Notary Law Updates

  2021 - 2022 Adopted/Enacted Notary Legislation
  Includes bills effective January 2021 - July 2022
  (See link at bottom of page for Previous Law Update Archives)
  Page Last Updated: March 28, 2022
 EFFECTIVE:
JANUARY 2021 FEBRUARY 2021 MARCH 2021 APRIL 2021
Alaska–HB124
Alaska–Admin Rules
Hawaii-SB2275
Colorado-HB21-1004
Vermont-HB256
Indiana-HB1056
New York-SB888
Virginia-HB2064
North Carolina- HB196
Arkansas- SB340
Indiana-HB1255
Kansas- SB122
Tennessee-SB509
MAY 2021 JUNE 2021 JULY 2021 AUGUST 2021
Utah-HB276
South Carolina-SB631
West Virginia-Admin Rule Title 153-45
West Virginia-SB469
Delaware-HB216
Florida-HB483
Oregon-SB765
Nebraska-LB910
South Dakota- SB193
Alabama-SB275
Idaho-SB1065
Mississippi-HB1156
Mississippi-Admin Rules
Mississippi-SB2638
Tennessee-HB633
Illinois-SB730
Maine- HP1033
Maryland-SB212
Nevada-AB245
Nevada-AB325
Wyoming-SF29
Arkansas-SB437
Nebraska-LB94
North Dakota-HB1077
New Hampshire-SB134-FN (Sect 456-B:2)
SEPTEMBER 2021 OCTOBER 2021 NOVEMBER 2021 DECEMBER 2021
  Maryland-SB132
New Jersey-A4250

  Wyoming-Admin Rules
JANUARY 2022 FEBRUARY 2022 MARCH 2022 APRIL 2022
New Mexico-SB12
New Mexico- Admin Rules
Florida- CS/HB121
Kansas-SB106
Louisiana-RON rules
New Jersey-Notary Rules
New Hampshire-SB134-FN (all sections except Sec.456-B:2)
Louisiana-HB274
New Jersey-CE, exam Rules
Florida-Admin Rule 1N-7.005
Massachusetts-HB4345
New York-SB7780
Colorado-SB21-271
Colorado-Notary Program Rules
New Mexico-HB180
 
MAY 2022 JUNE 2022 JULY 2022 AUGUST 2022
  Arizona-SB1115
New York-SB1780
Colorado-SB21-199
Illinois-SB2664

 
 
ALABAMA – SB 275
Signed April 29, 2021
Effective July 1, 2021
View this bill


Creates Section 36-20-73.1, Code of Alabama under Title 36, Chapter 20 (Alabama’s Notary Public law). Authorizes a form of remote notarization by allowing an individual to personally appear before an Alabama Notary Public by use of two-way, audio-video communication technology and specifying requirements including that the documents so notarized must be provided to the Notary for his or her/their authentication and original signature.* Prohibits use of remote notarization for notarizing an absentee ballot application or an absentee ballot affidavit; or for any purpose related to voting.
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*NOTE: This bill enacts remote notarization with regard to tangible documents that—after notarization formalities performed by use of audio-video communication technology—are subsequently provided to the Notary for the Notary’s authentication and original (wet-ink) signature.

Defines “original signature” as a signature signed directly onto a document in wet ink by a person who is named on the document. Establishes that unless otherwise provided by law, the powers and functions of a Notary Public require the Notary’s original signature. Defines “signatory” as the person who is named on the document and is to sign the document.

Establishes that, subject to specified provisions of Section 36-20-73.1, Code of Alabama, an individual may personally appear before a Notary Public by either physically appearing before the Notary (in the Notary’s physical presence), or appearing through use of two-way, audio-video communication technology that allows a Notary Public and a remotely located signatory to communicate with each other simultaneously by sight and sound. Conditions appearance via two-way audio-video communication on the Alabama Notary’s physical location in Alabama at the time of the notarization; and the Notary’s recording of the two-way audio-video communication and maintenance of the recording for a period of seven years.


Requires that the Notary Public shall verify the identity of such a remotely located signatory using either (1) personal knowledge of identity; or (2) (a.) presentation of two valid forms of government issued identification, one of which includes the face and signature of the signatory; and (b.) a process by which the Notary Public verifies the signatory’s identity through a review of public or private data sources.*
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*NOTE: Examples of such a process includes “credential analysis” (technology-enabled verification that an ID credential is a validly issued credential) and “knowledge-based authentication” or “KBA” (the signatory satisfactorily answers a set of questions based on particulars of the individual’s life events and financial history).

Requires the two-way audio-video communication recording to contain:
   1. the date and time of the remote notarial act;
   2. a description of the documents to which the remote notarial act relates;
   3. an attestation by the Notary Public of being physically located in Alabama;
   4. a description of how the signatory’s identification was verified;
   5. a clear image of any government-issued identification, if applicable;
   6. a clear image of the signatory’s act of signing, as observed by the Notary Public.

Establishes that the official date and time of a notarization for a remotely located signatory is the date the time the Notary witnessed the signature, including the date and time the signature was witnessed via two-way, audio-video communication technology.

Requires that all documents used during the two-way audio-video communication must be provided to the Notary for his or her/their authentication and original signature.*

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*NOTE: For example, the Notary would perform all the formalities of notarization during the two-way audio-video communication with the remotely located individual, except for completion of the notarial certificate on the document. The document to which the remote notarization pertains will, following the two-way audio-video communication, be sent to the Notary so he or she/they can complete the notarial certificate in ink, and affix his or her/their original signature.

Ratifies and confirms any action taken before July 1, 2021, allowing for the remote notarization of signatures under the Emergency Management Act of 1955. Establishes that a Notary who intentionally or fraudulently violates Section 36-20-73.1 Code of Alabama (created by SB 275) shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.
 
ALASKA – HB 124
Signed April 30, 2020
Effective January 1, 2021 (Section 18 effective immediately)
View the enacting bill

Enacts permanent statutes authorizing remote online notarization in The Last Frontier state. Enacts provisions on notarization of electronic records in general; specifies prohibited acts; addresses commissioning issues; establishes electronic and remote online notarization procedures and requirements; and more. (Provisions affecting Limited Governmental Notaries will state so, otherwise all references pertain to Notaries commissioned under AS 44.50.010(a)(1)). Establishes applicability of HB 124’s provisions.

Defines key terms (“notarial act,” “acknowledgment,” “communication technology,” “credential analysis,” “electronic,” “electronic signature,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing,” “in a representative capacity,” “notarial act,” “notarial officer,” “outside the United States,” “record,” “remotely located individual,” “sign,” and “signature” technology”). Clarifies that “document” has the meaning given in Alaska Statutes 40.17.900; and “notarial act” has the meaning given in Alaska Statutes 44.50.200 as amended by Section 15 of HB 124.

Amends various statutes dealing with recording conveyances, to establish that a certified copy or an electronic version of a conveyance of real property has the same effect from the time it recorded as though it were the original conveyance; to provide that for recording eligibility, a document’s original signature(s) may be provided in electronic form; and to provide that the Department of Natural Resources shall accept notarial acts performed for remotely located individual under AS 44.50.075.

Establishes that a recorder may accept for recording a tangible copy of an electronic record containing a notarial certificate in which the notarial officer executing the notarial certificate has certified that the tangible copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record. Such tangible copy shall satisfy any requirement that a record accepted for recording be an original.

Replaces the statutorily prescribed, $40 Notary commission application fee with the requirement that the Lieutenant Governor shall set the application fee amount by regulation. (Retains the provision that a limited governmental Notary Public employed by the state may not be required to pay an application fee.)

Increases the amount of a Notary’s required official surety bond from $1000 to $2500.

Authorizes a Notary Public to give a notarial certificate stating that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record.

Makes multiple conforming amendments.

Requires the Lieutenant Governor to adopt administrative regulations to implement the provisions of Title 44, Chapter 50. Specifies that the Lieutenant Governor’s regulations must provide standards for the communication technology and identity proofing used in the performance of remote online notarizations; and for sufficient forms of notarial certificates for notarial acts performed for remotely located individuals.

Clarifies that regulations adopted by the Lieutenant Governor may prescribe the manner of performing notarial acts regarding tangible and electronic records. The regulations may also include provisions to: ensure that change to or tampering with a notarized record is self-evident; ensure integrity in the creation, transmittal, storage or authentication of electronic records or signatures; and prevent fraud or a mistake in the performance of notarial acts. Specifies additional matters that may be addressed by the Lieutenant Governor’s regulations. Further requires the Lieutenant Governor, in adopting, amending or repealing a regulation regarding notarial acts with respect to electronic records, to consider certain specified standards, practices, customs and views.

Authorizes an Alaska Notary Public to select one or more tamper-evident technologies with which to perform notarial acts regarding electronic records. Establishes that no person may require a Notary Public to perform a notarial act regarding an electronic record by using a technology that the Notary has not selected. Requires that, prior to performing his or her/their initial notarial act regarding an electronic record, a Notary Public must notify the Lieutenant Governor that the Notary will be performing such notarial acts, and identify the communication technology the Notary intends to use. If the Lieutenant Governor has adopted standards as provided by law, the chosen technology must conform to the standards and if it does, the Lieutenant Governor shall approve the Notary’s use of it.

Authorizes a Notary Public located in Alaska to use communication technology to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual. Requires a Notary Public, before performing any notarial acts using communication technology, to notify the Lieutenant Governor that the Notary will performing notarial acts for remotely located individuals and identify the communication technologies the Notary intends to use. Establishes that if the Lieutenant Governor has established applicable standards for approval of communication technology or identity proofing, those technologies must conform to the standards.

Establishes that a remotely located individual may comply with the statutory requirements to personally appear and sign before a Notary Public, by using communication technology. Defines “communication technology” and other essential terms. Specifies the requirements for a Notary to identify a remotely located individual. Requires the Notary to 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. Further requires the Notary, or a person acting on behalf of the Notary, to create an audiovisual recording of the performance of the notarial act. Establishes additional requirements that must be met if the remotely located individual is located outside of the United States.

Requires the notarial certificate for a notarization performed for a remotely located individual to state that the notarial act was performed using communication technology, and provides language sufficient to satisfy this requirement.

Establishes requirements for retention of the audiovisual recordings that must be created of notarizations performed for remotely located individuals. Provides that unless a different period is required under regulations of the Lieutenant Governor, recording must be retained for a period of at least 10 years after a recording is made.

Establishes that by allowing its technology to be used relative to performance of notarial acts for remotely located individuals and the audiovisual recordings of such acts, the technology provider appoints the Lieutenant Governor as its agent for service of process in any related civil action in Alaska.

Requires a Notary Public to maintain a journal in which the Notary chronicles all notarial acts performed for remotely located individuals.

Requires the Notary to retain a journal for 10 years after performance of the last notarial act chronicled in it. Allows the journal to be created on a tangible (paper) medium or in an electronic format. Further requires a Notary to maintain at least one journal in a tangible medium to chronicle all notarial acts performed for remotely located individuals. Allows a Notary to maintain one or more journals in an electronic format, in which to chronicle all notarial acts performed for remotely located individuals.Requires electronic journals to be in a permanent, tamper-evident electronic format that complies with regulations established by the Lieutenant Governor. Provides the requirements for entries in an electronic journal. Requires a Notary, upon commission resignation, revocation or suspension, to retain the journal(s) as specified by law and information the Lieutenant Governor of the journal’s location.

Provides for the validity of notarial acts performed subject to Chapter 24, Alaska Statutes. Provides that such validity does not prevent an aggrieved person from seeking to invalidate a record so notarized or the transaction that is the subject of the notarial act, or from seeking other remedies based on Alaska or U.S. law. Clarifies that this validity provision does not validate a purported notarial act by an individual who was not authorized to perform notarial acts.

Provides a savings clause. Provides for the immediate effective date of the Lieutenant Governor’s rulemaking authority (Section 18 of HB 124). Provides a January 1, 2021 effective date for the remainder of HB 124.
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ALASKA – Administrative Rules, Remote Online Notarization
Adopted December 2, 2020
Effective January 1, 2021
View these rules

Implements statutory provisions authorizing performance of remote online notarial acts in Alaska. Creates Chapter 88, Notarizations, in Title 6, Part 7 of Alaska’s Administrative Code.

Defines the following key terms: “credential analysis,” “electronic record,” “identification credential,” “multi-factor authentication,” “notarial certificate,” “person,” “personal knowledge,” “real time,” “remote online notarization or remote notarial act,” and “remote presentation.”

Establishes that the application fee for a Notary commission (formerly provided in statute) is $40. Establishes that the application fee to perform notarial acts using communication technology for remotely located individuals is $100 for an initial Notary Public commission. Provides that, for a Notary commissioned under AS 44.50.010 at the time the Notary Public applies to perform remote notarial acts, such application fee is $25 for each remaining year of the Notary’s commission.

Provides statutory standards for remote online notarization technologies. Requires communication technology to provide synchronous audio-video feeds of sufficient video resolution and audio clarity to enable the Notary and remotely located individual to see and speak with each other in real time. Requires the remote online notarization process to provide a means for the Notary to 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 remotely located individual executed a signature.

Requires communication technology to provide reasonable security measures to prevent unauthorized access to (a) the live transmission of the audio-video feeds; (b) the methods used to perform the identity proofing; and (c) the electronic record that is the subject of the remote online notarization. Further requires that, if a remotely located individual leaves the online notarization session before the completion of the identity verification process, the individual must restart the identity proofing process from the beginning.

Requires a Notary who does not have personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of a remotely located individual to use a multi-factor authentication procedure to reasonably verify the individual’s identity as specified in the rules. Requires the multi-factor procedure to analyze the individual's identification credential being remotely presented (“remote presentation”) against trusted third-party data sources, bind the individual's identity to the individual following successful knowledge-based authentication assessment, and permit the Notary to visually compare the identification credential and the individual. Establishes that credential analysis and identity proofing must be performed by a reputable third party that has provided evidence to the Notary Public of its ability to satisfy applicable administrative rule requirements. Provides additional requirements for credential analysis .

Authorizes identity proofing to be performed by means of a knowledge-based authentication assessment. Provides requirements for such knowledge-based authentication assessment. Prohibits the Notary Public from being able to see or record the knowledge-based authentication assessment’s questions or answers.

Establishes that multi-factor identification requirements do not apply if a Notary has personal knowledge of the individual’s identity, or if the individual is identified by oath or affirmation of a credible witness. Requires such a credible witness to (a) have personal knowledge of the remotely located individual; and (b) be identified by the Notary through the Notary’s personal knowledge of the witness or through a multi-factor authentication procedure. Authorizes a credible witness to be outside the physical presence of the Notary Public or the remotely located individual if the Notary, credible witness, and remotely located individual can communicate by using communication technology.

Provides for the sufficiency of a notarial certificate for a remote online notarization. Establishes that such notarial certificate is sufficient if it is substantially in a form prescribed by Alaska laws and regulations, and conforms with AS 44.50.075(c) by including a statement that the notarization was performed using communication technology.
 
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.

 
ARKANSAS – SB 340
Signed April 29, 2021
Effective April 29, 2021; except that Section 1 of SB 340 is effective retroactively to March 30, 2020.
View this bill

Senate Bill 340 enacts temporary and permanent language enabling certain Notaries Public to perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals, using real-time audio and visual means and subject to all prescribed requirements. Temporary language will not be codified (added to permanent statutes).

The temporary provisions of Section 1 of SB 340, summarized immediately below, remain effective until the Arkansas Governor’s Executive Order No. 21-07 expires or is terminated, unless the Governor renews the declared state of emergency by executive order or proclamation under the Arkansas Emergency Services Act of 1973, §12-75-101 et. seq.

TEMPORARY PROVISIONS (Effective retroactively to March 30, 2020)
Defines “Notary Public,” solely for purposes of SB 340’s temporary public emergency exceptions (see Bill Section 1), to mean a person appointed and commissioned as a Notary Public under Section 21-14-101, Arkansas Code; and who is:
   i. an attorney licensed by the State of Arkansas;
   ii. A title agent licensed by the State of Arkansas;
   iii. Supervised by an attorney or a title agent licensed by the State of Arkansas; or
   iv. Employed by a: (a) Nonbank financial institution licensed or registered by the State Securities Department; or (b) Bank, savings and loan association, or state or federal credit union with federal depository insurance.

Defines “real-time audio and visual means” to mean technology by which all parties can see and hear the other parties simultaneously. Defines “videoconference technology” to include, without limitation, videoconference technology which means Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, and other similar technologies.

Authorizes a Notary Public (as defined in the temporary language) to perform remote witnessing of certain documents.

Establishes that a notarial certificate is complete if an official signature or seal on the notarial certificate is executed at a time when the principal or signer is not present “in person,” but is otherwise present remotely through real-time audio and visual means.

Establishes that a signed or sealed notarial certificate may be executed with the understanding that the notarial certificate will be completed or attached to a document outside of the physical presence of the Notary Public if the Notary Public is present through real-time audio and visual means.

Allows a Notary Public (as defined in the temporary language) to notarize signatures, including acknowledgments and jurats, virtually using real-time audio and visual means provided that the Notary Public is physically located in Arkansas at the time of the signing and the signing of documents is visually seen by the person who confirms it.

Establishes that an individual who witnesses a document through real-time audio and visual means may be considered “in-person” if the witness’ presence and identity are validated at the time of signing by a Notary Public. Establishes that an individual who signs a document through real-time audio and visual means may be considered to be in the presence of an in-person witness if the presence and identity of the witnesses are validated at the time of signing by a Notary Public.

Requires the identity and physical presence of witnesses and signers to be validated at the time the documents to be witnessed are executed. Provides for signing of documents in “counterparts,” applicable when two or more individuals in different locations find it necessary to sign separate signature pages of the same document.* Clarifies that absent an express prohibition in a document against signing in counterparts, all legal documents including deeds, last wills and testaments, durable powers of attorney, and healthcare proxies may be signed in counterparts.
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*NOTE: Signing in “counterparts” means that each party to the transaction will sign separate but identical copies or signature pages of the document, with each identical, signed copy or signature page being deemed an original and binding on the signing parties.

Suspends (temporarily) the requirement that a Notary Public needing to use a facsimile signature to sign commercial documents must file the Notary’s manual signature and other required information with the Secretary of State.

PERMANENT STATUTORY PROVISIONS
Definitions
Amends definitions in Arkansas’ Electronic Notary Public Act (changes indicated by strikethrough and underlined text):
• “Electronic Notary Public” means “a Notary Pubic who has registered with the Secretary of State and possesses the capability of performing electronic notarial acts and online notarial acts.”
• “Solution provider” means a business entity that has submitted an application, meets standards, and has been approved by the Secretary of State to offer electronic notarization notarial acts or online notarial acts or solutions to duly commissioned electronic Notaries Public.

Defines “communication technology,” “credential analysis,” “credible witness,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing,” “online notarial act,” “online Notary Public,” “outside the United States,” “principal,” “remote presentation,” and “remotely located individual.”

Makes multiple conforming amendments regarding an electronic Notary Public or an online Notary Public.

Registration
Clarifies that Notaries Public wishing to notarize electronically or online shall register their capability with the Secretary of State before performing an electronic notarial act.

Requires persons wishing to become an online Notary Public to meet the same application/registration requirements as those wishing to become an electronic Notary Public (see Arkansas Code §21-14-304). Requires the Secretary of State to promulgate rules to enforce such registration and application requirements.

Online Notarization Requirements
Establishes that Arkansas Code §21-14-307 concerning the requirement of a signer’s physical proximity to an electronic Notary Public does not apply to online notarial acts described in Arkansas Code §21-14-309.

Authorizes an electronic Notary Public to perform an online notarial act through a solution provider by means of communication technology. Establishes the requirements for performance of such acts, including that a remotely located individual may be within or outside of the United States (subject to requirements applicable to each of these circumstances).

Requires a Notary Public to take reasonable steps to ensure that the communication technology used in an online notarial act is secure from unauthorized interception.

Requires that in performing an online notarial act for any remotely located individual, an online Notary Public must verify the identity of the person by using communication technology that meets statutory requirements. Establishes that the identity of a remotely located individual may be verified by:
1. A Notary Public’s personal knowledge of the person creating the electronic signature;
2. Satisfactory evidence of the identity of the principal from a credible witness; or
3. Each of the following:
   a. Remote presentation (by the person creating the electronic signature) of a government-issued identification credential, including without limitation a passport or a state-issued driver’s license, that contains the signature and a photograph of the person;
   b. Credential analysis; and
   c. Identity proofing.

Requires the electronic notarial certificate for an online notarial act to include a notation that the notarization is an online notarization.

Requires an online Notary Public to take reasonable steps to ensure the integrity, security and authenticity of online notarial acts; maintain a backup of the required electronic record of every online notarization performed (see below); and protect the backup record from unauthorized use.

Online Notarization Records
Requires an electronic Notary Public performing an online notarial act to keep a secure electronic record of electronic documents notarized. Establishes the information that each such electronic record must contain, including a recording of any video and audio conference that is the basis for satisfactory evidence of identity and a notation of the type of identification presented as evidence; and an audio and video copy of the performance of the notarial act. Requires the electronic record of an online notarial act to be maintained for at least 5 years after the date of the transaction or proceeding.

Provides for the recording (into public records) of electronic records. Establishes that a law requiring a document to be signed as a condition of recording is satisfied by an electronic signature. Establishes that laws requiring documents submitted for recording to be “an original,” be on paper or another tangible medium or be in writing, are satisfied by use of a paper copy of an electronic document that complies with Arkansas Code §21-14-313. Further establishes that a requirement for a document or a signature associated with a document to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, witnessed, or made under oath is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform such 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 is not required to accompany an electronic signature if the online Notary Public has attached a notarial certificate meeting the requirements of Arkansas Code Title 21, Chapter 14 (Notaries Public).

Administrative Rulemaking
Authorizes the Secretary of State to promulgate rules to administer the Arkansas Electronic Notary Public Act.

Other Provisions
Requires an electronic Notary Public whose commission terminates to destroy the coding, disk, certificate, card, software or password that enables the Notary’s official electronic signature or seal to be electronically affixed (to the notarial certificate on an electronic document). The electronic Notary must certify his or her/their compliance with this requirement to the Secretary of State. Clarifies that a former electronic Notary Public whose commission terminated for a reason other than revocation or denial of renewal is not required to destroy these items if the Notary is recommissioned as an electronic Notary Public, with the same electronic signature and seal, within 3 months after the Notary’s former commission terminated.

Establishes that is it a Class D felony for a person who—without authorization—knowingly obtains, conceals, damages or destroys the certificate, disk, coding, card, program, software, or hardware enabling an online Notary Public to affix his or her/their official electronic signature or seal.
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ARKANSAS – SB 437
Signed March 25, 2021
Effective August 2, 2021*
View this bill

Makes a technical correction to clarify that Arkansas law allows an individual who is not a resident of Arkansas to apply for an Arkansas Notary commission if the individual is a legal resident of an adjoining state who is employed in Arkansas or operating a business in Arkansas.
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* NOTE: This effective date is estimated, based on the following explanation: Unless there is an emergency clause or an enactment clause that specifies otherwise, legislation takes effect 90 days after sine die adjournment. In Arkansas, this period of time is a constitutionally-reserved right of the people to file a referendum petition blocking non-emergency legislation. In addition, if this referendum deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the deadline must instead move to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. For this reason, the effective date may end up being slightly later than 90 days after adjournment.
 
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.
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COLORADO – NOTARY PROGRAM RULES (Vendors, Course Providers)
Effective March 17, 2022
View these rules

Amends Notary Program Rules to give course providers and vendors the right to respond to and cure noncompliance; and the right to a hearing before being terminated, suspended, or having an accreditation or approval conditioned.


Notary Education Course Providers/Vendors
Establishes that, except in cases of deliberate and willful violation or substantial danger to the public health and safety, the Secretary of State will provide a vendor or course provider with written notice, opportunity to respond in writing, and a reasonable opportunity to comply with all requirements prior to the Secretary terminating, suspending or imposing conditions on an existing accreditation of a vendor or approval of a course provider. Further provides that (except when deliberate and willful violation endangers the public health, safety or welfare such that emergency action is imperative) the Secretary of State will not terminate, suspend or impose conditions on an existing vendor accreditation or course provider approval until after a hearing held in accordance with Colorado’s Administrative Procedure Act.

Remote Notarization System and Storage Providers
Provides and clarifies that the Secretary of State will notify remote notarization system and storage providers of any deficiencies in their application(s) for approval. Establishes that a rejected applicant may request a hearing in accordance with Colorado’s Administrative Procedure act.


Provides approved remote notarization system and storage providers the right to respond to and cure noncompliance, and a right to a hearing, before the Secretary of State terminates, suspends or imposes conditions on approval.

Establishes that, except in cases of deliberate and willful violation or substantial danger to the public health and safety, the Secretary of State will provide a remote notarization system or storage provider with written notice, opportunity to respond in writing, and a reasonable opportunity to comply with all requirements prior to the Secretary terminating, suspending or imposing conditions on an existing approval. Further provides that (except when deliberate and willful violation endangers the public health, safety or welfare such that emergency action is imperative) the Secretary of State will not terminate, suspend or impose conditions on an existing remote notarization system or storage provider approval until after a hearing held in accordance with Colorado’s Administrative Procedure Act.
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COLORADO – SB 21-271
Effective March 1, 2022
View this bill


Amends current law to provide that any Notary Public or other authorized officer who administers any oath knowing it to be false, or who knowingly makes a false certificate with regard to a matter connected with any election provided by law, shall upon conviction be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Reclassifies certain violations of law committed by a Notary Public from a Class 2 or Class 3 misdemeanor to a petty offense.
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COLORADO – HB 21-1004
Signed January 1, 2021
Effective January 1, 2021
View this bill
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


Enacts the “Colorado Uniform Electronic Wills Act.” Declares that an electronic will is a will for all purposes of Colorado law.

Defines “electronic,” “electronic presence,” “electronic will,” “record,” “sign,” “state,” and “will.”

Clarifies applicability of law, and establishes choice of law regarding the electronic will’s execution.

Specifies requirements for executing and revoking an electronic will; and simultaneously executing, attesting, and making an electronic will self-proving. Addresses the involvement of a Notary Public or other individual authorized by Colorado law to notarize records, and who is located in Colorado at the time the notarial act is performed.

Provides that extrinsic evidence may establish a testator’s intent that a record executed under Colo. Rev. Stat. §15-12-1505(1)(a) shall be the testator’s electronic will. Provides the forms of acknowledgment and affidavits for executing, attesting and making an electronic will self-proving, and requires that forms actually used must substantially comply with the forms provided in statute.

Establishes that an individual may create a certified paper copy of an electronic will by affirming under penalty of perjury that a paper copy of the electronic will is a complete, true, and accurate copy of the electronic will. Requires that if the electronic will is made self-proving, the certified paper copy of the will must include the self-proving affidavits.

Amends Colorado law to clarify that a Notary Public shall not use a remote notarization system to notarize a will, codicil, document purporting to be a will or codicil or any acknowledgment required under Colo. Rev. Stat. §15-11-502 or §15-11-204 except as provided in the Colorado Uniform Electronic Wills Act.
 
DELAWARE – HB 216
Effective June 30, 2021
View this bill

Extends, until June 30, 2022, the authority of Delaware attorneys to perform remote notarizations and witnessing using audio-visual technology. This authority was created under the Governor’s Eleventh Modification of the COVID-19 State of Emergency Declaration, and continued upon passage of Senate Bill No. 247.

 
FLORIDA—Administrative Rule 1N-7.005, Required Information From Online Notaries Public and RON Service Providers
Effective February 22, 2022
View these rules

Florida Online Notaries Public
Requires every current Florida Online Notary Public to file newly created Form No. DC-DOS-50 no later than thirty days after the new rule’s February 22, 2022 effective date; and any Florida Notary registering to function as a Florida Online Notary Public to submit the form at the time of his/her/their registration. Requires changes to any information previously reported on Form No. DC-DOS-50 to be submitted by the Online Notary within 30 days of the change, using the same Form DC-DOS-50.


Collects the following information on Form DC-DOS-50:
1. The name of every remote online notarization (RON) service provider the Online Notary uses;
2. The date the Online Notary began using each RON service provider;
3. The ending date (if applicable) of the use agreement between the Online Notary and a RON service provider;
4. Whether the Online Notary delegated, to a secure repository, the Notary’s duty to retain electronic journal records of remote online notarizations. (The Remote Online Notary must provide the secure repository’s name, address, email or phone number; the date the repository began retaining the Notary’s electronic journal records; and any end date of the agreement, if applicable.

An Online Notary Public must file a new form DC-DOS-50 upon the Notary making any change, addition, or removal from the Notary’s use of a RON service provider or secure repository.


Remote Online Notarization Service Providers
Requires every RON service provider offering remote online notarization technology for use by Florida Notaries to file newly created Form No. DC-DOS-51 no later than 30 days after the new rule’s February 22, 2022 effective date, and annually thereafter. Requires a RON service provider to use Form No. DC-DOS-51 to self-certify that its audio-video communication technology and related processes, services software, data storage, or other services provided to Florida’s Online Notaries Public satisfy the requirements of Chapter 117, Florida Statutes, and any administrative rules of the Florida Department of State.


Further requires a RON service provider to utilize Form No. DC-DOS-51 to identify any secure repositories the provider is using to delegate its statutory duty to retain audio-video communication recordings of every remote online notarization performed.

Provides that a RON service provider’s self-certification shall be effective for a period of one year after filing.

Requires entities that seek to provide RON service provider functions after the effective date of Rule 1N-7.005 to submit Form No. DC-DOS-51 prior to providing any such services in Florida.
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FLORIDA – CS/HB 121
Effective January 1, 2022
View this bill


Revises Florida remote online notarizations statutes and makes various clarifying amendments to Chapter 117, Florida Statutes.

Clarifies that that a Notary Public shall select the technology he/she/they will use to perform a notarial act with respect to an electronic record (document). Provides that a person cannot require a Notary Public to use a particular technology; however if the Notary Public is required by his or her contract or employer to perform electronic notarizations, the contract or employer may require use of a particular technology for such notarial acts. (Bill Section 1, 117.021.)


Provides that an Online Notary Public shall select the RON service provider to be used to perform online notarizations. (Selection shall be made from the published list of self-certified RON service providers; see the following paragraph.) Prohibits a person from requiring an Online Notary Public to use a particular RON service provider, but provides that if the Online Notary Public is required by contract or employer to perform online notarizations, the contract or employer may require use of a particular RON service provider for those online notarizations. (Bill Section 8, 117.265.)

Requires a RON service provider to file a self-certification with the Department of State, on a form adopted by department rule, confirming that its audio-video communication technology and related processes, services, services, software, data storage or other services provided to Florida’s Online Notaries Public satisfy the requirements of Chapter 117, Florida Statutes and any rules of the Department of State. Removes the requirement for individuals registering to function as an Online Notary Public to certify that their chosen RON service provider(s) satisfy the requirements of Florida’s law and administrative rules. Provides that certification filed by a RON service provider shall remain active for one year after the date of filing. Requires the Department of State to publish on its website a list of each RON service provider that has filed a self-certification, the date of such filing, and other specified information (notably, the effective dates during which an Online Notary Public used each RON service provider, and information about secure repositories used by the Online Notary Public for storage of his/her/their electronic journal). (Bill Section 10, 117.295(4)(a).)

Requires an Online Notary Public to notify the Department of State of any change in his/her/their chosen RON service provider(s), and the effective date of the change, within 30 days of such change. (Bill Section 8, 117.265(5)(b).)

Clarifies that the fee of a Notary Public may not exceed $10 for any one notarial act under Section 117.05, Florida Statutes, except as provided in F.S. §117.045 (pertaining to solemnizing marriages) or §117.275 (pertaining to fees for online notarizations). (Bill Section 2, 117.05(2)(a).) Authorizes an Online Notary Public or his/her/their employer to charge a fee not exceeding $25 for performance of an online notarial act. Clarifies that fees for services other than notarial acts, including the services of a RON service provider, are not governed by §117.275, Florida Statutes. Further clarifies that a RON service provider’s services are not considered closing services, as defined in F.S. §627.7711, and that a fee for those service may be charged separately. (Bill Section 9, 117.275.)


Clarifies that for an online notarization involving a principal signer located outside of the United States, a passport issued by a foreign government that does not include the stamp of the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may be used as a government-issued identification credential to verify that person’s identity. (Bill Section 3, 117.201(6).)

