promulgated by national bodies; standards, practices and customs of other jurisdictions that substantially enact the RULONA; the views of governmental officials and entities and other interested persons.

Requires the Secretary—before adopting, amending or repealing a regulation governing performance of a notarial act with respect to a remotely located individual— to consider the most recent standards promulgated by national standard-setting organizations and the recommendations of the National Association of Secretaries of State; the standards, practices and customs of other jurisdictions with laws substantially similar to Delaware’s; and the views of governmental officials and entities and other interested persons.


Prohibits regulations regarding performance of notarial acts with respect to electronic record from requiring or according greater legal status of effect to the implementation or application of a specific technology or technical specification.

Retains current law’s provisions allowing the Secretary of State to promulgate regulations or establish additional standards and guidelines governing applications, registrations, appointments, and the conduct of Notaries Public.

Requires that if that the Secretary of State has established standards, as allowed by law, for approval of communication technology or identity proofing, the communication technology and identity proofing must conform to the standards.

Specifies that by allowing its communication technology to facilitate a notarization for a remotely located individual, the provider of the technology appoints the Secretary of State as agent for service of process in any civil action in Delaware related to the notarial act.


Requires the Secretary of State to maintain an electronic database of Notaries Public, which must permit a person to verify the authority of a Notary Public to perform notarial acts; and indicate whether a Notary Public has notified the Secretary of State that the Notary will be performing electronic notarial acts, or notarial acts for remotely located individuals.

Other Provisions
Special Notary Commissions. Amends laws dealing with special Notary commissions. Establishes that upon request of the administrative head of a qualified police agency, the Governor shall appoint a sufficient number of limited governmental Notaries Public. Clarifies that “qualified police agency” means a state, county, municipal, or local governmental agency or unit of Delaware whose personnel includes full-time police officers who are statutorily responsible for prevention or investigation of crime involving injury to persons or property, and who are authorized to execute search warrants and make arrests.


Provides that such limited governmental Notaries Public shall be appointed for a term of 2 years, at no charge to the appointee, administrative head, or police agency.

Provides the qualifications for an individual to be appointed as a limited governmental Notary Public. Provides that appointment as a limited governmental Notary Public expires on the end of the individual’s employment with a state governmental agency or unit or qualified police agency.

Clarifies that individuals appointed as a limited governmental Notary Public may not perform a notarial act other than a notarial act authorized by the individual’s state governmental agency or unit or qualified police agency; or charge for a service rendered.


Requires a limited governmental Notary’s official stamp to comply with §4330, Title 29, Code of Delaware except for the statement of commission expiration date, which shall be “My commission expires upon office.”

Requires an individual appointed as a limited governmental Notary to notify the Secretary of State, within 30 days, following transfer of employment to another state governmental agency or unit or qualified police agency. Clarifies that the individual may retain his/her/their limited governmental Notary appointment only if the individual provides the Secretary of State an employer request and approval form from the agency or unit or qualified police agency to which the individual transferred.

Recording of a Tangible Copy of an Electronic Record. Authorizes a Recorder of Deeds to accept for recording a tangible copy of an electronic record containing a notarial certificate as satisfying any requirement that a record accepted for recording be an original, if the notarial officer executing the notarial certificate certifies that the tangible copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record.


Notary Public Commission in Effect. Provides that a Notary Public commission in effect on the effective date of Delaware’s RULONA continues until the date of commission expiration. Further provides that a Notary Public applying to renew a commission on or after the effective date of Delaware’s RULONA is subject to and shall comply with the RULONA; and that a Notary Public performing notarial acts after the effective date of the RULONA shall comply with it.

State of Emergency Declaration Provisions, Continuance
Provides that the provisions of Paragraph B of the Eleventh Modification of the State of Emergency Declaration of April 15, 2020, continues in full force and effect until July 31, 2023.

Makes various statutory text amendments that do not change the substance or effect of the prior text.

 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – Notary Public, Electronic Notarization Administrative Rules
Effective October 21, 2022
View the regulations


(Note: only individuals with a current District of Columbia Notary Public commission may obtain an endorsement to act as a District of Columbia electronic Notary, subject to meeting all requirements. As such, all administrative rule provisions applicable to a Notary Public also apply when the Notary is acting as an electronic Notary Public.)

Definitions
Defines key terms: “acknowledgment,” “act,” “District of Columbia Government Notary,” “electronic,” “electronic Notary,” “electronic signature,” “in a representative capacity,” “notarial act,” “notarial sealer,” “Notary Public,” “official seal,” “ONCA,” “person,” “record,” “Secretary,” “sign,” “signature,” “state,” “tamper-evident technology,” and “verification on oath or affirmation.”

Notary Application Requirements, Process
• Qualifications, Application. Requires a Notary Public applicant to be at least 18 years of age; a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States; a resident of, or with a primary place of employment or practice in, the District of Columbia; and not disqualified to receive a commission under the relevant sections of DC law and administrative rules. Explicitly allows ONCA to deny a Notary Public commission or electronic Notary endorsement to an applicant who fails to comply with the requirements of DC’s RULONA or who fails to meet application requirements.

Requires an applicant for a Notary Public commission to provide the applicant’s name as the applicant wishes it to appear on the Notary commission. Requires this name to be used each time the individual’s Notary signature is used for a notarial act.

Requires a first-time Notary applicant to complete a training class provided by the DC Secretary or Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications (ONCA); take the civil-officer oath provided in D.C. Official Code §1-501 (2016 Repl.); file with ONCA the applicant’s signature and impression of his/her/their official seal; indicate (on a form provided by ONCA) the language(s) in which the applicant intends to perform notarial acts. The applicant is required to read and write in the language of any record on which the applicant performs a notarial act; and pay the notary commission application fee.


• Assurance (Bond). Requires an applicant, before being issued a Notary Public commission, to submit to ONCA an assurance in the form of a surety bond or its functional equivalent in the amount of $2000. Such assurance must be issued by a surety or other entity licensed or authorized to do business in the District; cover acts performed during the term of the Notary Public’s commission; and be in the form prescribed by ONCA. Requires the surety or issuing entity to notify ONCA not later than thirty (30) days after making a payment to a claimant under the assurance. Requires a DC Notary Public to maintain his/her/their assurance throughout the term of the Notary’s commission, and clarifies that a Notary may perform notarial acts in the District only during the period that a valid assurance is on file with ONCA.

Exempts Notaries Public commissioned only on behalf of the government of the District of Columbia from the requirement of a surety bond or functional equivalent. Clarifies that a District of Columbia government Notary may perform notarial acts only in that capacity, on behalf of the DC government.


• Commission. Provides that on satisfaction of Subsections 2400.1, 2400.2 and 2400.6(a) of these administrative rules, ONCA shall issue an applicant a commission as a Notary Public for a term of five (5) years. Requires the certificate granting a DC Notary commission to be signed by the Secretary of the District or the Secretary’s designee. Provides that a Notary commission from ONCA authorizes the Notary Public to perform notarial acts only within the District of Columbia. Clarifies that a Notary commission does not provide the commissioned Notary Public any immunity or benefit conferred, by law of the District, on public officials or employees. Specifies that Notaries Public not otherwise authorized to perform notarial acts under DC’s RULONA, or under state or federal law, must reapply with ONCA for each commission term.
Provides that ONCA shall approve and issue a Notary Public commission or electronic Notary endorsement to an applicant who fulfills the requirements. Prohibits an applicant for a new or renewing Notary commission from performing any notarial acts before taking the oath of office for a new or renewed commission.


Provides that the term of a DC Notary Public commission expires five (5) years after the Notary’s commission date. Provides that each Notary’s commission term shall either: begin on the first day of a month and end on the last day of the prior month, except that a commission starting at the beginning of January will start on a January 2nd and end on a January 1st; or begin on the fifteenth (15th) day of a month and end on the fourteenth (14th) day of that month.

Notary Commission or eNotary Endorsement Denial, Refusal to Renewal, Revocation, Suspension, or Condition Imposed
Provides that notwithstanding Administrative Rule Subsection 2400.8, ONCA may deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or impose a condition on a Notary Public commission or electronic Notary endorsement for any act or omission that demonstrates the individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a Notary Public as set forth under DC’s RULONA (D.C. Official Code §1-1231.22). Establishes that any restriction, suspension or revocation of a Notary Public’s commission will automatically have the same effect on any electronic Notary endorsement the Notary Public holds. Entitles an affected applicant or Notary Public to timely notice and hearing before the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to DC’s Office of Administrative Hearings Establishment Act of 2001 and applicable administrative rules, and specifies where a petition for review shall be sent. Clarifies that ONCA’s authority to deny, refuse to renew, suspend, revoke or impose conditions on a Notary Public commission shall not prevent a person from seeking and obtaining other criminal or civil remedies provided by law.

Notary Commission Maintenance, Responsibilities
Requires a DC Notary Public with a name or address change to notify ONCA within thirty (30) days* of the change. Requires such notification to be made using the forms prescribed by ONCA. Specifies that a Notary Public’s name change notification must be accompanied by a bond rider from the Notary’s bonding company, amending the Notary bond and including a duplicate Notary certificate showing the individual’s new name. Provides that ONCA will not impose a fee for a name or address change, nor issue a new certificate. Requires a Notary that submits a name change notification to continue using their original Notary seal and original name as commissioned until that commission is renewed. Provides that upon commission renewal, the Notary will receive a new commission certificate and seal with the individual’s new information.


Requires a DC Notary Public to report to ONCA, in writing or by email to notary@dc.gov, any change in the information submitted on the individual’s Notary Public commission application and to do so within fifteen (15) business days.*
_______________
*American Society of Notaries recommends that, in light of two different reporting periods for changes in the same or similar information, Notaries with information changes notify the ONCA in writing within fifteen (15) business days of the change, as this is the sooner of the two reporting period deadlines.

Electronic Notary Public; Endorsement
An applicant may apply for an electronic Notary endorsement by meeting the requirements of DC law and administrative rules, submitting an electronic Notary application on forms provided by ONCA, and paying the $30 application fee. An applicant for an electronic Notary endorsement must current hold an active, District of Columbia Notary commission.

An applicant for an electronic Notary endorsement must, within 30 days of receiving the endorsement, complete a training course provided by ONCA; take the oath prescribed for civil officers in the District (D.C. Official Code §1-501 (2016 Repl.)); notify ONCA of the tamper-evident technology provider that the electronic Notary intends to use; and file an exemplar of the electronic Notary’s electronic signature and official seal. The individual may not perform his/her/their initial electronic notarial act before fully complying with these requirements.


Establishes that an electronic Notary endorsement is valid from the date ONCA issues it and remains valid as long as the Notary’s current Notary commission term remains valid, unless ONCA terminates the endorsement pursuant to DC’s RULONA (D.C. Official Code §1-1231.22); or the electronic Notary resigns the endorsement.

Commission, Endorsement Fees
Provides the following fees: $75 - application for a Notary Public commission; $30 - application for an electronic records Notary Public endorsement; $75 – renewing a Notary Public commission; $30 – renewing.an electronic records Notary Public endorsement. Exempts a Notary Public in service to the U.S. government or the District of Columbia from paying an application fee for an ONCA-issued Notary Public commission, or for an endorsement as an electronic Notary Public. Clarifies that such applicant’s notarial duties must be confined to official federal or District of Columbia government business.


Notary’s Termination of Commission or Electronic Notary Endorsement
Allows a Notary Public to terminate their Notary Public commission or electronic Notary endorsement by notifying ONCA of this intent in writing, or via email to notary@dc.gov. Requires an electronic Notary to notify ONCA of this intent in writing, or by email to notary@dc.gov, and to dispose of all or any part of a tamper-evident technology in the Notary’s control whose purpose was to perform electronic notarizations. Clarifies that a Notary Public may terminate an electronic Notary endorsement but still maintain the Notary Public commission.

Requires a Notary Public whose commission is terminated or expired, either by the Notary or ONCA, to disable his/her/their official seal by destroying, defacing, damaging, or securing the device against further use.


Notary’s Official Seal

Specifies that a DC Notary Public’s official seal shall include:
  (a) the Notary Public’s name at the top, exactly as indicated on the individual’s commission;
  (b) the words “Notary Public”;
  (c) the words “District of Columbia”;
  (d) the Notary Public’s commission expiration date; and
  (e) a border in a circular shape no larger than one and three-quarters inches (1.75 in.) surrounding the required words.


Prohibits a Notary’s official seal from containing the District of Columbia corporate seal.

Requires an official seal affixed on a tangible record to be applied in permanent ink, and be capable of being photocopied. Additionally requires that if the document to be notarized is made of non-porous material such as Mylar or similar to which standard ink will not adhere, an embossed seal must be used alone or in conjunction with a non-porous, permanent ink that dries through evaporation and that will adhere without smearing.

Specifies that a Notary Public commissioned by ONCA shall procure an official seal only after receiving the appointment notice evidencing the Notary’s commission from ONCA, and shall provide a copy of this notice to the Notary’s chosen seal vendor as part of procuring the seal.

Clarifies that a DC Notary Public whose commission was in effect on December 4, 2018 may continue to use their (existing) notarial seal until their (current) commission expires.

Provides procedures for replacement of a Notary Public’s or electronic Notary Public’s lost or stolen official seal. Requires a Notary Public or electronic Notary to notify ONCA, in writing or by email to notary@dc.gov, within ten (10) business days of discovering the seal was lost or stolen. Prohibits a Notary Public or electronic Notary from obtaining a replacement official seal until they have notified ONCA of the lost or stolen seal, as required by administrative rule. Requires a replacement official seal to contain some variance from the original seal, and requires a Notary Public or electronic Notary to provide ONCA an impression of the new seal. Requires that if an original seal or electronic seal that was lost or stolen is found or recovered after a replacement has already been obtained, the Notary Public or electronic Notary must destroy the original seal.

Requires a Notary Public whose commission is terminated or expired, either by the Notary or ONCA, to disable his/her/their official seal by destroying, defacing, damaging, or securing the device against further use.

Performing Notarial Acts
• General Provisions.
Requires a Notary Public performing a notarial act pursuant to a commission or an electronic Notary endorsement from ONCA shall perform such act within the geographic borders of the District of Columbia.


Establishes the determinations to be made by a DC notarial officer or electronic Notary for performance of an acknowledgment, signature witnessing, verification on oath or affirmation, and certification or attestation of a copy of a record or item that was copied. Requires a notarial officer—other than a Notary Public acting pursuant to a commission from the federal government—who makes or notes a protest of a negotiable instrument to follow the process set forth in D.C. Official Code §28:3-505(b), “Evidence of Dishonor.”

Authorizes a DC Notary Public to refuse to perform a notarial act unless refusal is prohibited by other law of the District of Columbia. Clarifies that a Notary Public, other than one acting under a commission from the federal government, may refuse to perform a notarial act if the Notary is not satisfied that (a) the individual executing the record is competent or has the capacity to execute the record; or (b) the individual’s signature is knowingly and voluntarily made.


• Identifying Individuals Appearing Before the Notary. Provides that a notarial officer has personal knowledge of the identity of an individual appearing before the notarial officer if prior dealings with the individual give the notarial officer reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed.

Specifies that a notarial officer has satisfactory evidence of a present individual’s identity if the notarial officer can identify the individual by means of (a) current government-issued identification that is a passport, driver’s license or government-issued non-driver identification card; or (b) another form of current, government-issued identification that contains the signature or photograph of the individual and is satisfactory to the notarial officer; or (c) a verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally appearing before the notarial officer and known to the officer, or whom the officer can identify based on a current passport, driver’s license or government-issued non-driver identification card.


• Notarizing for an Individual Who is Physically Unable to Sign. Allows an individual other than the notarial officer—at the direction of another individual who is physically unable to sign a record—to sign the physically-unable individual’s name on a record requiring a notarial act. Requires the officiating notarial officer to insert “Signature affixed by [name of other individual] at the direction of [name of individual]” or words of similar import.

• Notary’s Signature and Certificate Requirements. Requires notarial acts (excepting certain notarial act authorized under a commission from the federal government) to be evidenced by a notarial certificate. Requires a DC Notary Public to sign the notarial certificate for a completed notarial act with the exact name that appears on the Notary’s certificate of commission and his/her/their official seal.

Requires a notarial certificate to:
  (a) be executed contemporaneously with the performance of the notarial act;
  (b) be dated;
  (c) identify the jurisdiction in which the notarial act is performed;
  (d) contain the notarial officer’s title of office; and
  (e) if the notarial officer is a notary public commissioned by ONCA:
    1. be signed by the notary public in the same manner as on file with ONCA; and
    2. indicate the date of expiration of the notary’s commission.

Requires a notarial act (other than one authorized under a commission from the federal government) regarding a tangible record and performed by a Notary Public to include an official seal affixed to or directly embossed on the certificate. Clarifies that if a notarial act (other than one authorized under a commission from the federal government) regarding a tangible record is performed by a notarial officer other than a Notary Public; and the certificate contains the date of notarization, jurisdiction in which the notarial was performed and the notarial officer’s title of office; an official seal may be affixed to or embossed on the certificate.


Prohibits a Notary Public from affixing the Notary’s signature to, or logically associating the signature with, a certificate until the notarial act has been performed.

Electronic Notarial Acts
• Authorization; Electronic Notarial Acts. Authorizes a DC Notary Public who has received an electronic Notary endorsement from ONCA to perform these notarial acts electronically: taking an acknowledgment; taking a verification on oath or affirmation; witnessing or attesting a signature; certifying or attesting a copy. A DC electronic Notary may also note a protest of a negotiable instrument IF the electronic Notary Public is licensed to practice law in the District; is acting under the authority of an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the District or another state; or is acting under the authority of a financial institution regulated by the District of Columbia, another state, or the federal government.


Requires electronic notarial acts to conform to the requirements of these administrative rules and Section 21 of the District of Columbia’s RULONA (D.C. Official Code §1-1231.20).

• Notary’s Electronic Notarial Certificate, Electronic Signature, Electronic Seal. Requires that, for every electronic notarial act, an electronic Notary must complete an electronic notarial certificate that complies with the requirements of Sections 15 and 16 of DC’s RULONA (DC Official Code §§1231.14 and 1-1231.15). Requires an electronic notarial certificate to be completed at the time of notarization and in the physical presence of the individual making the statement or executing the signature.


Requires an electronic Notary to sign each electronic notarial certificate with an electronic signature that complies with DC Administrative Rule 17-2414; and to authenticate an electronic notarial act with an official electronic seal that complies with DC Administrative 17-2415. Specifies that an electronic Notary shall use a tamper-evident technology that complies with Administrative Rule 17-2410 to produce the Notary’s electronic signature in a manner that is capable of independent verification. Requires an electronic Notary to use a tamper-evident technology that complies with DC Administrative Rule 17-2410 to produce the Notary’s electronic signature in a manner that is capable of independent verification.

Requires an electronic Notary to take reasonable steps to ensure that no other individual may possess or access the Notary’s electronic signature.

• Technologies Used by a DC Electronic Notary.  Prohibits use of the tamper-evident technology used to attach an electronic Notary’s electronic seal for any purpose other than performing electronic notarial acts as authorized and specified under DC’s RULONA and the related administrative rules.

Requires the tamper-evident technologies used by a DC electronic Notary Public to comply with the following rules:
A technology provider shall:
(a) Enroll only DC Notaries Public who have been issued an electronic Notary endorsement pursuant to Administrative Rule Section 2400;
(b) Take reasonable steps to ensure that a Notary Public who has selected that provider’s technology has the knowledge to use it to perform electronic notarial acts in compliance with the District’s applicable administrative rules.


A tamper-evident technology shall:
  (a) Require access to the technology provider’s system by use of a password, or other secure means of authentication;
  (b) Enable an electronic Notary Public to affix the electronic Notary’s electronic signature and electronic seal in a manner that attributes such signature and seal to that Notary, and in such manner that a party that either sought the Notary’s electronic signature and seal on one or more electronic documents or seeks access to one or more documents containing the Notary’s electronic signature and seal can detect unauthorized tampering or alteration of the electronic document after it has been digitally signed by the electronic Notary.


Records of Notarial Acts
• Journal Required. Requires a DC Notary Public or electronic Notary to record each notarial act performed in a journal, and to do so at the time of notarization. Specifies that journal records shall be kept in compliance with DC’s RULONA (D.C. Official Code §1-1231.18) and applicable administrative rules, as follows. Specifies that the Notary shall maintain the journal containing all notarial acts performed.

• Journal Format. Authorizes a journal maintained by a Notary to be created on a tangible medium or in an electronic format. Clarifies that a Notary may maintain a separate journal for tangible records. Requires a journal in a tangible medium to be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages. Specifies that a journal maintained in an electronic format shall be protected with technology designed to allow a person inspecting the journal to determine whether any tampering with the journal has occurred.


