Current law requires an individual who wishes to have a document notarized to appear personally before a notary public.
Effective December 31, 2020:
- The act authorizes a notary public to perform a notarial act on behalf of an individual who is not in the notary's physical presence, but only with respect to an electronic document;
- To perform a "remote notarization", a notary must use an electronic system that conforms to standards established by rules of the secretary of state, including using real-time audio-video communication;
- The act establishes the standards that a notary must comply with to have satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual seeking the remote notarization; and
- The use or sale of personal information of a remotely located individual by a remote notary and the provider of a remote notarization system is prohibited except in specific, limited circumstances.
The governor issued an emergency executive order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that directed the secretary of state to issue an emergency rule to authorize remote notarizations, which the secretary of state did. The act ratifies remote notarizations conducted pursuant to the emergency rule between March 30, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
The act appropriates $132,795 from the department of state cash fund to the department of state to implement the act.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)