Provides that a Florida Notary Public, civil-law notary or commissioner of deeds may, when registering as an Online Notary with the Department of State, submit their commission or appointment number with the registration (instead of a copy of such commission or appointment). Clarifies that when registering to perform online notarizations, the registrant may identify the RON service provider or providers the registrant intends to use. (Bill Section 4, 117.225(1), (5).)


Prohibits a RON service provider from using, selling, or offering to sell or transfer to another person, for use or sale, any personal information obtained during an online notarization which identifies a principal, a witness, or a person named in a record presented for online notarization. Provides limited exceptions to this prohibition. (Bill Section 10, 117.295(8).)

Clarifies journaling (recordkeeping) requirements for Florida Online Notaries Public. Clarifies that when an Online Notary Public delegates the Notary’s duty to retain his/her/their electronic journal to a repository and notifies the Department of State of such delegation, the Online Notary must include the effective date of the delegation along with other relevant information. (Bill Section 6, 117.245(4).)


Requires a RON service provider—not an Online Notary Public—to retain an uninterrupted and unedited copy of the recording of an audio-video communication in which an online notarization is performed. Clarifies that the officiating Online Notary Public must ensure that the recording includes certain specified events and information. Allows a RON service provider to contract with a secure repository to retain the recordings of audio-video communications, in accordance with any applicable administrative rules and if the Department of State is notified of the delegation within 30 days thereafter. Specifies certain information to be included in this notification to the Department of State. Provides that the secure repository shall fulfill the responsibilities of the Online Notary Public or RON service provider to provide copies of or access to recordings under F.S. §117.255(2) and (3). Provides that if an audio-video communication recording of an online notarization relating to the execution of an electronic will cannot be produced by the RON service provider, the Online Notary Public or the qualified custodian, the electronic will shall be treated as lost or destroyed subject to F.S. §733.207. (Bill Section 6, 117.245.)

Specifies the parties to whom an Online Notary Public shall upon request provide electronic copies of electronic journal entries; and the parties to whom a RON service provider shall provide upon request access to the related audio-video communication recordings or a copy thereof. Clarifies that an Online Notary performing a particular online notarization shall be given access to or a copy of the related audio-video communication recordings; and that a RON service provider shall be provided electronic copies of pertinent electronic journal entries by an Online Notary Public. (Bill Section 7, 117.255(2).)

Authorizes an Online Notary Public to charge a fee not exceeding $20 per transaction record for making and delivering electronic copies of a given series of related electronic records. Authorizes a RON service provider to charge a fee not to exceed $20 for providing access to, or a copy of, the related audio-video communication records. Requires that when an Online Notary Public or RON service provider charges a fee for these specific requests regarding electronic journal records or audio-video communication records, they must disclose the fee amount before fulfilling the request. Clarifies that such copies or access must be provided without charge if requested by certain specified parties within the 10-year retention period for records and recordings. (Those parties include the Online Notary Public performing that particular notarization; the qualified custodian of an electronic will notarized by the Online Notary Public; and the RON service provider used for the online notarization of those records.) (Bill Section 7, 117.255)

Establishes that any Florida Notary Public may satisfy the requirements of §117.05 by using audio-video communication technology to take the oath of an individual who is testifying at any court proceeding, deposition, arbitration or public hearing, and who is outside of the Notary’s physical presence. Also allows use of audio-video communication technology by any Florida Notary Public for purposes of administering, to an individual outside of the Notary’s physical presence, an oath of admission to the Florida Bar. Requires that if such an individual from whom a Notary Public is allowed to take an oath using audio-video communication technology is located outside of Florida at the time of the oath-taking, the Notary must obtain the individual’s consent for the Notary to take the individual’s oath using audio-video communication technology. Clarifies that a Florida Notary need not be registered as an Online Notary in order to take an oath remotely under §117.231, Florida Statutes; nor must the Notary utilize a RON service provider for such purpose. (Bill Section 5, 117.231).
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FLORIDA—HB 483
Effective June 29, 2021
View this bill

Amends the definition of “online notarization” to mean the performance of a notarial act using electronic means in which the principal or any witness appears before the Online Notary Public by means of audio-video communication technology (Bill Section 1).

Establishes that a Florida Online Notary Public may supervise the witnessing of an electronic record, and clarifies that this is a notarial act (Bill Section 1). Requires performance of this notarial act to comply with Florida’s statutory procedures for remote online notarizations and using the same audio-video communication technology used by a principal for an online notarization (Bill Section 2).


Amends F.S. §117.285 to provide that the Online Notary Public shall verify a remotely located witnesses’ identify in accordance with procedures for identifying a remotely-located principal under F.S. §117.265(4). Clarifies that if the witness if remote from the principal and viewing/communicating with the principal by means of audio-video communication technology, the witness’ and principal’s identities must be verified in accordance with statutory procedures for identifying a remotely located principal.

Clarifies the circumstances under which the Online Notary Public must ask certain statutorily specified qualifying questions of the principal (Bill Section 2); further clarifies that the Online Notary Public need not ask the specified qualifying questions if there are at least two witnesses in the physical presence of the principal at the time of the notarial act (Bill Section 2). Amends multiple, statutory forms of notarial certificates to reflect whether the named principal(s) appeared by means of physical presence of online notarization (various bill sections).

Establishes that the amendments made by FL HB 483 are remedial in nature and shall apply retroactively to January 1, 2020 (Bill Section 9).

 
HAWAII – SB 2275
Signed September 15, 2020
Effective January 1, 2021
View this bill

Revises Hawaii’s Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, and authorizes remote online notarization.

Definitions
Defines or amends the definition of key terms: “Acknowledgment,” “communication technology,” “document,” “electronic,” “electronic signature,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing,” “in a representative capacity,” “notarial act,” “Notary Public,” “outside the United States,” “proof of the signer’s signature and identity,” “remote online notary public,” “remotely located individual,” “sign,” “signature,” “stamping device,” “tamper-evident,” “verification on oath or affirmation

Notary Seal
Amends Hawaii’s official seal requirements. Repeals the embossing seal (“engraved seal of office”) for use as an official seal; a rubber stamp is now the only device allowed for notarizing tangible documents. Specifies that a Notary seal shall clearly show the same required information elements, whether stamped or impressed on a tangible (paper) document or attached to or logically associated with an electronic document. (No change to the required information elements.) Requires the Notary seal to be capable of being copied together with the document to which it is stamped, impressed or attached, or with which it is logically associated.

Clarifies that when filing a copy of his or her/their commission with the applicable clerk of the circuit court, the seal impression to be included is that for the tangible (ink-stamp) seal and that a Notary Public’s electronic seal is not subject to the filing requirement. Provides that the clerk may maintain such Notary records in tangible or electronic form.

Repeals a $200 penalty against a Notary or Notary’s personal representative for failing to comply with certain statutory requirements regarding disposition of the Notary’s seal upon the Notary’s resignation, death, expiration of commission without renewal, commission revocation or abandonment of commission. Also upon occurrence of any of these conditions, requires a Notary who has used an electronic stamping device to disable the device by destroying, defacing, damaging, erasing or securing it such that it is unusable, and to submit a declaration to the Attorney General that the stamping device was disabled, and detailing the date and manner in which the device was disabled.

Surety Bond
Clarifies that the provisions of HRS §456-5 apply to a surety bond continuation certificate as well as to a bond.

Performing Notarial Acts
Clarifies that a Notary Public may perform a notarial act authorized by Chapter 456 or by other Hawaii law. Prohibits a Notary Public from performing a notarial act with respect to a document in which the Notary or the Notary’s spouse or civil partner is a party, or in which either of them has a direct beneficial interest, and establishes that a notarial act performed in violation of this prohibition is voidable.

Amends and significantly expands the statutory definition of “proof of the signer’s signature and identity.” A Notary Public has satisfactory evidence of the identity of an individual appearing before the Notary Public if the Notary can identify the individual:
1. By means of:
   (a) Having personal knowledge* of the identity of an individual before the officer if the individual is personally known to the notary public through dealings sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed;
   (b) A passport, driver’s license, or government-issued non-driver identification card that is valid+ or expired no more than three years prior to the performance of the notarial act and contains the signature and photograph of the individual;
   (c) Another form of government identification issued to an individual that is valid or expired no more than three years prior to performance of the notarial act, contains the signature and photograph of the individual, and is satisfactory to the notary public; or
   (d) By verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally appearing before the notary public and known to the notary public or whom the notary public can identify on the basis of a passport, driver’s license, or government-issued non-driver identification card that is valid or expired no more than three years prior to performance of the notarial act; or

2. By requiring an individual to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to assure the notary public of the identity of the individual.
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*NOTE – This new statutory language replaces prior, deleted language regarding personal knowledge.
+NOTE - The phrase “valid or expired no more than three years prior to performance of the notarial act ” replaces the former term, “current.”

Clarifies what constitutes the offense of a Notary’s failure to verify the identity of a signer for whom the Notary is performing a notarial act.

Specifies that the Notary’s commission expiration date shall appear on the Notary certification (notarial certificate). Repeals the requirement for the Notary certification to include an identification or description of the document being notarized.

Establishes that a Notary’s official stamp shall be affixed to the notarial certificate for a tangible record, and attached to/logically associated with the notarial certificate for an electronic record, if the certificate contains the information specified in HRS §456-21 (i.e., the certificate is completed with all required information).

Amends provisions of Hawaii’s statutes dealing with conveyances, recording and related acknowledgments. Amends HRS §502-42 by requiring that the certificate state in substance how the person who executed the instrument was identified by the notary, including “by other satisfactory evidence of identity under the law of this State.” Further amends HRS §502-42 by requiring a notarial certificate to indicate, when applicable, that a notarial act was performed using communication technology.

Amends HRS §502-48 regarding a notarial acknowledgment certificate for a conveyance or other instrument conveying real property, which requires the certificate to indicate the means by which the Notary Public identified the acknowledging person. Adds “obtaining satisfactory evidence of identity of a remotely located individual under Section 456-B” as a possible identification means by which the Notary identified a person making an acknowledgment.

Authorizes a Notary Public to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic document is an accurate copy of the electronic document.

Requires that, when a Notary is notarizing and signing for a disabled person as described in HRS §456-19, any doctor’s written certification that the person is unable to physically sign or make a mark because of the person’s disability shall be attached to the document.

Repeals the Attorney General’s authorization to fine a Notary Public $500 for failing to describe, in close proximity to the acknowledgment or jurat, the document being notarized including the number of pages and date of the document.

Authorizes a Notary Public to refuse to perform a notarial act if the Notary is: not satisfied that the person executing the document is competent or has the capacity to execute the document; not satisfied that the person’s signature is knowingly and voluntarily made; or not satisfied that the Notary has proof of the signer’s signature and identity or, if the person is a remotely located individual, satisfactory evidence of the identity as prescribed in §456-B of Hawaii’s RULONA. Prohibits a Notary from refusing to perform a notarial act if such refusal is prohibited by other law.

Authorizes the Attorney General to adopt, amend or repeal rules regarding the performance of notarial acts under Section 456-B, and provides what such rules may include. Requires the Attorney General, before adopting, amending or repealing a rule governing the 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 that have laws substantially similar to Section 456-B; and the views of governmental officials and entities and other interested persons.

Journal
Modernizes statutory language requiring a Notary Public to keep records of all notarial acts performed. Requires a Notary Public to maintain a journal in which the Notary chronicles all notarial acts performed. Requires the Notary to retain a journal for 10 years after performance of the last notarial act chronicled in it.

Establishes that a journal may be created on a tangible (paper) medium or in an electronic format. Specifies that a Notary shall maintain only one tangible journal at a time in which all notarial acts regarding tangible documents are chronicled; and one electronic journal at a time in which all notarial acts regarding electronic documents are chronicled. Requires that a tangible journal just be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages. Requires an electronic journal to be in a permanent, tamper-evident electronic format complying with rules of the Attorney General.

Requires that an entry in a journal shall be made contemporaneously with performance of the notarial act, and specifies the information to be contained in each entry. Clarifies that the “full” printed name of each person whose signature was notarized shall be entered, and that the signature of such person is required if the journal is in a tangible (paper) medium. Requires expanded details regarding how the Notary identified the person. Requires the Notary’s fee, if any, to be entered in the journal.

Authorizes a Notary Public to have his or her/their journal photographed, microphotographed, reproduced on film or copied to an electronic format. Requires that any device or electronic storage system used to copy or reproduce the journal shall accurately reflect the information and all details contained in the original. Establishes that a photograph, microphotograph, reproduction on film or electronic copy of a journal shall be deemed to be an original record for all purposes, including introduction in evidence in all courts or administrative agencies, and that a transcript, exemplification, facsimile or certified copy made of such shall be deemed to be a transcript, exemplification, facsimile or certified of the original record.

Prescribes actions the Notary Public must take if the journal is lost or stolen; if the Notary resigns his or her/their commission; or the commission expires, is revoked or suspended. Prescribes actions to be taken by the Notary’s personal representative or guardian, or any other person knowingly in possession of the journal, upon the death or adjudication of incompetency of a current or former Notary. Repeals similar, existing statutory provisions.

Establishes that journals are subject to reasonable periodic, special, or other audits or inspections by the Attorney General, within or without Hawaii, as considered appropriate by the Attorney General. Provides potential audit-related actions that may be taken by the Attorney General. Establishes an administrative of not less than $50 or more than $500 for a Notary’s failure to comply with these statutory provisions.

Repeals the Attorney General’s authorization to fine a Notary Public $500 for failing to surrender the Notary’s recordbooks (journals) to the Attorney General within 90 days of the end date of the commission term (without renewal), resignation or removal from office.

Electronic Notarization
Establishes provisions relating to notarization of electronic records. Allows a Notary Public to select one or more tamper-evident technologies to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic documents. Prohibits a person from requiring a Notary Public to perform a notarial act with respect to an electronic document with a technology that the Notary Public has not selected.

Requires a Notary Public, before performing his or her/their initial notarial act with respect to an electronic document, to notify the Attorney General that the Notary Public will be performing such notarial acts and identify the technology the Notary Public intends to use. Provides that the technology chosen by a Remote Online Notary Public for remote online notarizations shall conform to the attorney general’s standards developed for Chapter 456.

Remote Online Notarization
Provides that a Notary Public or an applicant for a Notary Public commission may apply to the Attorney General to be commissioned as a Remote Online Notary Public. Provides qualifications to be commissioned as a Remote Online Notary Public. Changes terminology from “appoint,” “appointed,” “appointment” and other variations to “commission,” “commissioned,” etc. Clarifies that the failure to renew a commission in a timely manner shall (not may) cause the commission to be forfeited.

Establishes that a person qualifies to be commissioned as a Remote Online Notary Public by satisfying the qualification requirements for commission as a Hawaii Notary Public; paying the application fee; and submitting an application in the form prescribed by the Attorney General that satisfies the Attorney General that the applicant is qualified. Further establishes that an individual commissioned as a Hawaii Remote Online Notary Public is a Notary Public for purposes of Chapter 456, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and is subject to the requirements, powers and duties of a Notary public under Chapter 456.

Allows the Attorney General to charge a Remote Online Notary Public application fee. Requires a Remote Online Notary Public to promptly file a literal or photostatic copy of his or her/their Remote Online Notary commission with the clerk of the circuit court of the circuit in which the Remote Online Notary Public resides.

Requires that before a Remote Online Notary Public performs his or her/their initial remote online notarial act, the Remote Online Notary Public must notify the Attorney General that the Remote Online Notary will be performing notarial acts with respect to remotely located individuals. Further requires the Remote Online Notary’s notification to identify the technologies the Notary intends to use; such technology must conform to the Attorney General’s standards.

Authorizes a Remote Online Notary Public located in Hawaii to perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual if (all of the following):
the Notary has personal knowledge of the identity of the individual; satisfactory evidence of the individual’s identity by oath or affirmation of a credible witness appearing before the Remote Online Notary; or has obtained satisfactory evidence of the individual’s identity by using at least two different types of identity proofing;
the Notary is reasonably able to confirm that a document before the Remote Online Notary is the same document in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the individual executed a signature;
for a remotely located individual located outside of the United States, the document 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 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.

Establishes that a remotely located individual may comply with the statutory requirement to personally appear before or be in the presence of a Notary Public at the time of notarial act performance, by using communication technology to appear before a Remote Online Notary Public.

Requires that any certificate of a notarial act performed for a remotely located individual must indicate that the notarial act was performed using communication technology. Provides that such notarial certificate is sufficient if it complies with rules adopted under Section 456-B of Chapter 456, Hawaii Revised Statutes; or is in the form authorized by Hawaii law and contains a statement substantially like: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”

Requires the Remote Online Notary; the guardian, conservator, or agent of Remote Online Notary; or a personal representative of a deceased Notary to retain the audiovisual recording of a remote online notarization that is required under Section 456-B or they may cause the recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the person required to retain the recording.

The recording must be retained for a period of at least 10 years after recording is made, unless a different period is required by administrative rule adopted under Section 456-B.

Establishes a fee of $25 for performance of a notarial act for a remotely located individual under Section 456-B, except that the fee does not apply to affixing a Notary certificate to a duplicate original.

Other Provisions
Authorizes the registrar of conveyances to accept for recording under HRS Chapter 502 a tangible copy of an electronic document containing a notarial certificate as satisfying any requirement that a document 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 document.

Mandates an electronic processing service fee of up to 10% of the amount of the transaction to be charged and collected by the Attorney General. Enables the Attorney General to charge and collect a $200 administrative fine for a Notary Public’s failure to disable his or her/their electronic stamping device within 90 days of resignation, revocation of commission or the expiration of a commission term without renewal.

Provides for the validity of notarial acts. Establishes that except as otherwise provided in Section 456-14, a Notary Public’s failure to perform a duty or meet a requirement specified in Chapter 456 does not validate or invalidate a notarial act performed by the Notary Public. Clarifies that the validity of a notarial act under Chapter 456 does not prevent an aggrieved person from seeking to invalidate the document or transaction that is the subject of the notarial act or from seeking other remedies based on Hawaii law other than Chapter 456 or based on United States law. Further clarifies that these provisions do not validate a purported notarial act performed by a person without authority to perform notarial acts.

Establishes that all a Notary’s unpaid fees, fines and forfeitures shall constitute a debt due and owing to the State of Hawaii.
 
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.
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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)

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ILLINOIS – SB 730
Effective July 26, 2021
View this bill

Establishes statutory approval to remote notarization and witnessing guidelines provided in Illinois’ Executive Order 2020-14. Provides that such guidelines shall remain in effect throughout the declared state of emergency and up to 30 days after the state of emergency ends.

 
IDAHO – SB 1065
Signed May 10, 2021
Effective July 1, 2021
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Amends Section 59-1019, Idaho Code, by striking a provision enabling the Idaho Governor to use a facsimile signature in lieu of the Governor’s manual signature on all instruments, documents and papers relating to appointment and commissioning of Notaries Public.
 

INDIANA – HB 1255
Signed April 29, 2021
Effective April 29, 2021
(To request a bill copy, email support@asnnotary.org)

Amends Indiana’s probate, real property and Notary statutes. Reestablishes prior law by clarifying that an acknowledgment OR (not “and”) proof of execution is required for a document to be recorded in Indiana.

Authorizes Indiana Notaries to certify that a paper printout of an electronic record notarized by the Notary (acknowledgment or proof) is a true copy of the electronic record. Provides a form of certificate for such certification by the Notary, in which the Notary also certifies that at the time of printing, no security features present on the electronic record indicated any changes or errors in an electronic signature or other information in the electronic record after the electronic record’s creation or execution.

Repeals a requirement that any Notary or notarial officer of any other U.S. state, Indian tribe or the federal government or a foreign state must be registered as an Indiana remote Notary in order to perform notarial acts on records to be used in Indiana.

Establishes that taking a proof of execution is a notarial act (IC 33-42-0.5-18), authorizes an Indiana remote Notary (in addition to an Indiana traditional Notary) to take a proof, and makes various conforming statutory amendments.

Authorizes county recorders to perform notarial acts within their respective counties.
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INDIANA – HB 1056
Signed February 18, 2021
Effective February 18, 2021
View this bill

Amends the requirements for instruments and conveyances to be recorded. Adds instances in which an instrument is considered validly recorded for purposes of providing constructive notice. Defines certain terms.

Significantly, this measure rectifies a confounding 2020 Indiana Code amendment required an acknowledgment and a proof to have been performed on a document in order for it to be recorded in Indiana’s land records. The former statutory requirement of an acknowledgment or a proof is reestablished.
 
KANSAS SB 106
Effective January 1, 2022
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Enacts the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts in the Sunflower State, substantially revising Kansas’ Notary Public statutes. Provides that the Act applies to a notarial act performed on or after January 1, 2022. Repeals numerous sections of prior law.

Definitions
Defines “acknowledgment,” “communication technology,” “electronic,” “electronic signature,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing,” “in a representative capacity,” “notarial act,” “notarial officer,” “Notary Public,” “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.” (Bill Sections 2; 14; 15.)

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Please note: Under Kansas’ RULONA, a notarial officer is a Notary Public or other individual who is authorized to perform a notarial act (under Kansas 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 a Kansas Notary Public. Specifies that a Notary commission applicant shall file an application including an oath of office; an assurance in the form of a surety bond or its functional equivalent in the amount of $12,000 issued by a surety or other entity licensed or authorized to do business in Kansas; evidence of completion of the required course of study and examination; the official signature and impression of the stamp to be used by the applicant as Notary Public; and the $10 application fee. Further provides that a Notary Public commission may not be automatically renewed, and that renewing Notaries must be qualified and apply for each new commission in the same manner as if for an initial commission. (Bill Section 22.)

Allows an individual to resign their Notary Public commission by mailing or delivering to the Secretary of State a resignation notification; such commission shall terminate upon delivery of the notification. (Bill Section 22.)


Specifies requirements relative to a Notary’s required assurance. Allows a Notary Public to perform notarial acts in Kansas only during the period that a valid assurance is on file with the Secretary of State. Specifies that no suit shall be made against a Notary Public, or the surety or issuing entity of the assurance, more than three years after the related cause of action occurs. Requires a surety or issuing entity to notify the Secretary of State 30 days before canceling the assurance, and provides that the surety or issuing entity shall no longer be liable on such assurance 30 days after the Secretary’s receipt of such notice. Requires the Secretary of State, upon receiving a notice of intent to cancel an assurance, to notify an affected Notary that the Notary will not be authorized to act as a Notary Public in Kansas unless the Notary files another assurance with the Secretary of State, on or before the cancellation date of the prior assurance. Also requires a surety or issuing entity to notify the Secretary of State not later than 30 days after making a payment to a claimant; or upon denying a claim against a Notary’s assurance. (Bill Section 22.)

Provides that any person injured by the failure of a Kansas Notary Public to faithfully perform any notarial act for which a bond or functional equivalent is given may, in any court of competent jurisdiction, sue to recover damages the person may have sustained from such failure. (Bill Section 22.)

Provides that a Kansas Notary Public commission does not give the Notary any immunity or benefit conferred by Kansas law on public officials or employees, and further provides that a Kansas Notary Public shall not be considered a state officer. (Bill Section 22.)

Allows the Secretary of State to deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or impose a condition as Notary Public for any act or omission that demonstrates an individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a Notary Public; and provides specific circumstances that demonstrate an individual’s inability to qualify for a Notary Public commission. (Bill Section 24.)


Prohibits an individual whose Notary commission has been revoked for certain reasons described in Kansas’ RULONA from applying for a new commission until after four years from the date of the commission revocation. Provides that an individual whose Notary commission has been revoked for certain other offenses may not apply for or receive another Kansas Notary commission for the individual’s lifetime. 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 24.)

Notarial Acts Generally
Authorizes a notarial officer (a commissioned Notary Public or other individual authorized to perform notarial acts under Kansas law) to perform the following notarial acts: take an acknowledgment; administer an oath or affirmation; witness or attest a signature; certify or attest a copy; note a protest of a negotiable instrument; and perform (other) notarial act(s) authorized in Kansas law. (Bill Section 4.)


Lists the individuals (notarial officers) who may perform a notarial act under Kansas law (a Notary Public; a judge, clerk or deputy clerk of any Kansas court; a county clerk or deputy county clerk; an election commissioner or assistant election commissioner; or any other person authorized by the law of Kansas to perform the specific act). (Bill Section 10.)

Provides that the signature and title of an individual authorized to perform a notarial act in Arizona are prima facie evidence that their signature is genuine and the individual holds the designated title, and that the signature and title of a Kansas notarial officer conclusively establish the authority of the notarial officer to perform the notarial act. (Bill Section 10.)


Provides for Kansas’ recognition of notarial acts performed in another state, under authority of a federally recognized Indian tribe, under federal law, and under authority and in the jurisdiction of named entities and governments outside of the United States. Provides how the authority of the individuals performing notarial acts in these jurisdictions is conclusively established. Establishes that the signature and title of such individuals performing notarial acts in these jurisdictions are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and the individual holds the designated title. Further 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 Sections 11-14.)

Provides that (except when a Notary Public has notarized for a spouse) the failure of a notarial officer to perform a duty or meet a requirement specified in Kansas’ RULONA does not invalidate a notarial act performed by the notarial officer. Further provides that this provision 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 state or federal law remedies. Clarifies that these provisions do not validate a purported notarial act performed by an individual who was not authorized to perform notarial acts. (Bill Section 26.)

Performing Notarial Acts
Establishes the fundamental requirements for performance of an acknowledgment, verification of a statement 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 5.)


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 6.)

Provides that a notarial officer has personal knowledge of the identity of an individual appearing 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. Establishes the forms of documentary identification credentials* that provide a notarial officer satisfactory evidence of the identify of a present individual; specifies that such credentials shall be current or expired not more than three years before performance of the notarial act. (Bill Section 7.) Also authorizes a notarial officer to satisfactorily identify a present individual by a verification on oath or affirmation of a personally present credible witness who is known to the notarial officer or whom the officer can identity on the basis of a passport, driver’s license or government-issued nondriver ID card that is current or expired not more than three years before performance of the notarial act. Further provides that a notarial officer may require an individual to provide additional information or ID credentials necessary to assure the officer of the individual's identity. (Bill Section 7.)

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*A passport, driver’s license or government-issued nondriver identification card; another form of government identification issued to an individual that contains the signature and a photograph of the individual and is satisfactory to the officer. All such forms must be current or expired not more than three years before performance of the notarial act.


Provides the circumstances under which a notarial officer may refuse to perform a notarial act, unless refusal is prohibited by other Kansas law or federal law. (Bill Section 8.)

Allows an individual who is physically unable to sign to direct an individual other than the notarial officer to sign the individual’s name on a record; requires such notarial officer to insert specified language indicating this occurrence. (Bill Section 9.)


Notarial Certificates
Requires a notarial act to be evidenced by a certificate executed contemporaneously with (at the same time as) performance of a notarial act; signed and dated by the notarial officer; and, if the notarial officer is a Notary Public, signed in the same manner as on file with the Secretary of State. Further requires a notarial certificate to identify the jurisdiction* where the notarization was performed, the title of the notarial officer and the expiration date of the notarial officer’s commission if the officer is a Notary Public. Establishes that it is a Class C nonperson misdemeanor for a Notary Public to willfully neglect or refuse to include his/her/their commission expiration date in a completed notarial certificate. (Bill Section 16.)
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*Evidenced in a notarial certificate by the venue statement, “State of Kansas, County of [Kansas county where the notarial act was performed].”


Specifies that a completed notarial certificate on a tangible record shall be part of, or securely attached to, the record. Specifies that a completed notarial certificate on an electronic record shall be affixed to, or logically associated with, the electronic record. Requires that a notarial certificate’s attachment, affixation, or logical association with a record shall conform to any standards established by the Secretary of State in rules and regulations. (Bill Section 16.)

Requires a Notary Public to affix or emboss an official stamp on every notarial certificate the Notary completes regarding a tangible record. Allows other notarial officers to forego use of an official stamp when notarizing a tangible record, if the certificate contains the notarial officer’s signature, date of notarization, jurisdiction (venue of the notarial act) and the officer’s title. (Bill Section 16.) Clarifies that when notarizing an electronic record, a notarial officer (including a Notary Public) may forego use of an official stamp if the notarial certificate contains the notarial officer’s signature and date of notarization; the jurisdiction where the notarial act was performed; the notarial officer’s title; and date of commission expiration if applicable. (Bill Section 16.)

Prohibits a notarial officer from affixing his/her/their signature to a notarial certificate, and from logically associating it with a certificate, until the notarial act has been performed. (Bill Section 16.)


Provides that a notarial certificate is sufficient if it meets specified requirements of Kansas law. Further provides that when completing a notarial certificate, a notarial officer certifies his/her/their compliance with the requirements of Kansas Notary law, and that he/she/they made the determinations specified in the law. (Bill Section 16.)

Official Stamp, Stamping Device Particulars
Defines an official stamp as a physical image affixed to or embossed on a tangible record; or an electronic image attached to or logically associated with an electronic record, including an official Notary seal. Defines a stamping device as (1) a physical device capable of affixing to or embossing, on a tangible record, an official stamp; or (2) an electronic device or process capable of attaching to or logically associating with, and electronic record, an official stamp. (Bill Section 2.)


Specifies certain information to be included on the official stamp of a Notary Public, including other information required by the Secretary of State. 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. Prohibits a Notary Public from using an official stamp unless he/she/they have filed an impression of the official stamp with the Secretary of State. (Bill Section 18.)

Requires a Notary Public with a legal name change to obtain a new official stamp meeting the requirements of Kansas’ RULONA and amendments thereto, and reflecting the Notary’s new name. Requires a Notary, prior to performing any notarial acts following a name change, to mail or deliver a name change notice to the Secretary of State and include a specimen of the Notary ‘s new official stamp and a specimen of the Notary’s new official signature. Clarifies that if a Notary Public obtains a new stamp for any reason, the Notary shall mail or deliver to the Secretary of State a notice of the stamp change that must include an impression of the new stamp.

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, upon resignation, revocation or expiration of the Notary Public’s commission or expiration of the date on the stamping device, to disable the stamping device by destroying, defacing, damaging, erasing or securing it against use in a manner that renders it unusable. Further provides that upon a Notary Public’s death or adjudication of incompetency the Notary’s personal representative or guardian, or any other person knowingly in possession of the stamping device, shall render it unusable by destroying, defacing, damaging, erasing or securing it against use. (Bill Section 19.)

Requires a Notary Public or the Notary’s personal representative or guardian to promptly notify the Secretary of State upon discovering that the Notary’s stamping device is lost or stolen. (Bill Section 19.)

Journal Requirements
Requires a Notary Public to maintain a journal (also called a recordbook) in which the Notary chronicles all notarial acts he/she/they perform. Specifies the Notary must retain the journal for 10 years after performance of the last notarial act chronicled in the journal. (Bill Section 20.)

Requires a journal to be created in a tangible medium or electronic format. Limits a Notary to maintaining only one journal in a tangible medium, but allows a Notary to maintain one or more journals in an electronic medium. Provides format specifications for tangible and electronic journals. (Bill Section 20.)

Specifies the information to be recorded in every journal entry. Requires an entry in a journal to be made contemporaneously with (at the same time as) performance of the notarial act. (Bill Section 20.)

Mandates actions the Notary Public shall take if the Notary’s journal is lost or stolen, or upon the Notary’s resignation, or upon the Notary’s commission revocation or suspension. Allows a Notary’s obligation to retain journal records as specified in the law to be met by transmitting the journal to a repository approved by the Secretary of State. Specifies actions to be taken by a Notary’s personal representative, guardian or any other person knowingly in possession of the Notary’s journal(s) upon the death or adjudication of incompetency of a current or former Notary Public. In all cases, disposition of the Notary journal(s) must be reported to the Secretary of State. (Bill Section 20.)


Electronic, Remote Online Notarizations
Provides 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 32.)

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 21.)


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; identify the technology the Notary intends to use; and provide evidence of completing the required course of study and passing the required examination. 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. Requires a Notary Public to pay the Secretary of State an information and services fee, in an amount determined by rule of the Secretary but not exceeding $25, for the various notifications related to performing electronic notarizations. (Bill Section 21.)

Provides that the required course of study for a Notary Public desiring to perform electronic notarial acts shall be regularly offered by the Secretary of State or an entity approved by the Secretary of State. Specifies that the required course of study shall cover the laws, rules, procedures and ethics relevant to notarial acts with respect to electronic records. Further provides that the examination required for a Notary public desiring to perform electronic notarial acts shall be administered by the Secretary of State or an entity approved by the Secretary. Establishes that the examination shall be based on the required course of study. (Bill Section 23.)