Specifies the format of a tangible notarial journal, which shall be a permanent, bound book with numbered pages and have the capacity to record, for each notarial act: (1) the information required by DC’s RULONA (D.C. Official Code §1-1231.18(c)(1)-(7)); a description of the Notary’s method of identifying the individual for whom the notarial act was performed; and (3) the individual’s signature, or the signature of an authorized party (one directed by a physically unable individual to sign for the individual under D. C. Official Code §1-1231.08).

Requires a Notary Public’s electronic journal, if such is maintained by the Notary, to be capable of recording the same information required for a tangible notarial journal; enable access by a password or other secure means of authentication; be capable of creating a duplicate record of the journal as a backup; and be capable of providing tangible or electronic copies of any entry made in the electronic journal.


• Journal Entries. Requires an entry in a journal to be made contemporaneously with performance of the notarial act, and contain the following information: (1) the date and time of the notarial act; (2) a description of the record, if any, and type of notarial act; (3) the full name and address of each individual for whom the notarial act is performed; (4) if the identity of the individual is based on personal knowledge, a statement to that effect; (5) if the identity of the individual is based on satisfactory evidence, a brief description of the method of identification and the identification credential presented, if any, including the date of issuance and expiration of an identification credential when such a credential is used; (6) the fee, if any charged by the Notary; and (7) the signature of each individual for whom the notarial act is performed.

• Journal Retention, Disposition. Requires that a Notary Public’s journal containing records of all notarial acts performed shall be retained by the Notary until the journal must be transmitted to ONCA pursuant to Administrative Rule 17-2417.1, paragraphs (e) and (f).

Provides that when a Notary Public’s journal is lost or stolen, the Notary must notify ONCA within ten (10) business days of discovering the journal was lost or stolen. Requires the Notary to purchase a new journal within fifteen (15) days of discovering the journal was lost or stolen.

Requires a Notary Public or electronic Notary—upon termination, revocation or suspension of the Notary’s commission or electronic Notary endorsement—to transmit the journal to ONCA. Also requires a Notary’s or electronic Notary’s personal representative, guardian, or any other person knowingly in possession of the Notary’s journal to transmit it to ONCA if the Notary dies or is adjudicated incompetent.


Fees for Notarial Acts
Specifies that the maximum fee a commissioned Notary Public or electronic Notary may charge for witnessing or attesting a signature, taking an acknowledgement or verification on oath or affirmation, certifying or attesting a copy, and administering an oath or affirmation is $5 per act performed. Allows an electronic Notary to also charge an additional fee based on the electronic technology the Notary uses, if that additional technology fee is reasonable, agreed-to in advance with the customer and itemized separately on the invoice of fees. (Note: such a fee is commonly known as a “technology fee,” meant to allow a Notary to recoup the additional costs of utilizing technology to perform electronic notarial acts.)


Clarifies that, except for a Notary Public commissioned by the federal government, a Notary Public—including an electronic Notary—who is exempted from paying the commission application fee shall not collect a fee for performing notarial acts.

Clarifies that nothing in DC’s administrative rules shall be construed to require a Notary Public or an electronic Notary to charge for performing notarial acts.

Establishes that a commissioned DC Notary, including an electronic Notary, may charge the actual costs of copying any instrument or record in addition to charging the authorized fees for performing notarial acts and using electronic technology. Clarifies that the Notary may not charge any other additional fees when performing the notarial act in the Notary’s place of business or residence.


Allows a commissioned DC Notary, including an electronic Notary, to charge a travel fee when traveling to perform a notarial act if (a) the Notary and the individual requesting the notarial act agree upon the travel fee in advance of the travel; and (b) the Notary explains to the individual requesting the notarial ac that the travel fee is in addition to notarial-act fees, and is not required by law. Clarifies that the allowed travel fee is (only) for travel to a place that is not the usual place where a Notary performs notarial acts; and that the fee shall not exceed the actual and reasonable expense of traveling to the place where the notarial act is to be performed.

Prohibits a District of Columbia Government Notary from charging a fee for notarial acts performed in that capacity, except as authorized by state or regulation.
Defines “capable of independent verification,” for purposes of Administrative Rule 7-2414, to mean that any interested individual may confirm through ONCA that an electronic Notary who signed an electronic record in an official capacity had authority at that time to perform electronic notarial acts.

Authorizes an electronic Notary to use an electronic seal to authenticate an electronic notarial act, if the electronic notarial certificate conforms to specified requirements of DC’s RULONA (D.C. Official Code §§1-1231.14 and 1-1231.15). Provides that only the electronic Notary shall authenticate an electronic notarial record with the Notary’s official seal.


Requires the electronic seal of an electronic Notary to be a digital image appearing in the likeness or representation of a traditional, physical Notary Public official seal and meeting the official seal requirements provided in DC RULONA (D.C. Official Code §1-1231.16) and Administrative Rule 17-2404.

Authorizes an electronic Notary to refuse to perform a notarial act for the reasons listed in Section 8 of DC’s RULONA (D.C. Official Code §1-1231.07) and DC Administrative Rule 17-2416. Requires an electronic Notary to refuse a request to use a tamper-evident technology that the electronic Notary does not know how to operate; or perform an electronic notarial act if the electronic Notary has a reasonable belief that the tamper-evident technology does not meet the requirements set forth in the District’s administrative rules.


Provides that a notarial certificate is sufficient if it meets the requirements of Administrative Rules 17-2407.2 and 17-2407.3 and it is:
  (a) In a short from as set forth in Section 16 of DC’s RULONA;
  (b) In a form otherwise permitted by DC law; or
  (c) In a form permitted by the law applicable in the jurisdiction in which the notarial act was performed, and it sets forth the actions of the Notary Public.

Specifies that by executing a notarial certificate, a Notary Public certifies that the Notary has complied with the requirements, and made the determinations, specified in Sections 4 through 6 of the RULONA (D.C. Official Code §§ 1-1231.03, 1-1231.04, and 1-1231.05). Provides that the certificate forms in D.C.’s RULONA (Official Code §1-1231.15) are examples of certificates with the sufficient information included. Requires that in contexts where another law of the District requires a specific certificate form, that form shall be used.


Prohibited Acts and Ethical Conduct
Provides that a commission as a Notary Public does not authorize an individual to assist persons in drafting legal records, give legal advice or otherwise practice law; act as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters; represent a person in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, or United States citizenship, or related matters; or receive compensation for performing any of the preceding activities.

Prohibits a Notary Public from:
  • engaging in false or deceptive advertising;
  • representing themselves as a “notario” or “notario publico” unless the Notary is also an attorney licensed to practice law in the District;
  • charging a higher fee than permitted in D.C.’s administrative rules;
  • advertising or representing that the Notary may assist persons in drafting legal records, giving legal advice, or otherwise practicing law, unless the Notary is also an attorney licensed to practice law in the District.


Requires a Notary Public who is not a licensed DC attorney, and who advertises or represents orally or in a record (including through broadcast media, print media, and the Internet) that the Notary offers notarial services, to include the following statement in the advertisement or representation: “I am not allowed to draft legal records, give advice on legal matters, including immigration, or charge a fee for those activities.” If the form of advertisement or representation is not broadcast media, print media or the Internet and does not permit inclusion of the required statement due to size, the required statement shall be displayed prominently or provided (to the principal whose signature will be notarized) at the place of performance of the notarial act and before the notarial act is performed.

Requires a Notary Public, except as otherwise authorized by law, to return original records to the person who provided them to the Notary Public upon request of the person.*

_______________
*Remember that DC’s RULONA defines “person” as an individual, estate, business or nonprofit entity, public corporation, government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or other legal entity.

Other Provisions
Addresses matters relating to the Secretary of the District’s certifications (authentications) of seals and signatures of Notaries Public appointed in the District, and of the signatures of DC governmental officials who are required to sign documents of public records.

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - D.C. Act 24-0529 (Law Number L24-0178)
Effective 9-21-22
View this bill

Amends 2018’s Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. Authorizes a Notary Public to perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals.


Definitions
Defines the following key terms: “communication technology,” “identity proofing,” “remotely located individual.”

Notarial Acts for Remotely Located Individuals
Authorizes a District of Columbia Notary Public, located in the District, to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual, subject to requirements that include:
1. The remotely located individual appears before the Notary Public by means of communication technology;
2. The Notary Public personally knows the remotely located individual, or can identify the individual through satisfactory evidence (oath or affirmation from a credible witness personally appearing before the Notary as specified in DC’s RULONA, or by means of at least two different types of identity proofing);
3. The Notary Public can reasonably confirm that a record before the Notary is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the individual executed a signature;
4. The Notary or a person acting on behalf of the Notary creates an audio-visual recording of performance of the notarial act; and
5. If the remotely located individual is located outside of the United States, all the additional requirements for notarizing under this circumstance can be met.


Requires a Notary Public, before performing his/her/their initial act for a remotely located individual, to notify the Mayor of the District that the Notary Public will be performing notarial acts for remotely located individuals, and identify the technologies the Notary intends to use. Requires that the Notary Public use communication technology and identity proofing technologies that conform to standards, if any, established by the Mayor.

Requires a certificate of notarial act performed for a remotely located individual to indicate that the notarial act was performed using communication technology. Provides that such a notarial certificate is sufficient if it complies with any rules issued by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, or is in a form that complies with the forms given in the RULONA and contains a statement substantially like, “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”

Provides procedural requirements for a District of Columbia Notary Public to use communication technology, as prescribed in the RULONA, to take an acknowledgment of a signature on a tangible record not physically present before the Notary. Requires the record to be displayed to, and identified by, the remotely located individual during the required audio-visual recording of the notarial act. Further requires the remotely located individual, during the audio-visual recording, to sign the record and a declaration, in substantially the form provided by law, that is part of or securely attached to the tangible record; and to send the record and declaration to the Notary Public—by First-Class U.S. Mail or delivery by common-carrier or commercial delivery service—not later than three days after the notarial act was performed. Requires the Notary’s completed notarial certificate to include a statement substantially like, “I, (name of Notary Public), witnessed by means of communication technology (name of remotely located individual) sign the attached record and declaration on (date).” Specifies that the completed notarial act for a remotely located individual signing a tangible record not physically present with the Notary is effective on the date the remotely located individual signed the required declaration.*

_______________
*NOTE: The effect of this requirement is that the date of the notarial act is deemed to be the date that the Notary performed the notarization using communication technology, and observed the remotely located individual sign the record and declaration during the audio-visual communication session.

Allows, except as otherwise provided by other District of Columbia law, a Notary Public located in the District to use communication technology as prescribed in the RULONA to administer an oath to a remotely located individual if the Notary identifies the individual by personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence (oath or affirmation from a credible witness personally appearing before the Notary as specified in DC’s RULONA, or by means of at least two different types of identity proofing). The Notary must also create an audio-visual recording of the individual taking the oath; and retain or cause retention of the required audio-visual recording.

Records of Notarial Acts for Remotely Located Individuals
Requires a Notary Public; or a guardian, conservator or agent of the Notary Public; or a personal representative of a deceased Notary Public to retain the audio-visual recording of a notarial act performed for a remotely located individual, or cause the recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the person required to retain the recording. Each such recording must be retained for at least 10 years.


Other Notarial Powers
Allows a notarial officer to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record. Authorizes a recorder of deeds to accept for recording, as originals, such tangible copies of electronic records.

Rulemaking
Grants the Mayor broad rulemaking authority to implement the Act as revised.

Other Provisions
Provides that by allowing its communication technology or identity proofing to facilitate a notarial act for a remotely located individual, or by providing storage of the audio-visual recording, the provider of the communication technology, identity proofing or storage shall be deemed to appoint the Mayor as the provider’s agent for service of process in any civil action in the District related to the notarial act.
Enacts various conforming amendments.


 
GEORGIA – SB 96
Effective July 1, 2022
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Specifies that satisfactory evidence of identification that a Georgia Notary Public may use to confirm the identity of a document signer, oath taker or affirmant shall include, but not be limited to, a valid Veterans health Identification Card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.”*
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*NOTE: While this will be the only actual naming in Georgia Notary law of a particular credential that may be relied upon by a Notary Public as “satisfactory evidence” of a person’s identity, it will not be the only credential that represents satisfactory evidence. The law will continue to allow a Notary to accept what the Notary deems to be satisfactory evidence of a person’s identity.)

 
ILLINOIS – SB 2664
Effective the later of January 1, 2022 or the Secretary of State’s notification of adoption of rules necessary to implement the Act. (As of this report’s publication date of 1-20-22, rules have not yet been adopted.) Some provisions of the Act are effective July 1, 2022, and are so noted.
View this bill


Significantly amends the Illinois Notary Public Act, including new provisions governing “remote notarization” and “electronic notarization.”

Provides the newly defined terms “accredited immigration representative,” “acknowledgment,” “audio-video communication,” “communication technology,” “credential,” “digital certificate,” dynamic knowledge-based authentication assessment,” “electronic,” “electronic document,” “electronic notarial act,” “electronic notarial certificate,” “electronic notarization system,” “Electronic Notary Public,” “electronic presentation,” “electronic record,” “electronic seal,” “electronic signature,” “identity proofing,” “in the presence of” or “appear before,” “notarial act,” “Notary Public” or “Notary,” “notarization,” “outside the United States,” “principal,” “public key certificate,” “real time,” “remote notarial act,” “remote Notary Public,” “sole control,” “tamper-evident,” “unique to the Electronic Notary Public.” (5 ILCS 312/1-104)


Establishes provisions for “electronic acknowledgments.” Provides that for purposes of the Act, a person may appear before the person taking the acknowledgment by (1) being in the same physical location as the other person and close enough to see, hear, communicate with, and exchange tangible identification credentials with that person; or (2) being outside the physical presence of the other person, but interacting with the other person by means of communication technology. Requires a certificate of acknowledgment with respect to an acknowledgment performed for a person outside the physical presence of the person taking the acknowledgment to include a statement substantially like, “The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me by means of communication technology this (date) by… (each form continued as sufficient for its respective purposes).” (5 ILCS 312/6A-106)

Commissioning Matters
Amends the Illinois Notary Public Act by repealing Section 2-106 (5 ILCS 312/2-106) dealing with Notary commissions’ recordation with the County Clerk, effective July 1, 2022 (ending the requirement to record a Notary commission with the county clerk upon that date). Makes a conforming amendment, effective upon the effective date of Senate Bill 2664, to repeal the ability of Illinois county boards to increase the Notary Public commission recordation fee. (55 ILCS 5/4-4001)

Establishes that applicants applying for their initial (first) and renewal Notary Public or Electronic Notary commissions to complete a course of study on notarization and electronic notarization as required by the Secretary of State; and pass an examination at completion of the course. (5 ILCS 312/2-101.5) Clarifies that no person is automatically reappointed as a Notary Public or Electronic Notary Public. (5 ILCS 312/5-101) Authorizes the Secretary of State to adopt administrative rules mandating a course of study and examination; establishing the course of study’s content and required length; and providing for approval of any course of study providers. (5 ILCS 312/2-101.5)

Effective July 1, 2022, increases the Notary Public application fee from $10 to $15, and provides that $5 of each application fee paid shall be deposited in the newly created Electronic Notarization Fund (see below). (5 ILCS 212/2-103)

Amends the notarial certificate language on the paper application for a Notary Public commission, to include a venue and the name of the principal signer/applicant. (5 ILCS 312/2-104)

Clarifies that the applicant’s email address is statutorily required information to be submitted on the application for Notary Public commission. Clarifies that an applicant must be proficient in the English language. Requires an applicant to provide satisfactory proof of successful completion of any required course of study on notarization. Clarifies other commission application requirements. Establishes that any Notary Public appointed by the Secretary of State shall have authority to conduct remote notarizations (involving paper-and-ink-signed document(s) for remotely located individuals. (5 ILCS 312/2-102)


Amends the law pertaining to changes causing a Notary commission to cease to be in effect, by adding residential address and email address to the list of information that when changed, must be reported to the Secretary of State within the specified timeframe. (5 ILCS 312/4-101) Clarifies that when the commission of a Notary Public ceases to be in effect, his or her (their) notarial seal or electronic notary seal (if applicable) must be surrendered to the Secretary of State, as must the Notary’s certificate of notarial commission or certificate of electronic notarial commission (if applicable). Requires that any change to the information submitted by an Electronic Notary Public in registering to perform electronic notarial acts must be reported by the Notary to the Secretary of State within 30 business days of the change. Establishes that any Notary Public or Electronic Notary Public failing to comply with these notification requirements shall be prohibited from obtaining a new commission for a period not less than five years. (5 ILCS 312/4-101)

Requires that upon surrender, revocation or expiration of a Notary Public or Electronic Notary Public commission, all notarial records or electronic notarial records required under Illinois law, except as otherwise provided by law, must be kept by the Notary Public or Electronic Notary Public for 5 years after termination of the [commission] of the Notary Public or Electronic Notary Public. (5 ILCS 312/6-104)

Clarifies that an applicant’s Notary Public commission will be received from the Secretary of State (not the county clerk). (5 ILCS 312/3-101) (NOTE: See this report’s “Commissioning Matters” section above, on repeal of the requirement for Notary commissions to be recorded with the county clerk, effective July 1, 2022.)


Prescribes requirements for individuals to file an application with the Secretary of State for appointment and commission as an Electronic Notary Public, including that the applicant has given satisfactory proof that he/she/they successfully completed any required course of study on electronic notarization and passed a qualifying examination. Requires an applicant for an Electronic Notary Public commission to sign the application with his/her/their electronic signature and identify the Secretary-approved technology the applicant intends to use to perform electronic notarial acts. Clarifies that an individual cannot perform an electronic notarial act using audio-video communication without having first been granted an Electronic Notary Public commission by the Secretary of State. Provides that the Secretary of State shall issue a unique commission number to each Electronic Notary Public. Provides for the Secretary’s rejection of an application for Notary Public or Electronic Notary public commission. (5 ILCS 312/2-102) Clarifies that an Electronic Notary Public is not automatically reappointed. (5 ILCS 312/5-101)

Requires a Notary Public who performs notarizations either remotely (notarization of ink-signed documents for a remotely located principal) or electronically, and by means of audio-video communication, to obtain and maintain a $25,000 surety bond from a surety or insurance company licensed to do business in Illinois. Provides requirements for such bond. Clarifies that when a Notary is required to hold both the $5000 bond (for the traditional Notary Public commission) and the $25,000 bond (for an Electronic Notary Public commission), one bond totaling $30,000 shall satisfy the requirements of Illinois law. Requires the entity issuing a bond to a Notary Public or Electronic Notary Public to submit verification of the bond information for the Notary to the Secretary of State, in a format prescribed by the Secretary. (5 ILCS 312/2-105)

Prohibits any person from soliciting a Notary Public or Electronic Notary Public with an offer to provide a surety bond more than 60 days in advance of the expiration date of the individual’s commission. (5 ILCS 312/5-102)


Amends current statutes regarding Illinois’ online application system, to clarify that it shall support applications for Notary Public or Electronic Notary Public. Provides for applicants’ authorization for the Secretary of State to utilize applicants’ signatures to conduct an application information verification, including a criminal background check if necessary. Further provides for use of an applicant’s last four digits of their Social Security number to assist in matching of information in the Secretary of State’s driver license and Illinois Identification Card databases. (5 ILCS 312/2-102.5)

Requires the Secretary of State to maintain a database of Notaries Public on a publicly accessible website, and prescribes the information that any interested person must be able to see to verify the authority and good standing of an Illinois Notary Public. Requires the database to indicate whether a Notary holds a valid electronic Notary commission, and to describe any administrative or disciplinary action taken against a Notary by the Secretary of State. (5 ILCS 312/2-102.6)


Revises Illinois law regarding the statutory wording of certificates of authority (i.e., verifying a Notary’s authority to notarize on a date indicated in a notarial certificate) issued by the Secretary of State or County Clerk, to reflect that the notarial act was “notarized or electronically notarized.” (5 ILCS 312/3-106)

Electronic Notarization*
NOTE: Under Illinois law, “electronic notarial act” pertains to an electronic notarial act performed for a remotely located individual, involving electronic signatures on electronic records (documents). “Remote notarization” pertains to a paper-and-ink notarial act performed for a remotely located individual. Both forms of notarization rely on communication technology for personal appearance of the principal (signer) before the Notary.