Prohibited Acts
Prohibits a notarial officer from affixing his/her/their signature to a notarial certificate, and from logically associating it with a certificate, until the notarial act has been performed. (Bill Section 16.)


Provides a lengthy list of acts that a Kansas Notary Public commission does not authorize a person to perform, including assisting persons in drafting legal records, giving legal advice or otherwise practicing law; acting as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters; and representing a person in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to immigration, United States citizenship or related matters. Prohibits a Notary Public from performing a notarial act involving a record in which the Notary or the Notary’s spouse has a direct financial or beneficial interest. Clarifies when a notarial officer has a direct financial or beneficial interest, and when a notarial officer does not have a direct financial or beneficial interest. (Bill Section 25.)

Prohibits a Notary Public from engaging in false or deceptive advertising. Prohibits a Notary Public, other than one also licensed as a Kansas attorney, from using (in any business card, advertisement notice or sign) the term “notario” or “notario publico,” or any equivalent non-English term. (Bill Section 25.)

Further prohibits a Notary Public who is not also a licensed Kansas attorney from advertising or representing that he/she/they may assist persons in drafting legal records, giving legal advice or otherwise practicing law. Requires a non-attorney Notary Public who elects to advertise his/her/their Notary services—whether orally or in a record including broadcast media, print media and the Internet—to include a statutorily prescribed statement about the Notary’s non-attorney status and inability to perform certain duties (that would require a license to practice law in Kansas). (Bill Section 25.)

Prohibits a Notary Public from withholding access to or possession of an original record provided by a person seeking performance of a notarial act from the Notary. (Bill Section 25.)

Administrative Rules
Requires the Secretary of State to adopt rules and regulations providing short-form certificates of notarial acts that are sufficient for indicated purposes, if the certificates are completed with the information required by law. (Bill Section 17.)


Requires the Secretary of State to adopt rules and regulations to implement the RULONA. Provides the scope of such rulemaking authority. Requires that the Secretary, when adopting such rules and regulations, to consider adopted standards by national bodies; and practices, standards and customs of other jurisdictions that have substantially enacted the RULONA. (Bill Section 27.)

Notary Commissions in Effect
Provides that a Notary Public commission or appointment in effect on the RULONA’s effective date of January 1, 2022 continues until its date of expiration. Requires Kansas Notaries Public performing notarial acts after January 1, 2022 to comply with the requirements of Kansas’ RULONA. Provides that a Notary Public applying to renew a commission on or after January 1, 2022 is subject to and shall company with Kansas’ RULONA. (Bill Section 28.)


Clarifies that enactment of Kansas’ RULONA does not affect the validity or effect of a notarial act performed before January 1, 2022. Further clarifies that a cause of action against a Notary Public or the Notary Public’s securities before January 1, 2022 are governed by any statute or other rule amended or repealed by Kansas’ RULONA, as if amendment or repeal had not occurred. Provides that Section 29 of SB 106 shall take effect on and after January 1, 2022. (Bill Section 29.)

Other Provisions
Establishes that a Kansas 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 executing the notarial certificate certified that the tangible copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record. (Bill Section 21.)

Makes conforming amendments to Kansas law (primarily to reflect references to Kansas’ Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts). Repeals specified sections of Kansas law. (Bill Section 43.)

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KANSAS SB 122
Signed April 21, 2021
Effective April 21, 2021
View this bill


Establishes that documents acknowledged before a Notary Public or other notarial officer are self-authenticating* for purposes of such documents’ admission into evidence in a judicial proceeding.
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*No evidence of the document’s genuineness is needed, other than the Notary’s certificate of acknowledgment.
 
LOUISIANA HB 274/ACT No. 254
This bill contains multiple effective dates for its sections, made contingent on the progress of a measure before the U.S. Congress (the “SECURE Notarization Act”) to enact remote online notarization in states where it was not yet enacted. The effective dates that appear in the summary below are the actual effective dates.
View this bill


Amended and reenacted Louisiana’s Civil Code Article 3344 and Revised Statutes Section 35:6. Enacted Revised Statutes Section 9:2760 and Sections 35:621 through 630, creating the “Remote Online Notarization Act.”

Effective 8-1-20: Addresses recordation of an electronic record in tangible form (effective 8-1-20). Establishes that a recorder shall not refuse to record a tangible copy of an electronic record on the grounds that it does not bear the original signature of a party, if a Notary Public or other officer before whom it was executed certifies that the tangible copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record (effective 8-1-20). Made a conforming amendment to Civil Code Article 3344(A) (effective 8-1-20). (Bill Sections 1 and 2.)


Effective 8-1-20: Amends R.S. 35:6 to deny interstate recognition to remote online notarial acts performed in states other than Louisiana. (Bill Section 3.)

Effective 2-1-22: Defines “communication technology,” “credential analysis,” “identity proofing,” “remote online notarial act,” and “remote online notarization.” Establishes that the definitions of “electronic,” “electronic record,” “electronic signature,” and “record” as provided in Louisiana’s Uniform Electronic Transaction Act apply in this chapter of law (Chapter 10, Title 35, Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950). (Bill Section 4.)


Effective 2-1-22: Authorizes remote online notarization by establishing that except as otherwise provided (in R.S. 35:623 B. and C.), a remote online notarial act that meets the requirements of R.S. 35:625-627 satisfies any requirements that a party [physically] appear before a Notary Public at the time of the instrument’s execution. Requires that in all other respects a remote online notarial act shall comply with other applicable laws governing performance of that notarial act. (Bill Section 4.)

Effective 2-1-22: Establishes that only a regularly commissioned Louisiana Notary Public with a valid commission may be authorized by the Secretary of State to perform remote online notarizations. Requires Notaries seeking such authorization to submit an application to the Secretary of State, in a format to be prescribed by the Secretary. Additionally requires such applicants to complete any course of instruction required by the Secretary, and satisfy any other requirements imposed by rules adopted by the Secretary of State. (Bill Section 6.)


Effective 2-1-22: Provides that the authorization to perform remote online notarizations shall continue as long as the Notary Public is validly commissioned and the Secretary of State has not revoked the Notary’s authority to perform remote online notarizations. (Bill Section 6.)

Effective 2-1-22: Prohibits certain documents from being executed by means of remote online notarization: testaments or codicils thereto; trust instruments or acknowledgments thereof; donations inter vivos; matrimonial agreements or acknowledgments thereof; acts modifying, waiving or extinguishing an obligation of final spousal support or acknowledgements thereof. (Bill Section 4.)

Effective 2-1-22: Prohibits use of remote online notarization to execute an authentic act as defined in Civil Code Article 1833. Provides that except as otherwise provided (in R.S. 35:623B), an act that fails to be authentic due to its execution by remote online notarization may still be valid as an act under private signature or an acknowledged act. (Bill Section 4.)

Effective 2-1-22: Clarifies this Chapter’s relationship to provisions of the Louisiana Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. (Bill Section 4.)


Effective 2-1-22: Requires the Secretary of State to adopt rules to develop and maintain standards for implementation of remote online notarization under Chapter 10, Title 35 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes. Requires the Secretary of State to form a stakeholder committee to participate in development of these standards, and specifies certain stakeholders to be included on the committee. Mandates rules to be adopted prior to February 1, 2022 and thereafter, may be modified, amended or supplemented with or without stakeholder committee input. (Bill Section 4.)

Effective 2-1-22: Specifies the location of the Notary Public, parties to the transaction and witnesses for performance of a remote online notarial act. Provides that a Louisiana Notary Public physically located in any parish of the state where the Notary may exercise notarial powers may perform a remote online notarization for a remotely located party who is within or outside of Louisiana. Requires a witness to a remote online notarial act to be in the physical presence of the remotely located party. (Bill Section 4.)


Effective 2-1-22: Establishes that a remote online notarial act is deemed to be executed in any parish of Louisiana where the (transacting) party is physically located at the time of the remote notarization. Further establishes that if the party is outside of Louisiana, then the remote online notarial act is deemed to be executed in the parish where the Notary Public is physically located at the time of the remote online notarization. (Bill Section 4.)

Effective 2-1-22: Specifies procedures for performing remote online notarizations including verification of a party or witness’ identity; inclusion of a statement that it is a remote online notarial act; the manner in which the Notary’s electronic signature shall be attached or caused to be attached to [the electronic notarial certificate]; and how the Notary Public shall digitally sign the remote online notarial act [notarial certificate]. (Bill Section 4.)

Effective 2-1-22: Requires a Notary Public performing a remote online notarial act to take reasonable steps to ensure that the communication technology used in the remote online notarial act is secure from unauthorized interception; and the electronic record before the Notary is the same electronic record in which the party made a statement or on which the party executed or adopted an electronic signature. (Bill Section 4.)


Effective 2-1-22: Requires a Notary public to maintain electronic copies of all remote online notarial acts for at least 10 years after the date of the remote online notarization. Requires such electronic copies to be capable of being printed in a tangible medium. Also requires a Notary Public to maintain an audio and video recording of each remote online notarization for at least 10 years after the date of the remote online notarization. Mandates that a Notary shall take reasonable steps to secure all such records from corruption, loss, destruction and unauthorized interception or alteration. (Bill Section 4.)

Effective 2-1-22: Allows a Notary Public to designate a custodian to maintain the electronic records required under the Act, provided that the Notary has unrestricted access to the electronic records and the custodian meets any standards established by the Secretary of State for the maintenance of such records. (Bill Section 4.)

Effective 2-1-22: Establishes that the provisions of Chapter 10, Title 35, Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950 (R.S. 35:621 through 624 and 626 through 630 may not be varied by agreement. (Bill Section 4.)

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LOUISIANA ADMINISTRATIVE RULE (Remote Online Notarization)
(Title 46, Part XLVI, Chapter 1, Section 144)
Effective January 20, 2022
View this rule


These administrative rules implement Louisiana Act No. 254 (HB 274), which authorizes remote online notarizations in The Pelican State.

Establishes the process by which a Louisiana Notary Public in good standing (their commission is not suspended) may be authorized to perform remote online notarizations.

Requires a Louisiana Notary Public seeking authorization to perform remote online notarial acts to:
  1. submit an application form provided by the Secretary of State during the term of that Notary’s commission;
  2. successfully complete an education program provided by the Secretary of State and covering the statutes and rules governing remote online notarizations;
  3. paying a one-time fee of $100 to the Secretary upon filing the application.
(Section 144 A.)


Establishes that a Notary Public authorized by the Secretary to perform remote online notarizations may do so as long as:
  1. the Notary maintains a valid Notary commission under Louisiana law;
  2. the Notary’s authority to perform notarial functions is not suspended;
  3. the Notary’s authority to perform remote online notarizations is not suspended or revoked.
(Section 144 B.)


Requires identity proofing during a remote online notarization to be performed through either:
  1. Dynamic knowledge-based authentication that is performed through administration of a quiz completed by the party [principal signer]; or witness whose identity is being verified. Provides requirements for such identity proofing.
  2. Analsis of biometric data, including facial recognition, voiceprint analysis, or fingerprint analysis.
(Section 144 C.)


Requires that credential analysis shall ensure that the credential is an unexpired, government-issued identification credential that contains the photograph and signature of the party or witness, whose identity is being verified by a process that does both of the following:
  1. uses automated software processes to aid the Notary Public in verifying the identity of a party of any witness; and
  2. ensures the credential passes an authenticity test consistent with sound commercial practices (that meet requirements specified in the administrative rule).
(Section 144 D.)

Specifies certain technology/performance standards for the communication technology systems used for remote online notarization. (Notably, one such standard is that such systems must provide a means by which the Notary Public is able to add a statement to any document being notarized that the act is a remote notarial act.) (Section 144 E.)

Provides that the Secretary of State shall maintain a registry of identity-proofing, credential-analysis, and communication providers who have certified by affidavit that their technologies meet the minimum requirements set forth in Subsections C and D of this administrative rule. (Section 144 F.)

 
MAINE – HP 1033
Effective June 23, 2021
View this bill


Continues, until January 1, 2023, temporary modification of certain in-person notarization and acknowledgment requirements. Authorizes—when a signature must be acknowledged, witnessed or notarized in person—the “signatory” (the person whose signature requires notarization or witnessing) to use two-way, audio-visual communication technology to appear before a Notary Public. Clarifies that such authorization does not require a Notary to perform a remote notarization.

Clarifies that HB 1033 authorizes remote notarization of tangible, not electronic documents. Further clarifies that only the requirement to appear in person is affected, not other requirements pertaining to taking of sworn statements and acknowledgments by Notaries and those authorized to perform notarial acts. Specifically excludes solemnizing marriage, administering oaths to circulators of state or local direct initiatives of legislation or referendum petitions and nomination petitions of candidates for electoral office and absentee ballots in state and local elections.


Establishes procedural requirements for such notarizations. Provides for the validity of documents so notarized. Clarifies that the validity and recognition of such notarizations and witnessings may not prevent an aggrieved person from seeking to invalidate a record or transaction that is the subject of a notarization or from seeking other remedies based on other state or federal law. Provides that the failure of a notary or a witness to meet a requirement specified in HB 1033 may not invalidate or impair the recognition of a notarization performed by the Notary if it was performed in substantial compliance with the provisions of HB 1033. Clarifies that the Legislature’s intent is that the notarizations authorized under HB 1033 receive full faith and credit in the courts of the United States and other states.


Requires the Secretary of State to provide remote (paper) notarization guidance consistent with the provisions of HB 1033, and protect the integrity of such notarizations. Requires the Secretary of State to conduct a study on remote and online notarization, and develop recommendations for permanently implementing remote and online notarization in Maine, and requires the Secretary to seek input from specified parties and others. Sets a deadline of February 1, 2022, for the Secretary’s report on the study’s findings and recommendations.
 
MARYLAND – SB 132
Effective October 1, 2021
View this bill

Provides that a custodian of a public record is required to disclose the home address or home telephone number of a Notary Public only if the custodian has not been provided with the business address or business telephone number of the Notary Public. (See Bill Section 1.)
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MARYLAND – SB 212
Effective July 1, 2021
View this bill

Clarifies that if a Notary Public resides in Maryland, his/her/their official stamp must include the county in which the Notary resides; or if the Notary resides outside of Maryland, the official stamp must include the county in which the Notary was qualified.

 
MASSACHUSETTS – HB 4345
Effective February 15, 2022
Bill Section 7 (Temporary Remote Notarization Provisions) Effective December 15, 2021
View this bill

Continues, until July 15, 2022, the temporary remote notarization provisions established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These provisions were originally established in Senate Bill 2645 (2020) and later extended to be effective through December 15, 2021 by Senate Bill 2475 (2021).

Validates notarizations performed that occurred on or after December 15, 2021 and until the February 15, 2022 effective date of HB 4345, provided that such notarizations satisfied each requirement of Chapter 71, Acts of 2020.

 
MISSISSIPPI HB 1156
Signed June 25, 2020
Effective July 1, 2021
View this bill

Enacts the “Revised Mississippi Law on Notarial Acts” in the Magnolia State.

Definitions
Defines: "acknowledgment," "electronic," "electronic signature," “foreign state,” "in a representative capacity," "notarial act," "notarial officer," "notary public," "official seal," "record," "sign," "signature," "stamping device," "state” and "verification on oath or affirmation."

Commissioning/Commissioning Officer Matters
Provides that an applicant for a Notary Public commission must not be disqualified to receive a commission for any of the reasons, given in Section 22 of HB 1156, that allow the Secretary of State to deny a commission or refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or impose a condition on an existing commission.


Clarifies that a commission to act as a Notary Public authorizes the Notary to perform notarial acts and does not provide the Notary any immunity or benefit conferred by the laws of this state on public officials or employees.

Repeals all sections of Mississippi Code that authorize appointment of Notaries Public by the Governor, and establishes that the Secretary of State shall appoint Notaries Public. Provides that the Secretary of State may deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or impose a condition on a commission as Notary Public for any act or omission that demonstrates the individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a Notary; provides included conditions that constitute such act or omission.

Clarifies that the authority of the Secretary of State to deny, refuse to renew, suspend, revoke or impose conditions on a commission as a Notary Public does not prevent a person from seeking and obtaining other criminal or civil remedies provided by law. Requires the Secretary of State to maintain an electronic database of notaries public: (a) through which a person may verify the authority of a Notary to perform notarial acts, and (b) which indicates whether a Notary has notified the Secretary of State that the Notary will be performing notarial acts on electronic records.


Assurance (Surety Bond or Functional Equivalent)
Clarifies that a Notary may perform notarial acts in this state only during the period that a valid assurance (surety bond or its functional equivalent, in the amount of $5000), is on file with the Secretary of State. Requires the surety or entity issuing the Notary’s assurance (bond) to give 30 days' notice to the Secretary of State before canceling a Notary’s assurance (bond). Also requires the surety or entity issuing the Notary’s assurance to notify the Secretary of State not later than 30 days after making a payment to a claimant under the assurance.

Notarial Acts (General)
Establishes that the Act applies to a notarial act performed on or after July 1, 2021. Specifies that a notarial officer (including Notaries Public) may (a) certify depositions of witnesses; (b) make or note a protest of a negotiable instrument; and (c) make an affidavit regarding the truth of any witnesses or attested signatures in question along with any corrected language and, if the authenticity or correctness of language affects real property, file the same in the land records in the office of the chancery clerk where the land is located.


Establishes that a notarial act is voidable when the officer (a) is a party to the record being notarized, (b) is a spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, aunt or uncle, or niece or nephew, including a son or daughter-in-law, a mother or father-in-law, a stepchild or stepparent, or a half-sibling, of the person whose signature is being notarized or (c) will receive as a direct result any commission, fee, advantage, right, title, beneficial interest, cash, property or other consideration exceeding in value the fees required by rules established by the Secretary of State.

Requires a notarial officer who takes an acknowledgment, takes a verification of a statement on oath or affirmation (jurat), or witnesses or attests to a signature, to determine, from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual, that the individual appearing in person before the officer has the identity claimed and that the signature on the record is the signature of the individual. Requires a notarial officer who makes or notes a protest of a negotiable instrument to determine the matters set forth in Section 75-3-505(b).


Notarizing Electronic Records
Authorizes a Notary to perform a notarial act with respect to electronic records (for physically present individuals). Establishes that the Secretary of State has the sole power to determine the methods by which notarial acts with respect to electronic records may be implemented in Mississippi and that the methods must be set forth in rules promulgated by the Secretary. Requires a Notary wishing to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records to file an additional registration with the Secretary of State, subsequent to being granted a Notary commission.

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


Establishes that satisfactory evidence of the identity of an individual is obtained if the notarial officer can identify the individual by inspecting an unexpired passport; an unexpired driver's license or a driver's license that has not been expired for more than 5 years; a government-issued nondriver identification card; a Mississippi voter ID card or an unexpired photographic identification card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe or nation; or another form of government identification issued to an individual which is not expired, contains the signature and a photograph of the individual and is satisfactory to the officer. Also allows a notarial officer to require an individual to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to assure the officer of the identity of the individual.

Provides that a Notary is not required to draft, edit or amend a certificate for a record presented for notarization that does not contain an acceptable certificate; instead the Notary must refuse to perform the notarial act regarding that record.


Provides for an individual who is physically unable to sign a record to direct an individual other than the notarial officer to sign the individual's name on the record. Requires the notarial officer to insert "Signature affixed by (name of other individual) at the direction of (name of individual)" or words of similar import.

Clarifies that a Notary may not be required to perform a notarial act outside the Notary's regular workplace or business hours.


Authorizes a notarial officer to refuse to perform a notarial act unless refusal is prohibited by any law other than this act. Provides that a notarial officer may refuse to perform a notarial act if the officer (a) knows or suspects the transaction is illegal, false, or deceptive, (b) is not satisfied that the individual executing the record is competent; (c) is not satisfied that the individual executing the record has the capacity to execute the record; (d) is not satisfied that the individual's signature is knowingly and voluntarily made; or (e) is not satisfied that the notarial act is in compliance with this act or with rules issued by the Secretary of State to implement this act.

Notary Fees
Allows a notarial officer (including Notaries Public) to charge a fee not to exceed $5 for services rendered, unless otherwise prohibited by law or by rules promulgated by the Secretary of State.*
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*NOTE: The Administrative Rule implementing this act, Notaries Public Part 5 Chapter 1, increased the maximum fee a Notary Public may charge to $10 for each of taking an acknowledgment; taking a verification on oath or affirmation; administering an oath or affirmation without a signature; certifying depositions of witnesses; and witnessing or attesting a signature. The rule also allows a Notary Public to charge up to $5 for certifying an electronic document.

Certificate of a Notarial Act
Requires that a notarial act must be evidenced by a certificate, which must:
   (a) be executed contemporaneously with the performance of the notarial act;
   (b) be signed and dated by the notarial officer and, if the notarial officer is a Notary Public, be signed in the same manner as on file with the Secretary of State;
   (c) identify the jurisdiction in which the notarial act is performed;
   (d) contain the title of office of the notarial officer; and
   (e) contain the expiration date of the Notary’s commission if the notarial officer is a Notary.

Provides that by executing a certificate of a notarial act, a notarial officer certifies to having complied with the requirements and made the determinations specified in Sections 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the Act. Prohibits a notarial officer from affixing the officer's signature to, or logically associate it with, a certificate until the notarial act has been performed.


Requires that if a notarial act is performed regarding a tangible record, a certificate must be part of, or securely attached to, the record. Requires that if a notarial act is performed regarding an electronic record, the certificate must be affixed to, or logically associated with, the electronic record. Provides that if the Secretary of State has established standards for attaching, affixing, or logically associating the certificate, the process must conform to those standards.

Provides that a certificate of a notarial act is sufficient if it meets the general requirements related to notarial certificates and it is in a form otherwise permitted by the law of Mississippi; it is in a form permitted by the law applicable in the jurisdiction in which the notarial act was performed; or it sets forth the actions of the notarial officer and the actions are sufficient to meet the requirements of the notarial act as provided in Sections 4, 5, 6 and 7 of Mississippi’s RULONA or any other law of Mississippi.

Provides that a Notary is not required to draft, edit or amend a certificate for a record presented for notarization that does not contain an acceptable certificate (instead the Notary must refuse to perform the notarial act regarding that record).


Requires that when performing a notarial act regarding a tangible record, a Mississippi Notary Public must affix the Notary’s official seal of office to the notarial certificate. Provides that if a notarial officer other than a Notary performs a notarial act regarding a tangible record and the certificate is signed by the officer, identifies the jurisdiction of the notarial act and contains the notarial officer’s title, the notarial officer's official seal may be affixed to the certificate. Establishes that if a notarial act regarding an electronic record is performed by a notarial officer and the certificate is signed by the officer, identifies the jurisdiction of the notarial act, and contains the notarial officer’s title, the notarial officer's official seal may be attached to or logically associated with the certificate.


Clarifies that the party drafting a record that is the subject of a notarial act is responsible for the form of the certificate, its wording, and legal sufficiency. Provides that a Notary is not required to draft, edit or amend a certificate for a record presented for notarization that does not contain an acceptable certificate (instead the Notary must refuse to perform the notarial act regarding that record).

Establishes that the signature of a notarial officer certifying a notarial act may not be deemed to be evidence that the notarial officer had knowledge of the contents of the (related) record, other than those specific contents which constitute the signature, execution, acknowledgment, oath, affirmation, affidavit, verification or other act which the signature of that notarial officer chronicles.

Provides the wording for new “short-form” notarial certificate forms, and revises “long-form” notarial certificate forms found in MCA 89-3-7.


Notary’s Official Seal, Stamping Device
Requires that the official seal of a Notary must include the Notary's name, jurisdiction, commission expiration date, and other information required by the Secretary of State [NOTE: i.e., if additional information or requirements are mandated by administrative rule]; and it must 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 if a Notary's stamping device is lost or stolen, the Notary or the Notary's personal representative or guardian must notify promptly the Secretary of State upon discovery that the device is lost or stolen. Provides that upon the death or adjudication of incompetency of a current or former Notary, the Notary's personal representative or guardian or any other person knowingly in possession of the official seal or stamping device must destroy or deface, as soon as reasonably practicable, all official seals of the Notary so that they may not be misused.

Provides that the board of supervisors of every county must provide an official seal, with the inscription "Notary Public" around the margin and the image of an eagle in the center, which official seal must be kept in the office of the clerk of the circuit court. Authorizes a judge, chancellor, clerk or deputy clerk of a court of Mississippi, the Mississippi Secretary of State or an Assistant Secretary of State to use the official seal to perform a notarial act under Section 10(1)(b) or (c) of the Act (but this is not a requirement).


Notary Journal
Retains the requirement that a Notary Public record each notarial act performed in a journal. Allows a Notary to maintain only one journal at a time to chronicle all notarial acts, whether those notarial acts are performed regarding tangible or electronic records. A journal must be created on a tangible or electronic medium. Requires a tangible journal to be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages. Requires an electronic journal to conform to specifications set forth in rules by the Secretary of State. Requires an entry in a journal (whether a tangible or electronic journal) to be made contemporaneously with (as the same time as; during) the performance of the notarial act.


Prohibited Acts
Prohibits a Notary from engaging in false or deceptive advertising. Provides that except as otherwise allowed by law, a Notary may not withhold access to or possession of an original record provided by a person that seeks performance of a notarial act by the Notary. Provides that a commission as a Notary Public does not authorize an individual to (a) assist persons in drafting legal records, give legal advice or otherwise practice law, (b) act as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters, (c) represent a person in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, United States citizenship or related matters, or (d) receive compensation for performing any of the activities listed in this subsection.


Validity, Recognition of Notarial Acts
Provides that a notarial act may be performed in Mississippi by a Notary Public commissioned in Mississippi; an elected judge, a clerk or deputy clerk of a court of Mississippi; or Mississippi’s Secretary of State or Assistant Secretary of State. Provides that the signature and title of an (authorized) individual performing a notarial act in Mississippi are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title, and that the signature and title of a notarial officer conclusively establish the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act.


Provides for the recognition, in Mississippi, of a notarial act performed outside of Mississippi (but in the United States) if such notarial act is performed by certain specified individuals including a Notary Public of the state where the notarization was performed. Also provides that the signature and title of an individual performing a notarial act in another state is prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title. Provides that the signature and title of a Notary Public, a judge, a clerk or a deputy clerk of court of the other state conclusively establish the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act. Also establishes notarial act validity and recognition provisions for notarial acts performed under the authority and in the jurisdiction of a federally recognized Indian tribe; those performed under federal law; as well as those performed under authority/jurisdiction of a foreign state or foreign state’s constituent unit or under authority of a multinational or international governmental organization. Provides that an Apostille in the form prescribed by the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 and issued by a foreign state that is party to the Convention conclusively establishes that the signature of a notarial officer is genuine and that the officer holds the indicated title. Further provides that a consular authentication issued by certain individuals designated by the U.S. Department of State conclusively establishes that the signature of a notarial officer is genuine and that the officer holds the indicated title.

Provides that except as otherwise provided in Section 4(2) of the Act, the failure of a notarial officer to perform a duty or meet a requirement specified in the Act does not invalidate a notarial act performed by the notarial officer. Further provides that the validity of a notarial act performed under Mississippi’s RULONA, i.e. “the Act,” 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 the laws of Mississippi other than the Act or the laws of the United States.

Clarifies that the validation of notarial acts under Mississippi’s RULONA does not validate a purported notarial act performed by an individual lacking the authority to perform notarial acts. Provides that Mississippi’s new Notary law (to be effective July 1, 2021) does not affect the validity or effect of a notarial act performed before July 1, 2021.


Authorizes the Secretary of State, after complying with the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Law, to adopt any rules necessary to implement Mississippi’s RULONA. Clarifies that a commission as a Notary Public in effect on July 1, 2021, continues until its date of expiration. Provides that a Notary who applies to renew a Notary commission on or after July 1, 2021, is subject to and must comply with the Act (Mississippi’s RULONA). Provides that a Notary Public must comply with the Act when performing a notarial act after July 1, 2021.
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MISSISSIPPI – Administrative Rule, Notaries Public Part 5 Chapter 1
APPROVED April 20, 2021
EFFECTIVE July 1, 2021
View this rule

Implements Mississippi’s recently enacted Revised Mississippi Law on Notarial Acts. Governs Notary qualifications, commissioning, notarial acts, conduct and discipline in the Magnolia State. Repeals the entire body of rules in Title 1, Part 5, Chapters 1-9 and replaces with new Title 1, Part 5, Chapters 1-11.

Defines key terms (Rule 1.2): “Act,” “address,” “applicant,” “appoint” or “appointment,” “document,” “dynamic knowledge-based authentication assessment,” “electronic document,” “electronic notarial act,” “electronic notarial certificate,” “electronic notarization system,” “electronic notary seal,” “official electronic seal,” “electronic signature,” “Notary Public,” “public key certificate,” “Secretary of State,” “real time,” “reappoint,” “reappointment,” “spouse,” “tamper-evident,” and “tangible.”

Commissioning (Rule 2.1 through 2.7; Rule 10.2, 10.4, 10.5)
Allows Mississippi non-residents with a place of employment or practice in Mississippi to apply for a Mississippi Notary Public commission.* Such employment or practice in Mississippi must be on an “ongoing” basis. Provides that the Secretary of State may request that such non-resident employment or practice in Mississippi be evidenced by written confirmation from the employer that a Notary Public commission is required for employment or practice.


Establishes the eligibility of individuals employed by the legislative, executive or judiciary branch of the United States government—but who are neither elected nor appointed to office—to be appointed and commissioned as a Mississippi Notary Public.

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*NOTE: Mississippi RULONA does not specifically name (a) Mississippi non-residents (with a place or employment or practice in Mississippi); or non-elected individuals employed by the legislative, executive or judiciary branch of the U.S. government; as eligible to be a Mississippi Notary Public.

Provides that when a Mississippi Notary Public neither resides nor works in Mississippi, that Notary is deemed to have resigned from office as of the date his or her/their residence ceases or employment in Mississippi terminates. Requires that a Notary Public must notify the Secretary of State in writing or electronically of the effective date of resignation, within thirty (30) calendar days of such effective date.

Provides the required information elements to be included in an application for appointment as a Mississippi Notary Public. Requires all applications to be typed or legibly written on forms provided by the Secretary of State. In particular, addresses the applicant’s “legible handwritten signature,” and requires that if any applicant’s preferred signature is not legible—meaning the name on the application cannot be discerned from the signature alone—the applicant must also legibly print his or her/their name immediately adjacent to the signature. Clarifies that a signature is legible if the letters are distinct if the letters are distinct and easily readable and the (applicant’s, Notary Public’s) full name may be determined by looking at the signature. Requires an applicant’s commission name to contain their surname and at least the initials of the applicant’s first and middle name.

Provides that the Secretary of State may provide applicants a “pre-commission document” that indicates starting and ending dates for a commission term, that an applicant may use in purchasing a bond.


Specifies that applicants must execute an oath of office before a Mississippi Notary Public, and submit a bond, before the Secretary of State will issue a commission. Requires applicants, before taking the oath of office before a Notary or registering an official signature, to present satisfactory evidence of identity. Provides that upon determination that an applicant has satisfied all requirements of Mississippi’s RULONA and administrative rule, the Secretary of State will appoint or reappoint the applicant and issue a commission certificate.

Allows a current Notary Public to submit an application for reappointment 90 days prior to the expiration of their existing commission. Requires applications for reappointment to be filed at least 60 calendar days prior to commission expiration. Provides that the new commission’s commencement date shall be the date immediately after the expiration date of the current commission.


Clarifies that the term of a Notary Public commission shall expire on the expiration date of the Notary’s surety bond, no more than four years after the commission date.

Requires a Notary Public to reapply with the Secretary of State for each commission term before performing notarial acts.


Establishes that any person convicted of any felony offense or any misdemeanor offense involving fraud, dishonesty or deceit within 10 years preceding the date of application for a Notary Public commission is presumed ineligible for appointment. Provides that such presumption of ineligibility for appointment may be rebutted, but only infrequently and in “truly exceptional” circumstances. Clarifies that there is no presumption of ineligibility for conviction of a felony or an offense involving fraud, dishonesty or deceit more than 10 years preceding the date of application for appointment, but the conviction and related facts may be considered in determining whether the applicant has the requisite honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a Notary Public. Provides how the 10-year period shall be measured. Clarifies the meaning of “conviction” and “convicted of.”

Provides an extensive list of acts or omissions demonstrating that an individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a Notary Public (such acts providing the basis for disciplinary action).


Provides a variety of factors the Secretary of State may consider when determining whether to deny an application or take disciplinary action against a Notary Public.

Name of Notary Public (Rule 5.1)
Clarifies that references to the name of a Notary Public in Mississippi’s RULONA and in administrative rules pertain to the legal name of the Notary as it appears on the Notary’s current commission and oath of office. Requires a Notary Public’s name on the commission and oath of office to be proven by satisfactory evidence of identification in accordance with Mississippi’s RULONA. Specifies that unless proven otherwise, a Notary Public’s name consists of any one of the following:
   1. A first personal name (first name), additional name or initial (middle name or initial), and surname (family or last name).
   2. A first name and last name, omitting the middle name or middle initial.

   3. A first initial, middle name and last name.

Provides that a Notary Public name may include suffixes such as Junior, Senior, II, III, IV or abbreviations thereof. Prohibits prefixes or titles such as “Doctor,” “Reverend,” “Esquire,” or any abbreviations thereof to be included in a Notary Public’s name. Establishes that neither initials alone nor nicknames will be accepted on the application for Notary Public, or as part of the signature required on a notarial act.


Official Stamp, Stamping Device (Rule 3.1 through 3.3)
Specifies the required information to be included in a Mississippi Notary’s official stamp (the “official seal” in Mississippi’s RULONA). Changes the order in which required information shall appear in a Notary’s official stamp (see example below for new order). Provides an example of an official stamp:

State of Mississippi
John Q. Doe, Notary Public
Hinds County

My commission expires July 1, 2024
Commission number 1234567

Prohibits abbreviation of words or terms on the official stamp, except for name suffixes as specified in Rule 5.1(D). Also prohibits an official stamp from containing the Mississippi state seal.

Clarifies that a Notary Public who holds a commission on July 1, 2021 may continue to use his or her/their (current) official stamp until expiration of that commission (which may occur after July 1, 2021).


Specifies that a Notary Public may procure a stamping device only after receiving the Notary Public’s commission from the Secretary of State. Requires a Notary Public to provide, to the Notary’s chosen stamping device vendor, a copy of his or her/their commission certificate in order to evidence the commission. Clarifies that a stamping device does not include a non-inking embosser or crimper.

Provides that a stamping device must be capable of affixing or logically associating the official stamp to a document so that the official stamp may be copied, filed, scanned or otherwise legibly reproduced.


Provides that the stamping device is the exclusive property of the Notary Public and shall not be surrendered to an employer upon the Notary’s leaving that employment, regardless of whether the employer paid for the stamping device, the Notary’s bond or appointment fees. Prohibits a Notary Public from using, or allowing any other person to use, the Notary’s official stamp for any purpose other than to perform a notarial act. Prohibits a Notary Public from using another Notary Public’s official stamp instead of the Notary’s own official stamp to perform a notarial act.

Requires a Notary Public to maintain custody and control of the stamping device at all times, and requires that a stamping device when not in use must be kept in a secure location, accessible only to the Notary Public. Provides that a secure location includes the Notary Public’s sole possession or in a locked that only the Notary can access.

Requires an individual whose Notary commission has been suspended or revoked to deliver his or her/their stamping device to the Secretary of State within 10 calendar days after notice of the suspension or revocation.


Provides requirements for notification, to the Secretary of State, of a Notary’s loss or theft of his or her/their stamping device. Requires notification to be made in writing or electronically within 10 calendar days after the date the Notary Public or personal representative or guardian discovers that the stamping device was lost or stolen. Specifies the information to be included in the notification. Prohibits a Notary from obtaining a replacement stamping device until they have properly notified the Secretary of State that the original was lost or stolen. Requires a replacement stamping device to contain some variance from the original stamping device. Requires a Notary Public who later reacquires possession of a lost or stolen stamping device to file, with the Secretary of State, a written explanation of how the stamping device was recovered. Such explanation must be filed within 10 calendar days after the date the Notary Public reacquires possession of the stamping device.

Notary’s Duties of Office (Rule 5.2, 5.3, 5.6, 5.13); (also see Notary Conduct, Sanctions)
Charges a Notary Public or applicant for a Notary Public commission with a duty of candor to the Secretary of State in all matters relating to the appointment and commission of the Notary Public and the performance of notarial acts, including an application for appointment and reappointment as well as any information request made by the Secretary of State.

Requires a Notary Public to notify the Secretary of State within 30 calendar days of any change in the information on file with the Secretary of State, including change of legal name; office address (also place of employment or practice in Mississippi, for non-resident Mississippi Notaries); home address; name of electronic notarization vendor (if applicable); and voluntary resignation. Such notice may be made in writing or electronically and must state the change effective date. Provides that notice of a change in legal name on file with the Secretary of State must be on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State and accompanied by evidence of the name change (such as a marriage certificate, court order or divorce decree). Requires a legal name change notification to be accompanied by a bond rider amending the Notary’s bond, and the prescribed fee for a name change (which produces a duplicate Notary certificate showing the new name).

Clarifies that a Notary Public with a name change may continue to perform official acts in his or her/their commissioned name until expiration of the Notary’s current commission term. Application for the Notary Public’s reappointment must be made in the new name.


Requires a Notary Public who resigns his or her/their commission to send the Secretary of State a signed notice indicating the effective date of resignation, using forms provided by the Secretary. Requires resignation of commission by Notaries Public who cease to reside in or maintain a regular place of work or business in Mississippi; or who become permanently unable to perform their notarial duties.

Performing Notarial Acts (Rule 5.4, 5.5, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 5.11, 6.1 through 6.6, 10.6)
Clarifies that a Notary Public may perform an authorized notarial act in any county in Mississippi, and that they are prohibited from performing notarial acts outside the geographical borders of Mississippi or in other states or jurisdictions unless authorized by the other state or jurisdiction to perform the acts.


Prescribes the procedural requirements for authorized notarial acts: acknowledgments, oaths and affirmations, verifications on oath or affirmation, witnessing or attestation of signatures, and making or noting a protest of a negotiable instrument. Allows a Notary Public who is the custodian of an electronic document to certify a tangible copy of the electronic document as a true and correct copy of the electronic documents, and provides the requirements for this act.

Clarifies that when a Notary Public has personal knowledge of an individual’s identity, satisfactory evidence is not required. Establishes the (primary) forms of satisfactory evidence of identification that a Notary Public may rely upon. Establishes certain other forms of government identification that may be accepted as satisfactory evidence of identification, and requires such forms of government identification to be current, contain the signature or photograph of the individual to be identified, and be satisfactory to the Notary Public. Requires that date of issuance on such other forms of government identification must be a date prior to the notarial act.


Requires that a Notary Public must be able to communicate directly with the individual for whom a notarial act is being performed, in a language they both understand; or indirectly through an interpreter who is physically present with the signer and Notary Public at the time of the notarization and who communicates directly with the individual and the Notary Public in a language the interpreter understands.

Clarifies that circumstances under which a notarial officer may not perform a notarial act include receiving an interest in the transaction or document that results in actual or potential gain or advantage (financial or otherwise) other than receiving a regular salary, hourly wage, or notarial fees. Clarifies that regular salary or wage includes bonuses, provided the bonus is not related to or contingent upon completion of a notarial act.


Prohibits a Notary Public from performing a notarial act with respect to a document designed to provide information within blank spaces under certain conditions: (1) the missing information has not been entered into a blank space; (2) the signature of an individual signing the document is not present, unless the individual is signing in the presence of the notary public. Clarifies that, with regard to information that has not been entered into a blank space, missing information does not include: (1) An empty space with ‘‘N/A’’ or a line drawn through it; (2) additional signature lines designated for additional signers, if it is clear that the notarial act does not apply to the blank signature lines.

Prohibits a non-attorney Notary Public from determining the type of notarial act or certificate to be used, when notarial certificate wording is not provided or indicated for a document.

Requires a Notary Public performing a notarial act on nomination petitions or nomination papers with remaining empty lines for signatures to mark a line through those blank spaces for signatures, or an ‘‘X’’ across the blank spaces for signatures, to prevent the later addition of signatures after the notarization.


Allows a Notary Public to perform a notarial act on a document that is a translation of a document that is in a language the Notary does not understand, but only if the translating person signs a verification on oath or affirmation stating that the translation is accurate and complete. Requires the notarized translation and verification to be attached to the document and that they comply with certificate requirements of Mississippi’s RULONA and administrative rules.

Certificate of a Notarial Act (Rule 3.1, 5.1, 5.9, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 10.6)
Establishes that for a notarial certificate to be sufficient, it must contain the information required under Section 31(5) of Mississippi’s RULONA (relating to certificate of notarial acts).

Requires a certificate of notarial act to be worded and completed using the English language. Allows the certificate to be simultaneously worded and completed in another language that is read, written and understood by the Notary Public and that is (must be) immediately adjacent to the English-language certificate. Establishes that the English-language certificate will prevail in the event of any conflict between the language translations reflected in the certificate.


Allows a notarial certificate to contain additional or other information as may be required to satisfy any legal requirements, ethical or legal concerns, or the business needs of the parties to the transaction.

Requires the Notary’s official stamp to be stamped or affixed to the notarial certificate near the Notary’s signature or attached to or logically associated with an electronic document containing the Notary Public’s signature. Prohibits a Notary Public from: placing an imprint of the Notary’s official stamp over any signature in a document to be notarized or over any writing in a notarial certificate; or altering or defacing the official stamp (as it appears on a notarial certificate).

Establishes that neither initials alone nor nicknames will be accepted as part of the signature required on (the notarial certificate of) a notarial act.


Requires that when signing a paper certificate, a Notary Public shall use a legible, recognizable handwritten signature, which can be attributed to the Notary Public performing the notarial act by anyone examining or authenticating the signature. Requires a Notary Public whose preferred signature is not legible and recognizable to also print his or her/their name immediately adjacent to the preferred signature. Clarifies that a signature is legible and recognizable if the letters are distinct and easily readable and the Notary Public’s full name may be clearly discerned by looking at the signature.

Establishes that with regard to attaching a notarial certificate to a tangible document, “securely attached” (i.e., securely attaching the certificate to the document) means stamped, stapled, grommeted or otherwise permanently bound to the tangible document and does not include the use of tape, paper clips or binder clips.


Prohibits a non-attorney Notary Public from determining the type of notarial act or certificate to be used, when notarial certificate wording is not provided or indicated for a document.

Notary’s Journal (Rule 4.1 through 4.7)
Clarifies that a Notary Public must record each notarial act in a journal at the time of notarization, in compliance with Mississippi’s RULONA and administrative rules. Allows a journal to be maintained on a tangible medium or in an electronic format. Specifies the form (construction) and content of a journal maintained on a tangible medium. Specifies form, content and attributes of an electronic journal. Specifies certain required security features of tangible and electronic journals. Requires an electronic journal to be securely stored and recoverable in the event of a hardware of software malfunction. Establishes requirements for the signature of a signer (person for whom a notarial act was performed) made in an electronic journal. Requires an electronic journal to be securely stored and recoverable in the event of a hardware of software malfunction. Requires electronic journal entries requested by the Secretary of State to be given in a PDF format. Requires that upon a Notary’s resignation, commission revocation or suspension, all electronic journal records must be deposited with the circuit clerk of the county in which the Notary Public resides, in a format prescribed by the receiving circuit clerk.


Prescribes the information about the Notary to be contained in every journal (usually on the first page or title page of the journal): 1. the name of the Notary Public as it appears on the commission; the Notary Public's commission number; the Notary Public's commission expiration date; the Notary Public's office address of record with the Secretary of State; a statement that, in the event of the death of the Notary Public, the journal shall be delivered or mailed to the circuit clerk of the county of residence of the Notary Public; the meaning of any not commonly abbreviated word or symbol used in recording a notarial act in the journal; and the signature of the Notary Public. Requires a Notary Public whose name, commission expiration date or address changes before the Notary ceases to use the journal to add the new information after the old information, including the date on which the information changed.

Requires that each notarial act performed must be indicated as a separate entry* in the journal. Clarifies that a journal entry may contain the signature of the principal signer and any additional information that might help the Notary recall the particular transaction. Prohibits entry in a journal of any client’s personal financial or identification information, such as a complete Social Security number, or drivers’ license number or account number. Clarifies that “terminal” numbers of such items (for example, last four digits of a Social Security number, may be entered. Clarifies what constitutes “personal financial or identification information,” including that the term does not include publicly available information that is lawfully available to the public from federal, state or local government records.
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*PLEASE NOTE: Information required to be recorded in a journal entry is specified in Section 19(3) of House Bill 1156.

Provides that fees entered in the journal should correspond to the notarial act performed. Requires the Notary to indicate, in the journal entry, when the Notary waives/does not charge a fee. Requires that clerical and administrative fees, if charged, be separately itemized in the journal.

Specifies that a Notary Public who holds a commission on July 1, 2021 may continue to use the Notary Public’s journal until expiration of that commission, which may occur after July 1, 2021.

Requires a Notary Public to maintain custody and control of the journal at all times during the duration of the Notary’s commission. Requires that when not in use, the journal must be kept in a secure location accessible only to the Notary Public. Such secure location is in the Notary’s sole possession or in a locked location that only the Notary can access.


Requires a Notary Public, or personal representative or guardian, to notify the Secretary of State of loss or theft of the journal within 10 calendar days after the date the journal was discovered lost or stolen. “Loss” of a journal includes journals that are misplaced, destroyed, or otherwise made unavailable. Establishes the information to be included in the notification to the Secretary of State. Requires a Notary Public who subsequently reacquires possession of a lost or stolen journal to file with the Secretary of State a written statement of explanation of how it was recovered; notification must be made within 10 calendar days after the date the Notary reacquired possession of the journal.

Provides that any person may inspect a Notary’s journal during regular business hours, in the Notary’s presence, but only if the individual is personally known to the Notary or proven by satisfactory evidence; the person signs the journal in a separate, dated entry; and the person specifies certain information about the notarial act or acts for which an entry is desired. Additionally, a Notary may show a requesting individual only the entry or entries specified. Allows a Notary to deny access to his or her/their journal entries if the Notary has a reasonable and explainable belief that a person bears a criminal or harmful intent in requesting information from the Notary’s journal. Clarifies that a Notary shall comply, in the manner specified, with a request for journal inspection or certified copies of journal entries made through an investigative request by law enforcement; or by the Secretary of State; or in a subpoena in the course of criminal or civil litigation; or administrative proceeding.

Requires tangible and electronic journals to be destroyed 10 years after performance of the last notarial act chronicled in the journal. Prescribes what constitutes destroying the journal. Clarifies that such disposal of the journal is not required if doing so would be in conflict with the law of another jurisdiction that requires a Notary to keep the journal for a longer period of time.*
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*Some jurisdictions require notarial journals to be kept indefinitely, therefore American Society of Notaries recommends that Mississippi Notaries Public retain their tangible and electronic journals (active and stored) indefinitely.

Charges the personal representative or guardian of a Notary Public (if any) to follow the provisions of Mississippi’s RULONA relative to disposition of a Notary’s journals upon death or adjudication of incompetency of the Notary. Requires that upon a Notary’s commission resignation, revocation, expiration without renewal or upon the Notary’s death or adjudication of incompetency, the Notary Public or the Notary’s personal representative shall provide access instructions to the Secretary of State for any electronic journal maintained (used) or stored by the Notary.

Electronic Notarization for a Physically Present Individual (Rule 8.1, 8.2)
Establishes requirements for a Notary Public wishing to perform electronic notarial acts using an electronic notarization system that meets the requirements of Mississippi’s RULONA and the Secretary of State’s administrative rules. Establishes that all requirements of a notarial act performed with respect to a tangible document apply to notarization of an electronic document, including the individual’s personal appearance before the Notary and identification, completion of a notarial certificate, use of an official stamp and recording of the notarial act in the journal.

Requires such Notaries to hold a current and unrestricted commission; submit an additional application on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State for performing in-person electronic notarial acts; and receive proof that the additional application to perform in-person electronic notarial acts has been approved by the Secretary of State. Establishes that the renewal of the commission of a Notary Public who previously qualified to perform in-person electronic notarizations under this section constitutes renewal of that Notary’s commission without the necessity of submitting another electronic notarization application.

Establishes the minimum criteria for an electronic notarization system used by a Notary Public performing notarial acts regarding electronic documents. Requires the Notary Public, prior to performing an electronic notarial act, to take reasonable steps to ensure that the system used meets the minimum requirements of Mississippi’s administrative rules and has not expired, been revoked, or been terminated by the system provider. Allows (but does not require) the Secretary of State to publish a list of approved electronic notarization system vendors that at the time of such publication, meet the minimum criteria set forth in these administrative rules. Clarifies that the Secretary of State does not endorse any electronic notarization system, nor guarantees that the use of any electronic notarization system satisfies the minimum criteria set forth in administrative rules.


Notary Fees (Rule 9.1 through 9.6)
Provides the maximum fee of $10* that a Notary Public may charge for taking an acknowledgment, taking a verification on oath or affirmation, administering an oath or affirmation without a signature, certifying depositions of witnesses, witnessing or attesting a signature, and certifying (a copy of) an electronic document. Clarifies that a Notary Public need not charge for notarial acts.

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*NOTE: Mississippi’s RULONA establishes a maximum fee of $5 for all of the above notarial acts.

Allows a Notary Public to charge, in addition to the $10 fee for a notarial act, a fee of up to $25 to perform a notarial act using an electronic notarization system. Clarifies that nothing in Mississippi’s RULONA shall be construed to prevent a third person providing technologies or storage capabilities to aid the Notary Public in performance of an electronic notarization from separately charging and collecting any additional fee for services rendered.

Provides that (in addition to fees for notarial acts) a Notary Public may charge a travel fee when traveling to perform a notarial act if such fees are agreed-upon between the Notary Public and the requesting party in advance of the travel; and the Notary Public explains to the requesting party that the travel fee is in addition to the fee for a notarial act and is not required by law.


Establishes that a Notary Public may require advance payment of any fees specified in these administrative rules, prior to performing a notarial act; and any fees paid in advance are non-refundable if the act was completed or, in the case of travel fees, the Notary traveled to meet the requesting party but the act was not completed.

Establishes that an employer may prohibit an employee Notary Public from charging a fee for notarial acts performed on the employer’s time.


Requires a Notary Public to waive the fee for notarizing an absentee voter application or ballot.

Unauthorized Practice of Law (Rule 10.6, 10.7)
Prohibits a non-attorney Notary from:
   • determining the type of notarial act or certificate to use, when notarial certificate wording is not provided or indicated on a document;
   • assisting a person in drafting legal documents, giving legal advice or otherwise practicing law in violation of Mississippi’s RULONA, unless the Notary is a licensed Mississippi attorney.

Specifies certain acts that are among those constituting the practice of law. Clarifies that a person who represents himself in a legal matter will not be considered to have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. Provides that this rule does not preclude a Notary Public who is duly qualified, trained, or experienced in a particular industry or professional field from selecting, drafting, completing, or advising on a document or certificate related to a matter within that industry or field.


Clarifies that with regard to the statutory disclosure required of non-attorney Notaries who advertise notarial services, displaying such disclosure “prominently” means that the entire statement “I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in this State… [etc.]” must be in at least 10-point type and must be displayed in an area open and accessible to the public at the place of performance of the notarial act.

Notary Conduct, Sanctions (Rule 10.1, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 11.1 through 11.8 (also see Notary’s Duties of Office)
Establishes that conviction for offenses involving a lack of honesty or elements of falsehood and fraud will be considered as evidence of a lack of honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a Notary Public, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the crimes were committed. Provides that the Secretary will consider all convictions or comparable dispositions obtained in the courts of the United States, Mississippi or any other state, territory, possession or country involving fraud, dishonesty or deceit.


Requires a Notary Public to notify the Secretary of State of:
   • a conviction of any felony (within 30 calendar days of the disposition or on the next application for appointment and commission, whichever is sooner);
   • disciplinary action in the nature of a final order taken against the Notary Public’s commission by the commissioning authority of another state, territory or country (within 30 calendar days of receiving notice of the disciplinary action or on the next application for appointment and commission, whichever is sooner);
   • a finding against, or admission of liability by, the Notary Public in any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding (within 30 calendar days of conclusion of the legal proceeding or on the next application for appointment and commission, whichever is sooner);
   • a finding by the Mississippi Bar, or the courts of the State or the bar or courts of any other state or nation, finding that the Notary Public has engaged in the unauthorized practice of law (within 30 calendar days of conclusion of the proceeding or on the next application for appointment and commission, whichever is sooner).


Provides an extensive list of acts or omissions demonstrating that an individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a Notary Public (such acts providing the basis for disciplinary action). Provides that a Notary Public’s commission may be revoked for any act or omission that demonstrates the Notary lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a Notary Public. Further provides that the Secretary of State shall revoke the commission of any Notary Public who fails to maintain a residence in Mississippi, or to maintain a place of employment in Mississippi on an ongoing basis. Also provides that a Notary Public’s commission may be suspended for any actions contrary to Mississippi’s RULONA, other laws and the requirements of these administrative rules.

Provides a variety of factors the Secretary of State may consider when determining whether to deny an application or take disciplinary action against a Notary Public.


Addresses matters regarding a Notary Public’s commission revocation or suspension. In both instances, the Secretary of State shall inform the Notary of the basis for the revocation or suspension, and that the revocation or suspension takes effect on a particular date unless a proper appeal is filed with the Secretary of State before that date. Further clarifies that neither resignation nor expiration of a Notary Public’s commission terminates or precludes an inquiry into the Notary’s conduct by the Secretary of State and that such inquiry will be made a matter of public record whether or not the finding would have been grounds for revocation or suspension.

Provides for other remedial actions by the Secretary of State for Notary misconduct. Clarifies that remedies and sanctions specified in Mississippi’s administrative rules do not preclude other remedies and sanctions provided by law.


Provides that official notice given by the Secretary of State to the Notary shall be by certified mail at the residence address shown on the records of the Secretary of State and/or such other address as the Secretary of State may deem necessary. Provides that the Secretary of State shall regularly publish a list of persons whose Notary Public commissions have been suspended or revoked by the Secretary or by a court. Further provides that in addition to civil sanctions, criminal sanctions may be applicable to a Notary who violates state or federal criminal statutes. Prescribes procedures for filing a complaint against a Notary Public. Provides circumstances under which the Secretary of State may, in its sole discretion, defer action on the complaint or decline to investigate. Prescribes procedures for a Notary’s appeal of a complaint.

Other Provisions (Rule 5.10, 5.12)
Prohibits a Notary Public from refusing to provide notarial services on the basis of a customer’s race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, sex or gender (including pregnancy), gender identity or expression, disability, or marital status.


Provides that an employer, under an agreement with an employee who is or seeks to become a Notary Public, may pay for the application or bond and the cost of the official stamp or other supplies required in connection with the appointment, commission or performance of the duties of the Notary Public. Provides that such agreement may also address remission of fees collected by the Notary Public to the employer; for increased compensation to the Notary Public for the amount of Notary Public fees collected; and for reimbursement of the costs of obtaining a commission should the employee or employer terminate the employment.
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MISSISSIPPI – SB 2638
Signed April 9, 2021
Effective July 1, 2021
View this bill

Provides for a licensed attorney or custodian of the electronic document to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic document that is otherwise eligible for recording under Mississippi law is a true and correct copy of the electronic document. Establishes procedural requirements, including that the attorney’s certification must be sworn-to (or affirmed) before a Notary Public or other notarial officer. Establishes that such tangible copies of an electronic document are eligible for recording, if certified as provided in the new law.
 
NEBRASKA – LB 94
Signed March 31, 2021
Effective August 21, 2021
View this bill


Amends Nebraska’s Online Notary Public Act by providing a statutory validation provision for certain notarial acts performed pursuant to Governor Pete Rickets’ Executive Order No. 20-13.

Establishes that no otherwise valid online notarial act:
  • performed on or after April 2, 2020 and before July 1, 2020; and
  • pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order No. 20-13;

…shall be invalidated because it was performed prior to the operative date of Laws 2019, LB 186 (Nebraska's Online Notary Public Act). Further specifies that no deed, mortgage, trust deed or other written instrument for conveyance or encumbrance of real estate or any interest therein shall be invalidated because it involved the performance of an online notarial act on or after April 2, 2020 and before July 1, 2020 pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order No. 20-13. Declares such deed, mortgage, trust deed or other instrument in writing to be legal and valid in all courts of law and equity in Nebraska and elsewhere.
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NEBRASKA – LB 910
Signed August 11, 2020
Effective July 1, 2021
View this bill


Consolidates various cash funds used for administration of the office (agency) of the Secretary of State. Restructures various fees relating to Notaries Public and Remote Online Notaries Public.

Creates a single cash fund called the Secretary of State Cash Fund. On July 1, 2021, transfers the balance of five existing cash funds (the Administration Cash Fund; the Corporation Cash Fund; the Nebraska Collection Agency Fund; the Secretary of State Administration Cash Fund; and the Uniform Commercial Code Cash Fund) to the Secretary of State Cash Fund. Specifies uses of the Secretary of State Cash Fund.

Preserves but restructures certain fees relating to Notaries Public and Remote Online Notaries Public. Increases to $30 the fee for an individual to be commissioned as a Notary Public or to obtain a renewal commission, while eliminating the additional fee of $15 for receiving the filing of a Notary Public bond and approving such bond. Increases, from $50 to $100, the maximum fee the Secretary may charge for registering or renewing a registration as a Nebraska Online Notary Public. Retains statutory language clarifying that this fee is in addition to the fee for obtaining or renewing a Notary Public commission.
 
NEVADA – AB 245
Effective July 1, 2021
View this bill

Increases the fees a Nevada Notary Public may charge for performing notarial acts: for acknowledgments, $15 for the first signature of each signer (formerly $5); for oaths and affirmations, $7.50 (formerly $2.50); for certifying a copy, $7.50 (formerly $2.50); for a jurat, each signature, $15 (formerly $5.00); for each additional signature of each signer, $7.50 (formerly $2.50). Increases the maximum fee a Notary Public may charge for traveling to perform a notarial act between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. to $15 (formerly $10). Increases the fee a Notary Public may charge for traveling to perform a notarial act between the hours of 7p.m. and 6 a.m. to $30 (formerly $25). (See Bill Section 1.5.)


Increases the application and renewal fees for registration as a document preparation service (see Bill Sections 2 and 3). Clarifies that a Notary Public registered to engage in the business of document preparation services may perform a notarial act on a document if the Notary Public has received or will receive, directly, from a transaction relating to the document a fee for providing document preparation services in addition to the fee authorized for performance of the notarial act (see Bill Section 1). Expands provisions dealing with administrative/investigative proceedings against persons registered as a document preparation service (see Bill Section 3.6).
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NEVADA – AB 325
Effective July 1, 2021
View this bill

Authorizes submission to a county recorder—for recording—of a certified paper copy of an electronic document, if the county recorder has elected to receive and record electronic documents (bill Section 1). Prescribes a notarial certificate sufficient for a notarial officer to certify that a paper copy of an electronic document is a true and correct copy the electronic document (bill Section 2). Makes conforming amendments (Bill Sections 3, 4, and 5).

 
NEW HAMPSHIRE SB 134-FN
Effective February 6, 2022 (Section 456 B:2, VII only―effective August 10, 2021)
View this bill


Definitions
Defines “electronic,” “electronic signature,” “Notary Public,” “official stamp,” “person,” “record,” “sign,” “signature,” “stamping device” and “state.” Clarifies existing definitions of “notarial act,” “acknowledgment,” “verification on oath or affirmation,” and “in a representative capacity.” (See Bill Part II, Section 3).

Notarial Powers Generally
Provides that every Notary Public, in addition to the usual powers of the office, shall have the same powers as a justice of the peace in relation to depositions and the acknowledgment of deeds and other instruments and the administering of oaths. (See Bill Part II, Section 1).


Performing Notarial Acts
Prescribes the mandatory requirements and determinations for performing the notarial acts of an acknowledgment, verification or oath or affirmation, witnessing or attesting a signature, certifying or attesting a copy of a record or other item that was copied, and making or noting a protest of a negotiable instrument. (See Bill Part II, Section 4)

Authorizes New Hampshire notarial officers to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record, and provides a new short-form certificate for this notarial act. (See Bill Part II, Sections 4 and 9).

Requires an individual making a statement in or executing a signature on a record to personally appear before the notarial officer. (See Bill Part II, Section 5)


Requires a notarial officer to identify an individual appearing before the officer, by means of personal knowledge of the individual’s identity or satisfactory evidence of the individual’s identity. Provides that a notarial officer has personal knowledge of an individual appearing before the officer if the individual is known to the officer through dealings sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed. Provides that satisfactory evidence of an individual’s identity can be established by means of a current and unexpired passport, driver’s license, or other government-issued nondriver identification card which is current and unexpired; or another form of government identification issued to an individual, which is current and unexpired, contains the signature or photograph of the individual, and is satisfactory to the notarial officer; or by a verification upon oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally appearing before the notarial officer and known to the notarial officer or whom the notarial officer can identify on the basis of a passport, driver’s license or government issued identification card which is current and unexpired. (See Bill Part II, Section 5)

Allows a notarial officer to require an individual to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to assure the officer of the individual’s identity. (See Bill Part II, Section 5)

Provides that a Notary Public must use an embossed official seal, or rubber official stamp, or electronic stamp (as appropriate, see NOTE below) for all notarial acts performed by a Notary Public with respect to a record. (See Bill Part II, Section 1).
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*NOTE: An embossed official seal or rubber stamp will be used for notarization of tangible (paper) records; an electronic stamp will be used for notarization of electronic records.


Provides that the electronic or rubber official stamp of a Notary Public shall include the information required in RSA 455:3; and be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed or attached or with which it is logically associated. (See Bill Part II, Section 8). Clarifies that provisions relative to a Notary’s completed notarial certificate being prima facie evidence that the (Notary’s) signature is genuine and that he/she/they hold the designated title (of office) contemplate an embossed official seal or the legible imprint of an electronic or rubber official stamp. (See Bill Part II, Section 6)

Provides that a Notary Public is responsible for the security of the Notary Public’s stamping device and may not allow another individual to use the device to perform a notarial act. On resignation from, or the revocation or expiration of, the Notary Public’s commission, or on the expiration of the date set forth in the stamping device, if any, the Notary Public shall disable the stamping device in a manner that renders it unusable. Requires a Notary Public’s personal representative or guardian or any other person knowingly in possession of the stamping device to render it unusable (by means specified in the Act) upon the death or adjudication of incompetency of the Notary Public. (See Bill Part II, Section 8).

Requires a Notary Public or the Notary’s personal representative or guardian to promptly notify the Secretary of State upon discovering that the Notary’s stamping device is lost or stolen. (See Bill Part II, Section 8).

Electronic and Remote Online Notarization
Authorizes a Notary Public to select one or more tamper-evident technologies to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records. Prohibits a person from requiring a Notary Public to perform a notarial act with respect to an electronic record using a technology that the Notary Public has not selected. (See Bill Part II, Section 8).


Requires a Notary Public to notify the Secretary of State that he/she/they will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records and identify the technology the Notary intends to use; such notification must occur before the Notary Public performs his/her/their initial notarial act with respect to an electronic record. If the Secretary of State has established standards for approval of technology, the technology shall conform to the standards. If the technology conforms to the standards, the Secretary of State shall approve the use of the technology. (See Bill Part II, Section 8).

Authorizes the Secretary of State to adopt rules regarding the performance of notarial acts with respect to electronic records. The rules may not require, or accord greater legal status or effect to, the implementation or application of a specific technology or technical specification. (See Bill Part II, Section 8).

Requires that unless the Secretary of State has adopted a rule establishing standards for tamper-evident technology, a Notary Public shall attach or logically associate the Notary Public’s official stamp to an electronic record by use of a digital certificate complying with the X.509 standard adopted by the International Telecommunication Union or a similar industry-standard technology. (See Bill Part II, Section 8).

Authorizes a New Hampshire Notary Public to perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual who is not in the physical presence of the Notary. (See Bill Part II, Section 7). Establishes that the remotely located individual complies with the law requiring personal appearance before or being in the presence of the Notary Public at the time of the notarial act, by using communication technology to appear before the Notary.