Establishes that a Notary Public commissioned in Illinois may apply for an Electronic Notary Public commission to perform electronic notarial acts with the name that appears on the Notary’s commission. (NOTE: both commissions must be held if an individual wishes to function as an Electronic Notary Public.) Clarifies that application may be made for a Notary Public commission and an Electronic Notary Public commission at the same time. (5 ILCS 312/2-101) Clarifies that any revocation, resignation, expiration or suspension of the Notary Public commission terminates or suspends any commission to notarize electronically. (5 ILCS 312/7-108)

Effective July 1, 2022, creates the Electronic Notarization Fund as a special fund in the State Treasury (5 ILCS 312/1-106). Also effective July 1, 2022, increases the Notary Public commission application to $15, and provides for funding of the Electronic Notarization Fund from the additional $5 charged for each Notary Public application fees; and from electronic Notary Public commission application fees. (5 ILCS 212/2-103). Also provides for distribution of moneys in the Electronic Notarization Fund to the Secretary of State to fund the Department of Index’s implementation and maintenance of electronic notarization commissions. (5 ILCS 312/1-106)

Provides that an individual’s Notary Public and Electronic Notary Public commission terms shall be the same. Establishes that an Electronic Notary Public Commission shall be suspended by operation of law when that Notary Public is no longer appointed and commissioned as an Illinois Notary Public. Requires the Secretary of State to immediately notify a Notary Public with a revoked or suspended commission, in writing, that his/her/their Notary Public commission and Electronic Notary Public commission will be suspended by operation of law until that individual is reappointed. (5 ILCS 312/2-101) Requires that upon receiving notice from the Secretary of State of a revoked Electronic Notary commission, the Electronic Notary Public must immediately notify his/her/their technology provider(s) and, to the extent possible, destroy or remove the software used for electronic notarizations. (5 ILCS 312/7-108)


Allows an Electronic Notary Public to voluntarily resign from appointment by notifying the Secretary of State in writing, and by notifying the Electronic Notary’s chosen technology provider. To the extent possible the resigning Notary must destroy or remove the software used for electronic notarizations. (5 ILCS 312/7-108) Clarifies that a Notary Public may voluntarily terminate registration to notarize electronically but may maintain his or her Notary Public commission upon notifying the Secretary of State within 30 days of this change. (5 ILCS 312/7-108)

Clarifies that an Electronic Notary Public has authority to perform notarial acts throughout Illinois, so long as the Notary resides in the same county in which the Notary was commissioned or his/her/their principal place of work or business is in the same Illinois county where the Notary was commissioned. (5 ILCS 312/3-105)

Provides that a commissioned Electronic Notary Public who is physically located in Illinois may perform an electronic notarial act using communication technology, in accordance with Illinois law and any administrative rules, for a remotely located individual who is in Illinois; or who is outside of Illinois but not outside of the United States. Clarifies that an Electronic Notary Public may perform an electronic notarial act for an individual remotely located outside the United States if conditions specified in the Act apply. (5 ILCS 312/3-105)


Requires commissioned Electronic Notaries Public, prior to performing any electronic notarial acts, to register their adoption of a new or additional technology with which to perform electronic notarial acts. Requires chosen technology or vendors to be approved by the Secretary of State. Requires a vendor of electronic notarization technology to submit the technology to the Secretary of State and receive approval, prior to any use of the technology to perform an electronic notarial act in Illinois. Requires the Secretary of State to adopt rules establishing the standards electronic Notary platforms must achieve to be approved for use in Illinois, and requirements with which electronic Notary platform vendors must comply. (5 ILCS 312/2-102.7)

Requires electronic notarization systems used to perform electronic notarial acts by means of audio-video communication to conform to the requirements set forth in the Act and in administrative rules adopted by the Secretary of State. Requires electronic notarization systems requiring enrollment to enroll only persons commissioned as Electronic Notaries Public by the Illinois Secretary of State. (5 ILCS 312/6A-101)


Requires the provider of an electronic notarization system requiring enrollment to notify the Secretary of State of the name of each Electronic Notary Public enrolled in the system within 5 days of enrollment, and to do so using means prescribed by administrative rule of the Secretary of State. (5 ILCS 312/6A-101)

Mandates that an electronic notarization system requiring enrollment shall take reasonable steps to ensure that enrolled Electronic Notaries Public have the knowledge to use the system to perform electronic notarial act that comply with the Act. (5 ILCS 312/6A-101)

Requires an Electronic Notary to register his or her chosen device to be used to create an electronic seal or electronic signature, and to register such device before its first use. Requires an Electronic Notary to keep his/her/their electronic signature and electronic seal secure and under the Notary’s exclusive control; and never to allow another person to use the Notary’s electronic signature or electronic seal. (5 ILCS 312/3-101) Requires an Electronic Notary to take reasonable steps to ensure that any registered device used to create an electronic seal or electronic signature is current, and not revoked nor terminated by the device’s issuing or registering authority. Provides required actions the Electronic Notary shall take upon learning that his/her/their chosen technology or device has been rendered ineffective or unsecure, including to cease performing electronic notarial acts upon such discovery. (5 ILCS 312/3-101)

Requires an Electronic Notary Public to notify an appropriate law enforcement agency, the vendor of the electronic notary technology, and the Secretary of State after the theft, compromise or vandalism of the Electronic Notary’s signature or electronic seal. Such notification must occur no later than the next business day after such event has occurred. (5 ILCS 312/3-101) Prohibits an Electronic Notary Public from disclosing any access information used to affix the Notary’s electronic signature and electronic seal, except when requested by law enforcement. (5 ILCS 312/3-101)


Provides that an Electronic Notary who exercised reasonable care in enrolling in and using an electronic notarization system shall not be liable for any damages resulting from the system’s failure to comply with the requirements of the Act. Provides that any contractual or agreement provision between the Electronic Notary and an electronic notarization system provider that attempts to waive this immunity shall be null, void, and of no effect. (5 ILCS 312/6A-102)

Electronic Notary Public – Requirements for Performing Electronic Notarizations
Establishes that an Electronic Notary Public is a Notary Public for purposes of the Act and subject to all provisions of the Act; may perform notarial acts provided by the Act in addition to performing electronic notarizations; and may perform an electronic notarization authorized under the Act. (5 ILCS 312/6A-103)

Requires an Electronic Notary Public who performs an electronic notarial act for a principal by means of audio-video communication to be located within the State of Illinois at the time the electronic notarial act is performed. (5 ILCS 312/6A-104) Requires an Electronic Notary Public to: execute an electronic notarial act in a single recorded session that complies with provisions of the Act; be satisfied that any electronic record presented by the principal is the same record electronically signed by the Electronic Notary Public; be satisfied that the quality of the audio-video communication is sufficient to make the determination required for the electronic notarial act under the Act and any other law of Illinois; and to identify the venue for the electronic notarial act as the jurisdiction within Illinois where the Notary is physically located while performing the notarial act. (5 ILCS 312/6A-104)

Provides requirements for an Electronic Notary Public to verify the identity of a person creating an electronic signature, which must be done at the time the signature is taken by using two-way audio and video conference technology that meets the requirements of the Act and any rules adopted by the Secretary of State. Prescribes how an Electronic Notary shall have satisfactory or documentary evidence of the identity of a person receiving an electronic notarial act. Allows an Electronic Notary to perform any of the notarial acts authorized in the Act using audio-video communication in accordance with the Act and any rules adopted by the Secretary of State. Specifies particular minimum requirements when an electronic notarial act is performed using audio-video communication. (5 ILCS 312/6A-103)

Provides detailed requirements for electronic certificates of notarial acts. Requires an electronic notarial certificate to be signed and dated by the Electronic Notary Public; to include identification of the jurisdiction in which the electronic notarial act is performed [the actual location in Illinois of the Electronic Notary Public, as in “State of Illinois, County of _____”]; and to include the electronic seal of the Electronic Notary Public. (5 ILCS 312/6A-105) Provides the criteria for a sufficient electronic notarial certificate of an electronic notarial act. Specifies that at the time of an electronic notarial act, an Electronic Notary Public shall electronically sign every electronic notarial certificate and electronically affix the electronic seal clearly and legibly, so that it is capable of photographic reproduction. Clarifies that the illegibility of any of the information required to be in an electronic notarial certificate does not affect the validity of a transaction. (5 ILCS 312/6A-105)

Requires that when performing an electronic notarization, an Electronic Notary Public shall complete an electronic notarial certificate and attach or logically associate the Electronic Notary’ electronic signature and seal to that certificate in a tamper-evident manner. Provides that evidence of tampering may be used to determine whether the electronic notarial act is valid or invalid. (5 ILCS 312/6A-103) Also requires an Electronic Notary Public to attach his/her/their electronic signature and electronic seal with the electronic notarial certificate of an electronic document in a manner capable of independent verification. (5 ILCS 312/3-101)


Requires every [notarial certificate for an] electronic notarial act to be evidenced by the electronic signature and electronic seal of the Electronic Notary Public; the words “Notary Public,” “State of Illinois,” and “My commission expires [commission expiration date]”; and language explicitly stating that the electronic notarial act was performed using audio-video communication, if applicable. Allows the language indicating that the notarial act was performed using audio-video communication to also be included in the electronic notarial seal. (5 ILCS 312/6A-104) Requires the notarial certificate to be attached to or logically associated with the electronic document being notarized, and to be immediately perceptible and reproducible. Requires the Electronic Notary’s electronic seal to look identical to a traditional Notary Public seal. (5 ILCS 312/3-101)

Provides additional, detailed requirements for performance of an electronic notarial act

Requires an Electronic Notary Public to arrange for a recording to be made of each electronic notarial act performed using audio-video communication, and clarifies that this recording shall be in addition to the journal entry also required by the Act. Requires the Electronic Notary Public, before performing any electronic notarial act using audio-video communication, to inform all participating persons that the electronic notarization will be electronically recorded. Specifies information the Electronic Notary Public must ensure is included in the recording, particularly with regard to how the remotely located principal was identified. Requires an Electronic Notary Public to keep a recording of each electronic notarial act for at least 7 years, regardless of whether the notarial act was actually completed. (5 ILCS 312/6A-104)

Establishes that the Act’s provisions related to security, inspection, copying and disposition of a Notary Public’s journal shall also apply to the security, inspection, copying and disposition of audio-video recordings required in 5 ILCS 312/6A-104.

Authorizes (but does not require) the Secretary of State to adopt administrative rules to implement the law’s section dealing with a Notary Public’s or Electronic Notary Public’s official seal. (5 ILCS 312/3-101)

Provides that an Electronic Notary Public’s electronic signature and electronic seal must be used only for the purposes of performing electronic notarial acts. Specifies the requirements that must be met for the Electronic Notary’s electronic signature and electronic seal to be deemed reliable. (5 ILCS 312/3-101.5)


Prohibits an Electronic Notary Public from selling or transferring personal information learned through the course of an electronic notarization, except when required by law, law enforcement, the Secretary of State or court order. (5 ILCS 312/3-101.5)

Authorizes the Secretary of State to adopt administrative rules to implement the law’s section dealing with security of an Electronic Notary’s electronic signature and seal. (5 ILCS 312/3-101.5


Modifies statutory language dealing with advertisement of notarial services to also apply its provisions to Electronic Notary services. (5 ILCS 312/3-103) Broadens applicability of the Act’s provisions dealing with offenses resulting in commission revocation, and clarifies that they apply to Notaries Public and Electronic Notaries Public. (5 ILCS 312/3-103)

Establishes requirements for systems and providers of electronic notarial technology. (5 ILCS 312/6A-101) Requires the Secretary of State to adopt administrative rules setting forth the requirements that providers of electronic notarization technology must meet in order to be approved by the Secretary for use by Illinois Notaries. Provides the minimum standards that such administrative rules must establish. (5 ILCS 312/6A-101)

Provides that the validity of an electronic notarial act will be determined by applying the laws of the State of Illinois. Addresses requirements for electronic notarial acts related to authentication of such acts by the Secretary of State. (5 ILCS 312/6A-103)


Remote Notarization*
NOTE: Under Illinois law, “electronic notarial act” pertains to an electronic notarial act performed for a remotely located individual, involving electronic signatures on electronic records (documents). “Remote notarization” pertains to a paper-and-ink notarial act performed for a remotely located individual. Both forms of notarization rely on communication technology for personal appearance of the principal (signer) before the Notary.

Provides that any commissioned Illinois Notary Public may perform an authorized notarial act for a remotely located individual and using communication technology. Requires the Notary to first determine, from personal knowledge or from satisfactory evidence, that the (ink) signature on the (paper) document (that is displayed to the Notary onscreen) is that of the person appearing (onscreen) before the Notary, and who is named in the document being shown. (5 ILCS 312/6-102.5)


Prescribes how a Notary Public performing a remote notarization has satisfactory evidence that a person is the person whose true signature is on a document (being displayed to the Notary onscreen). Such person must be either personally known to the Notary; or identified upon oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally known to the Notary; or identified on the basis of identification documents that are (i) valid at the time of the notarial act, (ii) issued by a State agency, federal government agency, or consulate and (iii) bear the photographic image of the remotely located individual’s face and the signature of that individual. (5 ILCS 312/6-102.5)

Establishes technical and procedural requirements for remote notarizations, including that:
1. Two-way audio-video communication technology must allow for remotely located notaries and principals to engage in direct, contemporaneous interaction between the individual signing the document (signatory) and the witness by sight and sound.
2. The two-way audio video communication technology must be recorded and preserved by the signatory or the signatory's designee for a period of at least 3 years.
3. The signatory must attest to being physically located in Illinois during the two-way audio-video communication.
4. The signatory must affirmatively state on the two-way audio-video communication what document the signatory is signing.
5. Each page of the document being witnessed must be shown to the witness on the two-way audio-video communication technology in a means clearly legible to the witness.
6. The act of signing must be captured sufficiently up close on the two-way audio-video communication for the witness to observe.
(5 ILCS 312/6-102)

For application of the Notary’s seal and signature in a remote notarization, requires the signatory to transmit by over mail, fax or electronic means a legible copy of the entire signed document directly to the Notary, no later than the day after the document is signed. Requires the Notary to sign the document (the notarial certificate) and transmit the signed copy of the document back to the signatory by any of several prescribed means, within 24 hours after receipt. Under certain specified conditions, allows the Notary, if necessary, to sign the original signed document as of the date of the original execution of it by the signatory. (5 ILCS 312/6-102.5)

Requires the Secretary of State to adopt administrative rules to implement these “remote notarizations” in Illinois. (5 ILCS 312/6-102.5)

Notarial Acts (General); Prohibitions and Sanctions
Authorizes a duly commissioned Illinois Notary Public to certify that a paper or tangible copy of an electronic document is a true and correct copy of the electronic document. Provides that a paper or tangible copy of an electronic document certified by a Notary to be a true and correct copy satisfies any requirement of law that, as a condition for recording, the document must be an original or in writing; be signed or contain an original signature, if the document contains an electronic signature of the person required to sign the document; and be notarized, acknowledged, verified, witnessed, or made under oath, if the document contains an electronic signature of the person authorized to perform that act, and all other information required to be included. (765 ILCS 33/3.5)


Further provides that in order to certify that a paper or tangible copy of an electronic document is a true and correct copy of the electronic document, the Notary Public must have: reasonably confirmed that the electronic document is in a tamper-evident format; detected no changes or errors in any electronic signature or other information in the electronic document; personally printed or supervised the printing of the electronic document onto paper or other tangible medium; not made any changes or modifications to the electronic document or to the paper or tangible copy thereof, other than the certification described (in this new law). Requires a county recorder to accept for recording a paper or tangible copy of a document that has been certified by a Notary Public to be a true and correct copy of an electronic document under subsection (b) as evidenced by a notarial certificate. Provides the form of notarial certificate for this authorized act, and provides that a notarial certificate substantially in this form is sufficient (for purposes of performing this notarial act). (765 ILCS 33/3.5)

Establishes that if a notarial certificate is attached to or made a part of a paper or tangible document, the certificate is prima facie evidence that the requirements of Illinois law have been met, with respect to a Notary certifying that a paper or tangible copy of an electronic document is true and correct.

Clarifies that a paper or tangible copy of a deed, mortgage or other document shall be deemed, from the time of being filed for record, as providing notice to subsequent purchasers and creditors, but it may not be certified as provided in 765 ILCS 33/3.5. Further clarifies that these provisions for a Notary to certify a paper or tangible copy of an electronic record do not apply to any map or plat governed by the Plat Act, the Judicial Plat Act, or the Permanent Survey Act, or to any monument record governed by the Land Survey Monuments Act. (765 ILCS 33/3.5)

Provides that a Notary Public or Electronic Notary Public has no obligation to perform any notarial act or electronic notarial act, and may refuse to perform a notarial or electronic notarial act without further explanation. (5 ILCS 312/6-102)

Provides that the liability, sanctions and remedies for improper performance of electronic notarial acts are the same as described and provided by law for the improper performance of non-electronic notarial acts as described in the Act. (5 ILCS 312/6A-103)

Establishes new prohibited acts and sanctions:
1. Prohibits a Notary Public from explaining, certifying or verifying the contents of any document, but clarifies that this prohibition shall not prevent an attorney who is also a Notary Public from performing notarial acts for any document prepared by that attorney. (5 ILCS 312/6-104)
2. Prohibits a Notary Public from representing themselves as an Electronic Notary Public if that person is not commissioned as an Electronic Notary Public by the Secretary of State. (5 ILCS 312/6-104) Establishes that any Notary Public or other person who is not an Electronic Notary Public, who impersonates an Electronic Notary Public to perform electronic notarial acts, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. (5 ILCS 312/7-106)
3. Establishes that it is a Class A misdemeanor for any person to knowingly create, manufacture or distribute software or hardware for purposes of allowing persons not properly commissioned to act as an Electronic Notary Public. (5 ILCS 312/6-104)
4. Prohibits any person from wrongfully obtaining, concealing, damaging or destroying the technology or device used to create an Electronic Notary Public’s electronic signature or seal, and establishes that doing so is a Class A misdemeanor. (5 ILCS 312/6-104)
5. Prohibits a Notary Public from selling, renting, transferring or otherwise making available to a third party—other than the electronic notarization platform—the contents of the notarial journal, audio-video recordings, or any other record associated with any notarial act including personally identifiable information, except when required by law, law enforcement, the Secretary of State, or a court order. Allows a Notary to supply a copy of a line item representing the requested transaction after personally identifying information has been redacted, and the Notary has received from a third party a written request that meets specified requirements. (5 ILCS 312/6-104)
6. Provides that no person may lawfully possess, obtain, conceal, damage, or destroy a Notary’s official seal. Further provides that no person may unlawfully possess, conceal, damage, or destroy the certificate, disk, coding, card, program, software, or hardware enabling an Electronic Notary Public to affix an official electronic signature or seal. Makes any person who violates these prohibitions guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable upon conviction by a fine not exceeding $1000. (5 ILCS 312/7-107)
7. Establishes that the Secretary of State may revoke the commission of any Notary Public who, during the current term of appointment, is a licensed attorney who has been sanctioned, suspended, or disbarred by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission or the Illinois Supreme Court. (5 ILCS 312/7-108)
8. Amends current law to clarify that the Secretary of State’s investigatory authority and related matters pertain to Notaries Public and to Electronic Notaries Public. (5 ILCS 312/7-108)
Allows the Secretary of State to suspend the commission of a Notary or Electronic Notary who fails to produce any journal entry within 10 days after receipt of a request from the Secretary of State. (5 ILCS 312/6-104)


Journal Required
Requires Illinois Notaries Public and Electronic Notaries Public to keep a journal of each notarial act or electronic notarial act (as applicable). Requires such journaling to meet, without limitation, the requirements set by administrative rule of the Secretary of State. Prohibits journals from including any electronic signatures of the perform for whom a notarial act was performed, or of any witnesses. (5 ILCS 312/3-107)

Allows Notaries Public and Electronic Notaries Public to maintain their journal in either paper or electronic form, and to maintain more than one paper or electronic journal. Clarifies that the fact that an employer or contractor of a Notary of Electronic Notary keeps a record of notarial acts or electronic notarial acts does not relieve the Notary or Electronic Notary of his/her/their required journaling duties. (5 ILCS 312/3-107)

Prohibits a Notary or Electronic Notary from surrendering his/her/their journal to an employer upon termination of employment. Prohibits an employer from retaining the journal of an employee Notary or electronic Notary when the Notary’s employment ceases. (5 ILCS 312/3-107)


Requires a Notary or Electronic Notary to notify the Secretary of State within 10 business days after discovering that his/her/their journal is lost, stolen, or compromised (breach of security). (5 ILCS 312/3-107)

Requires that upon surrender, revocation or expiration of a Notary Public or Electronic Notary Public commission, all notarial records or electronic notarial records required under Illinois law, except as otherwise provided by law, must be kept by the Notary Public or Electronic Notary Public for 5 years after termination of the [commission] of the Notary Public or Electronic Notary Public. (5 ILCS 312/6-104)

Requires the Secretary of State to adopt administrative rules relative to keeping journal records, and provides minimum requirements that such rules must impose. (5 ILCS 312/3-107)

Fees for Notarial Acts
Increases the maximum fee a Notary Public may charge for non-electronic notarization from $1 to $5 per notarial act. (5 ILCS 312/3-104) Establishes a maximum fee of up to $25 for any electronic notarial act performed pursuant to Illinois law. Authorizes an Electronic Notary Public to charge a reasonable fee to recover any cost of providing a copy of an entry or a recording of an audio-video communication in an electronic journal. Requires all Notaries Public to provide itemized receipts for fees charged, and to list fees on an itemized receipt as separate and distinct from any other charges assessed. (5 ILCS 312/3-104)


Notary Public Remittance Agents
Requires the Secretary of State to adopt administrative rules describing the requirements for a Notary Public remittance agent (an entity that remits Notary Public applications to the Secretary of State on behalf of applicants) to be licensed in the State of Illinois. Requires a Notary Public remittance agent to remit applications and application fees within 30 days after receiving them from an applicant. Prohibits remittance agents from modifying a Notary’s application information in any way prior to submitting the application information to the Secretary of State. Prohibits a remittance agent from issuing a Notary seal or Notary stamp to an applicant until sufficient evidence of a commission issued by the Secretary of State has been received. Clarifies that these provisions do not apply to units of government or private businesses that make applications and provide application fees for their employees. (5 ILCS 312/2-107)

Establishes that any violation of Illinois’ Notary Public Act, including violations by remittance agents, may result in an administrative citation, criminal complaint, or civil action arising from his/her/their duties as a Notary Public or Notary Public remittance agent. (5 ILCS 312/2-107)

Requires the Secretary of State to adopt administrative rules applicable to Section 5 ILCS 312/2-107 of the Act. (5 ILCS 312/2-107)

 
KANSAS – PERMANENT ELECTRONIC, RON REGULATIONS
(Formerly temporary rules reported in July 2022 Alert; permanent rules are unchanged.)
Effective October 28, 2022
View the regulations


These temporary regulations implement Kansas’ Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA). Kansas’ RULONA took effect on January 1, 2022.