Establishes that, before a Notary Public performs the Notary Public’s initial notarial act for a remotely located individual, the Notary Public must notify the Secretary of State that the Notary Public will be performing such notarial acts and identify the technologies the Notary Public intends to use. Requires that if the Secretary of State has established standards for approval of communication technology or identity proofing, the Notary Public must use communication technology and identity proofing conforming to such standards. (See Bill Part II, Section 7)

Provides that a Notary Public may use communication technology to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual, if:
  (a) the Notary Public (1) has personal knowledge of the identity of the individual; (2) has satisfactory evidence of the identity of the remotely located individual by oath or affirmation from a credible witness appearing [physically or by use of communication technology] before the Notary; or (3) has obtained satisfactory evidence of the identity of the remotely located individual by using at least two different types of identity proofing;
  (b) 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 remotely located individual executed a signature; and
  (c) the Notary Public, or a person acting on behalf of the Notary Public, creates an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act (see Recordkeeping section below). (See Bill Part II, Section 7)

Requires that, unless the Secretary of State has adopted a rule establishing standards for identity proofing, a Notary Public notarizing for a remotely located individual shall comply with the credential analysis and authentication provisions of certain specified standards adopted by the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) on August 28, 2019. Establishes that compliance with this requirements satisfies the requirement of using at least two different types of identity proofing when notarizing for a remotely located individual. (See Bill Part II, Section 7)

Requires that when a remotely located individual is located outside the United States, the record shall be filed with or it 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. (See Bill Part II, Section 7)

Requires that in the performance of a notarial act for a remotely located individual, the Notary Public’s completed notarial certificate must indicate that the notarial act was performed using communication technology. Establishes that the statutory short-form certificate of notarial act (RSA 456-B:8) is sufficient if it complies with rules adopted by the Secretary of State pursuant to the Act; and is in the form provided in RSA 456-B:8 and contains a statement substantially like: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”

Provides that a Notary Public may charge a fee of $25 for performing a notarial act for a remotely located individual under RSA 456-B:6-a. (See Bill Part II, Section 2)

Provides conditions under which―solely within the context of executing an estate planning instrument such as a will or estate planning instrument―the requirement of a person’s personal appearance before a notarial officer* at the time of the notarial act may be satisfied by use of an electronic device or process enabling the person and the notarial officer to communicate simultaneously by sight and sound. Clarifies that this provision applies only to notarial acts performed on or after March 23, 2020. Establishes the validity of a notarial act performed in compliance with Emergency Order #11 pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04 from its effective date through the date of its expiration. (Only the provisions noted in this paragraph were effective August 10, 2021.)
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*NOTE – Senate Bill 134-FN defines a “notarial officer” as a Notary Public, justice of the peace, or other officer authorized to perform notarial acts.

Recordkeeping
Requires a Notary Public to maintain a journal in which the Notary Public chronicles all notarial acts the Notary Public performs with respect to a remotely located individual. The Notary Public shall retain the journal for 10 years after the performance of the last notarial act chronicled in the journal. (See Bill Part II, Section 8).

Authorizes the Notary to create a journal on a tangible medium or in an electronic format. A Notary Public shall maintain only one journal at a time to chronicle all notarial acts performed regarding tangible records and one or more journals to chronicle all notarial acts performed regarding electronic records. If a journal is maintained on a tangible medium, it shall be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages. If the journal is maintained in an electronic format, it shall be in a permanent, tamper-evident electronic format complying with the rules of the Secretary of State. (See Bill Part II, Section 8).

Requires that an entry be made in a journal contemporaneously with performance of the notarial act and contain the date and time of the notarial act; a description of the record, if any, and type of notarial act; the full name and address of each individual for whom the notarial act is performed; if identity of the individual is based on personal knowledge, a statement to that effect; if 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 the identification credential; and the fee, if any, charged by the Notary Public. (See Bill Part II, Section 8).

Requires a Notary Public to promptly notify the Secretary of State upon discovering that a journal is lost, that access is lost, or that a journal is stolen. On resignation from, or the revocation or suspension of, the commission of a Notary Public, the Notary Public shall retain the journal and inform the secretary of state where the journal is located. Instead of retaining a journal a current or former Notary Public may transmit the journal to a repository approved by the Secretary of State. (See Bill Part II, Section 8) Provides that upon death or incompetency of a current or former Notary Public, the Notary’s personal representative or guardian shall retain the journal as provided in law or transmit it to a repository approved by the Secretary of State. (See Bill Part II, Section 8)


Requires a Notary Public using communication technology to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual, or a person acting on behalf of the Notary Public, to create an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act. (See Bill Part II, Section 7)

Requires a Notary Public, a guardian, conservator, or agent of a Notary Public, or a personal representative of a deceased Notary Public, to retain the audio-visual recording or cause it to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the personal required to retain the recording. Specifies a retention period for the recording of at least 10 years after the recording is made, unless a different period is required by rules of the Secretary of State. (See Bill Part II, Section 7)

Rulemaking
Authorizes the Secretary of State to adopt rules regarding the performance of a notarial act for a remotely located individual using communication technology; establish standards for communication technology and identity proofing; establish requirements or procedures to approve providers of communication technology and the process of identity proofing; and establish standards and a period for retention of the audio-visual recording. (See Bill Part II, Section 7)


Validity of Notarial Acts
Provides that the failure of a notarial officer to perform a duty or meet a requirement specified in New Hampshire law on notarial acts does not invalidate a notarial act performed by the notarial officer. The validity of a notarial act 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 law of this state other than this chapter or law of the United States. (See Bill Part II, Section 8).

Other Provisions
Enacts the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, thereby allowing New Hampshire’s local recording officials to accept deeds and other property records in electronic form. Provides that a New Hampshire Register of Deeds shall accept for recording a tangible copy of an electronic document (other than a plat, map, survey, or plat of land as provided in RSA 478:1-a) containing a notarial certificate as satisfying any requirement that a document 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 document. (See Bill Part II, Section 10)

 
NEW JERSEY Notary Rules – N.J.A.C. 17:50
Effective January 11, 2022 (to expire January 11, 2029)
View these rules
Upon opening the above link, select NJ Administrative Code (see right margin); select Title 17 Treasury; select Chapter 50 Notary Public Rules; select Subchapter 1 General Provisions to access all rule sections.


These administrative rules implement New Jersey’s Public Act 2021-179 (see Law Alert submitted October 20, 2021). These rules expire on January 11, 2029.

Defines “acknowledgment,” “electronic,” “electronic signature,” “in a representative capacity,” “non-attorney applicant,” “notarial act,” “notarial journal,” “notarial officer,” “Notary Public,” “official stamp,” “person,” “record,” “sign,” “signature,” “stamping device,” “verification on oath or affirmation.” (Section 17:50-1.2)

Also defines terms relating to electronic and remote online notarization: “biometric identification,” “communication technology,” “digital public key certificate,” “dynamic knowledge-based authentication assessment,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing,” “outside the United States,” and “remotely located individual.” (Rule 17:50-1.14.)


Provides requirements to be met by New Jersey Notary commission applicant requirements at the time of appointment: be at least 18 years of age; be a legal resident of New Jersey State or have a place of employment or practice in New Jersey; and not be disqualified to receive a commission pursuant to N.J.A.C. 17:50-1.5. (Rule 17:50-1.3)

Provides that a Notary Public who has been duly commissioned and qualified is authorized to perform the duties of a Notary Public throughout the State of New Jersey. (Rule 17:50-1.3)

Prohibits a Notary Public from performing a notarial act with respect to a record to which the Notary Public r the Notary Public’s spouse or civil union partner is a party, or in which either of them has a direct beneficial interest. Establishes that a notarial act performed in violation of these prohibitions is voidable. (Rule 17:50-1.3)


Prohibits a Notary Public not also licensed as an attorney-at-law to use or advertise the title of lawyer or attorney-at-law, or equivalent terms in any other language that mean or imply that the Notary Public is licensed as an attorney-at-law in the State of New Jersey or in any other jurisdiction of the United States. (Rule 17:50-1.3)

Requires Notaries Public who advertise their services in any language to include a notice that contains the following statement or translation of the following statement if the advertisement is not in English: "I am not an attorney licensed to practice law and may not give legal advice about immigration or any other legal matter or accept fees for legal advice." (Rule 17:50-1.3)

Prescribes Notary commission application procedures. Requires a Notary commission applicant to apply to the State Treasurer on a form prescribed by the Treasurer. Further requires the application to be endorsed by a member of the New Jersey Legislature. Requires Notary commission renewals to be made in the same manner as the original application. Mandates that all applications shall be submitted electronically through a means provided by the State Treasurer at www.nj.gov/njbgs. Provides for a Notary commission application fee of $25, non-refundable. (Rule 17:50-1.4)


Requires each Notary Public, within three months of the receipt of a commission, to take and subscribe an oath to faithfully and honestly discharge the duties of the office, and to make and keep a true record of all such matters as are required by law (maintain a journal). Requires the oath to be sworn before the clerk of the county in which the Notary Public resides, and to be filed with that clerk. (Rule 17:50-1.4)

Requires the oath of office for a non-resident Notary Public to be taken and subscribed before the clerk of the county in which the nonresident Notary Public maintains an office, or in the county in which the nonresident Notary Public is employed by a business with its domicile or primary place of business in New Jersey. Provides that the oath shall be sworn before the clerk of the county in which the notary public resides and shall be filed with said clerk. (Rule 17:50-1.4)


Provides that following the Notary’s oath of office and endorsement of the certificate of commission and qualification, the clerk shall transmit the certificate to the State Treasurer within 10 days of the administration of the oath, through an electronic method provided by the State Treasurer. Further provides that the clerk shall give notice to the person that a Notary Public not also licensed as an attorney-at-law shall not use or advertise the title of lawyer or attorney-at-law, or equivalent terms, in any language, which mean or imply that the Notary Public is licensed as an attorney-at-law in the State of New Jersey or in any other jurisdiction of the United States. Requires the notice to also state that a Notary Public who advertises his/her/their services in any language must include with such advertisement a notice in the language of the advertisement, which states "I am not an attorney licensed to practice law and may not give legal advice about immigration or any other legal matter or accept fees for legal advice." (Rule 17:50-1.4)

Provides that the State Treasurer shall cancel and revoke the appointment of any Notary Public who fails to take and subscribe the oath within three months of the receipt of the commission. Clarifies that any appointment so canceled and revoked shall be null, void, and of no effect. (Rule 17:50-1.4)


Allows a person who is not a legal resident of the State of New Jersey, but who maintains, or is regularly employed in, an office in this State or is an employee of a business with its domicile or primary place of business in this State and performs his or her employment duties remotely from a home office or a co-working space, to apply for a commission by complying with the requirements at N.J.A.C. 17:50-1.4 and certifying certain additional information through the online commissioning site at www.nj.gov/njbgs. Provides that once commissioned, any such nonresident notary public shall file online with the State Treasurer at www.nj.gov/njbgs a certificate showing any change of residence or change of the office or place of employment of the Notary Public in New Jersey. (Rule 17:50-1.5)

Requires a Notary Public with a name change to notify the State Treasurer using a statement/form provided online by the Treasurer. Requires such notification be made before the Notary Public signs any record that the Notary is authorized or required to sign (in their capacity as Notary Public). Further provides that such statement, or a certified copy, shall be evidence of the right of the notary public to continue to exercise the powers and privileges and perform the duties of a notary public in the changed or new name. (Rule 17:50-1-6)


Affirms that the State Treasurer may refuse to renew a commission of a notary public; or suspend, revoke, or otherwise limit the commission of a notary public for any act or omission that demonstrates that the individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence, or reliability necessary to act as a notary public, and provides examples of such act or omission. (Rule 17:50-1.7)

Further provides that when the State Treasurer denies a Notary Public application; refuses to renew a Notary Public commission; or suspends, revokes, or otherwise limits a Notary Public’s commission; the State Treasurer shall provide written notice to the applicant or commission holder. Provides the contents of such written notice. (Rule 17:50-1.7)

Addresses procedures and requirements for hearings requested by individuals who were denied a Notary commission; or whose commission was not renewed; or was suspended, revoked or otherwise limited. (Rule 17:50-1.7)

Specifies the forms of identification a notarial officer shall rely upon or accept to identify an individual appearing for a notarial act, including personal knowledge, documentary evidence of identity, and verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally known to the notarial officer or whom the notarial officer can identify based on specified forms of identification. Allows a notarial officer to require an individual to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to assure the notarial officer of the identity of the individual. (Rule 17:50-1.13.)

Requires all notarial acts to be evidenced by a certificate and stamped by the Notary Public. Requires a notarial certificate to be executed contemporaneously with the performance of the notarial act; signed and dated by the notarial officer; identify the jurisdiction in which the notarial act is performed; contain the title of office of the notary public; and, if the notarial officer is a notary public, indicate the date of expiration of the officer's commission. Prohibits a notarial officer from affixing the officer's signature to, or logically associating it with, a certificate until the notarial act has been performed. (Rule 17:50-1.8)


Further provides that a certificate of a notarial act is sufficient if it meets these (preceding) requirements and is in a short form as set forth at N.J.A.C. 17:50-1.10; is in a form otherwise permitted by the law of New Jersey; and is in a form permitted by the law applicable in the jurisdiction in which the notarial act was performed. (Rule 17:50-1.8)

Requires that if a notarial act regarding a tangible record is performed, a certificate shall be part of, or attached to, the record. Further requires that if a notarial act regarding an electronic record is performed, the certificate shall be affixed to, or logically associated with, the electronic record. (Rule 17:50-1.8)


Prescribes the requirements for the official stamp of a Notary Public, which shall: include the name of the Notary Public, the title "Notary Public, State of New Jersey," and the Notary's commission expiration date; and be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed or attached or with which it is logically associated. (Rule 17:50-1.8.)

Makes a Notary Public responsible for the security of the Notary’s stamping device. Prohibits the Notary from allowing another individual to use the device to perform a notarial act, except at the specific instruction of a Notary Public who cannot physically use the stamping device. (Rule 17:50-1.8.)

Provides that the stamping device is the property of the Notary Public and not of the Notary’s employer, even if the employer paid for the stamping device. (Rule 17:50-1.8.)

Requires that if a Notary’s stamping device is lost or stolen, the Notary or the Notary’s personal representative must notify the State Treasurer at http://www.nj.gov/treasury/revenue/revgencode.shtml of the stamping device’s loss or theft within 10 calendar days. (Rule 17:50-1.8.)


Establishes notarization procedures for an individual who is physically unable to sign a record. (Rule 17:50-1.9.) Also provides the requirements for a notarial officer’s certification or attestation that a copy of a record, or an item that was copied, is a full, true, and accurate transcription or reproduction of the record or item. (Rule 17:50-1.12.)

Provides short-form notarial certificate forms for New Jersey’s authorized notarial acts involving a record. (Rule 17:50-1.10.)


Prescribes extensive journal requirements relative to the journal’s medium (tangible or electronic), format and entries. Requires a Notary Public to maintain a journal of all notarial acts performed. Allows a journal to be created on a tangible medium or in an electronic format. Allows a Notary Public to maintain only one journal at a time in which to chronicle all notarial acts, whether such acts are performed regarding tangible or electronic records. (Rule 17:50-1.11.)

Requires a Notary Public to retain the journal for 10 years after performance of the last notarial act chronicled in the journal; or write to the State Treasurer (URL provided) for instructions on how to send or transmit the journal securely to the Division. (Rule 17:50-1.11.)


Provides procedures relative to the disposition of journals belonging to Notaries who resign their commission, or whose commission is revoked or suspended. Allows a Notary Public who is a New Jersey attorney-at-law; or who is employed by a New Jersey attorney; or who is employed by or acting as an agent for a title insurance company licensed to do business in New Jersey pursuant to P.L. 2001, c. 210 (N.J.S.A. 17:22A-26 et seq.); to maintain a record of notarial acts in the form of files regularly maintained for the attorney's law practice or the title insurance company's business activities, as the case may be. (Rule 17:50-1.11.)

Requires a Notary Public to notify the State Treasurer within 10 days of the loss or theft of his/her/their journal using an online form provided by the Treasurer. (Rule 17:50-1.11.)

Provides for the disposition of a Notary’s journal upon the Notary’s death or adjudication of incompetency. (Rule 17:50-1.11.)

Establishes criteria for a notarial officer’s refusal to perform a notarial act, and clarifies that a notarial officer may refuse to perform a notarial act unless the individual presenting the record provides the officer with proof that refusal is prohibited by a State of New Jersey law other than N.J.S.A. 52:7-10 et seq. (Rule 17:50-1.17.)

Provides the fees that notarial officers may collect for services rendered:
 1. For administering oaths, taking affidavits, taking proofs of a deed, and taking acknowledgments, $ 2.50 per act.
 2. For administering oaths, taking affidavits, taking proofs of a deed, and taking acknowledgments of the grantors in the transfer of real estate, regardless of the number of such services performed in a single transaction to transfer real estate, $ 15.00.
 3. For administering oaths, taking affidavits, and taking acknowledgments of the mortgagors in the financing of real estate, regardless of the number of such services performed in a single transaction to finance real estate, $ 25.00.

(Rule 17:50-1.18.)

Electronic Notarization
Defines terms relating to electronic notarization: “tamper-evident,” and “logically associated with.” (Rule 17:50-1.15.)

Authorizes a notarial officer to select one or more tamper-evident technologies to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records. Specifically excludes wills, codicils and testamentary trusts from performance of an electronic notarization. Prohibits a 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. (Rule 17:50-1.15.)


Authorizes a New Jersey notarial officer, located in New Jersey, to perform a notarial act using tamper-evident technology if the individual requesting the act appears in person (is physically present) before the notarial officer at the time of the act. Requires the notarial officer at the time of the notarial act to obtain a satisfactory form of identification for the individual (forms required for traditional notarization for a physically-present signer); and to complete an electronic notarial certificate with an electronic signature and stamp, including all elements required by NJAC 17:50-1.13 (administrative rule). Further requires the notarial officer to attach the certificate and stamp to, or logically associate them with, the electronically notarized record. (Rule 17:50-1.16.)

Requires a Notary Public, before performing his/her/their initial notarial act with respect to an electronic record, to notify the State Treasurer electronically at www.nj.gov/njbgs that the notary public will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records and identify the technology that the notary public intends to use. (Rule 17:50-1.16.)


Requires a notarial officer to ensure that the officer’s electronic signature stamp is reliable, and provides the criteria for such reliability. (Rule 17:50-1.16.)

Prohibits a Notary Public from disclosing any access information used to affix the Notary’s electronic signature and seal; provides exceptions to this prohibition. (Rule 17:50-1.16.)

Remote Online Notarization
Defines terms relating to remote online notarization: “biometric identification,” “communication technology,” “digital public key certificate,” “dynamic knowledge-based authentication assessment,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing,” “outside the United States,” and “remotely located individual.” (Rule 17:50-1.14.)

Establishes that a remotely located individual may comply with New Jersey’s notarial law and requirements by using communication technology to appear before a notarial officer. Further establishes that a notarial act performed using communication technology for a remotely located individual is deemed performed in New Jersey and is governed by New Jersey law. (Rule 17:50-1.14.)

Provides requirements for a New Jersey notarial officer’s use of communication technology for performance of a notarial act, including that the notarial officer must be located in New Jersey (the individual remotely appearing for the notarial act need not be in New Jersey). Clarifies that if a notarial act related 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, or shall use communication technology to appear before the notarial officer. Further requires that the certificate for such notarial acts performed for a remotely located individual must indicate that the notarial act was performed using communication technology. (Rule 17:50-1.14.)


Requires a notarial officer performing a notarial act for a remotely located individual and using communication technology to create an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act. Requires a notarial officer, guardian, conservator, agent of a notarial officer, or personal representative of a deceased notarial officer to retain the audio-visual recording or cause such recording to be retained by a designated repository for a period of 10 years. (Rule 17:50-1.14)

Provides requirements for a New Jersey notarial officer’s performance of a remote online notarization for an individual located outside the United States. (Rule 17:50-1.14.)

Requires that before a Notary Public performs the Notary’s initial notarial act for a remotely located individual using communication technology, the Notary Public must notify the State Treasurer electronically at www.nj.gov/njbgs that the Notary Public will be performing such notarial acts and identify the technologies the Notary Public intends to use. (Rule 17:50-1.14.)

Clarifies that a notarial officer may administer an oath to a remotely located individual using communication technology pursuant to requirements set forth in Rule 17:50-1.14.


Remote Notarization, Tangible (Paper) Records
Allows a notarial officer of New Jersey to use communication technology to take an individual’s acknowledgement of his/her/their signature on a tangible record in the possession of the Notary Public. Requires the record to be displayed to, and identified by, the remotely located individual during the audio-visual session. (Rule 17:50-1.14.)

Provides the requirements for a notarial officer to perform a notarial act with respect to a tangible record not physically present before the notarial officer. Such requirements include the remotely located individual signing a declaration about the record, made under penalty of perjury; and the notarial officer ensuring that the individual’s signing of the record and declaration are recorded in the audio-visual recording. Establishes that the date of notarization for such a document is the date on which the remotely located individual signed the declaration. (Rule 17:50-1.14.)

Requires, for both these circumstances involving communication technology and notarization of a tangible record, that the Notary create an audio-visual recording of performance of the notarial act. (Rule 17:50-1.14.)

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NEW JERSEY Continuing Education, Exam Rules – N.J.A.C. 17:50-2
Effective February 7, 2022 (to expire January 11, 2029)
View these rules
Upon opening the above link, select NJ Administrative Code (see right margin); select Title 17 Treasury; select Chapter 50 Notary Public Rules; select Subchapter 2 Continuing Education and Examination Requirements to access all rule sections.


Establishes education and testing requirements for non-attorney applicants seeking a new or renewed Notary Public commission.

Requires non-attorney applicants for an initial commission as a Notary Public to complete a course of study that fosters the applicant’s understanding of the statutes, rules, procedures and ethical requirements of a Notary Public, as documented in the State of New Jersey’s Notary Manual (www.nj.gov/njbgs). Requires the State Treasurer to ensure that the online course can be accessed through www.nj.gov/njbgs. (Rule Section 17:50-2.2.)


Establishes an online testing requirement for non-attorney applicants seeking an initial commission as a New Jersey Notary Public. Requires such test to confirm the applicant’s understanding of the course content provided at www.nj.gov/njbgs. Further provides for accessibility of the online test and test instructions, and that the testing process shall be integrated with the State’s online Notary Public commissioning system. Requires the State’s online Notary Public commissioning system to generate certificates of approval evidencing that applicants have passed the required test, and to record that applicants have passed the test and clear them to submit their Notary Public commission applications. (Rule Section 17:50-2.2.)

Allows the State Treasurer to charge up to $15.00 for administering each test. (Rule Section 17:50-2.2.)

Requires non-attorney applicants for a renewed Notary commission who have previously completed the education and testing requirements at least one time, or who were commissioned for the first time before July 22, 2021, to complete a continuing education course. Requires the course to focus on the statutes, rules, procedures, and ethical requirements documented in the State of New Jersey Notary Manual (see URL above); provides that the online course shall be accessed at (see URL above). (Rule Section 17:50-2.3.)

Requires the State Treasurer to ensure that the online course is integrated with the State’s online Notary Public commissioning system. Requires the online system to provide certificates of approval evidencing each applicant’s completion of the continuing education course. Further requires the system to record that applicants have completed the course and clear them to submit their Notary Public commission applications. (Rule Section 17:50-2.3.)

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NEW JERSEY – A4250
Effective October 20, 2021 but Notary education and exam effective October 20, 2022
View this bill

Enacts the New Jersey Law on Notarial Acts. Key changes:


Establishes key definitions: “acknowledgment,” “electronic,” “electronic signature,” “in a representative capacity,” “non-attorney applicant,” “non-attorney applicant,” “notarial act,” “notarial officer,” “notary public,” “official stamp,” “person,” “record,” “sign,” “signature,” “stamping device,” “state,” and “verification on oath or affirmation.” (See Bill Section 2.) Also defines “communication technology,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing,” “outside the United States,” and “remotely located individual.” (See Bill Section 19.)

Clarifies that the State Treasurer “may” (not “shall”) commission as many Notaries Public as the Treasurer deems necessary. Requires all applications to be submitted electronically. Provides that the commission fee collected by the Treasurer is non-refundable, and requires the Treasurer to accept specified, multiple methods of application fee payment. Clarifies requirements in the application form’s notice regarding advertising by non-attorney Notaries. (See Bill Section 3.)


Removes the requirement that a New Jersey Notary Public applicant must be a citizen of the United States. Requires applicants at the time of appointment to be a legal resident of New Jersey or have a place of employment or practice in New Jersey. Clarifies that a non-resident applicant may be a remote worker (from a home office or co-working space) who is employed by a business with its domicile or primary place of business in New Jersey Requires such applicants to file with the State Treasurer, at the time of application, a certificate (formerly an affidavit) regarding the applicant’s residence and addresses of both the applicant’s residence and employer. Provides that an applicant cannot be disqualified to receive a commission for disqualifications provided in the Act. Clarifies that a Notary Public commission authorizes the Notary to perform notarial acts, and that the commission does not provide the Notary any immunity or benefit conferred by New Jersey law on public officials or employees. (See Bill Sections 4, 5, 8 and 9.)

Requires non-attorney applicants for an initial Notary Public commission to complete a six-hour course of study approved by the State Treasurer and pass an examination prescribed by the Treasurer. Further provides that a commissioned Notary applying for a renewal commission, who has satisfactorily completed the six-hour course—or who was initially commissioned before the Act’s effective date—shall complete a three-hour continuing education course (see bill Section 4). Provides that the Treasurer shall adopt administrative rules setting forth requirements for mandatory education and examination. Requires non-attorney applicants to comply with all educational requirements of the State Treasurer as set forth in administrative rules. Establishes that the Treasurer may provide a Notary Public course of study and continuing education course, and may approve independent vendors to provide approved courses of study. Provides the content requirements for such courses of study. (See Section 6.)

Establishes requirements relating to mandatory examination of non-attorney applicants. Provides that the examination may be given by the Treasurer or an independent vendor under contract to the Treasurer. Clarifies that the State Treasurer has sole responsibility for establishing minimum qualifications and passing requirements of candidates taking the examination. Requires the Treasurer to establish a nonrefundable examination fee, which shall not be fixed at a level that would raise funds in excess of the amount estimated to be required. (See Bill Section 7.)


Retains the requirement that a Notary Public’s oath of office to be taken before the clerk of the county in which the Notary resides. Provides that a nonresident Notary Public’s oath of office shall be taken before the clerk of the county in which the nonresident Notary maintains the Notary’s office, or in the county in which the nonresident Notary is an employee of a business with its domicile or primary place of business in New Jersey. (See Bill Section 8.) Extends, from 45 days to three months, the time in which a Notary must take and subscribe his/her/their oath of office after having received the commission. (See Bill Section 9.)

Details grounds for the State Treasurer to deny an application, refuse to renew a commission, or revoke or suspend or limit an active commission. (See Bill Section 9.)

Requires the State Treasurer to maintain a Notary Public manual on the Department of Treasury’s website. Clarifies certain requirements relating to the manual’s content. (See Bill Section 11.)

Clarifies requirements relating to a Notary Public reporting a change of name. (See Bill Section 12.)


Establishes requirements for a Notary Public’s official stamp, including that the stamp must be affixed or embossed near the Notary Public’s signature such that it is “clear and readable.” (See Bill Section 14.) Charges a Notary Public with responsibility for the security of his/her/their stamping device, including that the Notary may not allow another individual to use the device to perform a notarial act unless at the specific instruction of a Notary Public who cannot physically use the stamping device. Clarifies that the stamping device is the property of the Notary Public and not the Notary’s employer,even if the employer paid for the stamping device. Requires a Notary Public or his/her/their personal representative to notify the State Treasurer within 10 days of loss or theft of the stamping device. (See Bill Section 15.)

Provides the specific authority of a notarial officer to perform a notarial act authorized by New Jersey’s Notary Public law. Prohibits a notarial officer from performing a notarial act with respect to a record to which the notarial officer or the officer’s spouse or civil union partner is a party, or in which either of them has a direct beneficial interest. Establishes that a notarial act performed in violation of these provisions is voidable. (See Bill Section 16.)


Provides that the signature and title of an individual performing a notarial act are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title. Affirms that a notarial act may be performed in New Jersey by an individual authorized by applicable law to perform the act. Establishes that the signature and title of a duly authorized notarial officer conclusively establishes the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act. (See Bill Section 22.) Addresses the interstate recognition of notarial acts. (See Bill Section 23.) Provides for the validity of notarial acts. (See Bill Section 28.)

Authorizes a notarial officer to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record. (See Bill Section 16.) Requires a county clerk, a register of deeds and mortgages, and a county surrogate 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. (See Bill Section 24.)


Specifies the requirements for the authorized notarial acts: acknowledgment, oath or affirmation, verification on oath or affirmation, witnessing or attesting a signature, certifying or attesting a copy or deposition, and noting a protest of a negotiable instrument. (See Bill Section 17.) Establishes the requirements for a notarial officer to have personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of an individual appearing before the notarial officer, including use of communication technology for an individual to appear before the notarial officer pursuant to requirements of the Act. Authorizes 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. (See Bill Section 17.)

Establishes procedures applicable to individuals who are physically unable to sign. (See Bill Section 20.)


Allows a notarial officer to refuse to perform a notarial act under specified circumstances, unless refusal is prohibited by law other than P.L. 1979, c.460 (C.52:7-10 et seq.) as amended and supplemented by the Legislature. (See Bill Section 26.)

Requires a Notary Public to maintain a journal of all notarial acts performed, and provides that such journal may be in a tangible medium or electronic format. Provides exceptions to journal use for Notaries Public who are New Jersey attorneys-at-law, or employed by an attorney, or employed by or acting as an agent for a title insurance company licensed to do business in New Jersey. Specifies actions to be taken regarding a Notary’s journal in the event of commission resignation, revocation or suspension; or in the event of a Notary’s death or adjudication of incompetency. (See Bill Section 27.)


Limits a Notary Public to use of one journal at a time to chronicle all notarial acts, whether those acts are performed regarding tangible or electronic records. Requires a tangible journal to be a permanent, bound register with consecutively numbered lines and consecutively numbered pages. Requires a journal in an electronic format to be in a permanent, tamper-evident format complying with any rules and regulations promulgated by the State Treasurer. Specifies the information that shall be chronicled in every journal entry.

Authorizes a notarial officer to select one or more tamper-evident technologies to perform notarial acts regarding electronic records. Bars a person from requiring a notarial officer from performing an electronic notarization using a technology that the notarial officer did not select. (See Bill Section 24.)


Requires that before a Notary Public performs his/her/their initial electronic notarization, the Notary must notify the State Treasurer that he/she/they will be performing electronic notarizations and identify the technology that the Notary intends to use. Requires such chosen technology/technologies to conform to any standards established by the State Treasurer, and if the technology does conform, the Treasurer must approve its use. (See bill Section 24.)

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 may use communication technology to appear before the notarial officer in compliance with Act. (See Bill Section 18.) Defines “communication technology.” (See Bill Section 19.) Clarifies that a notarial officer may administer an oath to a remotely located individual using communication technology. Provides the requirements for performing a notarial act for a remotely located individual, including the means of identifying such individuals; and that the notarial officer or a person (party) acting on behalf of the notarial officer creates an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act. Mandates the retention period of the audio-visual recording of a notarization involving use of communication technology (at least 10 years, unless a different period is required by any rule or regulation adopted by the State Treasurer). Establishes additional requirements applicable when the remotely located individual receiving the notarial act is located outside the United States. (See Bill Section 19.)


Clarifies that a New Jersey notarial officer may perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual, in accordance with the Act, regardless whether the remotely located individual is physically located in New Jersey. (See Bill Section 19.) Establishes that a notarial act performed using communication technology for a remotely located individual is deemed performed in New Jersey, and is governed by New Jersey law. (See Bill Section 19.) States the intent of the Legislature that a notarial act performed in New Jersey shall be recognized, be enforceable, and have the same effect under the law of the 50 states as if performed by a notarial officer of those jurisdictions. (See Bill Section 19.)

Specifies that notarization by use of communication technology for a remotely located individual does not apply to creation/execution of wills and codicils, but does permit it to be used for a remotely located individual with regard to a tangible (ink-signed) record and subject to procedural requirements set forth in the Act. Permits only the acknowledgment notarial act to be performed using communication technology for a remotely located individual and regarding a tangible (ink-signed) record. (See Bill Section 19.)