Definitions
Defines key terms: “digital certificate,” “notarial certificate,” “Secretary.”

Commissioning Matters; Notification Regarding Electronic Notarization, Remote Online Notarization
Provides that any applicant for an initial Notary Public commission, and any commissioned Notary Public at any time during the Notary’s commission term, may notify the Secretary of State that the applicant or Notary intends to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records (physically present individuals) or for remotely located individuals. Provides that these notifications shall each include the $20 fee prescribed in K.A.R. 7-43-11. (Must be accompanied by proof of examination passage, see below.)

Establishes that a Notary Public commission and any notification to perform notarial acts on electronic records or for remotely located individuals may be renewed in the same manner and on the same form(s) used for an initial commission or notification, along with payment of the prescribed fees. Clarifies that if an individual renewing a Notary Public commission also intends to continue performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records or for remotely located individuals (if applicable), he/she/they shall submit such notification and appropriate fee(s) when submitting the Notary commission renewal.


Establishes that no Notary commission renewal application may be submitted to the Secretary of State sooner than 90 days before expiration of the Notary Public’s commission.

Provides that the commission of individuals providing notification of intent to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records or for remotely located individuals shall reflect that such notification was made to the Secretary of State. Establishes that the authorization to perform notarial acts on electronic records or for remotely located individuals shall be concurrent with, and shall expire on the same date as, the Notary Public’s commission.

Allows any Notary Public to terminate an authorization to perform notarial acts on electronic records or for remotely located individuals at any time during the Notary’s commission, by submitting the form provided by the Secretary of State for this purpose.

Requires every Notary Public notifying the Secretary of his/her/their intent to perform notarial acts on electronic records or for remotely located individuals to complete a course of study and pass an examination, both approved by the Secretary of State. Allows a Notary Public to take the examination as many times as needed to achieve a passing score. Requires each Notary Public’s proof of passing the examination to be submitted with the notification of intent to perform notarial acts on electronic records or for remotely located individuals.

Clarifies that the surety bond shall be a commercial surety bond from an insurance company licensed to do business in Kansas. Specifies that the bond shall be written for a period of four years, covering the dates of the Notary Public’s commission. [NOTE: see underlined text above; this is an important distinction because the governing statute requires a surety bond or its functional equivalent. This rule clearly specifies only a commercial surety bond, no other form of assurance.]

Notarial Certificates
Establishes short-form notarial certificates for authorized notarial acts, as required by Kansas’ RULONA Section 53-5a17. Provides that the notarial certificate for a notarial act performed for a remotely located individual shall contain a statement substantially like, “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”

Official Stamp
Requires each Notary Public’s stamping device to be retained under the Notary’s sole control. Requires every Notary Public obtaining a new stamping device for use on a tangible record to destroy or render unusable any previous stamping device, applicable if the previous stamping device will no longer be used. [Comment – this clarifies that a Notary Public may have more than one stamping device for a current commission term, but stamping devices for an expired or terminated commission must be destroyed.]

Requires that when replacing a stamping device that has been lost or stolen, the Notary Public must use a different style of official stamp [i.e., it must contain a variance of some manner] to ensure the new official “looks different” from the prior official stamp.


Requires every Notary Public’s official stamp for a tangible record to provide a space for the Notary Public to record the Notary’s commission expiration date. [NOTE: Kansas’ RULONA requires an official stamp to include the Notary’s name exactly as commissioned, the words “Notary Public” and “State of Kansas,” “and other information required by the Secretary of State.”]

Requires a Notary Public’s official stamp, when affixed to an electronic record, to be clear, legible, and photographically reproducible. Clarifies that such official stamp on an electronic record shall not be required to be within a minimum or maximum size when photographically reproduced on the electronic record. Requires each official stamp affixed on an electronic record to include the Notary Public’s name exactly as commissioned; the words “State of Kansas” and “Notary Public”; the Notary’s commission number; and the date of expiration of the Notary’s commission.

Requires a Notary Public to maintain a stamping device under his/her/their sole control, and to secure (an electronic official stamp) by means of a password or other secure method of authentication. Prohibits a Notary Public from disclosing any access information used to affix the Notary’s electronic signature or official stamp to an electronic record, except when required by a court order or subpoena.


Requires a Notary Public to promptly notify the Secretary of State upon the Notary’s actual knowledge of the theft, vandalism or unauthorized by another person of the Notary’s stamping device.

Specifies that when a Notary Public resigns a commission or such commission is revoked, the Notary shall request the provider of the Notary’s digital certificate to revoke the digital certificate ad provide evidence of the revocation to the Secretary of State.

Journal
Requires each Notary Public to retain his/her/their journal under the Notary’s sole control. Further requires that a Notary Public’s journal records shall be capable of being produced in a tangible medium when requested.

Requires a Notary Public to retain the required journal of notarial acts for at least 10 years after performance of the last notarial act chronicled in it. Requires a Notary Public to retain each audiovisual recording of a remote online notarization for at least 10 years after the recording is made.

Requires a Notary Public retaining a journal in an electronic format to retain the journal and any audiovisual recordings in a way that protects the journal and recordings against unauthorized access by means of a password or other secure means; and to take reasonable steps to ensure that a backup of the journal and audiovisual recordings exists and is secure from unauthorized use.

Requires that upon the death or adjudication of incompetency of a current or former Notary Public, the Notary’s personal representative or guardian or any other person knowingly in possession of a journal or an audiovisual recording shall perform one of the following: (1) comply with the retention requirements of this regulation; (2) transmit each journal and audiovisual recording to one or more repositories (as addressed in the rule); or (3) transmit each journal and audiovisual recording in an industry-standard readable data storage device to the Secretary.

Provides regulations for the disposition of the journal with respect to the Notary Public or a guardian, conservator or agency of the Notary, or the personal representative of a deceased Notary engaging a third party by written contract to act as a repository for stored journal records. Requires such a third-party repository to verify to the Secretary of State under penalty of perjury that the party meets the requirements of the Secretary’s regulations. Provides additional requirements for such written contracts relative to storage of journal records by a third-party repository.

Notarial Act Fees
Establishes that any Notary Public may charge a fee for notarization of a tangible or electronic record, or for a notarial act performed for a remotely located individual. Requires a Notary Public intending to charge a fee to disclose the fee and obtain the signer’s agreement to the fee prior to performance of the notarial act. Requires a Notary disclose to the signer that the fee is permitted but not required by state law or regulation. Requires a Notary to collect any fee charged when the notarial act is performed, and to record the fee in the Notary’s journal record.

Remote Notarization Technologies
Establishes minimum performance standards for the communication technology used in performance of a notarial act for a remotely located individual. Allows any provider of communication technology to provide a hardware or software update to the technologies that the Notary Public has notified the Secretary he/she/they will be using, if such update is not materially different from (does not materially alter) the technologies. Requires a provider of communication technology to offer an assurance to a Notary Public that an update does not represent a material difference from the technology that the Notary informed the Secretary that he/she/they would be using. Clarifies that a Notary Public may receive, install or use a hardware or software update to the technologies the Notary uses to perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals, if such update(s) is/are not materially different from the technologies the Notary Public informed the Secretary that he/she/they would be using. Requires the Notary Public to update the technology information filed with the Secretary of State, by notifying the Secretary of any hardware or software update that the Notary is told will be materially different (materially alter) the technologies.


Establishes that all communication technology verified by the technology provider under penalty of perjury as meeting the requirements of the Secretary’s administrative rules shall be approved by the Secretary for use by Kansas Notaries Public. Allows a Notary Public authorized to perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals to use only a provider of communication technology and identity proofing that has submitted evidence under penalty of perjury to the Secretary and to the Notary Public that the provider meets the requirements of KAR 7-43-18 and 7-43-19(b), and that:
Allows the Notary Public sole control of the recording of the notarial act using audiovisual communication, subject to the authorized access granted by the notary public; and
Provides the Notary Public with access to the recording of the notarial act using audiovisual communication technology.

Requires each provider of communication technology to protect from unauthorized access the audiovisual recording of each notarial act and any “personal information,” as defined in K.S.A. 50-7a01 and amendments thereto, disclosed during the performance of a notarial act using communication technology. Requires the audiovisual recording to be created in an industry-standard file format. Prohibits such recording from including images of any electronic record on which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the remotely located individual executed a signature.

Requires a communication technology and identity proofing provider to make and retain a secure backup of any record that is related to a notarial act for a remotely located individual. Requires a provider of the backup, at a Notary Public’s request, to release to the Notary any record related to a notarial act for a remotely located individual that the requesting Notary performed.

Requires, if the provider of communication technology and provider of the backup are the same entity and it ceases its business operations, notification to a Notary Public in advance and upon request of the Notary, release of any records related to such notarial acts. Provides additional related requirements if the provider of communication technology and the provider of the backup are separate entities.


Notarial Acts for Remotely Located Individuals
Establishes that any Notary Public may perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals only after being commissioned as a Notary Public and notifying the Secretary that the Notary Public will be performing notarial acts for remotely located individuals.

Prohibits a Notary Public from performing a notarial act for a remotely located individual if the Notary is not physically located in Kansas at the time of the notarization.

Requires a Notary Public to take reasonable steps to ensure that the communication technology used to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual is secure from unauthorized interception.


Requires that upon performing a notarial act for a remotely located individual, a Notary Public shall electronically attach a notarial certificate to the document being notarized. Specifies the information that each completed (electronic) notarial certificate of a notarial act for a remotely located individual must contain, including the Notary Public’s official stamp that is attached to the record and the Notary’s signature, signed with the Notary’s digital certificate (thereby satisfying the rule requirement for each Notary to attach his/her/their electronic signature to the notarial certificate on an electronic record in a manner that is capable of independent verification and renders any subsequent change or modification to the electronic record tamper-evident).

Requires a Notary Public who performs notarial acts for remotely located individuals to maintain an audiovisual recording of all such notarial acts, in addition to a journal of notarial acts that contains the entries required under K.S.A. 2021 Supp. 53-5a20(c), and amendments thereto. Specifies that the audiovisual recording shall include, at a minimum, confirmation by the Notary Public that the individual has successfully completed identity proofing and credential analysis; visual confirmation of the identity of the individual through visual inspection of the credential used during credential analysis; and the actual notarial act performed.

Specifies that if a Notary Public does not have personal knowledge of a remotely located individual per KSA 2021 Supp. 53-5a07(a); or satisfactory evidence of identification of the remotely located individual per KSA 2021 Supp. 5a07(b)(2) and amendments thereto, the Notary Public must obtain satisfactory evidence of the individual’s identity through a multi-factor authentication procedure. Provides detailed requirements for such multi-factor authentication procedure.

Requires that after obtaining satisfactory evidence of a remotely located individual (as described above), the remotely located individual must visually compare for consistency the information and photo presented on the identification credential itself and the individual as viewed by the Notary Public in real time through communication technology. Requires the image resolution of the communication technology to be sufficient to enable visual inspection by the Notary Public, including legible text and the clarity of identification credential features.

Allows any Notary Public to obtain satisfactory evidence of a remotely located individual by oath or affirmation of a credible witness by means of: the Notary’s personal knowledge of the credible witness’ identity; the credible witness’ presentation to the Notary of an identification credential as required by KSA 2021 Supp. 53-5a07(b)(2) and amendments thereto, IF the credible witness is in the same location as the Notary Public; or utilizing the multifactor authentication procedure (pursuant to this rule) for verifying the identity of a remotely located individual and visually comparing the identification credential presented (by means of communication technology if the credible witness is not in the same location as the Notary Public).


Requires a Notary Public to reverify, in the manner prescribed by this rule, the identity of a remotely located individual who has exited a remote online notarization session at any point.

Security Procedures, Tangible and Electronic Records
Requires a Notary Public, for each tangible record notarized, to affix the notarial certificate directly on the record. Provides that if a notarial certificate cannot be affixed to a record because the record lacks adequate space for a notarial certificate, the notary public shall affix a notarial certificate to a separate page and attach the record to the notarial certificate by staple or other secure method so that the removal of the record or the addition of a record is discernible. Requires each notarial certificate attached in this manner to include a description of the document to which it is attached.

Requires a Notary Public notarizing an electronic record to attach or logically associate the Notary’s electronic signature to the notarial certificate by use of a digital certificate. Requires the digital certificate to have tamper-evident technology that meets the requirements specified in this rule.

Allows a Notary Public to attach an official stamp to a notarial certificate that is affixed to or logically associated with the electronic record.

Prohibits a Notary Public from performing a notarial act with respect to an electronic record if the digital certificate has expired; or has been revoked or terminated by the issuing or registering authority; or is invalid; or is incapable of authentication.


Notary Complaints, Errors
Provides that any person may file with the Secretary of State a written complaint against a Notary Public. Provides for the Secretary’s review, determinations, and actions with respect to such written complaint. Specifies a Notary’s allowed response period following the Secretary’s notification that a complaint found to require investigation has been filed, and following notification of any error in the Notary’s notarial act(s) identified by the Secretary. Clarifies that each response to the Secretary from a Notary Public shall be reviewed by the Secretary before any action is taken. Requires notifications from the Secretary to a Notary under investigation to be in writing.


Requires a suspended Notary, within 30 days before the end of the suspension period, to notify the Secretary of any changes to the Notary’s commission that occurred during the suspension. Provides that failure to comply with this requirement may result in revocation of the Notary’s commission.

 
LOUISIANA – HB 903
Effective August 1, 2022
View this bill

Clarifies that a remote online notarial act is deemed to be executed in any parish of Louisiana where the Notary Public is physically located at the time of the remote online notarization, if the Notary Public has jurisdiction in that parish.

Establishes that an action on a contract that is a remote online notarial act may be brought in any parish in which a party was physically located at the time of the remote online notarization.
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LOUISIANA – HB 39
Effective August 1, 2022
View this bill

Allows the superintendent of the Beauregard Parish School Board—notwithstanding any provisions of law relative to qualifications of Notaries Public—to designate and appoint no more than two employees in the superintendent’s office to serve as ex officio Notaries Public. Empowers the Beauregard Parish School Board superintendent to suspend or terminate such appointments at any time. Establishes that such appointment as an ex officio Notary Public shall automatically terminate upon the individual’s separation from school board employment.

Limits the powers of these particular ex officio Notaries by allowing them, within their jurisdictional limits, to administer only oaths, receive sworn statements, and execute affidavits and acknowledgments concerning only matters within the official functions of the office of the Beauregard Parish School Board.

Prohibits these ex officio Notaries Public from charging fees or receiving other compensation for their notarial acts, and authorizes them to serve without necessity of obtaining a bond.
 
MAINE – LD 2023
Effective July 1, 2023
View this bill


The Pine Tree State has enacted the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (“the Act”), including permanent statutory provisions for remote online notarization (Chapter 39, Maine Revised Statutes Annotated, i.e. MRSA).

Definitions
Defines key terms: “acknowledgment,” “electronic,” “electronic signature,” “in a representative capacity,” “notarial act,” “notarial officer,” “Notary Public,” “official stamp,” “person,” “record,” “sign,” “signature,” “stamping device,” “state,” “verification on oath or affirmation,” “communication technology,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing,” “outside the United States,” and “remotely located individual.”


General Provisions
Establishes that the provisions of LB 2023 apply to a notarial act performed on or after July 1, 2023.

Specifies that a notarial act may be performed in Maine by a Notary Public of Maine; a justice, judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a court of Maine; a Maine attorney-at-law; or any other individual authorized by Maine law to perform the specific act. Provides that the signature and title of an individual performing a notarial act in Maine are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title (for example, “Notary Public, State of Maine”). Further provides that the signature and title of a Maine notarial officer described in §1910(1)A., B. or C., MRSA, conclusively establish the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act.


Provides that a notarial officer may perform a notarial act authorized by Chapter 39, MRSA, or by other Maine law. Further provides that if a provision of law other than in Chapter 39, MRSA specifies that an act may be performed by a Notary Public, such act may be performed by any of the notarial officers described in §1910 (1)A., B. or C., MRSA, unless the law expressly provides otherwise.

Provides for the recognition in Maine of notarial acts performed in other states; that the signature and title of an individual performing a notarial act in another state are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title; and that the signature and title of another state’s notarial officer described in §1911(1)A. or B. conclusively establish the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act.

Provides for recognition in Maine of notarial acts performed under authority of federally recognized Indian tribes; of notarial acts performed under federal authority; and under authority and in the jurisdiction of a foreign state or constituent unit of a foreign state, or under the authority of a multinational or international governmental organization.

Addresses authentication of notarial acts with respect to the Hague Apostille Convention of October 5, 1961; and consular authentications of notarial acts.


Commissioning
Provides the qualifications to be met by applicants for a Maine Notary Public commission: be at least 18 years of age; be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in Maine; be able to read and write the English language; not be disqualified to receive a commission under section 1924 of the Act; and have passed the examination required under section 1923 of the Act. Requires the Secretary of State or an entity approved by the Secretary of State to regularly offer a course of study to applicants for a Notary Public commission, and requires such course to cover the laws, rules, procedures and ethics relevant to notarial acts.


Provides the grounds upon which the Secretary of State may deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or impose a condition on a Notary Public commission. Establishes that an applicant or Notary Public is entitled to timely notice and hearing in accordance with Maine’s Administrative Procedures Act.

Prescribes the Notary Public oath of office to be taken before a Maine Dedimus Judge. Clarifies that in taking the oath of office the word “affirm” may be substituted for the word “swear” and the words “this I do under penalty of perjury” may be substituted for the words “so help me God.”

Provides that the Secretary of State shall issue Notary Public commissions that are valid for a term of 7 years. Clarifies that a Notary Public commission does not provide the individual any immunity or benefit conferred on public officials or employees under Maine law.


Requires the Secretary of State to maintain an electronic database of Notaries Public that enables persons to verify the authority of a Notary Public to perform notarial acts; and indicates whether a Notary Public has notified the Secretary of State that the Notary will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records or remotely.

Marriage Officiant Licensing
Repeals current law’s authorization for a Notary Public to officiate a marriage ceremony, effective July 1, 2023. Establishes that effective July 1, 2023, the Secretary of State may license and renew licenses of Maine marriage officiants, who at a minimum shall be 18 years of age or older; a resident of Maine; and demonstrate a proficiency in the English language. Requires the Secretary of State to adopt rules for licensing of marriage officiants, which must include criteria and a procedure to be applied by the Secretary of State in licensing and renewal. Repeals the prior law authorizing Maine Notaries to officiate for a marriage ceremony.


Requires that effective July 1, 2023, the Secretary of State shall issue a marriage officiant license to every Notary Public commissioned for the equivalent term of the Notary Public’s commission, unless the Notary declines to have the marriage officiant license by providing written notice to the Secretary of State on a form designed by the Secretary.