Requires that, before performing his/her/their initial notarial act by use of communications technology, a Notary Public must notify the State Treasurer that the Notary Public will be performing such notarial acts and identify the technologies the Notary Public intends to use. Requires a Notary’s chosen communication technology and identity proofing to conform to any standards established by the State Treasurer. (See Bill Section 19.)

Provides expanded, detailed requirements for a certificate of a notarial act. Requires compliance with any standards adopted by the State Treasurer relating to attaching, affixing or logically associating a notarial certificate with a record (See Bill Section 13.)


Requires that when the notarial act performed in accordance with the Act was performed for a remotely located individual, the notarial certificate for the act must indicate that the notarial act was performed using communication technology. (See Bill Section 19.)

Provides short form notarial certificate forms sufficient for the purposes indicated, if all requirements of New Jersey Notary law are satisfied. (See Bill Section 21.)

Requires the State Treasurer to maintain an electronic database of current and former Notaries Public enabling a person to verify the authority of a Notary to perform notarial acts, and which indicates whether a Notary Public has notified the Treasurer that the Notary will be performing notarial acts on electronic records. (See Bill Section 25.)


Authorizes the State Treasurer to adopt rules and regulations that may: prescribe the manner of performing notarial acts regarding tangible and electronic records; include provisions to ensure that any change to or tampering with a record bearing a certificate of a notarial act is self-evident; include provisions to ensure integrity in the creation, transmittal, storage, or authentication of electronic records or signatures; prescribe the process of granting, renewing, conditioning, denying, suspending, revoking, or otherwise limiting a notary public commission and assuring the trustworthiness of an individual holding a commission as notary public; include provisions to prevent fraud or mistake in the performance of notarial acts; provide for the administration of the Notary Public examination(s) and the course(s) of study. (See Bill Section 29.)

The Treasurer may also adopt rules and regulations that 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 requirements or procedures to approve providers of communication technology and the process of identity proofing; establish standards and a period for the retention of an audio-visual recording; and prescribe methods for confirmation of a tangible record by a notarial officer (use of communication technology for remotely located signer of a tangible record). (See Bill Section 19.)

Requires the State Treasurer to adopt interim rules and regulations to implement the Act, and to do so within 90 days after the Act’s effective date. (See Bill Section 38.)

Makes necessary conforming amendments to existing law and technical additions. (See Bill Sections 30 through 37.)

 
NEW MEXICO – HB 180
Effective March 1, 2022
View this bill


Repeals Section 14-14A-29, New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978, thereby eliminating authorization under New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) for members of the public to request Notary Public journal entries or audiovisual recordings. Also repeals statutory provisions that (1) required public requests for Notary journal entries or audiovisual recordings to name the notarial transaction “with particularity”; and (2) that deemed records requests that omitted naming the document that was the subject of the notarial act as unenforceable under New Mexico’s IPRA.
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NEW MEXICO – SB 12
Effective January 1, 2022
View this bill

Enacts the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA); repeals prior New Mexico law pertaining to notarial acts. Authorizes rulemaking by the Secretary of State; provides the scope of rulemaking authority conferred to the Secretary of State. (See Bill Section 26. A.) Specifies standards, practices, recommendations, customs, input, etc. to be considered by the Secretary of State with regard to rulemaking. (See Bill Section 5.H.-I.)

Includes the following provisions.


Definitions
Defines “acknowledgment,” “electronic,” “electronic signature,” “foreign state,” “in a representative capacity,” “notarial act,” “notarial officer,” “Notary Public,” “official stamp,” “person,” “record,” “sign” or “subscribe,” “signature,” “stamping device,” “verification on oath or affirmation.” (See Bill Section 2., A.-O.) Also defines “communication technology,” “identify proofing,” “outside the United States,” and “remotely located individual.” (See Bill Section 5.K.)

(Comment: Notably, many definitions establish that their meaning is the same whether with regard to a tangible or electronic medium… that is, fundamental terms and phrases such as signing, performing a notarial act, and including an official Notary seal in a notarial certificate pertain to notarization of paper and electronic records.)

Commissioning; Notary’s Commission
Provides that a New Mexico Notary Public is commissioned by the Secretary of State (formerly the Governor).


Modifies some qualifications for a New Mexico Notary Public commission, which are:
1. Be at least eighteen years of age;
2. Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States;
3. Be a resident of or have a place of employment in New Mexico;
4. Be able to read and write English;
5. Not be disqualified to receive a commission under the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Act’s Section 22 (Grounds to Deny, Refuse to Renew, Revoke, Suspend or Condition Commission of Notary Public);
6. Have passed the examination required pursuant to Subsection A of Section 21 of the RULONA; and
7. Not otherwise be disqualified as a notarial officer; provided that an individual who is employed as a court clerk, deputy court clerk, county clerk or deputy county clerk may also be commission as a Notary Public.
(See Bill Section 20.B.)


No longer prescribes a $20 commission application in statutes; instead requires an applicant to pay “any application fee.” (Comment: the SOS’s revised Notary Public commission application information indicates the application fee is $30.) (See Bill Section 20.A.)

Retains prior law’s requirement for a $10,000 surety bond, which may now also be a “functional equivalent.” Requires the surety or issuing entity to give thirty days’ notice to the Secretary of State before canceling the assurance/bond; and notify the Secretary of State not later than 30 days after making a payment to a claimant under the assurance. (See Bill Section 20.D.)


Retains prior law’s provision that the Secretary of State will mail a notice of commission expiration to each Notary at least 30 days before the expiration date; and that a Notary Public will apply for reappointment in the same manner as required for an original application. (See Bill Section 20.G)

Requires an applicant for a New Mexico Notary commission, who does not already hold such commission, to pass an examination administered by the Secretary of State or an approved entity.* Provides that the Secretary of State or an approved entity shall offer a course of study to Notary commission applicants who do not already hold a commission. (See Bill Section 21.A., B.) Provides for continuing legal education credit for New Mexico’s attorney-Notaries. (See Bill Section 21.C.)
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*NOTE: This statement reflects the wording of SB 12, but the Secretary of State’s website instructs new and renewing Notaries (some of which may still be operating on an unexpired commission) that they are required to complete the Notary Education course and exam approved by the Secretary of State.


Provides that the New Mexico state ethics commission may deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or impose a condition on a commission as Notary Public for any act or omission that demonstrates that the individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or inability to act as a Notary Public; lists certain such acts and omissions. (See Bill Section 22.A.) Further provides that the Secretary of State may deny or refuse to renew an applicant upon notice form the state ethics commission of adverse action upon a Notary Public. (See Bill Section 22.B.)

Requires the Secretary of State to maintain an electronic database of Notaries Public and specifies the information to be maintained, including whether a Notary Public has notified the Secretary that he/she/they will be performing notarial acts on electronic records. (See Bill Section 23.)

Clarifies that an individual with a commission as Notary Public in effect on the date of the New Mexico RULONA’s adoption may retain that commission until the scheduled date of expiration. Provides that a notarial officer authorized to practice law in New Mexico may practice notarial acts with no expiration of such authority, but must maintain an active law license. Clarifies that a New Mexico Notary Public who renews his/her/their commission on or after the effective date of the RULONA is subject to and shall comply with the Act. Specifies that a Notary Public or notarial officer shall comply with the RULONA when performing notarial acts after the effective date of the Act. (See Bill Section 27.)


Notarial Acts
Explicitly requires a Notary Public or notarial officer of New Mexico to perform all notarial acts pursuant to (in compliance with) New Mexico’s RULONA or other law of the state. Prohibits a notarial officer from notarizing when his/her/their spouse or domestic partner is a party to the record, or when either of them has a direct beneficial interest. (See Bill Section 3.A., B.)

Authorizes a notarial officer (not only a Notary Public) to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the record. (See Bill Section 3.C.)

Establishes the requirements for performance by a notarial officer 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. (See Bill Section 4. A.-E.) Requires individuals making a statement in, or executing a signature on, a record to personally appear before a notarial officer. (See Bill Section 5.A.) Provides that a remotely located individual may satisfy the personal appearance requirement by use of communication technology* to appear before a notarial officer, at the time of the notarial act. (See Bill Section 5.B.)
________
*Comment – see defined term for communication technology.


Provides that a notarial officer may identify an individual appearing for a notarial act by means of personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence. Specifies the forms of identification deemed to be satisfactory evidence. Allows a notarial officer to require an individual to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to assure the officer of the individual’s identity. (See Bill Section 6.A.-C.)

Provides for individuals physically unable to sign to direct an individual other than the notarial officer to sign; requires the notarial officer to insert language indicating such circumstances. (See Bill Section 8.)


Requires a notarial act to be evidenced by a certificate, and establishes notarial certificate requirements for performance of a notarial act by Notaries Public and other notarial officers (notably, that the certificate shall be executed contemporaneously—at the same time as—performance of the notarial act; that if the notarial officer is a Notary Public, include the Notary’s commission number and commission expiration date; and that a notarial officer shall not sign a notarial certificate until after the notarial act has been performed). (See Bill Section 14.A., E.)

Clarifies what constitutes the sufficiency of a completed notarial certificate, and provides short-form certificate examples for an acknowledgment by an individual and in a representative capacity; a verification on oath or affirmation; witnessing or attesting a signature; and certifying a copy of a record. Provides that by executing a notarial certificate, a notarial officer certifies his/her/their compliance with the requirements of RULONA and made determinations specified in the Act. (See Bill Section 14.C., D.; 15.A.-E.)


Requires performance of a notarial act regarding a tangible record by a Notary Public or other notarial officer to be evidenced by an official stamp affixed or embossed on the notarial certificate. Requires performance of a notarial act regarding an electronic record by a Notary Public or other notarial officer to be evidenced by an official stamp attached to or logically associated with the electronic record’s notarial certificate. Requires the process for attaching, affixing, or logically associating a notarial certificate with an electronic record to conform to any standards established by the Secretary of State. (See Bill Section 14.B., F.)

Establishes a comprehensive listing of prohibited acts. (See Bill Section 24.)


Authorizes a notarial officer to refuse to perform a notarial act, and provides the grounds for such refusal. Clarifies that such refusal must not be prohibited by a state or federal law other than New Mexico’s RULONA. In accordance with New Mexico’s Human Rights Act, prohibits a notarial officer from discriminating in the performance of a notarial act. (See Bill Section 7. A.-C.)

Provides for the legal recognition of notarial acts performed by notarial officers of another state; a federally-recognized Indian tribe; certain officers and individuals under federal law; under authority and jurisdiction of a foreign state or constituent unit of the foreign state; or under authority of a multinational or international governmental organization. (See Bill Sections 10, 11, 12 and 13.)


Provides that (enactment of) New Mexico’s RULONA does not affect the validity or effect of a notarial act performed before the effective date of the Act. (See Bill Section 30.)


Provides for the validity of notarial acts performed by a New Mexico notarial officer, while also providing for aggrieved persons to seek invalidation of the record or transaction that is the subject of the notarial act or to seek other remedies based on other New Mexico law, or U.S. law. Clarifies that this section of law does not validate a purported notarial act performed by an individual who does not have the authority to perform notarial acts. (See Bill Section 25.)

Electronic and Remote Online Notarial Acts
Allows a Notary Public or notarial officer to select one or more tamper-evident technologies with which to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records. Prohibits a person from requiring a Notary Public or notarial officer to electronically notarize using a technology the Notary has not selected. (See Bill Section 19.A.)


Requires a Notary Public or notarial officer to notify the Secretary of State, prior to performing his/her/their initial electronic notarial act, that the Notary will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records, and identify the technology the Notary intends to use. Requires such technology to conform to standards, if any, establishes by the Secretary of State. (See Bill Section 19.B.)

Authorizes remote online notarization by use of communication technology. (See Bill Section 5.C.) Requires a notarial officer (including a Notary Public), prior to performing his/her/their initial notarial act with a remotely located individual, to notify the Secretary of State of the intent to perform these notarizations, and identify the technologies the Notary or notarial officer will use. Requires chosen (remote) communication and identity proofing technologies to conform to standards established by rule of the Secretary of State, if any. (See Bill Section 5.G.)


Specifies the conditions under which a Notary Public or notarial officer, located in New Mexico, may perform a notarial act using communication technology. Requires the Notary to identify the remotely located individual through personal knowledge or specified forms of satisfactory evidence, pursuant to New Mexico’s RULONA. Further requires the Notary to reasonably confirm that a record before the Notary is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or executed a signature; and the Notary or a person acting on behalf of the Notary to create an audiovisual recording of performance of the notarial act for the remotely located individual. Establishes additional requirements to be met if the remotely located individual appearing before the Notary is located outside of the United States. (See Bill Section 5.C.)

Requires a certificate of notarial act performed for a remotely located individual to indicate the notarial act was performed 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 in the RULONA and contains a statement substantially like: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.” (See Bill Section 5.D.-E.)

Requires retention of the audiovisual recording of a remote online notarial act to be retained by the Notary Public or certain other specified individuals; or cause the recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the person required to retain the recording. Establishes that recordings shall be retained for a period of at least 10 years after the recording is made, unless a different retention period is required by rule of the Secretary of State. (See Bill Section 5.F.)


Notary’s Official Stamp
Provides that an official stamp of a Notary Public shall include the Notary Public’s name, jurisdiction, commission number, date of commission expiration and other information required by the Secretary of State. Specifies additional required information elements for Notaries who are New Mexico attorneys, judges, clerks and deputy clerks and that any other information required by the Secretary of State must be included. Requires all notarial officers including Notaries Public to file his/her/their official stamp with the Secretary of State before performing a notarial act with it. (See Bill Section 16.A.)

Prohibits use by any other individual of a Notary Public’s stamping device, and charges a Notary with the stamping device’s security. Specifies that the Notary shall disable the stamping device (make it unusable) upon the Notary’s commission resignation, revocation or expiration. Charges the Notary’s personal representative or guardian or any other person knowingly in possession of the stamping device with the same duty to render it unusable upon the Notary’s death or adjudication of incompetency. Requires a Notary Public or the Notary’s personal representative or guardian to promptly notify the Secretary of State on discovering that the Notary’s stamping device is lost or stolen. (See Bill Section 17.A.-B.)


Journal
Requires New Mexico Notaries Public to record all notarial acts performed in a journal, and retain every journal for ten years after performance of the last notarial act chronicled in it. Provides that a journal may be in a tangible or electronic format, and allows use of a tangible journal for chronicling notarization of tangible records and use of an electronic journal for chronicling notarization of electronic records. Prescribes the basic attributes of a tangible and electronic journal. Clarifies that a New Mexico attorney-Notary notarizing for members of the public (unrelated to an established, attorney-client relationship) shall maintain one journal at a time to chronicle all notarial acts, whether those notarial acts are with regard to electronic or electronic records. Requires a journal entry to be made contemporaneously with (at the same time as) performance of the notarial act, and specifies the information that must be contained in every journal entry. (See Bill Sections 18.A., B., C., E.)


Requires a Notary Public to promptly notify the Secretary of State upon discovering that his/her/their journal is lost or stolen. Establishes requirements for retention of journal records and addresses journal records disposition under circumstances such as the Notary’s resignation, revocation, death or adjudication of incompetency. (See Bill Sections 18.D., F., G., H.)

Provides for public inspection of journal records pursuant to New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act. Specifies the information that must be included in requests for such inspection. Clarifies that a public records request relating to a notarial act that does not name the subject document is not enforceable under the Inspection of Public Records Act. (See Bill Sections 19.A.-C.)

Fees for Notarial Acts
Provides the maximum fees that a Notary Public or notarial officer licensed to practice law may charge:
  1. for acknowledgments, five dollars ($5.00) per acknowledgment;
  2. for oaths or affirmations without a signature, five dollars ($5.00) per person;
  3. for jurats, five dollars ($5.00) per jurat; and
  4. for copy certifications, fifty cents ($.50) per page with a minimum total charge of five dollars ($5.00)
(See Bill Sections 28.C.)

Clarifies that the fee charged may be the maximum fee allowed, or less than the maximum fee allowed, or waived. Prohibits an employer from establishing fees for notarial services that exceed those specified, and from establishing fees (based) on the attributes of the principal. (See Bill Sections 28.A., B.)

Provides the conditions under which a Notary Public or notarial officer may charge a travel fee. Allows a Notary Public to charge a technology fee not to exceed $25, or other amount established by rule of the Secretary of State, per notarial act performed with respect to an electronic record. (See Bill Sections 28.D., E.)

Prohibited Acts
Establishes a significant body of prohibited acts by a Notary Public, and provides that a notarial officer who violates any of those provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor for each violation and subject to a fine of up to $1000 or imprisonment for up to six months, or both. Further provides that an individual who purportedly notarizes with knowledge that the individual’s Notary commission has expired—or that the individual is otherwise disqualified from the office of Notary Public or notarial officer—is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a $500 fine and removal from office. (See Bill Sections 24.H., I.)

Rulemaking
Provides for rulemaking by the Secretary of State. (See Bill Sections 26.A.-B.)

Other Provisions
Provides various provisions relative to the New Mexico State Ethics Commission. (See Bill Section 33.)
-------------------------



NEW MEXICO – ADMINISTRATIVE RULES, Notaries Public – Notarial Procedures
Effective January 1, 2022
Title 12, Chapter 9, Part 3 – Notarial Procedures
Title 12, Chapter 9, Part 4 – Remote Online Notarization Standards



The Office of the Secretary of State has repealed its rule 12.9.2 NMAC, Performing Electronic Notarial Acts, filed May 30, 2008; and replaced it with 12.9.3 NMAC – Notarial Procedures, and 12.9.4 NMAC – Remote Online Notarizations; in order to establish standards, guidelines, procedures, fees, and responsibilities under New Mexico’s Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts.

Definitions
Defines “county clerk duties,” “deputy county clerk,” “electronic record,” “in-person electronic notarization,” “Notary seal,” “remote online notarization,” “tamper-evident,” “tangible copy,” “tangible record.”
(See 12.9.3.7, A.-I. – NMAC)


Also defines “certified tangible copy of an electronic record,” “credential analysis,” “identity credential,” “knowledge-based authentication,” “remote online notarization system,” and “remote online notarization system provider.” (See 12.9.4.7, A.-H.—NMAC)


Commissioning, Commission Matters
Requires an applicant for a Notary commission to use the applicant’s name as it appears on the applicant’s state-issued identification. (See 12.9.3.8, A—NMAC)

Requires an applicant for a Notary Public commission to provide proof of having successfully completed an approved training course and passing the required examination; a surety bond in the amount of $10,000 containing the applicant’s notarized signature; an executed, notarized oath of office on the form prescribed by the Secretary of State; and a non-refundable application fee of $30. (See 12.9.3.8, A.(1)-(4) – NMAC) Clarifies that an applicant must pass the required exam with a score of 80% or higher. Requires examination records maintained by third-party vendors, including the applicant’s score, to be retained for five years. (See 12.9.3.10.C., D.—NMAC)


Exempts renewing Notaries that have previously passed the examination from taking the training and examination upon renewal unless the renewing Notary’s commission has been expired for more than one year; or there have been substantial changes to the statutes or rules pertaining to notarial procedures, as determined by the Secretary of State, since the applicant’s last application date. (See 12.9.3.8 A.(1)(a), (b) – NMAC)

Clarifies that the fee for providing the training and examination is not included in the $30 Notary Public commission application fee.

Further provides that the Secretary of State shall issue the applicant a Notary certificate of commission containing the Notary’s commission number and term expiration date, once the Secretary determines that: (a) the applicant has met the qualifications to be commissioned as a Notary; (b) the name on the bond, on the application, and the signatures on those documents are the same; and (c) the applicant has not previously had a Notary commission denied or revoked. (See 12.9.3.8.B.(1)-(3) – NMAC)

Requires a Notary to provide a copy of his/her/their official stamp to the Secretary of State, within 45 days of receiving the Notary commission and prior to the Notary performing his or her first notarial act; failure to provide this information results in a referral to the State Ethics Commission. (See 12.9.3.8.C. – NMAC)

Requires a Notary to maintain the Notary’s current name, contact information, signature and official stamp on file with the Secretary of State by submitting the form prescribed by the Secretary of State within 30 days of the change of information. Provides that an amended commission shall be issued upon such notification to the Secretary of State, and the Notary Public must obtain a new official stamp showing the updated information. (See 12.9.3.8.E. – NMAC)

Provides that the State Ethics Commission shall notify the Secretary of State in writing of the recommended action and reason for the determination, upon the determining to deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend, or impose a condition on a Notary pursuant to NMSA Section 14-14A-22 Subsection A. 12.9.3.9.A. Requires the Secretary of State to update the electronic database of Notaries Public, maintained pursuant to NMSA 14-14A-23, upon receipt of such notification. (See 12.9.3.9.A., B. – NMAC)


Clarifies that a notarial officer who is not a Notary Public is not required to follow the prescribed Notary Public commission application process, but a notarial officer seeking authorization to conduct remote online notarizations must follow the application procedures pursuant to 12.9.4.8, NMAC. (See 12.9.3.16.A. – NMAC)

Provides the commission expiration date of December 31, 2021, for notarial officers authorized to practice law in New Mexico who were commissioned under the previous Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. (See 12.9.3.16.B. – NMAC)

Notarial Acts
Provides detailed requirements for notarial procedures with respect to tangible records, including that a notarial officer (includes Notaries Public) shall ensure: that the individual signs the record using permanent ink in a photo-reproducible color; that the notarial certificate meets specified statutory requirements; that he/she/they sign the notarial certificate using permanent ink and affix the official stamp; and if the notarial officer is a Notary Public or otherwise required to keep a journal, he/she/they shall chronicle or note the notarization in a paper or electronic journal in accordance with applicable law. (See 12.9.3.12.A.(1)-(3) – NMAC)

Provides detailed requirements for notarial procedures with respect to in-person electronic records, including that the individual and notarial officer shall meet physically face-to-face; the notarial officer shall determine whether specified statutory requirements have been met and shall verify the identity of the individual appearing before the officer in accordance with specified statutory requirements. (See 12.9.3.12.B – NMAC)

Provides that upon the notarial officer making such determination and identity verification, the individual shall sign the electronic record using an electronic signature; the notarial officer shall ensure the notarial certificate meets statutory requirements; the notarial officer shall sign the notarial certificate with an electronic signature and affix the electronic seal provided the electronic signature and seal have been previously provided to the Secretary of State. Further provides that if the notarial officer is a Notary Public, or otherwise required to keep a journal, he/she/they shall chronical or note the notarization in a paper or electronic journal in accordance with statutory requirements. (See 12.9.3.12.B.(1)-(4) – NMAC)


Provides detailed requirements for performance of the acknowledgment, verification on oath or affirmation, certifying or attesting a copy of a record, and witnessing or attesting a signature notarial acts. Clarifies how witnessing or attesting a signature differs from the acknowledgment and verification on oath or affirmation notarial acts. (See 12.9.3.12.C.-F. – NMAC)

Establishes standards and procedures for preventing fraud or mistakes in the performance of notarial acts, whether notarization is with respect to paper or electronic records. (See 12.9.3.13—NMAC)

Provides that “certified tangible copy of an electronic record” means an original tangible copy of an electronic record that has been certified by a notarial officer as an accurate copy of the electronic record. (See 12.9.4.7.A.—NMAC) Further provides that a certified tangible copy of an electronic record shall be considered an original record, and must include a notarial certificate substantially in the short form provided in Subsection E of Section 14-14A-15 NMSA 1978. (See 12.9.4.16.B.—NMAC)


Official Stamp
Requires an official stamp of a commissioned Notary Public to conform to the requirements of Sec. 14-14A-16, NMSA 1978 and include the words “Notary Public” and “State of New Mexico.” Provides that the official stamp of a notarial officer that is not a commissioned Notary Public shall conform to the requirements of Section 14-14A-16 NMSA 1978 and also include the words “Notarial Officer” and “State of New Mexico.” Requires the official stamp to be in 10-point type; if affixed to a tangible record, it shall be applied in permanent ink and be capable of being photocopied; and shall not contain the New Mexico state seal. Further provides that if a notarial officer is authorized to perform remote online notarizations, the official stamp shall also conform to the requirements of Section 12.9.4.13 NMAC. (See 12.9.3.14.A.-D.—NMAC)

Requires a Notary to provide a copy of his/her/their official stamp to the Secretary of State, within 45 days of receiving the Notary commission and prior to the Notary performing his or her first notarial act; failure to provide this information results in a referral to the State Ethics Commission. (See 12.9.3.8.C. – NMAC)


Grants a Notary Public with a commission date prior to the effective date of the administrative rule up to six months of the rule’s effective date to upload a copy of the Notary’s official stamp conforming to Subsection A of Section 14-14A-16 NMSA 1978 and 12.9.3.14 NMAC. (See 12.9.3.16.C.—NMAC) Requires a notarial officer who is not a Notary Public to upload a copy of the notarial officer’s official stamp to the Secretary of State prior to the notarial officer’s initial notarial act. (See 12.9.3.16.D.—NMAC)

Journal
Requires a current or former Notary Public to store the journal required under Section 14-14A-18 NMSA 1978 in a secure location under the Notary’s sole control, unless a current or former Notary Public transmits the journal to the Secretary of State or state records officer. Requires a notarial officer to provide a copy of a requested journal entry or audiovisual recording related to a specified notarial act to a member of the public upon request pursuant to Section 14-14A-29 NMSA 1978. Provides that such request shall name the subject of the record and the date the notarial act was performed. (See 12.9.3.15.A.-C.—NMAC)

Requires a current or former Notary Public that has transmitted the journal to the state records officer to notify the Secretary of State within 30 days, using the prescribed form. (See 12.9.3.15.D.—NMAC) Allows a former employer of a Notary Public to retain a copy of the Notary’s journal, but such copy must be clearly marked as a copy. (See 12.9.3.15.E.—NMAC)

Provides various requirements for an electronic journal, notably that entries from the electronic journal must be available to the public or the state ethics commission in a PDF format; and that an electronic journal turned over to the Secretary of State or the state records officer shall be transferred in PDF format. (See 12.9.3.15.F.—NMAC)


Requires a Notary Public whose journal is lost or stolen to promptly notify the Secretary of State utilizing a form prescribed by the Secretary. (See 12.9.3.15.G.—NMAC)

Requires a notarial officer authorized to perform remote online notarizations to adhere to the rule on journals pursuant to 12.9.3.16—NMAC. Requires a notarial officer authorized to perform remote online notarizations to record in his/her/their journal entry the name of the remote online notarization system provider used for each remote online notarization, in addition to the other journal information required by statute. (See 12.9.4.15.B.—NMAC)

Electronic, Remote Online Notarizations
Clarifies that a notarial officer may apply and must receive approval before conducting remote online notarizations pursuant to NMAC 12.9.4.8. (See 12.9.3.8.D.—NMAC) Provides detailed remote online notarization application requirements. (See 12.9.4.8.A.-F.—NMAC) Requires an applicant for approval to conduct remote online notarizations to provide proof of having successfully completed an approved training course, and proof of passing the required exam with a score of 80% or higher. (See 12.9.4.8.A.(4) and 12.9.4.9.C.—NMAC) Provides that the fee for administering the training and examination is not included in the $75 fee for applying to perform remote online notarizations. (See 12.9.4.9.B.—NMAC)


Allows a Notary Public or notarial officer to charge the maximum fees pursuant to NMSA 14-14A-28 and a fee not exceeding $20 for each remote notarial act. Clarifies that for an in-person notarization of an electronic record, a Notary Public must follow the statutory fee structure provided in NMSA 14-14A-28. (See 12.9.3.11.A.-B.)

Provides extensive standards and procedures for performance of notarial acts for remotely located individuals, including that the electronic notarial certificate for a remote online notarization must clearly state that the remotely located signing the record appeared using communication technology. (See 12.9.4.16—NMAC) .

Requires a notarial officer authorized to perform remote online notarizations to be physically located in New Mexico at the time the notarial act takes place. Allows a notarial officer who is authorized to perform remote online notarizations to do so only if the individual personally appears before the notarial officer at the time of the notarization by means of communication technology. (See 12.9.4.10.A.-B.—NMAC)


Provides that a notarial officer who is authorized to perform remote online notarizations may make a reasonable determination regarding whether an individual is under duress or being coerced to complete a transaction by (a) observing the individual’s behavior for signs of being nervous, fearful, hesitant, distracted, distraught or uncomfortable, (b) observing the surroundings and watch the behavior of others in the room who seem to make the individual uncomfortable, (c) requesting to speak privately with the individual, and (d) asking direct questions such as “are you signing this record of your own free will?” Provides that a notarial officer may refuse to perform a notarial act if the notarial officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the individual is acting under coercion or undue influence. (See 12.9.4.10.C.-D.—NMAC)

Requires a notarial officer authorized to perform remote online notarizations to verify the identity of the individual at the start of an online notarial session by means of communication technology pursuant to NMSA 14-14A-6 or NMAC 12.9.4.11. Prohibits a notarial officer from basing identification merely on familiarity with a remotely located individual’s signature or an electronic verification process that authenticates the individual’s electronic signature without the individual personally appearing before the notarial officer by two-way audio and video communication technology. (See 12.9.4.10.E.-F.—NMAC)

Requires a notarial officer authorized to perform remote online notarizations to refuse to complete the notarial act if the officer: (1) is unable to verify the identity of the individual in compliance with the rules: (2) becomes aware that communication technology is not secure; (3) determines the signature of the individual cannot be attached to the electronic record; or (4) cannot attach the officer’s electronic stamp to the electronic record using technology that renders any subsequent change or modification to the record evident. (See 12.9.4.10.G.—NMAC)


Requires the notarial officer who performs a remote online notarization to complete and affix or attach the officer’s signature and official stamp to the electronic notarial certificate, and requires the electronic notarial certificate for a remote online notarization to meet the requirements of NMSA 14-14A-14 Subsection A. (See 12.9.4.10.H.—NMAC)

Specifies certain requirements for the communication technology used for a remote online notarization. Provides that communication technology used for a remote online notarization must provide reasonable security measures to prevent unauthorized access to the live transmission of the audiovisual feeds, the methods used to perform the identity proofing process, and the electronic record that is the subject of the notarial act. (See 12.9.4.12.A.-C.—NMAC)


Requires a notarial officer authorized to perform remote online notarizations to stop and restart the remote online notarization process from the beginning if the: (1) remotely located individual or the remote notarial officer must exit the remote online notarization system before the completion of the notarial act; (2) audio or visual feed is interrupted or terminated; or (3) resolution or quality of the transmission becomes such that the remote notarial officer believes the process has been compromised and cannot be completed. (See 12.9.4.12.C.—NMAC)

Requires a notarial officer to verify that each remote online notarization system provider has an active status with the Secretary of State before using that provider’s remote online notarization system to perform a remote notarization, and requires such verification for each remote online notarization. (See 12.9.4.12.D.—NMAC)


Requires a notarial officer authorized to perform remote online notarization to retain the audiovisual recording required under MMSA 14-14A-5 Subsection C(4) on a computer, storage device, or online storage that protects the audiovisual recording against unauthorized access by password or cryptographic process. Requires the audiovisual recording to be created in an open file format and not include images of any record in which a remotely located individual made a statement or on which the remotely located individual executed a signature. (See 12.9.4.14 NMAC)

Provides actions to be taken, upon the death or adjudication of incompetency of a current or former notarial officer, by the notarial officer's personal representative or guardian or any other person knowingly in possession of an audiovisual recording. (See 14.9.4.14.B., NMAC)


Authorizes a notarial officer, a guardian, conservator, or agent of a notarial officer, or a personal representative of a deceased notarial officer to, by written contract, engage a third person to act as a secure repository to provide the storage required by NMAC 12.9.4.14 Subsection C. Provides requirements for such contract with a secure repository. (See 12.9.4.14.C.(1)-(3)—NMAC)

Regarding an electronic certificate of a notarial act for a remote online notarization, provides that the requirement for such certificate to clearly state that the remotely located individual signing the record appeared using communication technology is met if the statement is substantially as follows: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.” (See 12.9.4.16.A., NMAC)


Clarifies that a tangible copy of an electronic record, certified as a true copy by a notarial officer, shall be considered an original record. Requires a certified tangible copy of an electronic record to include a notarial certificate substantially in the short form provided in NMSA 14-14A-15 Subsection E. (See 12.9.4.16.B., NMAC)

Prescribes the requirements for the identity proofing utilized in a remote online notarization (for principal signers who are not personally known). Specifies the requirements to be met by the credential analysis and knowledge-based authentication methods of identifying remotely located individuals. Clarifies that a credible witness used to verify the identity of a remotely located individual may be remotely located if the notarial officer, credible witness, and remotely located individual can communicate simultaneously by using communication technology. (See 12.9.4.11.A.-C.—NMAC)


Establishes detailed standards and procedures for remote online notarization system providers including:
  • A provider must submit an application, on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State, before the provider can provide its remote online notarization system to a New Mexico notarial officer. Provides that the Secretary of State shall list, as active, approved providers on its website.
  • No later than 30 days before making any substantial changes or feature enhancements to the remote online notarization previously approved by the Secretary of State, a provider must request approval from the Secretary and notify the New Mexico notarial officers using its system.
  • The Secretary of State may terminate approval of a provider for certain specified reasons.
(See 12.9.4.17.A.; D.2.; and F.—NMAC)


Clarifies that a notarial officer not commissioned as a Notary Public, who desires to be authorized to conduct RONs, shall follow the authorization application procedures under 12.9.4.8.—NMAC. Further clarifies that upon the Secretary’s approval that the (non-commissioned) notarial officer may perform RONs, the notarial officer shall comply with these administrative rules and all statutes applicable to a commissioned Notary Public performing RONs. (See 12.9.4.18.A., B.—NMAC)

Clarifies that a Notary Public with an appointment or renewal date prior to the effective date of the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts who desires to be authorized to perform RONs shall follow the application process prescribed by Subsection B of 12.9.4.8. NMAC to apply to be authorized to perform RONs. (See 12.9.4.19—NMAC)

 
NEW YORK -- SB 1780
Effective June 20, 2022
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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.)