Establishes that the Secretary of State shall notify a licensed marriage officiant of a pending license expiration 30 days prior to the expiration, in a form or format determined by the Secretary’s administrative rules. Clarifies that failure to receive such notice does not affect the expiration date of the marriage officiant’s license.

Provides for the Secretary’s ability to deny a marriage officiant license application or to suspend, revoke or refuse to renew a license.

Limits of Notarial Authority
Specifies that a Notary Public commission does not authorize an individual to assist persons in drafting legal records, giving legal advice or otherwise practicing law; acting as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters; representing a person in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, U.S. citizenship or related matters; or receiving compensation for performing any of these activities.


Prohibits a Notary Public who is not also a Maine attorney from using the titles “notario” and/or “notario publico.”

Prohibits a Notary Public from engaging in false or deceptive advertising. Specifies advertising messaging and representations that a Notary Public who is not also a Maine attorney may not engage in or make. Requires a Notary Public who advertises, and who is not also an attorney, to include specified language in the advertisement or representation that the Notary Public is not an attorney and cannot perform certain services, give legal advice or charge a fee for such services. Prescribes the manner(s) in which this information shall be given.

Prohibits a Notary Public from withholding access to or possession of an original record provided by a person seeking performance of a notarial act by the Notary Public.


Establishes a civil violation, fine and ability of aggrieved parties to initiate civil action against those committing acts specifically prohibited in Maine’s Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. Clarifies that the Maine Attorney General may initiate an action in Superior Court with respect to any believed violation of the Act’s section on prohibited acts.

Performing Notarial Acts
Requires that if a notarial act relates to a statement made in or a signature executed on a record, the individual making the statement or executing the signature shall appear personally before the notarial officer.

Authorizes a Maine notarial officer to perform the following notarial acts: acknowledgments; administering oaths and affirmations; performing verifications on oath or affirmation; witnessing or attesting a signature; certifying or attesting a copy of a record including certifying that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record; noting protests.

Prohibits a Maine notarial officer from performing a notarial act when the notarial officer has a conflict of interest. Specifies that such conflict of interest exists if the person for whom the notarial act would be performed is the notarial officer’s spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling or child or in-law; or a step- or half-relative of the notarial officer. Prohibits a notarial officer from performing a notarial act with respect to a record to which the notarial officer or the officer’s spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling or child or an in-law or a step- or half-relative of the officer is a party or in which any of them has a direct beneficial interest. Clarifies that a notarial officer may solemnize the marriage of a parent, sibling or child, in-law or a step- or half-relative, pursuant to Title 19-A, Section 655, MRSA. Provides that a notarial act performed in violation of these prohibitions is voidable.


Provides that any notarial officer who is also a stockholder, director, officer or employee of a bank or other corporation may take the acknowledgement of any party to any written instrument executed to or by the bank or corporation; may administer an oath to any stockholder, director, officer, employee or agent of the bank or corporation; or may issue protests of negotiable instruments that may be owned or held for collection by the bank or other corporation. Clarifies that a notarial officer may neither take the acknowledgment of an instrument by or to a bank or other corporation of which the notarial officer is a stockholder, director, officer or employee when the notarial officer is a party to the instrument, either individually or as a representative of the bank or other corporation; nor protest any negotiable instrument owned or held for collection by the bank or other corporation, when the notarial officer is individually a party to the instrument. Provides that a notarial act performed in violation of these prohibitions is voidable.

Prohibits a notarial officer from administering an oath or affirmation to a circulator of a petition for a direct initiative or people’s veto referendum under Title 21-A, section 904 (MRSA) if the notarial officer also provides other services to initiate or promote that direct initiative or people’s veto referendum. Provides that a notarial act performed in violation of this prohibition is voidable.

Establishes the requirements for, and determinations made by the notarial officer, for the notarial acts of acknowledgement of a record; verification on oath or affirmation; witnessing or attesting to a signature; certifying or attesting a copy of a record; issuing a protest of a negotiable instrument; and making records and copies of protests of losses.

Grants statutory authority for a notarial officer to refuse to perform a notarial act, and specifies when such refusal may be made. Clarifies that a notarial officer may refuse to perform a notarial act unless refusal is prohibited by a law other than Chapter 39, MRSA.

Allows for an individual physically unable to sign a record due to a disability to direct an individual other than the notarial officer to sign the individual’s name on the record. Requires the notarial officer to insert a specific statement indicating that the physically unable individual directed another individual to sign the record.


Identification Requirements
Prescribes requirements for identifying individuals appearing before a notarial officer for performance of a notarial act. Specifies the requirements for a notarial officer to have personal knowledge of the individual appearing, or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual. Provides that documentary forms of satisfactory evidence of identification shall be a passport, driver’s license or government-issued nondriver identification; or another form of government identification issued to an individual that contains the signature or a photograph of the individual and that is satisfactory to the notarial officer. Further provides that satisfactory evidence of identification may be the verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally appearing before the notarial officer, and known to the officer or identifiable by means of a passport, driver’s license or government-issued nondriver identification card. Allows a notarial officer to require an individual to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to assure the notarial officer of the individual’s identity.


Notarial Certificate
Requires a notarial act to be evidenced by a certificate that must be securely attached or made a part of a tangible record; or affixed to or logically associated with an electronic record. Requires the attaching, affixation or logical association of a notarial certificate to/with a record to conform to any standards of the Secretary of State. Provides that by executing a notarial certificate, a notarial officer certifies his/her/their compliance with certain statutory requirements and having made the required determinations. Prohibits a notarial officer from affixing his/her/their signature to a notarial certificate, or affixing or logically associating his/her/their signature to an electronic notarial certificate, until the notarial act has been performed.


Provides short-form certificate language for an acknowledgment in an individual capacity and a representative capacity; for a verification on oath or affirmation; for a signature witnessing; and for certifying a copy of a record.

Establishes the requirements (information) to be included in a completed notarial certificate. Provides that a notarial certificate is sufficient if it is in a short form set forth in Section 1917 of the Act; is in a form otherwise permitted by Maine law; is in a form permitted by applicable law of the jurisdiction in which the notarial act was performed; or sets forth the actions of the notarial officer and those actions are sufficient to meet Maine’s statutory requirements.

Requires a certificate of a notarial act to indicate performance of a notarial act using communication technology when that occurs, by means of a statement substantially like, “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.” Provides that a short-form notarial certificate is sufficient if it complies with administrative rules and with Section 1917 of the Act.

Official Stamp, Stamping Device
Requires the certificate for a notarial act performed by a Notary Public with respect to a tangible record to include an official stamp. Provides the required information to be included in an official stamp and requires that an official stamp be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed or attached, or with which it is logically associated. Makes the official stamp permissive (not required) for a notarial act performed by other notarial officers with respect to a tangible record, if certain specified information is included in the notarial certificate. Provides that if a notarial act regarding an electronic record is performed by a notarial officer (includes Notaries Public) and the certificate contains the specified information, an official stamp may (not must) be attached to or logically associated with the certificate on the electronic record.


Sets requirements for a Notary Public’s responsibility with respect to security of the Notary Public’s stamping device. Prohibits a Notary Public from allowing another individual to use the Notary’s stamping device to perform a notarial act. Requires the Notary to take certain actions with respect to securing or disabling the stamping device upon the Notary’s resignation, commission revocation or expiration. Requires a Notary Public’s personal representative who is knowingly in possession of the stamping device to take specific actions to render the stamping device unusable upon the Notary’s death or adjudication of incompetency. Requires a Notary Public or personal representative or guardian to promptly notify the Secretary of State upon discovering the Notary’s stamping device is lost or stolen.


Journal
Requires a notarial officer (all notarial officers, not only Notaries Public) to maintain a journal for all electronic and remote notarial acts performed. Journal may be tangible or electronic. Clarifies that a notarial officer may (not “shall”) maintain a journal for notarizations with respect to tangible records. Allows use of only one journal at a time in which to record all notarial acts performed with respect to tangible records; allows use of one or more journals in which to record all notarial acts performed with respect to electronic records.

Specifies the information to be recorded in every journal entry, and requires journal entries to be made contemporaneously with performance of the notarial act.

Allows use of a journal in a tangible or electronic format. Requires a journal in a tangible medium to be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages. Requires a journal in an electronic format to be in a permanent, tamper-evident format complying with rules of the Secretary of State.

Requires a notarial officer to promptly notify the Secretary of State upon discovering the journal is lost or stolen.

Requires a (current and former) notarial officer to retain a journal for 10 years after performance of the last notarial act chronicled in it. Clarifies that a Notary Public’s duty to retain the journal for 10 years also applies to those who have resigned or have had their commissions revoked or suspended. Requires a former Notary Public to also inform the Secretary of State where the journal is stored/located. Allows a former Notary Public to instead transmit the journal to the Secretary of State or a repository approved by the Secretary. Requires a current or former Notary Public’s personal representative who is knowingly in possession of the journal to transmit it to the Secretary of State or an approved repository upon the Notary’s death or adjudication of incompetency.


Notarial Acts Regarding Electronic Records (for Physically Present Individuals)
Allows a Maine notarial officer to select one or more tamper-evident technologies to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records. Establishes that a person cannot require a Maine notarial officer to perform a notarial act with respect to an electronic record using a technology the notarial officer has not selected.


Requires a Maine notarial officer, before performing his/her/their initial notarial act with respect to an electronic record, to notify the Secretary of State that the officer will be notarizing electronic records, and to identity the technology the notarial officer intends to use. Requires the technology to conform to any standards established by rule of the Secretary of State. Provides that the Secretary of State shall determine whether the notarial officer’s chosen technology is approved for use by a Maine notarial officer.

Notarial Acts for Remotely Located Individuals

Authorizes a notarial officer to use communication technology to perform a notarial act (with respect to an electronic record) for a remotely located individual, subject to the requirements of law and any administrative rules of the Secretary of State. Establishes that a remotely located individual may personally appear before a notarial officer by use of communication technology.

Requires a notarial officer to notify the Secretary of State of his/her/their intent to perform notarial acts with respect to remotely located individuals, before performing any notarial act in such manner. Requires the notification to identify the technologies the notarial officer intends to use.

Establishes the requirements for use by a notarial officer of communication technology to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual who is within Maine, within the United States, or outside of the United States.

Prohibits performance of a notarial act for a remotely located individual with respect to certain specified circumstances related primarily to elections. Also prohibits solemnization of marriage to be performed for a remotely located individual.


Authorizes a Maine notarial officer to use communication technology to take an acknowledgment of a signature on a tangible record. Requires the tangible record to be displayed to and identified by the remotely located individual during the required audiovisual recording of the notarization session. Requires the remotely located individual to execute a declaration that is part of or securely attached to the tangible record, in which the individual declares under penalty of perjury that the record of which the declaration is a part or to which it is attached is the same record on which the notarial officer performed a notarial act by means of communication technology for the remotely located individual. Requires the notarial officer to make an audiovisual recording of the session, and after receipt of the signed record and declaration, execute a notarial certificate that includes a specified statement. Provides that a notarial act so performed is effective on the date the remotely located individual signed the declaration. Does not preclude other procedures being used to satisfy the notarial officer’s requirement to reasonably confirm that the record in the notarial officer’s possession is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the individual executed a signature.

Allows a Maine notarial officer to use communication technology to administer an oath or affirmation to a remotely located individual if the notarial officer identifies the individual as the law prescribes; creates or causes creation of an audiovisual recording of the individual taking the oath or affirmation; and retains or causes retention of the recording. Further provides that a notarial officer, a guardian, conservator or agent of a notarial officer or a personal representative of a deceased notarial officer is responsible for retaining audio-visual recordings or causing them to be retained by a designated repository. Sets a minimum 10-year retention period for retained recordings (which may be a greater period if so prescribed by administrative rule).

Requires a certificate of a notarial act to indicate performance of a notarial act using communication technology when that occurs, by means of a statement substantially like, “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.” Provides that a short-form notarial certificate is sufficient if it complies with administrative rules; or if it complies with Section 1917 of the Act and contains the required statement (above).

Temporary Remote Ink-Signed Notarial Acts
Extends, until July 1, 2023, the current temporary authorization for a Maine Notary Public to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual with respect to a tangible (ink-signed) record. (To be replaced on July 1, 2023 with the Act’s permanent authorization for a Maine notarial officer to use communication technology to take an acknowledgement of a signature on a tangible record.)


Administrative Rules
Provides broad administrative rulemaking authority to the Secretary of State to implement the provisions of the Act. Establishes that, by allowing their technology to facilitate a notarial act for a remotely located individual or providing storage of an audiovisual recording, providers of communication technology or identity proofing appoint the Secretary of State as the provider’s agent of service of process in any civil action in Maine related to the notarial act. Allows the Secretary of State to set by rule a reasonable fee for accepting such service of process.

In developing rules, requires the Secretary to consider, so far as is consistent with the Act, the most recent standards regarding electronic records promulgated by national bodies such as the National Association of Secretaries of State; standards, practices and customs of other jurisdictions that enact provisions substantially similar to Maine’s Act; and the views of governmental officials and entities and other interested persons.


Other Provisions
Clarifies that a Maine Notary Public commission in effect on the Act’s effective date of July 1, 2023 continues until its date of expiration. Clarifies that a Notary Public who applies to renew a Notary Public commission on or after July 1, 2023 is subject to and shall comply with the Act. Clarifies that a Notary Public performing notarial acts after July 1, 2023 shall comply with the Act.

Establishes that the Act does not affect the validity or effect of a notarial act performed before July 1, 2023.

Establishes that a Maine register of deeds may accept for recording a tangible copy of an electronic record containing a notarial certificate as satisfying any requirement that a record accepted for recording be an original, if the notarial officer certifies in the notarial certificate that the tangible copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record.

Establishes that a facsimile of the Secretary of State’s signature imprinted by or at the direction of the Secretary upon any renewal of commission, any certificate of true copy, certificate of any record of the Secretary’s or certificate of good standing, or upon any attestation of the Secretary of State, by law has the same validity as the Secretary of State’s written signature.

 
MARYLAND – Amendments to Notary Public General Regulations (Charges and Fees for Certain Notarial Acts; Notary’s Intent to Perform Remote Notarial Acts; Enforcement Actions)
Effective November 14, 2022
View the regulations


Fees for Notarial Services
Increases, to $6 (formerly $4) the maximum fee a Notary Public may charge for performance of an original notarial act. Establishes that a Notary Public may charge a maximum fee of $25 for performance of a remote notarial act.

Further provides that when a Notary Public is asked to notarize more than one copy of the same record—when the copy or copies have been signed at the same time by the same person or persons—the Notary may charge a maximum of $6 (formerly $2) for notarizing each signature on the original or first copy of the record, and a maximum of $3 (formerly $1) for each signature on each additional copy of the same record.

Increases to $6 (formerly $2) the maximum fee a Notary Public may charge for certifying a copy of a record in the Notary’s journal.

Allows a Notary Public to charge not more than $2 (formerly $1) for each copy of a notarized record the Notary reproduces, by photocopying or other means; or for each copy the Notary reproduces of an entry in the Notary’s journal.


Continues to allow a Notary to demand and receive reimbursement at the prevailing rate for mileage established by the Internal Revenue Service for business travel, and a fee not exceeding $5 for travel if required for the performance of a notarial act.

Remote Notarial Acts
Defines “remote online notary vendor” as a company that provides communication technology primarily used to facilitate a notarial act for a remotely located individual, and the technology offered by the vendor includes identity proofing and credential analysis that the Notary Public may use when required by law to identify a remotely located individual.


Requires that a Maryland Notary Public wishing to perform remote notarial acts using a remote online notary vendor must first notify the Secretary of State, in writing, of such intent using the Secretary’s specified form and also must:
  1. be a currently commissioned Maryland Notary Public in good standing;
  2. identify to the Secretary of State the authorized remote online notary vendor or vendors the Notary intends to use;
  3. notify the Secretary of State in writing within 10 business days after making a change to a new remote online notary vendor; and
  4. promptly notify the Secretary of State in writing if the Notary Public reasonably believes a previously selected remote online Notary vendor does not allow the Notary to meet the requirements of State Government Article,
Title 18, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland, and any applicable regulations.


Requires a Notary Public intending to perform remote notarial acts using technology that does not include use of identity proofing and credential analysis to:
  1. first notify the Secretary of State using the Secretary’s form created for this purpose;
  2. acknowledge (in the notification to the Secretary of State) that when performing remote notarial acts using technology that does not include identity proofing and credential analysis, the Notary must have personal
knowledge of the remotely located individual’s identity under State Government Article §18-206(a), Annotated Code of Maryland; or satisfactory evidence of identity by means of a verification on oath or affirmation of a
credible witness appearing before and identified by the notary public under State Government Article, § 18–206(b), Annotated Code of Maryland or as a remotely located individual pursuant to applicable law.


Provides that an act or omission that may constitute failure to discharge any duty required of a Notary Public, whether imposed by any federal or state law or regulation adopted by the Secretary of State, includes performing a remote
notarial act before notifying the Secretary of State as required.

Makes various conforming amendments.

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MARYLAND—HB 663/SB 317
Effective June 1, 2022
View SB 317 (HB 663 is identical)

Requires the Secretary of State to adopt regulations establishing a fee up to $25 that a Notary may charge for performing a notarial act. Additionally requires the Secretary’s regulation(s) to establish a lesser fee amount for performing a repetition of that notarial act; or to “make a copy of the matter addressed by” that notarial act.

Authorizes a Notary Public or person acting on behalf of the Notary to charge a fee up to $50, subject to regulations of the Secretary of State, for performance of a notarial act for a remotely located individual as authorized under Maryland law. Provides for Notaries to charge a mileage fee at the prevailing per-mile business travel rate established by the Internal Revenue Service in addition to a flat fee not to exceed $5. Clarifies that the Secretary of State may, by administrative rulemaking, set a different amount a Notary may charge for travel and that such amount established by rule may exceed the statutory fee limit.

Deletes the statutory restriction against remote notarization of a will or trust instrument.

Authorizes, and provides procedures for, a Notary’s use of communication technology to notarize a tangible record (remote ink-signed notarization, or “RIN”). Establishes that the effective date of such a notarial act is the date the remotely located individual signed a required declaration as follows: “I declare under the penalty of perjury that the record of which this declaration is a part or to which it is attached is the same record on which (name of Notary Public), a Notary Public, performed a notarial act and before whom I appeared by means of communication technology on (date).”

Authorizes a Maryland Notary Public to use communication technology to administer an oath or affirmation to a remotely located individual if, except as otherwise provided in Maryland law, the Notary Public identifies the remotely located individual as statutorily prescribed, creates or causes creation of an audio-visual recording of the individual taking the oath or affirmation; and retains or causes retention of such recording subject to applicable law.

Clarifies that identity proofing of a remotely located individual shall not be required when a Notary Public identifies such person by personal knowledge or use of a credible witness in accordance with applicable law.

Establishes that regulations of the Secretary of State may prescribe the methods for reasonable confirmation of a tangible record by a Notary Public.

Clarifies that when necessary under Maryland Code (St. Gov’t) 18-214(a)(1)(iii), identity proofing and credential analysis must be performed by a reputable third party who has provided evidence to the Notary of the ability to satisfy the requirements of the law.

Clarifies that when necessary under Maryland Code (St. Gov’t) 18-214(a)(1)(iii), identity proofing must be performed through a dynamic knowledge-based authentication that meets the specified requirements.

Clarifies that when necessary under Maryland Code (St. Gov’t) 18-214(a)(1)(iii), credential analysis must use public or private data sources to confirm the validity of an identification credential presented by a remotely located individual and shall meet specified minimum requirements.

Clarifies that communication technology shall provide reasonable security measures to prevent unauthorized access to: the methods used to perform credential analysis and identity proofing if such identification methods are necessary; and the electronic record that is the subject of the notarial act, if the subject record is electronic instead of tangible.

Clarifies that the statutory requirement for use of an X.509 digital certificate when a Notary Public attaches or logically associates his/her/their electronic signature and official stamp to an electronic record applies if the notarial act is regarding an electronic record. Further clarifies the applicability of Maryland Code (St. Gov’t) 18-215(B)(1)—requiring a Notary Public’s official stamp on a notarial certificate—if the notarial act is regarding a tangible record.

Establishes the validity of the notarization of any document under the requirements of Executive Order 20.03.30.04 or Executive Order 20.09.29.01 (these orders authorized emergency remote notarization measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
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MARYLAND – HB 576/SB 36
Effective April 21, 2022
View this bill

Authorizes a person to execute an electronic will or remotely witnessed will without a Notary Public, if the supervising attorney creates a “certified” will. Prescribes a form that shall be attached or annexed to such will. Prohibits a supervising attorney from being a witness to an electronic will or remotely witnessed will that is executed without a Notary Public.