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NEW YORK – SB 7780
Effective February 25, 2022
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Moves the June 20, 2022 effective date of “permanent” remote notarization provisions enacted in 2021 to January 31, 2023. Establishes, effective immediately, “temporary” remote notarization provisions that are effective through January 30, 2023. Enacts remote ink notarization provisions that are repealed on January 30, 2023.

Temporary Remote Notarization Provisions (Effective Through January 30, 2023)
Definitions. Defines “communication technology,” “credential,” “credential analysis,” “electronic,” “electronic record,” “electronic signature,” “identity proofing,” “notarial act,” “principal,” “record,” “remote notarization,” “remote presentation,” “wet signature,” and “outside the United States.”

Authorization, Procedures and Requirements. Allows any commissioned New York Notary to perform a remote notarization on electronic or paper documents, using communication technology allowing the Notary to interact with a principal and subject to all statutory conditions. The Notary Public must be physically situated in New York State at the time of the remote notarization; the principal may be situated anywhere including outside New York and/or outside the United States, subject to specified conditions.

Establishes that the provisions of temporary Executive Law 135-c shall not be construed to require any Notary Public to perform a remote notarization. Further provides that the provisions of temporary Executive Law 135c shall not be construed to require a Notary Public to use an electronic signature to perform a remote notarization, and clarifies that a remote notarization may be completed by wet signature or electronic signature. Authorizes a Notary Public to refuse to perform a notarial act if the Notary Public is not satisfied that (a) the principal is competent or has the capacity to execute a record; or (b) that the principal’s signature is knowingly and voluntarily made.


Provides the required attributes of a Notary Public’s electronic signature when the Notary performs a remote notarization relating to an electronic record (capable of independent verification; retained under the Notary’s sole control’ attached or logically associated with the electronic record; and linked to the data such that any subsequent alterations to the underlying electronic record are detectable and may invalidate the notarial act.

Establishes that notwithstanding Article Nine of New York’s Real Property Law or any other law to the contrary, any notarial act performed in conformity with the (temporary) law satisfies any requirement of law that a principal personally appear before, be in the presence of, or be in a single time and place with a Notary Public at the time of performance of a notarial act, unless a law expressly excludes the authorization provided for.


Requires a Notary performing a remote notarization using communication technology to:
• Verify the principal’s identity by means of personal knowledge; or all three of the principal’s remote presentation of a credential, credential analysis and identity proofing of the principal; or oath or affirmation of a credible witness who personally knows the principal and who is either personally known to the Notary or who is identified by the Notary (by means noted immediately above). A Notary may require an individual to provide additional information or ID credentials needed to assure the Notary of the principal’s identity.
• Utilize communication technology that allows real-time, direct interaction between the principal and the Notary.
• Ensure an audio-video recording of the remote notarization is made, and must retain the recording for at least 10 years.
• Take reasonable steps to ensure that a backup of the recording exists and is secured against unauthorized use. (A Notary may authorize a third party to retain the recordings on the Notary’s behalf, provided that all such recordings are available to the Secretary of State upon request.
• Ensure he/she/they can reasonably confirm that a record before the Notary is the same record in which the principal made a statement or on which the principal executed a signature.
• Maintain a journal of each remote notarization performed and upon demand, produce the journal for inspection by the Secretary of State.


Requires a notarial act performed remotely to contain a statement substantially like: “This remote notarial act involved the use of communication technology.” (Generally appearing in the notarial certificate.)

Authorizes a Notary Public to certify that a tangible copy of the signature page and document type of an electronic record remotely notarized by the Notary is an accurate copy of such electronic record. Requires such certification to be dated and signed by the Notary (with the Notary’s official signature on file with the Secretary of State) and to comply with Executive Law Section 137. Provides for the acceptance into public records (recording) by a county clerk, city registrar or other recording officer, where applicable, of such tangible copy of an electronic record when the record is otherwise eligible to be recorded under New York law. Provides statutory language for a sufficient “Certificate of Authenticity” (the notarial certificate) for a certified tangible copy of the signature page and document type of an electronic record.


Provides that a Notary Public shall maintain a journal in which all remote notarizations are recorded for as long as the Notary remains in office, and for an additional five years thereafter. Requires journal entries to be made contemporaneously (at the same time as) performance of each remote notarization. Provides the required information to be entered into each journal entry.

Provides procedural requirements for a remote notarization involving paper documents.

Establishes the fees a Notary Public may receive for performing specified notarial acts by means of remote notarization.


Rulemaking, Secretary of State. Authorizes the Secretary of State to promulgate regulations establishing minimum standards for various aspects of remote notarization, as well as for any other matters necessary to administer the provisions set forth in SB 7780.

Other Provisions. Establishes circumstances justifying a civil cause of action by persons suffering actual damages resulting from a principal violating the temporary remote notarization provisions set forth in SB 7780. Affirms the Secretary of State’s statutory authority to suspend or remote from office any Notary Public that violates these provisions.

Permanent Remote Notarization Provisions (Effective January 31, 2023)
Amends Section 137-a of New York’s Executive Law, which was enacted in 2021 and now will be effective on January 31, 2023.

Amends references to “electronic document” to “electronic record.” Establishes definitions for “principal,” and “record.”


Clarifies that any New York Notary Public will be authorized to perform an electronic notarial act by means of audio-video communication technology allowing the Notary to interact with a principal and subject to conditions set forth in statutes.

Requires that regulations by the Secretary of State to establish standards for performance of (permanent; i.e. post-January 31, 2023) remote notarizations shall include a standard requiring two or more different processes for authenticating the identity of a remotely located individual utilizing technology in order to detect and deter fraud, but also allow a Notary Public’s personal knowledge of a document signer to satisfy such requirement.

Clarifies that a Notary Public’s registration with the Secretary of State of his/her/their capability to notarize electronically shall involve payment of a fee set by regulation.


Clarifies that any notarial act authorized by Executive Law Section 135 may be performed as an electronic notarization on any instrument in writing that under applicable law may be signed with an electronic signature, provided the Notary is reasonably able to confirm that such instrument is the same instrument in which the principal made a statement or on which the principal executed a signature.

Establishes certain requirements for a New York Notary’s remote notarization involving a principal located outside the United States: the record or subject of the notarial act must be intended 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 it shall involve property located in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States or shall involve a transaction substantially connected to the United States.


Clarifies that a Notary Public shall use/apply an electronic signature when performing an electronic notarial act relating to instruments in writing.

Clarifies that the remote online notarial certificate for an electronic notarial act shall state that the person making the acknowledgment or making the oath appeared through use of communication technology.

Provides that a Notary Public may use electronic means to affix, beneath the Notary’s signature in a notarial certificate for an electronic notarial act, information conveying the Notary’s authority (the Notary’s name, “Notary Public, State of New York,” etc.)

Establishes that the provisions of permanent Executive Law 135-c shall not be construed to require any Notary Public to perform a remote notarization. Authorizes a Notary Public to refuse to perform a notarial act if the Notary Public is not satisfied that (a) the principal is competent or has the capacity to execute a record; or (b) that the principal’s signature is knowingly and voluntarily made.


Establishes that notwithstanding Article Nine of New York’s Real Property Law or any other law to the contrary, any notarial act performed in conformity with the law satisfies any requirement of law that a principal personally appear before, be in the presence of, or be in a single time and place with a Notary Public at the time of performance of a notarial act, unless a law expressly excludes the authorization provided for.

Authorizes a Notary Public to certify that a tangible copy of the signature page and document type of an electronic record remotely notarized by the Notary is an accurate copy of such electronic record. Requires such certification to be dated and signed by the Notary (with the Notary’s official signature on file with the Secretary of State) and to comply with Executive Law Section 137. Provides for the acceptance into public records (recording) by a county clerk, city registrar or other recording officer, where applicable, of such tangible copy of an electronic record when the record is otherwise eligible to be recorded under New York law. Provides statutory language for a sufficient “Certificate of Authenticity” (the notarial certificate) for a certified tangible copy of the signature page and document type of an electronic record.
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NEW YORK – SB 888
Signed March 12, 2021
Effective: “This act takes effect on the same date and in the same manner as a chapter of the laws of 2020 amending the general obligations law relating to reforming the statutory short form and other powers of attorney for purposes of financial and estate planning, as proposed in legislative bills numbers S.3923-a and A.5630-a, takes effect.” [Bill excerpt]
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Allows New York Notaries Public to serve as both Notary and a subscribing (signing) witness with regard to the statutory short form and other powers of attorney, for purposes of financial and estate planning, that are executed as prescribed in Section 3-2.1 of New York's Estate, Powers and Trusts law. Provides that such witnesses cannot be named in the instrument as agents or as permissible recipients of gifts.
 
NORTH CAROLINA – HB 196
Signed March 11, 2021
Effective (relevant bill section) March 1, 2021
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Extends the temporary authorization for North Carolina Notaries to perform remote notarizations. The authorization, formerly set to expire March 1, 2021 now expires December 31, 2021.
 
NORTH DAKOTA – HB 1077
Effective August 1, 2021
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Allows for an individual (testator) to create an electronic will. Provides that an electronic will may be simultaneously executed, attested and made self-proving by acknowledgment of the testator and affidavits of the witnesses (N.D.C.C. Sec. 30.1-37-06). Establishes that an electronic will is a will for all purposes of the law of North Dakota, and that North Dakota law applicable to wills and principles of equity apply to an electronic will except as modified by newly created Chapter 30.1037 of North Dakota Century Code (N.D.C.C. Sec. 30.1-37-03).

Provides requirements for execution of an electronic will (N.D.C.C. 30.1-37-04). Provides for an electronic will to be made self-proving. Specifies that the acknowledgment and affidavits required for execution of an electronic will must be made before an (duly authorized) officer and evidenced by the officer’s certificate under official seal affixed to or logically associated with the electronic will (N.D.C.C. Sec. 30.1-37-06). Provides statutory forms for the required acknowledgment and affidavits.

Establishes choice of law regarding execution of an electronically executed will (N.D.C.C. 30.1-37-03). Clarifies that the Act applies to the will of a decedent who dies after July 31, 2021 (Bill Section 2).

 
OREGON – SB 765
Effective June 15, 2021
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Amends multiple sections of existing Oregon Notary law.

Authorizes a notarial officer to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record (Bill Section 1; ORS 194.225).

Provides that the official stamp of a Notary Public is an official notarial seal for all purposes under the laws of Oregon (Bill Section 2, ORS 194.290).

Establishes that an Oregon county clerk may accept for recording a tangible copy of an electronic record containing a notarial certificate, and that such tangible copy satisfies 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 (Bill Section 3, ORS 194.305). Provides that a tangible copy of an electronic record containing a notarial certificate—accepted by a county clerk before June 30, 2020—is subject to validating or curative Acts applicable to Chapter 12, Oregon Laws 2020 (Bill Section 4, ORS 93.810).

Establishes that an Oregon Notary Public may charge a fee not exceeding $25 per notarial act performed for a remotely located individual (Bill Section 5; ORS 194.400).

Repeals Section 32, Chapter 12, Oregon Laws 2020 (first special session) (Bill Section 6). Provides that SB 765 would take effect upon passage due to its necessity for the immediate preservation of the public peach, health and safety (Bill Section 7).

 
SOUTH CAROLINA – SB 631
Effective May 18, 2021
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Enacts the “South Carolina Electronic Notary Public Act.”

Provides definitions for key terms: “capable of independent verification,” “electronic,” “electronic document” or “electronic record,” “electronic journal of notarial acts” or “electronic journal,” “electronic notarial act” or “electronic notarization,” “electronic notarial certificate,” “electronic notarization system,” “electronic Notary Public” or “electronic Notary,” “electronic Notary seal” or “electronic seal,” “electronic signature,” “principal,” “public key certificate,” “record,” “sole control,” “tamper evident,” “verification or fact.” (Sec. 26-2-5)


Establishes that a Notary Public wishing to perform electronic notarial acts must first register with the Secretary of State in accordance with the Secretary’s administrative rules. Authorizes the Secretary of State to promulgate and enforce any regulations and create and enforce any policies and procedures necessary for administration of Chapter 2/Electronic Notaries Public (Sec. 26-2-190). Provides that electronic Notary Public applications will not be accepted for processing until the administrative rules are in effect and vendors of technology are approved by the Secretary of State (bill Section 6).

Establishes an electronic Notary Public registration fee of $50. Provides that the term of such registration begins on the date set by the Secretary of State and continues as long as the Notary’s current commission remains valid. Requires Notaries registering to perform electronic notarial acts to complete a course and examination approved by the Secretary of State. (Sec. 26-2-20; 26-2-30)


Establishes the notarial acts that may be performed electronically (Sec. 26-2-40). Provides that South Carolina Notary law applicable to notarial certificates for (traditional) notarizations are applicable to notarial certificates involving electronic notarizations (Sec. 26-2-160).

Provides that an electronic Notary Public must adhere to all applicable rules (statutes, administrative rules) governing notarial acts in South Carolina (Sec. 26-2-50). Prescribes the requirements of a notarial certificate for an electronic notarial act, including the electronic Notary’s electronic signature and electronic seal (Sec. 26-2-60). Requires that such information such be attached in a tamper-evident manner (Sec. 26-2-100), and that evidence of tampering may invalidate the electronic notarial act. Clarifies that if an electronic seal is not used, the words “Electronic Notary Public” and “State of South Carolina” must still be attached (Sec. 26-2-60).

Provides the information that must be included in the electronic seal of an electronic Notary Public. Further provides that the electronic seal may be a digital image that appears in the likeness or representation of a traditional physical Notary Public seal. Prohibits use of an South Carolina electronic Notary seal for any purpose other than performing electronic notarizations. Requires that only the electronic Notary Public shall generate the Notary’s electronic seal (Sec. 26-2-60). Requires that an electronic Notary’s electronic signature, in combination with the Notary’s electronic seal, must be used only for the purpose of performing electronic notarial acts (Sec. 26-2-80). Requires an electronic Notary to take reasonable steps to ensure that any device used to create the electronic Notary’s electronic signature is registered with the Secretary of State, and is current (not revoked or terminated by its issuing or registering authority) (Sec. 26-2-130). Requires the Secretary of State to promulgate regulations establishing the standards, procedures, practices, forms and records relating to an electronic Notary’s electronic signature and electronic seal, and requires an electronic Notary’s electronic signature and electronic seal to conform to all such standards (Sec. 26-2-80). Establishes procedures for the electronic Notary for various events related to the device used to create the Notary’s electronic signature (Sec. 26-2-130).


Establishes a maximum fee of $10 per signature for an Electronic Notary’s performance of acknowledgments, oaths and affirmations, attestations and jurats, signature witnessing, verifications of fact, and any other acts authorized by law (Sec. 26-2-70). [Reporter’s note: the maximum fee for traditional (paper) notarial acts remains $5.] Allows an electronic Notary Public to charge a travel fee if the Notary and the person requesting the notarial act agree upon the travel fee in advance, and the Notary explains that the travel fee is separate from the fee the a notarial act and is neither mandated nor specified by law. Requires an electronic Notary Public who charges fees to conspicuously display a schedule of maximum fees or provide such to each principal or requester of fact when not at such place where the fee schedule would be displayed (Sec. 26-2-70).

Requires electronic notarization systems used by an electronic Notary Public to perform electronic notarial acts to be registered with the Secretary of State, comply with the South Carolina Electronic Notary Public Act and all Secretary of State regulations (Sec. 26-2-110), and be actively registered with the Secretary of State before providing any updates or subsequently versions of an electronic notarization system available to South Carolina electronic Notaries (Sec. 26-2-120).

Provides requirements relating to an electronic notarization system used by an electronic Notary Public. Such systems must comply with South Carolina Notary law and administrative rules of the Secretary of State (Sec. 26-2-110), produce the electronic Notary’s electronic signature and electronic seal in a manner capable of independent verification, and be registered with the Secretary of State. Further requires an electronic notarization to require access by a password or other secure means of authentication, enable an electronic Notary to affix his/her/their electronic signature in a manner that attributes the signature to the electronic Notary, and that renders every electronic notarial act tamper-evident (Sec. 26-2-110).

Requires an electronic Notary Public to take reasonable steps to ensure no other individual may possess or access an electronic notarization system, and requires the electronic Notary’s sole control of such electronic notarization system (Sec. 26-2-80). Provides the circumstances when an electronic Notary or his/her/their personal representative or guardian must dispose of all or any part of the Notary’s electronic notarization system (Sec. 26-2-110). Provides an exception if an electronic Notary is reregistered/recommissioned as an electronic Notary within three months after commission expiration (Sec. 26-2-110).

Requires an electronic Notary Public to create and maintain an electronic journal of each electronic notarial act. Establishes the information that must be recorded in every electronic journal entry. Prohibits any other person’s use of an electronic Notary’s electronic journal; and prohibits an electronic Notary from surrendering the electronic journal to an employer upon termination of employment (Sec. 26-2-90). Establishes requirements for inspection or request of a journal record copy by a party; allows the electronic Notary to charge a reasonable to recover any cost of providing an electronic journal record copy. Establishes conditions allowing an electronic Notary to deny access to the electronic journal record or records; and provides that all such records may be examined and copied without restriction by law enforcement in the course of an official investigation, subpoenaed by court order, or surrendered at direction of the Secretary of State (Sec. 26-2-90). Requires the Secretary of State to establish commercially reasonable standards for preservation of electronic journals (Sec. 26-2-90).

Requires an electronic Notary Public to keep his/her/their electronic journal, public key certificate and electronic Notary seal secure; prohibits use by another person of these items (Sec. 26-2-100). Also regarding these items, mandates that an electronic Notary shall immediately notify the appropriate law enforcement agency and the Secretary of State of theft, vandalism, loss or use by another person (Sec. 26-2-100). Provides when an electronic Notary or the Notary’s personal representative shall erase, delete or destroy the coding, disk, certificate, card software, file or program enabling the electronic Notary’s use of his/her/their electronic signature (Sec. 26-2-100).


Establishes that the liability, sanctions and remedies for an electronic Notary’s improper performance of electronic notarial acts, or provision of false or misleading information in registering to perform electronic notarial acts, as the same as the law provides for improper performance of nonelectronic notarial acts (Sec. 26-2-140). Provides circumstances under which the Secretary of State may terminate an electronic Notary Public’s registration, and clarifies that neither resignation nor termination of an electronic Notary’s registration precludes or terminates an investigation by the Secretary of State into the electronic Notary’s conduct (Sec. 26-20140).

Provides when a person’s actions or conduct—relating to an electronic Notary Public; or impersonating an electronic Notary Public; or performing prohibited acts affecting an electronic Notary Public’s electronic signature, electronic seal or single element combining both of these—are unlawful and establishes that such actions or conduct are a misdemeanor (Sec. 25-2-150).

Clarifies that nothing in the South Carolina Electronic Notary Public Act contravenes (i.e., conflicts to other law’s detriment) the South Carolina law requiring a licensed South Carolina attorney to supervise a closing (bill Section 5).

 
SOUTH DAKOTA – SB 193
Signed March 18, 2021
Effective July 1, 2021
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Amends South Dakota Notary law pertaining to remote notarizations*:

• Replaces prior law's definition of “communication technology” with a new definition for "video communication technology” (an electronic device or process that allows a notarial officer physically located in this state and a remotely located person not in the physical presence of the notarial officer to communicate in real-time with each other simultaneously by sight and sound and that, as necessary, makes reasonable accommodation for individuals with vision, hearing, or speech impairments).

• Defines “personal knowledge” (a notarial officer has personal knowledge of the identity of an individual appearing before the officer if either: (a) The individual is personally known to the officer through dealings sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed. The notarial officer must have known and had regular interactions with the individual for an extended period of time. A mere acquaintance does not amount to personal knowledge for purposes of this definition; or (b) the notarial officer represents the individual as their attorney, real estate agent, auctioneer, or public accountant, or any combination thereof.)

• Clarifies the provisions and requirements of law allowing a notarial officer of South Dakota, while located in South Dakota, to perform a notarial act executed on a tangible document by a person not in the physical presence of the notarial officer but observed by the notarial officer through means of video communication technology.

• Establishes the form of a certificate of acknowledgment for notarizations performed using video communication technology, and requires such certificates to be in substantially that form.

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*NOTE: South Dakota authorizes remote notarizations with regard to tangible documents, only.
 
TENNESSEE HB 633
Signed April 21, 2021
Effective July 1, 2021
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Provides for an attorney or custodian of an original document to certify, by oath or affirmation before a Notary Public, that an electronic copy of an electronic document is a true and correct copy of the electronic document. Establishes procedural requirements, including that the certification must be transmitted with the electronic document and recorded by the county register as a part of the document being registered. Provides the form (wording) of the certification to be made and specifies that it must be in no less than 10-point font.

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TENNESSEE SB 509
Signed April 28, 2021
Effective April 28, 2021
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Amends Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 36-3-301(a) (Domestic Relations code). Deletes mayors of any municipality in Tennessee from the statutory list of individuals who are authorized to solemnize marriages, and adds Tennessee Notaries Public to the list.
 
UTAH—HB 276
Signed March 16, 2021
Effective May 5, 2021
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Revises commission eligibility requirements by allowing non-residents employed in the state for at least 30 days immediately preceding application to apply for a Notary commission. Clarifies that ceasing to be employed in Utah compels a non-resident Notary to resign his or her/their commission. Makes conforming amendments.
 
VERMONT - HB 526
Most provisions effective 7-1-19; see effective date comments at end of bill summary
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Enacts Vermont’s Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (“the Act”; term used throughout this summary) by adding Chapter 103 to Title 26 of Vermont Statutes Annotated. Amends provisions of Vermont’s Property Code (Title 27), and repeals provisions in other Code Titles.

1. Creates the following definitions:
• “Acknowledgment” ― a declaration by an individual before a Notary Public that the individual has signed a record for the purpose stated in the record and, if the record is signed in a representative capacity, that the individual signed the record with proper authority and signed it as the act of the individual or entity identified in the record.
• “Certificate” or “notarial certificate” ― the part of, or attachment to, a notarized document that is completed by a Notary Public, bears the required information set forth in Section 5367 of the Act, and states the facts attested to or certified by the Notary Public in a particular notarization.
• “Commission term” ― the two-year period commencing on February 1 and continuing through January 31 of the second year following the commencement of the term.
• “Electronic” ― relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
• “Electronic signature” ― an electronic symbol, sound, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by an individual with the intent to sign the record.
• “In a representative capacity” ― acting as:
a. an authorized officer, agent, partner, trustee, or other representative for a person other than an individual;
b. a public officer, personal representative, guardian, administrator, executor, trustee, or other representative, in the capacity stated in a record;
c. an agent or attorney-in-fact for a principal; or
d. an authorized representative of another in any other capacity.
• “Notarial act” ― an act, whether performed with respect to a tangible or an electronic record, that a Notary Public may perform under the law of this State. The term includes taking an acknowledgment, administering an oath or affirmation, taking a verification on oath or affirmation, attesting a signature, and noting a protest of a negotiable instrument. “Notarial act” does not include a corporate officer attesting to another corporate officer’s signature in the ordinary course of the corporation’s business. (Nothing in the Act shall be construed to require the use of a Notary Public to witness a signature that is allowed by law to be witnessed by an individual who is not a Notary Public.)
• “Notarial officer” ― a Notary Public or other individual authorized to perform a notarial act.
• “Notary Public” ― an individual commissioned to perform a notarial act by the Office.
• “Office” ― the Office of Professional Regulation within the Office of the Secretary of State.
• “Official stamp” ― a physical image affixed to or embossed on a tangible record or an electronic process, seal, or image or electronic information attached to or logically associated with an electronic record.
• “Person” ― an individual, corporation, business trust, statutory trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation, government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity.
• “Record” ― information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
• “Sign” ― means with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record:
a. to execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or
b. to attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol, sound, or process.
• “Signature” ― a tangible symbol or an electronic signature that evidences the signing of a record.
• “Stamping device” ― a physical device capable of affixing to or embossing on a tangible record an official stamp; or an electronic device or process capable of attaching to or logically associating with an electronic record an official stamp.
• “State” ― a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
• “Verification on oath or affirmation” ― a declaration, made by an individual on oath or affirmation before a Notary Public, that a statement in a record is true.

2. Establishes provisions dealing with commissioning and related requirements.
• Provides qualifications for obtaining a Notary Public commission: 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 Vermont; not be disqualified to receive a commission under Section 5342 of the Act; pass a Secretary of State-approved basic examination based on the statutes, rules and ethics of Vermont notarial law.
• Requires applicants to comply with, and provide information required by, rules adopted by the Office (Professional Regulation within the Office of the Secretary of State), and pay the application fee.
• Requires an applicant to execute an oath of office and submit it to the Office before a Notary Public commission may be issued.
• Provides that the Office shall issue a Notary Public commission to applicants who have complied with commissioning requirements. Clarifies that the commission authorizes the Notary Public to perform notarial acts, and does not provide the Notary Public with any immunity or benefit conferred by Vermont law on public officials or employees.
• Sets a commission issuance fee of $15.
• Provides grounds for the Office to deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or impose a condition on a Notary Public’s commission. Also provides for the applicant’s or Notary Public’s entitlement to timely notice and hearing in accordance with Vermont law.
• Requires the Office to biennially provide a commission renewal notice to each Notary Public.
• Requires a Notary Public seeking commission renewal to complete, during the preceding two-year period, continuing education approved by the Office. Requires the Office, with the advice of advisor appointees, to establish by rule the guidelines and criteria for continuing education credit.

3. Provides requirements for an official stamp and the stamping device.
• Requires, for notarial acts regarding a tangible record, that a Notary Public use an official stamp affixed to or embossed on the notarial certificate; or alternately, the Notary Public shall clearly print or type his or her name and commission number on the certificate.
• For notarial acts regarding an electronic record, provides a Notary Public the option of using an official stamp attached to or logically associated with the certificate IF the certificate is signed and dated by the Notary Public; identifies the jurisdiction where the notarial act was performed; and contains the Notary Public’s title of office.
• Requires a Notary Public’s official stamp to include the Notary Public’s name, jurisdiction and other information required by the Office; and be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed to attached, or with which it is logically associated.
• Establishes a Notary Public’s responsibility for the security of his or her stamping device, and prohibits the Notary Public from allowing another individual to use the device to perform a notarial act.
• Requires a Notary Public or his/her personal representative or guardian to promptly notify the Office upon discovering that the Notary Public’s stamping device or lost or stolen.

4. Authorizes a Notary Public to perform notarial acts in Vermont, establishes authorized notarial acts regarding tangible and electronic records, and sets forth requirements and procedures for performing them.
• Authorizes a commissioned Notary Public of Vermont to perform, in Vermont, a notarial act authorized by the Act or other law of Vermont.
• Authorizes a Notary Public to perform notarial acts on tangible and electronic records.
• Establishes that the signature and title of an individual performing a notarial act in Vermont are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title.
• Provides the requirements for performance of the following notarial acts: taking an acknowledgment; taking a verification of a statement on oath or affirmation; attesting a signature; making or noting a protest.
• 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 Notary Public.
• Provides that personal appearance is satisfied if the Notary Public and the person executing the signature are in the same physical place; or the Notary Public and the person are communicating through a secure communication link using protocols and standards prescribed in rules adopted by the Secretary of State pursuant to the rulemaking authority granted by the Act.
• Establishes that a Notary Public has personal knowledge of the identity of an individual appearing before the Notary if the individual is personally known to the Notary through dealings sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed.
• Establishes that a Notary Public has satisfactory evidence of the identity of an individual appearing before the Notary if the Notary can identify the individual (1) by means of a passport, driver’s license, or government issued non-driver identification card which is current or expired not more than three years before performance of the notarial act; or another form of government identification issued to an individual, which is current or expired not more than three years before performance of the notarial act, contains the signature or a photograph of the individual, and is satisfactory to the officer; or (2) by a verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally appearing before the officer and known to the officer or whom the officer can identify on the basis of a passport, driver’s license, or government issued non-driver identification card, which is current or expired not more than three years before performance of the notarial act.
• Allows a Notary Public to require an individual to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to assure the Notary of the individual’s identity.
• Authorizes an individual who is physically unable to sign a record to direct an individual other than the Notary Public to sign the individual’s name on the record, and requires the Notary Public to insert “Signature affixed by (name of other individual) at the direction of (name of individual)” or words of similar import.
• Requires a notarial act to be evidenced by a certificate, which must: (a) be executed contemporaneously with performance of the notarial act; (b) be signed and dated by the Notary Public who must sign in the same manner as on file with the Office; (c) identify the jurisdiction [venue] in which the notarial act is performed; (d) contain the title of office of the Notary Public; and (e) indicate the date of expiration of the Notary’s commission.
• Establishes that a notarial certificate is sufficient if it meets the requirements of the Act’s Section 5367, subsections (a) and (b) and: it is in a short form provided in Section 5368 of the Act; it is in a form otherwise permitted by Vermont law; it is in a form permitted by law applicable to the jurisdiction in which the notarial act was performed; or it sets forth the actions of the Notary Public and the actions are sufficient to meet the requirements of the notarial act as provided in Sections 5362-5364 of the Act, or other Vermont law.
• Prohibits a Notary Public from affixing to the certificate, or logically associating with the certificate, his or her signature until the notarial act has been performed.
• Requires, for notarial acts regarding a tangible record, that a Notary Public use an official stamp affixed to or embossed on the notarial certificate; or alternately, the Notary Public shall clearly print or type his or her name and commission number on the certificate.
• For notarial acts regarding an electronic record, provides a Notary Public the option of using an official stamp attached to or logically associated with the certificate IF the certificate is signed and dated by the Notary Public; identifies the jurisdiction where the notarial act was performed; and contains the Notary Public’s title of office.
• Requires a notarial certificate to be part of, or securely attached to, a tangible record. Requires a certificate to be affixed to, or logically associated with, an electronic record. Requires a Notary Public to conform to any standards established by the Office for attaching, affixing or logically associating the certificate with the record.
• Provides that by executing a notarial certificate, a Notary Public certifies that the Notary has complied with the requirements and made the determinations specified in the Act’s Section 5363-5365.
• Authorizes a Notary Public to refuse to perform a notarial act if he or she 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. Allows a Notary Public to refuse to perform a notarial act unless refusal is prohibited by law other than the Act.

5. Authorizes the Office to adopt rules which may prescribe the manner of performing notarial acts regarding tangible and electronic records (electronic notarization and remote online notarization).
• Establishes that neither electronic notarization nor remote online notarization shall be allowed in Vermont until the Secretary of State has adopted rules and prescribed standards.
• Prohibits adopted rules regarding electronic notarization and remote online notarization from being technology-specific.
• Requires the Office, in adopting, amending or repealing such rules consistent with the Act, to consider the most recent standards promulgated by national bodies such as the National Association of Secretaries of State; standards, practices and customs of other jurisdictions with substantially similar enactments; and the views of government officials and entities and other interested persons.