Strikes the statutory prohibition against a Maryland Notary Public performing a remote notarization for a remotely located individual, with respect to a will as defined in §1-101 of Maryland’s Estates and Trusts Article; or a trust instrument as defined in §14.5-103 of Maryland’s Estates and Trusts article.
 
MISSISISPPI – HB 1351
Effective July 1, 2022
View this bill


Amends Section 89-5-8, Mississippi Code Annotated (1972) to prescribe the execution of scrivener’s error affidavits for property deeds. Requires affidavits of such scrivener’s errors to be executed and acknowledged by the affiant and verified upon oath or affirmation before a notarial officer. Provides that such affidavit shall be recordable in the land records of the office of chancery clerk, in the county where the real property is located. Provides affidavit wording requirements. Clarifies that an affidavit of scrivener’s error must be executed by an attorney licensed to practice in Mississippi and who also prepared any document in the chain of title to the subject real property regardless of the date of recording, or the affidavit shall be void.
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MISSISSIPPI—Administrative Rule
Effective June 24, 2022
View these rules

Revises an existing administrative rule to clarify that, for purposes of identifying persons appearing for a notarial act, a Notary Public may rely upon a driver’s license or nondriver identification card issued by a state of the United States that is current or has not been expired for more than five (5) years.

COMMENT: This revision resolves conflict between two provisions in the rule… one that required driver’s licenses or nondriver ID cards to be current and unexpired; and one that allowed such cards to be current or not expired for more than five (5) years. The “current and unexpired” language will be deleted from the rule effective June 24. The rule’s language on driver’s licenses or nondriver ID cards being current or expired for not more than five (5) years remains unchanged, as does the language specifying other acceptable forms of documentary identification.
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MISSISSIPPI – Administrative Rules
Effective May 26, 2022
View the rules

Revises Mississippi Administrative Code Part 5, Chapter 1, General Provisions, by adding two new definitions.


• “Affirmation” means a notarial act, or part thereof, which is legally equivalent to an oath and in which an individual at a single time and place (1) appears in person before the Notary; (2) is personally known to the Notary or identified by the Notary through satisfactory evidence; and (3) makes a vow of truthfulness or fidelity on penalty of perjury, based on personal honor and without invoking God or using any form of the word “swear.”
• “Oath” means a notarial act, or part thereof, which is legally equivalent to an affirmation and in which an individual at a single time and place: (1) appears in person before the Notary; (2) is personally known to the Notary or identified by the Notary through satisfactory evidence; and (3) makes a vow of truthfulness or fidelity on penalty of perjury while invoking God or using any form of the word “swear.”
 
NEW YORK – Administrative Rules (Notary Public, Electronic Notary Public, Remote Notarization)
Effective January 25, 2023
View the regulations (scroll to Page 24)


Establishes standards for the performance of notarial acts, including electronic notarial acts for physically present and remotely present principals.

Provides that defined terms are “Notary Public” or “Notary”; “electronic Notary Public” or “electronic Notary”; “notarial act”; “electronic notarial act”; “record”; “electronic record”; “identity verification”; “credential analysis”; “credential service provider”; “identity proofing”; “personal appearance”; “communication technology”; “electronic signature”; “public key infrastructure”; “public/private key or asymmetric cryptographic system”; and “principal.”

Notary Commission; eNotary Registration; and Responsibilities
Specifies that prior to performing any notarial acts as a New York Notary Public, an individual must be commissioned by the Secretary of State and must provide all information required by the Secretary of State’s application form.  Establishes that all applications for Notary commission appointment and reappointment; and all registrations of capability to perform electronic notarial acts, shall be in the form and manner prescribed by the Secretary of State.

Prohibits any New York Notary from performing an electronic notarial act until he/she/they have been registered to do so on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State, including—in addition to any other information prescribed by the Secretary of State—the following:
  1. the Notary’s name as commissioned and mailing address;
  2. the expiration date of the Notary’s commission and signature of the Notary;
  3. the Notary’s email address;
  4. the description of the technology to be used in attaching the Notary’s electronic signature to the record;
  5. an exemplar of the Notary’s electronic signature, which shall be provided through and in the manner required by the Department of State’s registration system (using the Notary’s selected signature vendor) and contain the Notary’s name and any instructions, authorizations, or techniques that allow the Notary’s electronic signature to be read and verified.


Requires a Notary Public, within five days after a change of name, address, or email address, to send the Secretary of State a notice of the change that is signed with the Notary’s official signature.  

Specifies that a Notary may apply for reappointment within 90 days of expiration of their commission, provided that the Notary continues to meet the requirements set forth in law.

Requires that any update to information submitted in order to register as a New York eNotary must be made prior to performance of any electronic notarial act.  Further provides that when any Notary who has registered to perform electronic notarial acts applies for reappointment, the Notary must provide verification of the accuracy of all information on file with the Secretary of State and affirm compliance with all requirements of this Part.

Sets administrative fees, as follows:
Notary Public commission application......................................$60
Notary Public commission renewal...........................................$60
Notary Public applicants who must take a written examination....$15 for each examination taken
Electronic Notary registration..................................................$60
Change requests and Duplicate License/Registration requests...$10


Specifies that all application, renewal, and registration fees shall be transmitted (submitted) in a manner prescribed by the Secretary of State.

Establishes that any Notary who fails to comply with any of this Rule’s requirements shall not be eligible for reappointment.

Notarial Act Fees
Provides that a Notary is entitled to a fee for a notarial act as specified in Section 136 of the Executive Law, as follows:
  1. For administering an oath or affirmation, and certifying the same when required, except where another fee is specifically prescribed by statute, $2.
  2. For taking and certifying the acknowledgment or proof of execution of a written instrument, by one person, $2, and by each additional person, $2, for swearing such witness thereto, $2.

Establishes that a registered New York eNotary may charge a fee of $25 for each electronic notarial act, inclusive of all costs incurred by the Notary (i.e., $25 is the maximum fee for each electronic notarial act).

General Standards of Notarization
Establishes certain fundamentals of notarization, by specifying that when performing a notarial act, all Notaries must:
  1. satisfy the requirements of New York’s Executive Law;
  2. identify the individual appearing before the Notary;
  3. require the personal appearance of all parties to any transaction for which a notarial act is required (except acts performed in conformity with law unless a law expressly excludes such authorization);
  4. administer any oath or affirmation;
  5. disqualify themselves from transactions in which the Notary is a party or directly and pecuniarily interested;
  6. refuse to perform a notarial act when the requirements specified in administrative rules (Part 182, Title 19 NYCRR) cannot be met;
  7. refuse to perform a notarial act if the Notary is not satisfied that the presented record evidences the individual’s capacity to act as the representative on the record presented for notarization; and
  8. maintain notarial records.*
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* This rule also specifies that notifying the Secretary within five days after a change of name, address, or email address is a standard of notarization.


Authorizes a Notary to refuse to perform a notarial act if the Notary is not satisfied that the principal is competent or has the capacity to execute a record; or that the principal’s signature is knowingly and voluntarily made.

Electronic Notary Provisions
Requires all Notaries wishing to perform electronic notarial act to:
  1. Register, with the Secretary of State, the capability to notarize electronically.
  2. Use only electronic notarization vendors who comply with the standards set forth in (this) administrative rule and in any communications or reporting relating to such standards.
  3. Be physically located in New York when performing electronic notarial acts.
  4. Use a network that permits location detection.
  5. Affix a reliable electronic signature, which is deemed to be reliable if it is unique to the Notary; attached or logically associated with the electronic record by use of a digital certificate that utilizes public key infrastructure and is capable of independent verification; retained under the Notary’s sole control; and linked to the data in such a manner that any subsequent alterations to the underlying record are detectable and may invalidate the electronic notarial act.
  6. Use their electronic signature only for performing electronic notarial acts or as otherwise specified in this administrative rule.
  7. Ensure the remote online notarial certificate for an electronic notarial act states that the person making the acknowledgement or making the oath appeared using communication technology.
  8. For execution of any instrument in writing, confirm that such instrument is the same in which the principal made a statement or on which the principal executed a signature.
  9. Verify—if the principal is located outside of the United States—that the record or subject of the notarial act is to be filed with or relates to a matter before a public official or court, governmental entity, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; or involves property located in the territorial jurisdiction of or involves a transaction substantially connected with the United States.
  10. Ensure—for a change of address—that the notice of change is electronically transmitted to the Secretary of State and signed with the Notary Public’s designated electronic signature.
  11. For any update to the information required to register the capability to perform an electronic notarial act, make such update prior to performance of any electronic notarial act.

Prohibits a Notary from disclosing any access information used to affix the electronic Notary’s signature and seal except when requested by the Secretary of State or a designee, or judicial subpoena, and with reasonable precautions, electronic document preparation and transmission vendors.

Requires control of security aspects related to the Notary’s electronic signature and electronic seal to remain under the sole control of the Notary Public.

Identifying Principals (Physically or Remotely Present Before the Notary)
Requires that for anyone signing a document and who is in a Notary’s physical presence, including any principal seeking a notarial act and any witness thereto, the Notary must obtain satisfactory evidence of identity.

Establishes that for this purpose, satisfactory evidence of identity requires:
  1. presentation of an identification card, issued by a governmental agency, that is valid and current, contains the photographic image of the bearer, has an accurate physical description of the bearer, if applicable; and includes the signature of the bearer; or
  2. at least two current documents issued by an institution, business entity, or federal or state government with the individual’s signature; or
  3. attestation by the Notary Public that the individual is personally known to the Notary; or
  4. the oath or affirmation of a credible witness who is personally known to the individual and Notary; or
  5. the oath or affirmation of two witnesses who know the individual personally and provide identification that meets the requirements of (this administrative rule).


Requires that for anyone signing a document and who is appearing before an electronic Notary using communication technology, and who is not personally known to the Notary, the Notary must obtain satisfactory evidence of identity which is:
  1. identity verification utilizing communication technology that meets the requirements set forth these Rules;
  2. credential analysis; and
  3. identity proofing by a third-party service provider.

Establishes that, provided all other requirements of this Rule are met, attestation by an electronic Notary that an individual appearing through communication technology is personally known to the Notary is satisfactory evidence of identity for electronic notarial acts.


(See Electronic Notarization Standards, below, for standards pertaining to identity proofing and communication technology used in electronic notarizations involving a remotely located individual.)

Electronic Notarization Standards
Establishes the minimum technology standards for the identity proofing, credential analysis and communication technology used in electronic notarizations involving a remotely located individual.  

Requires identity proofing, at a minimum, to meet the Identity Assurance Level 2 Standard as outlined in the Digital Identity Guidelines of the National Institute of Standards and Technology or any industry accepted standard that is at least as secure, or more secure, than that standard.  (Incorporates, by reference, that Standard.)

Establishes that credential analysis must be performed by a third-party service provider who has provided evidence to the online Notary of the provider’s ability to satisfy this Rule’s requirements.  Further establishes that credential analysis must utilize public or private data sources to confirm the validity of an identification credential.


In addition, requires credential analysis to:
  1. use automated software processes to aid the online Notary Public in verifying the identity of a remotely located individual;
  2. ensure that the identification credential passes an authenticity test, consistent with sound commercial practices that: (i) uses appropriate technologies to confirm the integrity of visual, physical, or cryptographic security features; (ii) uses appropriate technologies to confirm that the identification credential is not fraudulent or inappropriately modified; (iii) uses information held or published by the issuing source or an authoritative source, as available, to confirm the validity of identification credential details; and (iv) provides output of the authenticity test to the notary.

Requires communication technology to permit sufficient audio and visual clarity to enable the Notary and the remotely located person(s) to:  see and speak to each other simultaneously through live, real-time transmission throughout the duration of the notarial act; permit sufficient visual clarity to enable the Notary to view, read, and capture the identification card presented as verification of identity; include a signal transmission secure from interception through lawful means by anyone other than the parties to the notarial act; include a process of reproduction that does not permit additions, deletions, or changes without leaving a record of such; provide some manner of ensuring that the electronic record that is presented for electronic notarization is the same record electronically signed by the principal; and permit recording and archiving of the audio-video communication session.

Requires an electronic Notary to keep a copy of the recording of the video and audio conference related to an electronic notarization.


Maintaining Records of Notarial Acts
Establishes standards for mandatory recordkeeping of notarial acts by a Notary, as well as for retention of records and reporting.  A Notary must make a record of each notarial act contemporaneously with (at the same time as) the notarial act and include in the record:
  1. the date, approximate time, and type of notarial act(s) performed;
  2. the name and address of any individuals for whom a notarial act was performed;
  3. the number and type of notarial services provided;
  4. the type of credential used to identify the principal;
  5. the verification procedures used for any personal appearance before the Notary Public; and
  6. for electronic notarial acts, identification of the communication technology, certification authority, and verification providers used.

Requires a Notary to retain his/her/their records of notarial acts for at least ten years*, and to ensure that any records be capable of being produced to the Secretary of State and others as necessary in relation to the performance of the Notary’s obligations.
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*Although not specified, this period will be ten years from the date of notarization.  When keeping records in a paper recordbook or journal, common practice is to retain notarial records for the specified period of time (ten years) after the last entry made in the recordbook (journal).

Requires an electronic Notary to keep a copy of the recording of the video and audio conference related to an electronic notarization.*
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*An electronic Notary’s copy of the recording of an electronic notarization’s video and audio conference should also be considered a notarial record, and therefore should be retained for at least 10 years from the date of the notarial act.
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NEW YORK – SB 4784
Effective July 21, 2022
View this bill


Allows acknowledgments and proofs to be performed by any officer in active service authorized to act as Notary in any component part of the U.S. military.
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NEW YORK - SB 1780
Effective June 20, 2022
View this bill
Click “View this bill” link; then check “Text” box; then hover mouse over “Text” and click to view bill text.


Authorizes electronic notarization and remote online notarization in the Empire State. Provides an effective date (the 180th day after SB 1780 became law). Authorizes addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for implementation of SB 1780 on its effective date.

Defines “communication technology,” “electronic,” “electronic document,” “electronic notarial act,” “electronic Notary Public,” and “electronic signature.” (Bill Section 1, 1.(a) – (e).)

Establishes that the methods for identifying document signers for an electronic notarization shall be the same as those required for a paper-based notarization. Clarifies that an electronic notarization performed using communication technology shall meet the standards approved through regulation by the Secretary of State. Provides that such regulations shall include, but not be limited to:

  i. that the signal transmission shall be secure from interception through lawful means by anyone other than the persons communicating;
  ii. that the signal transmission shall be live, in real time; and
  iii. that the technology shall permit the notary to communicate with and identify the remotely located individual at the time of the notarial act. (Bill Section 1, 2.(a))

Requires that if video and audio conference technology has been used to ascertain a document signer's identity, the electronic notary shall keep a copy of the recording of the video and audio conference and a notation of the type of any other identification used. Further requires that the recording be maintained for a period of at least ten years from the date of transaction. (Bill Section 1, 2.(b))


Requires that before performing any electronic notarial act or acts, a Notary Public shall register the capability to notarize electronically with the Secretary of State, using a form prescribed by the Secretary. Specifies information the Notary Public shall provide with such registration:
  i. the applicant's name as currently commissioned and complete mailing address;
  ii. the expiration date of the Notary Public's commission and signature of the commissioned Notary Public;
  iii. the applicant's e-mail address;
  iv. the description of the electronic technology or technologies to be used in attaching the Notary Public's electronic signature to the electronic document; and
  v. an exemplar of the Notary Public's electronic signature, which shall contain the Notary Public's name and any necessary instructions or techniques that allow the Notary Public's electronic signature to be read. (Bill Section 1, 3.(a)-(b))


Establishes that any notarial act authorized by Section 135 of New York’s Executive Law may be performed electronically as prescribed in Section 137-a if:
  i. under applicable law document may be signed with an electronic signature; and
  ii. the electronic Notary Public is located within the state of New York at the time of the performance of an electronic notarial act using communication technology, regardless of the location of the document signer. (Bill Section 1, 4.(a))

Provides that an electronic notarial act performed using communication technology pursuant to this Section 137-a satisfies any requirement of New York law that a document signer personally appear before, be in the presence of, or be in a single time and place with a Notary Public at the time of the performance of the notarial act. (Bill Section 1, 4.(b))

Requires that when performing an electronic notarial act, a Notary Public shall apply an electronic signature, which shall be attached to the electronic document such that removal or alteration of the electronic signature is detectable and will provide evidence of alteration of the document containing the Notary’s signature. Further provides that such evidence of alteration may invalidate the electronic notarial act. (Bill Section 1, 5.(a))


Deems a Notary Public’s electronic signature to be reliable if it meets the standards approved by regulations of the Secretary of State. Requires such regulations to include, but not be limited to, certain specified requirements (the Notary’s electronic signature must be unique to the Notary Public; capable of independent verification; retained under the Notary Public’s sole control; attached to the electronic document; and linked to the data in such a manner that any subsequent alterations to the underlying document are detectable and may invalidate the electronic notarial act). (Bill Section 1, 5.(b))

Prohibits use of a Notary Public’s electronic signature for any purpose other than performing electronic notarial acts. (Bill Section 1, 5.(c))

Requires the notarial certificate for a (remote) electronic notarial act to state that the person making the acknowledgement or making the oath appeared remotely online. (Bill Section 1, 5.(d))


Requires the Secretary of State to adopt rules establishing standards, procedures, practices, forms and records relating to a Notary Public’s electronic signature; requires a Notary Public’s electronic signature to conform to any standards adopted by the Secretary. (Bill Section 1, 5.(e))

Establishes that a paper copy of an electronic record that complies with (new) Section 137-a of New York Executive Law satisfies a requirement of law that as a condition of recording, a document must be an original document, printed on paper or other tangible medium, or be in writing. (Bill Section 1, 6.(a))

Provides that if otherwise required by law that a document be signed as a condition of recording, the requirement may be satisfied by an electronic signature. (Bill Section 1, 6.(b)) Further provides that a requirement that a document or a signature associated with a document be notarized, acknowledged, verified, witnessed or made under oath is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform the act, and all other information required to be included, is attached to or logically associated with the document or signature. Clarifies that a physical or electronic image of a stamp, impression or seal need not accompany an electronic signature if the Notary has attached an electronic notarial certificate meeting the requirements of Section 137-a of New York Executive Law. (Bill Section 1, 6.(c))


Requires a Notary Public to notify the Secretary of State within five days after the change of an email address; such notification, signed with the Notary Public’s official electronic signature, must be electronically transmitted to the Secretary of State. (Bill Section 1, 7.)

Prohibits any Notary Public or business employing the services of a Notary Public operating in New York State from exclusively requiring that notarial transactions utilize electronic notarization. (Bill Section 1, 8.)

Amends Section 136 of New York Executive Law to establish that a Notary Public performing an electronic notarial act under Section 137-a of New York Executive Law may charge a fee set through regulation of the Secretary of State. (Bill Section 2, 3.)

 
NORTH CAROLINA – HB 776
Effective July 1, 2023 except bill Sections 3, 4 and 8 are effective immediately (upon becoming law).
View this bill

The North Carolina General Assembly has enacted remote online notarization in the Tar Heel State.


Bill provisions effective immediately:
• Section 3, extending the statutory authorization for emergency video notarization (G.S. 10B-25) until 12:01 AM, June 30, 2023 and amending G.S. 10B-25(d)(1) to say “Is current”; increasing to $10, per principal signature, the maximum fee that may be charged by a Notary Public for performing a (signature) notarial act (G.S. 10B-31(1)); increasing to $10 per person the fee for administering a (verbal) oath or affirmation to a person not acting as a credible witness (G.S. 10B-31(2)); allowing a fee of $15 to be charged for performance of an electronic notarial act for a physically present individual (G.S. 10B-31(3)); allowing $25 per principal signature to be charged for performance of a remote electronic notarization (G.S. 10B-31(4)); and allowing a Notary to charge the federal mileage rate for actual mileage incurred for travel to perform a notarial act, if the travel charge is agreed to by the principal in writing, prior to the travel (G.S. 10B-31(5)).

• Section 4, amending G.S. 47-14 to require a register of deeds, subject to specified conditions, to record a paper copy of an electronic document as defined in G.S. 47-16.2(3) that is otherwise eligible under state law to be recorded in the real property records.
• Section 8, prescribing appropriation to the Secretary of State of receipts/fees established by Chapter 10B, Article 2, Part 4A and providing the purpose of such funds.

The following provisions of HB 776 are effective July 1, 2023.

Defines key terms: “communication technology,” “communication technology recording,” “credential analysis,” “electronic journal,” identity proofing,” “platform,” “remote electronic notarial certificate,” “remote electronic notarization or remote electronic notarial act,” “remote electronic Notary Public or remote electronic Notary,” “remotely located principal,” “tamper-evident,” “third-party vendor.”