6. Specifies prohibited acts by a person and Notary Public, and sanctions.
• Prohibits a Notary Public from performing a notarial act regarding a record to which the Notary Public or the Notary Public’s spouse is a party, or in which either the Notary or spouse has a direct beneficial interest. Provides that a notarial act performed in violation of this prohibition is voidable.
• Prohibits a person from:
a. Performing or attempting to perform a notarial act, or holding him- or herself out as being able to do so in Vermont, without first being commissioned.
b. Using in connection with the person’s name any letters, words, or insignia indicating or implying that the person is a Notary Public unless commissioned in accordance with this chapter.
c. Performing or attempting to perform a notarial act while his or her commission has been revoked or suspended
d. Withholding access to or possession of an original record provided by a person seeking performance of a notarial act, except as otherwise allowed by law.
• Subjects persons who violate the prohibitions set forth in the Act’s Sec. 5345 to a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
• Provides that prosecution may occur upon complaint of the Attorney General or a State’s Attorney and shall not act as a bar to civil or administrative proceedings involving the same conduct.
• Establishes that a Notary Public commission shall not authorize an individual to assist a person in drafting legal records, give legal advice, or otherwise practice law.

7. Addresses the validity of a notarial act.
• Establishes that, except as provided in the Act’s Section 5372(b), a Notary Public’s failure to perform a duty or meet a requirement specified in the Act shall not impair the marketability of title or invalidate a notarial act or a certification evidencing the notarial act.
• Provides that an acknowledgment containing an inaccurate or expired Notary Public commission expiration date shall not be invalidated if it can be established that on the date the acknowledgment was taken, the Notary Public’s commission was active. Further provides that the validity of a notarial act performed under the Act shall not prevent an aggrieved person from pursuing invalidation of the record or transaction that is the subject of the notarial act, or from seeking remedies based on either Vermont law other than the Act, or law of the United States.
• Allows a Notary Public whose original notarial act is defective to cure the act (“execute a writing correcting any defect”), under oath and before a different Notary Public. Upon its recording, the corrective document will correct any deficiency and ratify the original written evidence of acknowledgment as of the date the acknowledgment was originally taken.
• Provides for the recordability of a document conveying an interest in real property and, despite any provision of law to the contrary, establishes that such documents if recorded are sufficient for record notice to third parties, notwithstanding a Notary Public’s failure to perform any duty or meet any requirement specified in the Act.
• Clarifies that the Act’s provisions addressing the validity of a notarial act do not validate a purported notarial act performed by an individual who has no authority to perform notarial acts.

8. Authorizes electronic notarization in Vermont and requires a Notary Public to notify the Office of the intent to electronically notarize, but also establishes that neither electronic notarization nor remote online notarization shall be allowed in Vermont until the Secretary of State has adopted rules and prescribed standards. (Also see Item 5 above regarding rules adopted by the Office.)
• Allows a Notary Public (note this permission does not apply to notarial officers) to select one or more tamper-evident technologies to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records. A chosen technology must be approved by the Office pursuant to rules established by the Office.
• Prohibits a person from requiring a Notary Public to perform an electronic notarial act with a technology the Notary Public has not selected.
• Requires a Notary Public, before performing his or her initial notarial act on an electronic record (electronically notarize), to notify the Office that the Notary will be performing electronic notarizations. The Notary Public must also identify the technology he or she intends to use (from the Office’s list of approved technologies).
• Provides that if the Office has established, by rule, standards for approval of technology, the technology shall conform to the standards. If the technology conforms to the standards, the Office shall approve the use of the technology.

9. Establishes mandatory duties of the Secretary of State’s Office (“the Office”) and provides for other authorized activities
• Requires the Office to provide general information to Notary Public commission applicants; administer commission issuance fees; explain appeal procedures to Notaries Public and applicants; explain complaint procedures to the public; and receive applications for commissioning, review applications, and grant and renew commissions when appropriate under the Act.
• Requires the Secretary of State to appoint two Notaries Public to serve as advisors in matters relating to notarial acts. Stipulates that one advisor shall be a licensed attorney selected from a list of at least three provided by the Vermont Bar Association. Advisors serve at the pleasure of the Secretary.
• Provides that advisors shall be appointed for staggered five-year terms, and that one of the initial appointments shall be for less than a five-year term.
• Requires each advisor-appointee to have at least three year of experience as a Notary Public during the period immediately preceding appointment by the Secretary, and to be actively commissioned in Vermont and remain in good standing during incumbency.
• Requires the Office to seek the advice of advisor appointees in carrying out the provisions of the Act.
• Authorizes the Office, with the advice of advisor appointees, to adopt rules to implement the Act. Provides the scope of such rules, which includes (but is not limited to) the manner of performing notarial acts regarding tangible and electronic records; provisions to prevent fraud or mistake in the performance of notarial acts; and technology-neutral standards for remote online notarization.
• Requires the Office to maintain an electronic database of Notaries Public that a person may use to verify the authority of a Notary Public, and that indicates whether a Notary Public has notified the Office that he or she will be performing electronic notarizations.

10. Establishes those persons (individuals) who, when “acting within the scope of their official duties” (defined), are exempt from all the requirements of the Act except as follows:
• applying for a commission as set forth in Section 5341(a), (b)(1)-(3), (c), (d) and (e); and
• paying the commission issuance fee prescribed in Section 5324, unless specifically exempted from doing so by Section 5305, subsection (c).

11. Additional provisions:
• Addresses evidence of authenticity of notarial acts performed in Vermont (apostilles, certificates of authority).
• Provides extensive language affirming cross-jurisdictional recognition of notarial acts.
• Establishes the applicability of HB 526 to notarial acts performed on or after the Act’s effective date; and to Notaries Public performing notarial acts on and after the Act’s effective date. Provides that a Notary Public commission in effect on the Act’s effective shall continue until its expiration date. Requires a Notary Public who applies for a renewal commission on or after HB 526’s effective date to comply with the provisions of the Act.
• Affirms the validity or effect of a notarial act performed prior to the Act’s effective date.
• Repeals the following sections of Vermont statutes (Vermont Statutes Annotated): 24 V.S.A. Chapter 5, Subchapter 9 (Notaries Public); 27 V.S.A. Section 379 (conveyance of real estate; execution and acknowledgment; acknowledgment out of state); 32 V.S.A. §1403(b) (county clerk; Notaries Public without charge or fee); 32 V.S.A. §1436 (fee for certification of appointment as Notary Public); and 32 V.S.A. §1759 (Notaries Public fees).

12. Provides effective dates.
• The Act is effective on July 1, 2019, except that:
a. The bill section detailing effective dates took effect upon passage of HB 526;
b. The Office of Professional Regulation was authorized to adopt rules in advance of assuming the Notary application processing and commissioning duties from Vermont’s assistant judges and county clerks;
c. The examination requirement for new Notary Public applicants and the continuing education requirement for renewing Notary Public applicants (Sections 5341(b)(5) and 5343(b) of the Act) are effective February 1, 2021 and apply to applicants for the Notary Public commission terms that begin on that date.

 
WEST VIRGINIA – SB 469
Signed March 30, 2021
Effective June 17, 2021
View this bill

General Provisions
Enacts remote online notarization in the Mountain State, by creating new sections of its Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts.

Amends statutory personal appearance requirements by allowing the individual making a statement or executing a signature to appear personally before a notarial officer by communication technology as provided in new statutory sections (§39-4-37 or §39-4-38).

Provides for the validity of acknowledgments and notarizations performed by means of remote communication technology pursuant to Section 6 of the Governor’s Executive Order 11-20 (effective March 25, 2020). Cures these specific notarial acts from failure to comply with W. Va. Code §39-4-6, if they were performed in accordance with the Secretary’s emergency rules.

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

Remote Online Notarial Acts
Establishes that a remotely located individual may comply with applicable provisions of law by using communication technology to appear before a Notary Public. Authorizes a Notary Public located in West Virginia to perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual if specified requirements are met regarding identity of the individual; the Notary’s ability to confirm that a record before the Notary Public is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the individual executed a signature; and creation of an audio-visual recording of performance of the notarial act by the Notary Public or person acting on the Notary’s behalf.

Provides that only an Out-of-State Commissioner pursuant to W. Va. Code §39-4A-1 may perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual when such individual is located outside of the United States. Further requires that under this circumstance, the record must be destined 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 West Virginia; or involves property located in or a transaction substantially connected with West Virginia.

Requires that when a notarial act is performed using communication technology for a remotely located individual, the notarial certificate required by W. Va. Code §39-4-15 and the short-form certificate provided in W. Va. Code §39-4-16 must indicate that the notarial act was performed using communication technology. Establishes the sufficiency of such notarial certificates if they comply with legislative rules adopted by the Secretary of State or are in the statutory short form and contain a statement substantially like: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”

Establishes that a Notary Public, guardian, conservator or agent of the Notary Public, or a personal representative of a decease Notary Public shall retain the required audio-visual recording of a notarial act performed using communication technology; or cause the recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the personal required to retain the recording. Establishes a minimum recording retention period of five years after the recording is made, unless a different period is required by a rule of the Secretary of State.

Requires that, before performing his or her/their initial notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual, a Notary Public must notify the Secretary of State of his or her/their intent to do this and must identify the technologies the Notary intends to use. Mandates that if the Secretary of State has established standards for approval of communication technology or identity proofing, any such technology chosen by the Notary must conform to the standards.

Remote Ink Notarial Acts
Establishes requirements for an ink-signed (paper) document to be notarized for a remotely located individual. Limits performance of these notarial acts to a West Virginia Out-of-State Commissioner appointed and governed subject to W. Va. Code §39-4A-1.

Establishes requirements for performance of a remote ink notarial act:
  • The individual and Out-of-State Commissioner must be able to communicate simultaneously, in real time, by sight and sound using communication technology as defined in W. Va. Code §39-4-37;
  • The Out-of-State Commissioner must reasonably identify the individual at the time of notarization by one or more of specified methods: personal knowledge of the individual; the individual’s presentation of a government-issued, unexpired identification document or record including the individual’s photograph, name and signature; at least two different types of processes or services by which a third person provides a means to verify the identity of the individual through a review of public or private data sources; or oath or affirmation of a credible witness physically present with the Out-of-State Commissioner or the individual or who can communicate by sight and sound in real time through an electronic device or process at the time of notarization, and who has been reasonably identified by the Out-of-State Commissioner using an identification method specified in W. Va. Code §39-4-38.
  • The Out-of-State Commissioner either directly or through an agent must satisfy specified requirements for generating and retaining a record of the remote ink notarization (such record must be retained for five years unless otherwise provided by law).
  • The ink-signed record being notarized must be intended for filing or presentation in a matter before a court, governmental entity, public official, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of West Virginia; involve property located in the territorial jurisdiction of West Virginia or a transaction substantially connected to the State of West Virginia; or otherwise not be prohibited by West Virginia law to be notarized outside the State of West Virginia.
  • The individual shall mail or otherwise cause delivery of the original ink-signed record to the Out-of-State Commissioner for completion of the notarial certificate… the date and time of the notarization shall be the date and time when the Out-of-State Commissioner witnessed the signature being performed via communication technology.

Clarifies that nothing in the Code section authorizing remote ink-signed notarial acts affects the authority of a Notary Public (Out-of-State Commissioner) to refuse to perform a notarial act, nor requires a Notary (Out-of-State Commissioner) to perform a notarization remotely with respect to an electronic record, or for an individual not physically present, or using a technology the Notary (Out-of-State Commissioner) has not selected.

Rules for Remote Online and Remote Ink Notarial Acts
Requires the Secretary of State to propose rules establishing specific requirements for the performance of a notarial act involving an individual appearing by means of communication technology (remote online notarial acts and remote ink notarial acts). Provides the range of issues such rules may address. Establishes that before adopting, amending or repealing a legislative rule governing performance these notarial acts, the Secretary shall consider standards, practices and views of a wide range of parties, jurisdictions, governmental officials and entities, and other interested persons. Further establishes 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 required audio-visual recording, the Secretary of State shall be the provider of the communication technology, identity proofing or storage as the provider’s agency for service of process in any civil action in West Virginia related to.

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WEST VIRGINIA – Administrative Rule Title 153-45
Effective May 21, 2021
View this rule

Establishes standards and guidelines for electronic notarization. Defines requirements for electronic notarization of electronic documents, and requirements for remote electronic notarization during a State of Emergency under certain circumstances. (Sec. 153-45.1).

Establishes definitions: “capable of independent verification,” “electronic,” “electronic document,” “electronic journal of notarial acts” and “electronic journal,” “electronic notarial act” and “electronic notarization,” “electronic notarial certificate,” “electronic Notary Public” and “electronic Notary,” “electronic Notary seal” and “electronic seal,” “electronic signature,” “individual,” “Notary,” “registered electronic Notary seal,” “registered electronic signature,” and “security procedure” (Sec. 153-45-2).


Requires a Notary Public to register capability to perform electronic notarial acts with the Secretary of State before notarizing electronically, and requires re-registering upon recommissioning after the Notary Public’s (traditional) commission expiration. Clarifies that a person may apply or reapply for a Notary commission and register or register to perform electronic notarial acts at the same time (Sec. 153-45-3).

Requires the Secretary of State to deny registration to any applicant whose electronic registration form contains a material misstatement or omission of fact (Sec. 143-45-7). Provides causes for denial, conditioning, suspension or termination of an electronic Notary Public registration (Sec. 153-45-26).


Provides that the term of an electronic Notary begins on the registration starting date set by the Secretary of State and continues as long as the Notary’s commission remains in effect or until electronic Notary registration is terminated pursuant to this Rule (Sec. 153-45-5). Provides that any revocation, resignation, expiration, or other termination of the commission of a Notary Public immediately terminates any existing registration as an electronic Notary Public (Sec. 153-45-24). Clarifies that a Notary’s decision to terminate registration as an electronic Notary Public does not automatically terminate the underlying Notary Public commission (Sec. 153-45-24).

Prescribes the information to be submitted by a Notary registering to perform electronic notarial acts (Sec. 153-45-5). Provides when making such registration a Notary may register at the same time, or at different times, one or more respective means for producing electronic signatures and electronic Notary seals, or single elements combining the required feature of both (Sec 153-45-6).


Establishes the notarial acts that may be performed electronically: acknowledgments; oaths or affirmations; witnessing or attesting a signature; certifying or attesting a copy; and noting a protest (Sec. 153-45-8). Mandates that when performing electronic notarial acts, an electronic Notary shall adhere to all applicable rules governing notarial acts in W.Va State Code 39-1-1 et seq., in W.Va. 153 CSR 45 and W.Va. 153 CSR 46 (Sec. 153-45-10).

Allows an electronic Notary Public to perform an electronic notarization only if the individual is in the Notary’s presence at the time of notarization; and is personally known or identified by satisfactory evidence (Sec. 153-45-9). Provides when an electronic Notary may to refuse to perform a notarial act (Sec. 153-45-9).


Requires an electronic Notary Public to properly complete an electronic notarial certificate when performing an electronic notarial act. Establishes the required information to be contained in a “proper” electronic notarial certificate, which includes an electronic Notary’s registered electronic signature and registered electronic Notary seal (Sec. 153-45-11). Prescribes requirements for wording of an electronic notarial certificate, including that the notarial certificate must be worded and completed using only letters, characters, and a language that are read, written, and understood by the electronic Notary (Sec. 153-45-11).

Requires an electronic Notary completing an electronic notarial to attach to, or logically associate with, the certificate his/her/their registered electronic signature and registered electronic Notary seal, or a registered single element conforming with administrative rule requirements, in such manner that the electronic signature, electronic seal or single element are attributed to the Notary as named on his/her/their Notary Public commission (Sec. 153-45-12). Prescribes the attributes of an electronic Notary’s registered electronic signature (Sec. 153-45-13).


Establishes that a registered electronic Notary seal, or registered single elements, and any username and password that provides access to the means of producing registered electronic Notary seals or registered single elements, must (always) be under the electronic Notary’s sole control (Sec. 153-45-14). Specifies that an electronic Notary’s employer shall not use or control the means for producing registered electronic Notary signature or electronic seals, or registered single elements; nor shall upon an electronic Notary’s employment termination retain certain items intended exclusively to produce a registered electronic Notary signature, seal or combined single element (Sec. 153-45-15), regardless whether the employer financially supported the employee Notary’s activities as a Notary Public.

Allows an electronic Notary to use his/her/their registered electronic signature for lawful purposes other than performing electronic notarizations, provided that neither the term “Notary” nor any other indication of status as a notarial officer is part of the signature. Prohibits an electronic Notary from using a registered electronic seal or a combined single element containing the seal for any purpose other than performing lawful electronic notarizations (Sec. 153-45-16).

Authorizes (but does not require) an electronic Notary Public to keep, maintain, protect and provide for lawful inspection a chronological journal that is either permanently bound book with numbered pages or an electronic journal as described in (this) rule. Further authorizes an electronic Notary to keep a record of electronic and nonelectronic notarial acts in the same journal (Sec. 153-45-7). Prescribes the attributes of an electronic journal of notarial acts (Sec. 153-45-18).


Establishes requirements for the form of evidence of authority (electronic certificate of authority) of an electronic notarial act on a notarized electronic document transmitted to another country or nation (Secs. 153-45-19 and 153-45-20).

Establishes requirements for reporting various changes relating to an electronic Notary’s commission status or information (change of email address, or registration data, or means of producing a registered electronic Notary signature or seal; Secs. 153-45-21 through 23). Requires the Secretary of State to immediately suspend the electronic status of a Notary Public who reports that his/her/their only means for producing a registered electronic Notary signature, Notary seal or single elements combining the signature and seal has changed, expired, terminated or become compromised; and if such (new) means is not registered within 30 days, the Secretary must terminate the Notary’s electronic Notary status (Sec. 153-45-23).


Requires a Notary who terminates registration as an electronic Notary Public to notify the Secretary of State in writing (Sec. 153-45-24) and dispose of any pertinent means of producing a registered electronic Notary signature, Notary seal or single elements combining the two (Sec. 153-45-25); such disposal shall conform to the requirements of rule Sec. 153-45-25.

Authorizes “remote notarization” upon declaration of a State of Emergency and a lawful suspension of W.Va. Code Sec. 39-4-6 requiring an individual to appear in person before a Notary during performance of a notarization (Sec. 153-45-27).


Authorizes a West Virginia Notary Public to notarize a document for an individual who is not physically present before the Notary at the time of notarization if the requirements specified in Rule Sec. 153-45-27 are satisfied. If the individual is not physically located in West Virginia at the time of such notarization, the Notary Public must be commissioned as an Out-of-State Commissioner under applicable West Virginia law (Sec. 153-45-27.4.1). Prohibits a Notary from performing a notarization under these conditions if the Notary has actual knowledge that the statement or record requested to be notarized violates the laws of the jurisdiction in which the individual is physically located (Sec. 153-45-27.4.2). Establishes requirements for the record being notarized (it must have a nexus with West Virginia or other be permitted by West Virginia law to be notarized outside the State of West Virginia; Sec. 153-45-27.4.3a-c). Provides procedural requirements; specifies that the official date and time of notarization shall be the date and time when the notary witnessed the signature being performed pursuant to the requirements of administrative rule (Sec. 153-45-27). Establishes that the validity and recognition of such notarizations will not be affected by the subsequent expiration, modification or termination of the State of Emergency (Sec. 153-45-27.8).

Clarifies that nothing in this administrative rule affects the authority of a Notary to refuse to perform a notarial act or requires a Notary to perform a notarization with respect to an electronic record; for an individual not in the physical presence of the Notary; or using a technology that the Notary has not selected (Sec. 153-45-29.1-.3).

 
WYOMING ADMINISTRATIVE RULES – Chapter 6, Wyoming Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts
Effective December 2, 2021
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Click “View these rules…” link; scroll to "Secretary of State" and select; scroll to "Notary Rules (0012)" and select.


These rules implement Wyoming’s Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, setting forth a Notary commissioning process and regulation of all notarial acts under Wyoming law.

Requires that for the purpose of evidencing a person's identity for satisfactory evidence, an identification credential must comply with W.S. § 32-3-102(a)(xiv) [the WY RULONA’s definition of “identification credential”] and shall contain a photograph of the principal or the credible witness(es). (Rule Section 2.)

Requires that upon discovering loss or theft of the Notary Public’s journal, the Notary must comply with W.S. §32-3-118(j) by promptly notifying the Secretary of State. Specifies such notification shall be by sending an email to notaries@wyo.gov. Provides that if the Notary has no access to email, he/she/they shall send a letter to the Compliance Division of the Wyoming Secretary of State at 122 West 25th Street, Suite 100, Cheyenne, WY, 82002-0020. Clarifies that nothing in Wyoming Notary statutes or administrative rules prevents a person (as defined in W.S. §32-3-102(a)(xxiv)) from implementing additional journal retention and content requirements.


Specifies that all notarial certificates completed for a remote notarization shall include the name of the electronic notarization system or other form of communication technology used to perform the notarial act. (Rule Section 4.(a))

Provides that nothing in Wyoming’s Notary statutes or administrative rules prevent a person (as defined in W.S. §32-3-102(a)(xxiv)) from requiring a specific electronic notarization system rather than another form of communication technology; nor prevent a person (as defined in W.S. §32-3-102(a)(xxiv)) from implementing additional retention requirements for the audio/visual recording of a (remote online) notarial act. (Bill Section 4, (b) and (c)).

Requires a Notary Public to review the “Notary Education Presentation” located on the Wyoming Secretary of State’s website at https:sos.wyo.gov/Services/Notaries.aspx, and to perform such review for every term of commission. Further requires Notary Public commission applicants to certify, on their application, completion of the presentation review. (Bill Section 5.)

Clarifies a statutory, Notary fee provision (W.S. §32-3-126(d)(iii)) by providing that a Notary need not refund travel fees that were paid prior to performing a notarial act and under these specified circumstances:
  • any reason that gives the notarial officer the authority to refuse to perform a notarial act under W.S. § 32-3-112; or
  • if the principal cancels the notarial act with less than a 24-hour notice.

Requires a Notary Public to refund the travel fee if the notarial officer cancels and does not compete the notarial act.
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WYOMING – SF29
Effective July 1, 2021
View this bill


Enacts the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts.

Defines key terminology: “acknowledgment,” “affirmation,” “appearing before,” “in the presence of,” “personal appearance,” “personally appear,” “commission,” “communication technology,” “credential analysis,” “credible witness,” “dynamic knowledge-based authentication assessment,” “electronic,” electronic notarization system,” “electronic record,” “electronic signature,” “foreign state,” “identification credential,” “identity proofing,” “in a representative capacity,” “jurat,” “jurisdiction,” “notarial act,” “notarial officer,” “Notary Public,” “oath,” “official stamp or seal,” “outside the United States,” “person,” “personal knowledge of identity,” “personally known to the notarial officer,” “personally knows,” “principal,” “record,” “remote ink notarization,” “remote online notarization,” “remotely located person,” “satisfactory evidence,” “sign,” “signature,” “signature witnessing,” “signature attestation,” “sole control,” “sole possession,” “stamping device,” “state,” “this act,” “venue,” and “verification on oath or affirmation.” (W.S. Sec. 32-3-102)

Clarifies that the Act applies to a notarial act performed on or after July 1, 2021 (W.S. Sec. 32-3-103).

Provides that a Notary Public commission in effect on the Act’s effective date continues until its date of expiration.* Requires Notaries to apply to renew a commission on or after the effective date of the Act are subject to and must comply with the Act (W.S. Sec. 32-3-128).
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*NOTE: Thus individuals with active Wyoming Notary Public commissions as of the Act’s July 1, 2021 effective date will continue to use their existing Notary stamp until renewal.

Provides Wyoming Notary Public commission requirements. Extends the term of a Notary Public commission from 4 to 6 years, and enacts the requirement for new and renewing Notaries to pass an examination based on a course of study regularly offered by the Secretary of State or an entity approved by the Secretary of State (W.S. Sec. 32-3-120; W.S. Sec. 32-3-121). Repeals the requirement of a surety bond, but clarifies that nothing in the Act denies a notarial officer the right to obtain a surety bond or errors and omissions coverage on a voluntary basis (W.S. Sec. 32-2-123). Requires a Notary Public to notify the Secretary of State within 30 days of any change in the Notary’s information on file with the Secretary of State, within 30 days of any change and using a form prescribed by the Secretary (W.S. Sec. 32-3-127). Provides the grounds upon which the Secretary of State may suspend or impose conditions upon a Notary Public commission (W.S. Sec. 32-3-122).


Authorizes a notarial officer of Wyoming to perform a notarial act anywhere within Wyoming or in a bordering state, if the bordering state recognizes the Wyoming notarial officer’s authority to act in the bordering state (W.S. Sec. 32-3-104). Clarifies that when notarizing in a bordering state, a Wyoming Notary Public shall follow the laws and rules of Wyoming; and that the venue for a notarial act is in the state county where the notarial officer is physically located at the time the notarial act is performed (W.S. Sec. 32-3-104).


Names Wyoming’s notarial officers, who may perform notarial acts in Wyoming (W.S. Sec. 32-3-105). Establishes that the signature and title of an individual notarizing in Wyoming are prima facie evidence that his/her/their signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title. Provides that the signature and title of a Wyoming notarial officer conclusively establish the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act. (W.S. Sec. 32-3-105)

Provides for the interstate recognition of notarial acts (W.S. Sec. 32-3-106 through 32-3-109), and for the Secretary of State or SOS’ designee to issue certificates of authentication or Apostilles (W.C. Sec. 32-3-110). Sets the fee for the Secretary’s issuance of authentications or Apostilles. Prohibits the Secretary’s issuance of an authentication under specified circumstances (W. S. Sec. 32-3-110).


Establishes notarial act requirements, including that a notarial officer shall determine, from satisfactory evidence, the identity of a principal appearing before the notarial officer for performance of a notarial act (W.S. Sec. 32-3-111). (NOTE: Personal knowledge of the principal is not eliminated; the Act defines “satisfactory evidence” to include a notarial officer’s personal knowledge of an individual’s identity, or identification through an identification credential, verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness, or a technological means if the individual is appearing by means of communication technology; see W.S. Sec. 32-3-102.)

Authorizes a notarial officer to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record (W.S. Sec. 31-3-111). Provides that a recorder may accept for recording such tangible copies of electronic records so certified by a notarial officer (W.S. Sec. 32-3-119).


Provides that failure of a notarial officer to perform a duty or meet a requirement specified in the Act does not invalidate a notarial act performed by the notarial officer; clarifies that such validity does not prevent an aggrieved person from seeking to invalidate the record or transaction that is the subject of such notarial act, or from seeking other remedies. Clarifies that the Act does not validate a purposed notarial act performed by an individual not authorized to perform notarial acts (W.S. Sec. 32-3-124). Establishes that the Act does not affect the validity or effect of a notarial act performed before July 1, 2021 (W. S. Sec. 32-3-129).

Provides prohibited acts committed by a notarial officer and related penalties. Clarifies that a commission as a Notary Public does not authorize an individual to perform certain duties or services (unauthorized giving of legal advice, unauthorized services as an immigration consultant or expert). Provides prohibitions related to advertising and use of the terms “notario” and “notario publico.” Requires advertising by non-attorney Notaries to include specified language disclosing that the Notary is not an attorney and cannot give legal advice or counsel on immigration matters. (W.S. Sec. 32-3-123).


Authorizes performance of a remote ink notarization or remote online notarization using communication technology; establishes certain requirements. Clarifies that a notarial act performed by means of an electronic notarization system or other form of communication technology is considered to have been performed in Wyoming and is governed by Wyoming law regardless of the physical location of the principal at the time of the notarization (W.S. Sec. 32-3-111).

Authorizes a notarial officer to refuse to perform a notarial act under specified conditions. Clarifies that a notarial officer may refuse to perform a notarial act unless refusal is prohibited by other law (W.S. Sec. 32-3-112). Provides clarifying provisions regarding refusal, for notarial officers performing a notarial act for a remotely located individual.


Establishes procedures for notarizations involving a principal who is physically unable to sign a record, or unable to communicate orally or in writing (W.S. Sec. 32-3-113).

Provides the requirements for a certificate of a notarial act, including requiring a Notary Public’s official stamp on a tangible or electronic record. Provides certain notarial certificate requirements with regard to records notarized by remote ink notarization or remote online notarization (W.S. Sec. 32-3-114). Establishes the requirements for a sufficient notarial certificate. Prohibits a notarial officer from affixing his/her/their signature or official stamp to—or logically associating them with—a notarial certificate until the notarial act has been performed. Prohibits a notarial officer from changing or correcting an impression or electronic image of an official stamp on a certificate; requires that a subsequent impression be made instead (W.S. Sec. 32-3-14).


Authorizes a notarial officer to subsequently correct any information included on or omitted from a certificate the officer executed, if the change or correction can be evidenced by the information contained in the officer’s journal record of the transaction, if applicable. Requires a notarial officer to date and initial any change or corrections to a notarial certificate, and make a corresponding notation in his/her/their journal. Allows only the officer performing the notarization to make or authorize a change or correction to a previously completed certificate. Requires a notarial officer who authorizes a third party to change or correct a notarial certificate to provide such authorization in writing, and keep a copy of such authorization plus a copy of the changed certificate in his/her/their journal record, if applicable, for that transaction (W.S. Sec. 32-3-114).

Provides short form certificates of notarial acts (acknowledgment in an individual capacity and representative capacity; verification on oath or affirmation; signature witnessing or attestation; and certifying a copy of a record (W. S. Sec. 32-3-115).


Establishes requirements for a Notary Public’s official signature and official stamp, including use of blue or black ink when signed on a tangible record. Provides the attributes of and information required to appear on a Notary’s official stamp. Requires that an official stamp be replaced with a new stamp upon reach renewed commission term, and prohibits including, correcting or amending the stamp impression (on a notarial certificate) through written, typed or other means. Prohibits use of the Great Seal of Wyoming or any other image or content not prescribed in the Act (W.S. Sec. 32-3-116).

Clarifies that a Notary Public is the sole owner of his/her/their stamping device, is responsible for its security, and may not allow another individual to use the device to perform a notarial act. Requires rendering the official stamp unusable under specified circumstances, by the Notary or personal representative or guardian, as applicable (W.S. Sec. 32-3-117). Requires a Notary, or a Notary’s personal representative or guardian, to promptly notify the Secretary of State upon discovering that the Notary’s stamping device is lost or stolen (W.S. Sec. 32-3-117.

Requires a notarial officer to make an audio-visual recording of the entire communication if he/she/they perform a notarial act using an electronic notarization system or other form of communication technology. Requires a notarial officer to keep sole possession of an audio-visual recording unless it is examined and copied by a law enforcement officer in the course of an official investigation; subpoenaed by court order or surrendered at the direction of the Secretary of State (W.S. Sec. 32-3-118).

Requires a Notary Public to maintain one or more journals for chronicling all notarial acts that the Notary performs. Allows use of tangible or electronic journals, whether the Notary’s notarial acts are performed regarding tangible or electronic records. Provides requirements relating to journal security, control, and retention by the Notary. Provides for a journal to be examined and copied by a law enforcement officer in the course of an official investigation, if subpoenaed by court order or at the direction of the Secretary of State. Establishes required actions regarding a Notary’s journal records or audio-visual recordings, upon the loss or theft of a journal, or on the death or adjudication of incompetency of a current or former Notary Public (W.S. Sec. 32-3-118).


Increases to $10 (formerly $5) the maximum fee a notarial officer may charge for performing a notarial act. Allows a notarial officer to charge a technology fee for using electronic notarization system or other form of communication technology. Allow a notarial officer to charge a travel fee equal to or less than the standard mileage rates allowed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and prescribes disclosure of fees to be charged and agreement by the person requesting notarial services in advance of performance of notarial services or travel. Allows a notarial officer to require that fees be paid in advance of notarization, and provides circumstances under which the notarial officer may deem fees paid as nonrefundable. Allows an employer of an employee Notary to prohibit charging for notarial acts performed as part of the employee-Notary’s employment. (W.S. Sec. 32-3-126)

Requires the Secretary of State to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations to carry out the purposes of the Act (W.S. Sec. 32-3-125).

Makes necessary conforming amendments.

 
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