Authorization, Remote Online Notarization
Provides that, upon registration with the Secretary of State, a remote electronic Notary may perform any of the notarial acts listed in G.S. 10B-115 by means of communication technology in accordance with Chapter 10B, Article 2, Part 4A. Remote Electronic Notarization; and that a remote electronic Notary may perform any authorized remote notarial act with respect to electronic documents.


Amends existing statutes prescribing a Notary’s registration with the Secretary of State prior to performing electronic notarial acts for a physically present individual, to require the same registration requirements to apply to a Notary registering to perform electronic notarial acts for a remotely located individual.

Authorizes a North Carolina remote electronic Notary to perform a remote electronic notarial act only while physically located in North Carolina. Establishes that a remote online notarization performed by a North Carolina remote electronic Notary is governed by the laws of North Carolina.

Prohibits performance of a remote electronic notarial act under certain specified circumstances, and prohibits remote electronic notarization of specified document types. Clarifies that the prohibition against remote electronic notarization of specified document types does not apply if, at the time of the remote electronic notarial act, the remotely located principal is outside the United States and physically on the military installation or vessel named in the military orders assigning the member to active duty for more than 120 days, provided the remotely located principal is a member, spouse of a member, or dependent of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. (G.S. 10B-134.1(10)b.)

General Use of Communication Technology
Requires a remote electronic Notary to select one or more tamper-evident technologies with which to perform remote electronic notarial acts with respect to electronic documents. Establishes that no person may require a remote electronic Notary to perform a remote electronic notarial act using a communication technology that the Notary has not selected.


Requires a remote electronic Notary to take reasonable steps to provide that any remote electronic notarization communication technology used is secure from unauthorized interception. Establishes that the communication technology shall provide automated backup of the communication technology’s recording of a remote online notarization, in addition to any other requirements established in Article 2, Chapter 10B or by the Secretary of State.

Establishes the statutory requirements to be met by any communication technology used by a remote electronic Notary, which includes the capability of geolocating the remotely located principal to corroborate his/her/their location.

Requires each remote online notarization to include a communication technology recording that need not include any transactions other than the remote electronic notarial act, unless the Secretary of State specifies in administrative rules that additional interactions shall also be recorded.


Performing Remote Electronic Notarial Acts
Provides procedural requirements for a remote electronic Notary to perform a remote electronic notarial act, including that, prior to performance of a remote electronic notarial act:
1. The remote electronic notary shall inform the participants that North Carolina law requires that a communication technology recording be made of the remote electronic notarization.
2. The remote electronic notary shall require the remotely located principal to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the remote electronic notary, that the remotely located principal is not under duress and is not otherwise being coerced to complete the transaction.
3. The remote electronic notary shall verify the identity of the remotely located principal as provided in G.S. 10B-134.11.
4. The remote electronic notary shall ask the remotely located principal if the remotely located principal would like an attorney to participate in the remote notarization, and allow for such if so requested.
5. The remotely located principal shall verbally state what documents are being signed for the notarial record or describe the general nature of the transaction.
6. The location of the remotely located principal shall be verified by geolocation via communication technology


Requires a remote electronic Notary to refuse to perform a remote electronic notarial act if: the remote electronic Notary has reasonable grounds to believe the remotely located principal is acting under duress or is being coerced into completing the transaction; the remote electronic Notary becomes aware that the communication technology is not secure; the electronic signature of the remotely located principal cannot be attached to the electronic document for signature; the remote electronic Notary’s electronic notarial certificate and seal cannot be attached to the electronic document using a tamper-evident technology (that makes evident any subsequent change or modification to the electronic document).

Provides requirements for a remote electronic Notary’s performance of an oath or affirmation notarial act (not involving a signed electronic document). Requires the remote electronic Notary to administer the oath or affirmation to the remotely located principal using a licensed platform. Clarifies that, in judicial actions or proceedings, any commissioned North Carolina Notary Public, whether registered as a remote electronic Notary or not, may administer an oath or affirmation to a witness not physically present with the Notary, if communication technology is utilized and subject to the requirements set forth in Section 10B-134.9(d)(1, 2, 3).


Requires a remote electronic Notary, prior to a remote electronic notarial act, to verify each remotely located principal’s identity through one of the following:
  The remote electronic Notary’s personal knowledge of the remotely located principal’s identity;
•  All of the following, as specified and described in Section 10B-134.11(a)(2): a. credential analysis; b. identity proofing; c. comparison by the remote electronic Notary of the principal’s current identification credential as presented by the remotely located principal during credential analysis, to the image of the remotely located principal seen via communication technology.

Clarifies that a remote electronic Notary may require a remotely located principal to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to confirm that individual’s identity.

Amends existing law pertaining to the notarial components (certificate) of an electronically notarized, electronic document, to require information elements indicating that either an electronic notarization for a physically present individual; or an electronic notarization for a remotely located individual appearing by means of communication technology; was pe
rformed.

Electronic Journal of Remote Electronic Notarial Acts
Requires a remote electronic Notary to record all remote electronic notarizations in an electronic journal. Provides that such electronic journal is the exclusive property of the remote electronic Notary, and prohibits a remote electronic Notary from allowing another person to make entries in the electronic journal.

Provides that the Secretary of State shall adopt administrative rules specifying the content and secure storage of the electronic journal. Specifies matters that must be addressed in such rules with respect to the electronic journal.


Allows a remote electronic Notary to surrender the electronic journal to the remote electronic Notary’s employer upon employment termination, but requires the remote electronic Notary to also keep and maintain an accurate backup copy of the electronic journal for 10 years after the last remote electronic notarization entered into the journal. Clarifies that under no other circumstance shall a remote electronic Notary surrender or destroy an electronic journal or the communication technology recordings of remote electronic notarial acts, except as required by a court order or as allowed under rules adopted by the Secretary of State.

Required Security Measures by a Remote Electronic Notary
Requires all records of journal entries and communication technology recordings to be securely stored in a repository under control of the remote electronic Notary or with a duly appointed steward (as provided for in this Part). Clarifies that any appointed steward shall be a third-party vendor approved by the Secretary of State.

Requires a remote electronic Notary to take reasonable steps to ensure that communication technology recordings are secure from unauthorized interception during transmission between participants involved in a remote electronic notarial act. Requires a remote electronic Notary’s chosen communication technology to employ data protection safeguards consistent with generally accepted information security standards.


Specifies actions to be taken by a remote electronic Notary within 10 calendar days of discovering any permanent loss of data, unauthorized use, loss of use, or security compromise of the electronic journal or the communication technology recordings of remote electronic notarial acts

Establishes that the failure of a remote electronic Notary to produce within 30 calendar days of the Secretary’s request any record required by a rule adopted under this Part shall result in the remote electronic Notary’s suspension to act as a Notary until the Secretary’s reinstatement of the Notary’s commission.

Licensing of Platforms by the Secretary of State
Establishes that a remote electronic Notary shall use only the communication technology of a platform licensed by the Secretary of State.

Prescribes basic procedural steps to be taken by the Secretary of State in reviewing and licensing platforms. Requires platforms desiring licensing to submit an application on a form prescribed by the Secretary, and pay a licensing fee of $5000. Prescribes the minimum information to be submitted on such application, and requires a criminal history background check by the Secretary of State of specified officers, directors and employees of the platform provider. Allows the Secretary of State to require any other information deemed necessary. Authorizes the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS) to provide the Secretary of State with a criminal history for any applicant seeking a platform license. Establishes the information the Secretary shall provide to the DPS for such background checks. Provides that fingerprint checks shall be subject to state and federal examination. Requires the Secretary of State to keep all criminal history check information confidential, and clarifies that such criminal history checks are not public records under Chapter 132 of North Carolina’s General Statutes.

Provides that the Secretary shall award a license only to applicants “of good moral character” and who provide a communication technology capable of meeting certain requirements set forth in Section 10B-134.19(e).


Clarifies that no platform license issued by the Secretary is assignable or transferable without the Secretary of State’s approval; and that licenses shall be renewed annually for the (annual) $5000 fee, in a manner set by the Secretary. Requires each licensed platform to collect a $5 fee for each remote electronic notarization performed on the platform by a North Carolina remote electronic Notary, and remit such fees at least monthly to the Secretary of State. Specifies that such fees shall be used by the Secretary in the implementation and enforcement of North Carolina’s remote electronic notarization law.

Provider Requirements
Requires all licensees and third-party vendors to meet all standards established by the Secretary of State. In the absence of administrative rules, prohibits a licensee or third-party vendor from furnishing a service to a remote electronic Notary until the Secretary has determined that the provided service meets generally accepted industry security standards for that service.


Allows the Secretary to adopt rules establishing, supplementing or amending third-party vendor guidelines for standards and processes for identity proofing and credential analysis services.

Provides actions that may be taken by the Secretary of State if a licensed provider or third-party vendor violates Chapter 10B, Article 2, Part 4A or any rule adopted by the Secretary of State. Requires a licensee or third-party vendor whose technology is restricted, suspended or revoked to work with remote electronic Notaries using those services to ensure access and, if necessary, ease transition to a different licensee or third-party vendor. Prohibits such licensees from denying remote electronic Notary customers access to their technology.

Establishes conditions and circumstances making a licensee or third-party vendor liable to any person who suffers damages from a remote electronic notarial act. Clarifies that a remote electronic Notary who exercised reasonable care in selecting and using a licensee or third-party vendor in connection with a remote electronic notarial act is not liable for any damages resulting from the licensee’s or third-party vendor’s failure to comply with requirements of Chapter 10B, Article 2, Part 4A. With respect to this immunity of the remote electronic Notary, provides that any contract provision between a remote electronic Notary and a licensee or third-party vendor that attempts to waive such immunity for the remote electronic Notary is null, void and of no effect.

Administrative Rulemaking

Requires the Secretary of State to adopt rules to implement North Carolina’s remote electronic notarization law. Requires the rules to at least provide for all of the following:
1. Any additional educational requirements for remote electronic notaries.
2. The contents and security of the electronic journal.
3. The security standards, features, qualifications, measures, storage, and any other matter related to communication technology, credential analysis, and identity proofing.
4. The requirements of secure storage of all communication technology recordings, the electronic journal, and any other documentation under the control of the remote electronic notary regarding the remote electronic notarial act.
5. Any necessary actions upon notification of permanent loss of data, unauthorized use, loss of use, or compromise of security of the electronic journal or the communication technology recordings of remote electronic notarial acts.


Allows the Secretary of State to utilize emergency and temporary rulemaking as needed to implement the new law. Requires the Secretary of State to begin rulemaking prior to July 1, 2023, but clarifies that no temporary or permanent rule shall become effective prior to July 1, 2023.

Allows the Secretary to adopt rules establishing, supplementing or amending third-party vendor guidelines for standards and processes for identity proofing and credential analysis services.

Other Provisions
Provides that any non-material failure of a North Carolina remote electronic Notary to comply with the state’s requirements of remote electronic notarization does not invalidate the notarial act or the remotely notarized electronic record. Provides that an aggrieved person is not prevented from using failures in the remote electronic notarization process, along with other grounds, to challenge the validity or enforceability of the remote electronic notarization based on fraud, forgery, impersonation, duress, incapacity, undue influence, minority, illegality, unconscionability, or another basis not related to the remote electronic notarial act or constructive notice provided by recording of the electronic record.


Prohibits an attorney-in-fact from using any remotely notarized power of attorney with any other remotely notarized document to convey title to, or transfer any interest in, a remotely located principal’s real property. Requires a power of attorney executed by a remotely located principal pursuant to Chapter 10B, Article 2, Part 4A. to be recorded in at least one county register of deeds office in North Carolina. Clarifies that this requirement does not apply to powers of attorney executed by a remotely located principal described in G.S. 10B-134.1(10)b.

Allows the Secretary of State to refer evidence of violations of Chapter 10B or other criminal acts involving a notarization performed under this Chapter to the proper district attorney. Provides that such district attorney may, with or without a referral from the Secretary of State, institute appropriate criminal proceedings. Provides for an employee of the Secretary of State to be appointed as a special prosecutor to assist the district attorney.

Establishes that nothing in Chapter 10B, Article 2, Part 4A shall be construed to alter or supersede North Carolina laws, or any opinion or ruling by a North Carolina court of competent jurisdiction or the North Carolina State Bar, pertaining to unauthorized practice of law in the state, including that a licensed North Carolina attorney shall supervise a residential real estate closing under Authorized Practice Advisory Opinion 2002-1 by the North Caroline State Bar, and perform all services defined as the practice of law for real property located in North Carolina. Clarifies that a remote electronic Notary who is not also a licensed Notary Carolina attorney is prohibited from rendering services or advice that constitutes the practice of law in North Carolina.

Makes numerous other conforming or clarifying amendments to current law.

 
OHIO – SB 131
Effective 12/29/2023
View this bill see pages 2-9 and 21-23

Requires that, subject to all conditions and requirements set forth in SB 131, Ohio’s Secretary of State must:
  1. Issue an Ohio Notary Public commission to qualifying out-of-state applicants who are also commissioned or licensed as a Notary Public in another U.S. state;
  2. Issue a written authorization to perform remote online notarial acts to qualifying out-of-state applicants who also hold a remote online notarization authorization or license in another U.S. state.

(This bill’s provisions apply to other Ohio “licensing authorities” as well, not solely the Secretary of State.)


Establishes that an out-of-state applicant who is issued an Ohio license or government certification under the provisions of SB 131 is subject to the laws regulating the practice of the applicable occupation or profession in Ohio, and is subject to the Ohio licensing authority’s jurisdiction. Restricts out-of-state applicants receiving an Ohio license or government certification to practicing their applicable occupation or profession in Ohio only within the scope and practice that is permitted under Ohio law. Clarifies that such practice of the applicable occupation or profession in Ohio shall not exceed the applicant’s training.

Defines key terms:
  1. “License” – an authorization evidenced by a license, certificate, registration, permit, card, or other authority that is issued or conferred by a licensing authority to an individual by which the individual has or claims the privilege to engage in a profession, occupation, or occupational activity over which the licensing authority has jurisdiction.
  2. “Licensing authority” – a state agency or political subdivision that issues licenses or government certifications.
  3. “Uniformed services”—the U.S. Armed Forces; the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service; or any reserve components of those forces; and such other service as may be designated by Congress.
  4. "Out-of-state occupational license"—a license, certificate, registration, permit, card, or other authority that is issued or conferred by one of the uniformed services or the government of another state to an individual by which the individual has or claims the privilege to engage in a profession, occupation, or occupational activity over which that service or state has jurisdiction
  5. "Good standing"—the individual's out-of-state occupational license, government certification, or private certification, as applicable, is not restricted or limited by the entity that regulates the out-of-state license, government certification, or private certification.

  6. “Another state,” “any other state,” and “home state” include the uniformed services, for purposes of any law requiring a licensing authority to issue a license or government certification under applicable Ohio law to an individual holding a license or government certification issued by another state.

Establishes provisions for commissioning of non-resident applicants for Ohio licenses including Notary Public commissions. Therefore, requires an Ohio Notary Public commission to be issued to an out-of-state applicant if the Ohio Secretary of State determines that all the following apply:
  1. The applicant holds another state’s Notary Public commission or appointment;
  2. The applicant’s Notary Public commission or appointment is in good standing with the issuing state;
  3. The applicant has held the out-of-state Notary Public commission or appointment for at least one year immediately preceding making application for an Ohio Notary Public commission, and has been actively practicing for at least one of the preceding five years (although this requirement may be waived).
  4. The applicant was required to satisfy minimum education, training, or experience requirements or pass an examination to receive the out-of-state Notary Public commission. (NOTE: this requirement is triggered by Ohio’s requirements for its in-state Notary applicants to obtain both Notary training and an examination.)
  5. The applicant has not surrendered or had revoked his/her/their out of state Notary Public commission or appointment because of negligence or intentional misconduct.
  6. The applicant pays the appropriate fee (as determined by the Ohio Secretary of State).
  7. The applicant has not been convicted of, found guilty pursuant to a judicial finding of, or plead guilty to a criminal offense for which the Secretary of State may deny or disqualify the applicant from receiving an Ohio Notary Public commission.


Additionally, allows an Ohio licensing authority (such as the Secretary of State) to require an out-of-state applicant for an Ohio license or government certification to:
  1. pass an examination on Ohio’s laws and rules governing the profession, occupation or occupational activity for which the applicant seeks the same Ohio license (for example, a Notary Public commission), if Ohio requires its in-state applicants to pass an examination;
  2. submit to a criminal records check, if Ohio requires its in-state applicants to obtain criminal records check;
  3. satisfy a financial responsibility requirement, if Ohio requires its in-state applicants to do so.

Requires an Ohio licensing authority to issue a license or government certification (such as a Notary Public commission) to an applicant if the licensing authority determines that the applicant has been actively engaged in the same profession, occupation or occupational activity as the license or government certification for which the applicant is applying in Ohio, for at least three of the five years immediately preceding the date the application is submitted in either a state that does not issue an out-of-state occupational license or government certification for the respective profession, occupation or occupational activity; or in service of the uniformed services. (Applicants must meet the requirements noted in items 1-7 above.)

Allows a licensing authority to waive the requirement that an out-of-state applicant has been actively engaged in the practice of the profession, occupation, or occupational activity for three of the five years immediately preceding the date the application is submitted.

Clarifies that an Ohio licensing authority may issue a restricted or limited license or government certification to an applicant who would otherwise be disqualified from obtaining it because of a disqualifying offense, as long as the limitation or restriction is relevant to the offense.

Provides for an Ohio licensing authority’s ability to apply various provisions of Ohio law to the circumstances of out-of-state applicants for the various Ohio licenses and certifications contemplated in SB 131.


Requires Ohio’s affected licensing authorities to adopt rules to implement the Act.

 
PENNSYLVANIA – Senate Bill 807
Effective January 2, 2023
View this bill

Amends existing law to allow the official signature of each Notary Public to be registered in the Notary Register of the prothonotary [existing law] or the office of the recorder of deeds of the county where the Notary Public maintains an office.

Establishes that on the same day that an official signature of a Notary Public is registered in the office of the appropriate recorder of deeds, the office of the recorder of deeds may electronically transfer a copy of the official signature of the Notary Public to the prothonotary’s office of the county where the Notary maintains an office.

Provides that in lieu of such electronic transfer, a “hard copy” of a Notary Public’s official signature shall be provided to the prothonotary’s office.

Repeals existing law’s 50-cent fee for registration of a Notary Public’s official signature.

 
RHODE ISLAND – HB 7363
Effective June 20, 2022
View this bill

Amends current law and enacts remote online notarization in the Ocean State.

Defines key terms not already defined in Rhode Island’s Notary law: “communication technology,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing,” “outside the United States,” and “remotely located individual.”


Authorizes a notarial officer to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record.

Requires a notarial officer who certifies or attests a copy of a record or an item that was copied to determine that the copy is a full, true and accurate transcription or reproduction of the record or item.

Clarifies that “personal appearance” means that the principal and the Notary Public communicate by communication technology at the time of the notarization; or that the principal and Notary Pubic are physically close enough to communicate with each other at the time of notarization.


Clarifies that a notarial officer has personal knowledge of the identity of an individual appearing before the notarial officer if the individual is personally known to the notarial officer through dealings sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed.

Establishes verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness as a form of satisfactory evidence of identification of an individual appearing before a notarial officer. Requires that the credible witness be personally known to the notarial officer or be identified by the notarial officer on the basis of a passport, driver’s license, or government issued nondriver identification card which is current or expired not more than three (3) years before performance of the notarial act.

Clarifies that “foreign state” means a government other than the United States or a state.


Provides that if a notarial act is performed under authority and in the jurisdiction of a foreign state or constituent unit of the foreign state, or is performed under the authority of a multinational or international governmental organization, the act has the same effect under Rhode Island law as if performed by a Rhode Island notarial officer.

Provides that a remotely located individual may comply with Rhode Island’s requirement that an individual personally appear before a notarial officer for performance of a notarial act, by using communication technology to appear.


Establishes that a Rhode Island Notary Public located in Rhode Island may perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual if:
the Notary Public has either personal knowledge of the remotely located individual’s identity; or satisfactory evidence of identity by means of an oath or affirmation by a credible witness appearing before the Notary Public (personally known to the Notary or identifiable by means of a passport, driver’s license or government issued nondriver identification card that is current or expired not more than three (3) years before performance of the notarial act); or by using at least two different types of identity proofing as defined in the Act;
the Notary Public is reasonably able to confirm that a record before the Notary is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the individual executed a signature;
the Notary Public or a person acting on the Notary’s behalf creates an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act; and
for a remotely located individual located outside the United States, the record shall be filed with or relates to a matter before a public official or court, governmental entity, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; or involves property located in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States or involves a transaction substantially connected with the United States; and the act of making the statement or signing the record is not prohibited by the foreign state in which the remotely located individual is located.

Requires a Notary Public, before performing his/her/their initial notarial act for a remotely located individual, to notify the commissioning agency that the Notary Public will be performing notarial acts with respect to remotely located individuals, and identify the technologies the Notary Public intends to use. Provides that if the commissioning agency has established standards for approval of communication technology or identity proofing, the communication technology and identify proofing must conform to the standards.


Requires that a notarial act for a remotely located individual shall be evidenced by a notarial certificate, which must be executed contemporaneously with performance of the notarial act; signed and dated by the notarial officer and, if the notarial officer is a Notary Public, be signed in the manner on file with the commissioning agency; identify the jurisdiction in which the notarial act is performed; contain the title of office of the notarial officer; and—if the notarial officer is a Notary Public—indicate the date of expiration, if any, of the Notary Public’s commission.

Requires, for a notarial act regarding a tangible record and performed by a Notary Public, that an official stamp be affixed to the notarial certificate. Clarifies that if a notarial act is performed regarding a tangible record by a notarial officer other than a Notary Public and the certificate contains certain specified information, an official stamp may be affixed to the notarial certificate by the notarial officer. Further clarifies that if a notarial act involving an electronic record is performed by a notarial officer (including a Notary Public) and the certificate contains certain specified information, an official stamp may be affixed to the notarial certificate by the notarial officer.


Prohibits a notarial officer from affixing his/her/their signature to, or logically associating it with, a notarial certificate until the notarial act has been performed.

Requires a notarial certificate for a notarial act regarding a tangible record to be part of, or securely attached to, the record. Requires that if a notarial act is performed regarding an electronic record, the notarial certificate must be affixed to, or logically associated with, the electronic record.

Provides the criteria for a certificate of notarial act to be sufficient under Rhode Island’s Act. Establishes that by executing a certificate of notarial act, a notarial officer certifies that he/she/they have complied with the requirements and made the determinations specified in Sections 42-30.1-3, 42-30.1-4, and 41-30.1-5, Rhode Island General Laws.

Requires that for a record involving a notarial act for a remotely located individual, the certificate of notarial act required by the Act’s Section 42-30.1-12.2 and the short-form certificate provided in Section 42-30.1-12.2 must indicate that the notarial act was performed using communication technology.

Provides that use of a short-form certificate contemplated in the Act’s Section 42-30.1-12.2(g) (this section requires Rhode Island’s Notary commissioning agency to develop short-form certificates of notarial act for the authorized notarial duties) is sufficient for a notarial act performed for a remotely located individual if it complies with administrative rules adopted pursuant to the Act; or contains a statement substantially like, “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”

Requires a Notary Public, guardian, conservator or agent of a Notary Public, or a personal representative of a deceased Notary Public to either retain the audio-visual recording of every notarial act performed for a remotely located individual or cause the recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the person required to retain the recording. Requires such recordings to be retained for at least ten (10) years after the recording is made, unless a different period is required by administrative rules of the Secretary of State.

Allows a Notary Public to charge a fee not to exceed $25 per document or notarization for performance of a notarial act for a physically present individual, or for an individual appearing by means of communication technology. Requires all fees to be disclosed to any physically or remotely present person utilizing a Notary Public’s services, prior to performance of the notarial act.

 
SOUTH CAROLINA – Electronic Notarization Administrative Rules
Effective June 24, 2022
View these rules


The South Carolina Secretary of State has adopted regulations to implement the Palmetto State’s 2021 enactment of its Electronic Notary Public Act. The regulations appear as Chapter 113, Article 4 of South Carolina’s Code of Regulations.

Registration – Electronic Notary Public
Provides that, before performing notarial acts electronically, a Notary Public shall register with the Secretary of State to perform electronic notarial acts. Establishes that the term of registration as an electronic Notary shall coincide with the individual’s Notary Public commission term. Allows an electronic Notary to commence performing electronic notarial duties upon receipt of the Secretary of State’s confirmation of successful registration as an electronic Notary Public.

Requires that the application to register as an electronic Notary Public must be submitted electronically, and shall include:
1. the Notary’s full legal name and the name under which the individual’s Notary Public commission was issued, if different;
2. the residential address of the Notary Public and the county in which the Notary’s commission is enrolled;
3. the Notary’s email address;
4. the Notary’s proof of successful completion of the approved electronic Notary course of instruction, including the date of completion and name of the course of instruction;
5. the expiration date of the Notary Public’s commission;
6. disclosure of all license or commission revocations or other disciplinary actions against the Notary;
7. a description of the technology the Notary intends to use to perform electronic notarizations, including the name of the technology provider (referenced in the rule as “electronic Notary system provider”);
8. specified information to be included in the Notary’s description of the electronic notarization technology the Notary intends to use;
9. specified information that must be included if the device used to create the Notary-registrants electronic signature was issued or registered through a licensed certification authority;
10. a copy of the Notary’s electronic signature, electronic notarial certificate and electronic seal, including any necessary instructions or techniques that allow the signature and stamp to be read and authenticated.

Allows the Secretary of State, under the Freedom of Information Act, to exempt from disclosure the residential address and email address of the Notary, except as otherwise required by state, regulation or court order.


Provides for circumstances under which the Secretary of State may reject an application for registration as an electronic Notary Public:
1. the individual’s failure to comply with any of the requirements of the South Carolina Electronic Notary Public Act;
2. if the application is incomplete or contains any misstatement or omission of fact;
3. if at the time of application there is a pending inquiry by the Secretary of State or law enforcement into the applicant’s alleged failure to comply with any of the statutes, regulations or policies governing Notaries Public and electronic Notaries Public;
4. a finding against or an admission of liability by the applicant in any legal proceeding or disciplinary action based on the applicant’s conduct as a Notary Public or an electronic Notary Public; or
5. the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offense involving fraud, theft, forgery, or breach of trust.


Establishes requirements for any change of electronic Notary Public registration information on file with the Secretary of State, including that any changes in this information must be reported to the Secretary of State within thirty days following the date of the change(s). Provides that failure to timely notify the Secretary of any change in electronic Notary Public registration information may subject the Notary to termination of his/her/their registration. Requires such notifications to be made in a form or manner prescribed by the Secretary of State and be accompanied by a fee of $10. Clarifies that an electronic Notary Public is not prohibited from receiving, installing, or using hardware and/or software updates to the technologies that the Notary identified in his/her/their registration application, if such updates do not result in technology that is materially different from any previously reported.

Course of Instruction
Establishes, as a requirement of electronic Notary registration, that an applying Notary Public complete a course of instruction approved by the Secretary of State, and pass an examination based on the course. Specifies that the course content shall include notarial rules, procedures, and ethical obligations pertaining to electronic notarization as provided in the South Carolina Electronic Notary Public Act or in any other law or official guideline of South Carolina. Provides that the Secretary of State or his designee will administer the training course and testing for electronic Notary Public registrants.


Electronic Notary Signature and Electronic Notary Seal
Requires both an electronic Notary signature and electronic seal to be:
independently verifiable and unique to the electronic Notary;
retained under the electronic Notary’s sole control;
accessible by and attributable solely to the electronic Notary, when the Notary performs an electronic notarization, to the exclusion of all other persons and entities for the entire time necessary to perform the electronic notarization;
attached to or logically associated with the document in a manner such that any subsequent alterations to the underlying document or electronic Notary certificate are observable through visual examination; and
appear as an image on any visual or printed representation of an electronic notarial certificate regardless of the technology used to affix the Notary’s electronic signature or electronic seal.

Allows the perimeter of the Notary’s electronic seal to contain a border such that the physical appearance of the seal replicates the appearance of an inked seal on paper.

Requires an electronic Notary seal to have, within its border, the electronic Notary Public’s name exactly as commissioned, the title “Notary Public,” the words “State of South Carolina,” the electronic Notary Public’s registration number indicating the Notary’s authority to perform electronic notarial acts, and the expiration date of the electronic Notary Public’s commission.

Requires an electronic Notary Public’s electronic signature and seal to remain within the Notary’s exclusive control. Further requires that access to an electronic Notary Public’s signature and seal must be protected by use of biometric verification, password authentication, token authentication, or other form of authentication approved by the Secretary of State in accordance with South Carolina’s Electronic Notary Public Act.

Prohibits an electronic Notary Public from disclosing any access information used to affix his/her/their electronic Notary signature and/or electronic seal to an electronic record, except when requested by the Secretary of State or a law enforcement officer; when required by court order or subpoena; or pursuant to an agreement to facilitate electronic notarizations with a vendor or other technology provider identified in an application submitted under the South Carolina Electronic Notary Public Act.


Provides the circumstances under which an electronic Notary signature or seal must be replaced (upon the electronic Notary’s registration expiration; if the electronic signature or seal for any reason is no longer valid or capable of authentication; if any of the following have changed: the electronic Notary’s name, jurisdiction, registration number or commission expiration date).

Employers of Electronic Notaries Public
Prohibits an employer of an electronic Notary Public, including ay of the employer’s employees or agents, from using or permitting use of an electronic Notary seal or signature by anyone other than the electronic Notary Public to whom those are registered.


Imposes duties on the employer of an electronic Notary Public:
to relinquish, upon cessation of such Notary’s employment, any and all control of such Notary’s electronic Notary seal conveyed by an electronic notarization system provided by the electronic Notary’s employer as part of that Notary’s employment;
to transfer possession of the electronic Notary seal to the electronic Notary Public; and
to eliminate the ability of any other person to use the former employee’s electronic Notary seal if the electronic notarization system used by the employer does not permit transfer of possession of the electronic Notary seal.


Electronic Notary Journal
Requires an electronic Notary journal to be created and stored in a computer or other electronic storage device or process that protects against unauthorized journal access by a form of authentication such as, but not limited to, password, biometric verification, or token. Further requires an electronic Notary journal to be tamper-evident, and capable of providing tangible or electronic copies of any entry made in the journal.

Prohibits a Notary Public from allowing a journal record/entry from being deleted or altered in content or sequence by the electronic Notary or any other person after such record has been entered into and stored in the electronic journal.


Establishes that an electronic Notary journal is the exclusive property of the Notary Public and no employer or vendor of e-notary services may retain control of a Notary Public’s electronic record for any reason.

Requires an electronic Notary journal to be retained at least 10 years after the last notarial act chronicled in it. Requires that upon the death or adjudication of incompetency of a current or former Notary Public registered to perform electronic notarial acts, the electronic Notary’s personal representative or guardian or any other person knowingly in possession of the journal shall comply with the journal retention requirements established by South Carolina’s administrative rule; transmit the journal to a third person contracted to act as a repository to provide such required retention (storage); or transmit the journal in an industry-standard readable data storage device to the electronic Notary Public’s notary technology provider.


Electronic Notary Providers
Requires electronic notarization system providers desiring designation as a registered electronic notarization system provider to complete and electronically submit an application to the Secretary of State. Establishes that the Secretary shall review and approve such application before authorizing use of a provider’s electronic Notary seals, digital certificates or electronic signatures. Establishes the information that must be submitted with an electronic Notary provider application, which includes a description of the technology used including hardware and software specifications and requirements for the provider’s electronic notarization system; and a plan for retention and disposition of records created, generated, or retained in conjunction with use of the technology, including any electronic journal or records created or retained during an electronic notarization (in the event the technology provider no longer engages in the business of providing electronic or online Notary technology).


Specifies certain technology and business requirements for an electronic notarization system and provider, including that the system provider verify that a Notary Public is registered to act as a South Carolina electronic Notary Public prior to authorizing an electronic Notary seal and electronic signature for that Notary Public; notify the Secretary of State within five days of enrollment of each Notary Public who enrolls to use the provider’s technology; submit an exemplary of the electronic Notary Public’s electronic signature and electronic seal to the Secretary of State; and suspend use of the provider’s system for any Notary Public whose commission has been revoked, suspended or cancelled by the Secretary of State.


Requires an electronic notarization system provider to notify the Secretary of State within 30 days of any changes, modifications or updates to information previously submitted to the Secretary, using a form or manner of notification prescribed by the Secretary. Requires an electronic notarization system provider to be (fully) registered with the Secretary of State at the time it makes available to South Carolina Notaries any updates or subsequent versions of the provider’s electronic notarization system.


Requires all electronic notarization providers to respond to a request for information by the Secretary of State, within the time directed. Provides that any request for information shall be sent to the contact person designated by the provider upon registration, or as updated pursuant to Regulation 113-150.
 
VERMONT – Emergency Remote Notarization Rules
Extended effective September 11, 2022; in effect no later than March 9, 2023
View these rules

Extends, again, the Secretary’s emergency rules for performance of remote notarizations with respect to an “original”—i.e., tangible—document. These rule provisions do not apply to remote notarization of electronic documents. These rules were originally adopted in March 2020.
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VERMONT – HB 512
Effective July 1, 2022
View this bill

Enacts the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (URPERA):

• Provides that if a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a document be an original, be on paper or another tangible medium, or be in writing, the requirement is satisfied by an electronic document that satisfies the requirements of 27 VSA Chapter 5, Subchapter 8 (URPERA).
• Defines key terms. Provides for the validity of electronic documents. Establishes provisions relative to receiving and recording electronic documents, and that recorders accepting electronic documents shall continue to accept paper documents as authorized by state law.
• Clarifies that “paper document” means a document received by a record in a form that is not electronic.
• Establishes requirements for recording standards and best practices. Establishes that a requirement that a document or a signature associated with a document be notarized, acknowledged, verified, witnessed or made under oath is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform that act, and all other information required to be included, is attached to or logically associated with the document or signature.

Substantially amends Vermont Statutes Annotated, Chapter 103, Notaries Public, as follows.

Definitions
Defines key terms—“communication technology,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing, “outside the United States,” and “remotely located individual.”

Amends the definition of “notarial act” by adding the act of certifying or attesting a copy. Amends the definition of “notarial officer” to a Notary Public or other individual authorized to perform a notarial act. Amends the definition of “official stamp” to a physical image affixed to or embossed on a tangible record or an electronic image attached to or logically associated with an electronic record. Amends the definitions of “outside the United States,” and “remotely located individual.”

Secretary of State; Rulemaking
Adds, to the Secretary of State/Office of Professional Regulation’s rulemaking authority, the ability to prescribe the process of granting, renewing, conditioning, denying, suspending, or revoking a special commission endorsement or otherwise regulating and discipling an individual holding a Notary commission or special commission endorsement.

Modifies rulemaking language to clarify that additionally, the Secretary’s rules may prescribe the means of performing a notarial act involving a remotely located individual using communication technology; establish standards for communication technology and identity proofing; establish standards and a period for the retention of an audiovisual recording created under section 5379 of VSA Chapter 103; and prescribe methods for a Notary Public to confirm, under VSA Chapter 103, subsections 5379(c) and (d), the identity of a tangible record.

Requires the Office of Professional Regulation to adopt rules for obtaining and regulating a special commission endorsement authorizing a Notary Public to perform electronic and remote online notarizations. Specifies that the rules shall require Notaries performing notarial acts regarding electronic records and for remotely located individuals to ensure that the communication technology and identity proofing used both comply with the requirements of section 5380, VSA Chapter 103 and any applicable administrative rules.

Clarifies that the Secretary’s administrative rulemaking shall consider the most recent standards regarding electronic records promulgated by national bodies such as the National Association of Secretaries of State; and the standards, practices, and customs of other jurisdictions with laws substantially similar to those of VSA Chapter 103.

Repeals the prohibition against performance of electronic notarization and remote online notarization prior to the Secretary of State’s adoption of rules and prescribed standards for such notarial acts.

Commissioning; Special Commission Endorsement
Raises the Notary commission issuance fee that shall be charged by the Office of Professional Regulation to $30. Establishes that the Office’s fee for issuance of a special endorsement authorizing performance of electronic and remote notarial acts shall be $30.

Prohibits a Notary Public from performing a notarial act on an electronic record for a remotely located individual without first obtaining a special commission endorsement from the Office of Professional Regulation. Requires an individual to hold a Notary Public commission to be eligible for such special endorsement. Clarifies that a Notary Public must hold a special commission endorsement in order to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records, or in order to select any tamper-evident technology to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records. Accordingly, strikes prior statutory language requiring a Notary Public to (only) notify the Office of Professional Regulation that the Notary would be performing electronic and remote online notarizations.

Establishes that a Notary Public holding a special commission endorsement may use communication technology to administer an oath or affirmation to a remotely located individual subject to statutory requirements.

Electronic and Remote Notarial Acts
Authorizes a Vermont Notary Public located in Vermont to perform a notarial act using communication technology, for a remotely located individual, if the Notary Public holds the required special commission endorsement; can identify the remotely located individual using a method prescribed under VSA Chapter 103; is reasonably able to confirm that a record before the Notary Public is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement in or on which the individual executed a signature; and if the Notary or person acting on the Notary’s behalf creates an audiovisual recording of the performance of the notarial act.

Additionally provides that for a remote online notarization performed for an individual located outside the United States, the record must be one to be filed with or relating to a matter before a public official or court, governmental entity, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; or involves property located in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States or involves a transaction substantially connected with the United States. Further requires that the act of making the statement or signing the record is not prohibited by the foreign state in which the remotely located individual is located.

General Provisions
Clarifies that a Notary Public may perform a notarial act as authorized by and in accordance with the requirements of VSA Chapter 103 or other (applicable) law of Vermont.

Notarial Powers
Authorizes a Notary Public to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record. Establishes that a recorder may accept for recording a tangible copy of an electronic record containing a notarial certificate as satisfying any requirement that a record accepted for recording be an original, if the Notary Public executing the notarial certificate certifies that the tangible copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record. Also clarifies that a Notary Public who certifies or attests a copy of a record or an item that was copied shall determine that the copy is a full, true and accurate transcription or reproduction of the record or item.

Remote Notarization, Tangible Records
Allows any Notary Public of Vermont to use communication technology to take the acknowledgment of a signature on a tangible record physically present before the Notary (often referred to as remote ink-signed notarization). Provides that such record must be displayed to and identified by the remotely located individual during the required audiovisual recording. Establishes the effective date of such a notarial act.

Provides how the requirement for a Notary Public to reasonably confirm that a tangible record before the Notary is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or executed a signature may be satisfied. Clarifies that other methods of satisfying this requirement are not precluded.

Requires a Notary Public to ensure that communication technology and identity proofing used to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual complies with Section 5380 of VSA Chapter 103 and any standards adopted by the Office of Professional Regulation.

Notarial Certificates
Requires that the certificate for a notarial act performed for a remotely located individual must indicate that the notarial act was performed using communication technology. Establishes that a notarial certificate is sufficient if it complies with rules adopted under Section 5323 of VSA Chapter 103, or is in the form provided in Section 5367 of VSA Chapter 103 and contains a statement substantially as: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”

Adds short-form certificate language for the notarial act of certifying a copy of a record.

Retention of Audiovisual Recordings
Provides for the retention requirements of the required audiovisual recordings of notarial acts for remotely located individuals. Requires such recordings to be retained for a period of at least 10 years after the recording is made, unless a different period is required by any administrative rules of the Office of Professional Regulation.

Technology Providers
Requires that providers of communication technology, identity proofing and/or audiovisual recording storage must be registered with the Secretary of State to do business in Vermont. Establishes that by allowing communication technology or identity proofing to facilitate a notarial act of an electronic record or for a remotely located individual—or by providing storage of audiovisual recordings—providers of communication technology, identity proofing or storage consent and agree that the service or process being provided is in compliance with the requirements of VSA Chapter 103 and any rules adopted by the Office of Professional Regulation.

Establishes minimum performance and operational standards for providers of communication technology and identity proofing. Requires such providers to comply with all applicable federal and state regulations and standards, including any relating to individuals with physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities and any with respect to identity proofing, regulations, rules and standards specific to the enrollment and verification of an identity used in digital authentication. Requires a provider of communication technology or identity proofing to provide evidence, to the Notary Public’s satisfaction, of the provider’s ability to satisfy the requirements of VSA Chapter 103 relative to the service or process being provided.

Other Provisions
Repeals statutory language that conflicts or no longer aligns with newly adopted additions and revisions.

 
WASHINGTONAmendment to Washington Administrative Code 308-30-060, Application Fees
Effective November 22, 2022
View this rule


Updates Notary-related fees to be charged by the Department of Licensing:

• Application for Notary Public commission: formerly $30; new fee is $40.
• Renewal of a Notary Public commission: formerly $30; new fee is $42.
• Application for an electronic records Notary Public endorsement: $15 (no change).
• Renewal of electronic records Notary Public endorsement: $15 (no change).
• License print fee (newly created): $5

The $15 fee for obtaining a duplicate certificate of commission, including name change, is deleted.




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