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H.B. 375






Sponsor: Brad King

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill amends the Notaries Public Reform Act to delete references to the Digital
             10      Signatures Act for electronic notarizations in the notary act.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    amends definitions;
             14          .    amends powers and limitations of a notary;
             15          .    amends entries in journals;
             16          .    amends requirements for official seals; and
             17          .    makes conforming amendments in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act.
             18      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             19          None
             20      Other Special Clauses:
             21          None
             22      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             23      AMENDS:
             24          46-1-2, as last amended by Chapter 312, Laws of Utah 2000
             25          46-1-6, as last amended by Chapter 312, Laws of Utah 2000
             26          46-1-14, as last amended by Chapter 312, Laws of Utah 2000
             27          46-1-16, as last amended by Chapter 211, Laws of Utah 2003

             28          46-4-205, as enacted by Chapter 74, Laws of Utah 2000
             30      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             31          Section 1. Section 46-1-2 is amended to read:
             32           46-1-2. Definitions.
             33          As used in this chapter:
             34          (1) "Acknowledgment" means a notarial act in which a notary certifies that a signer,
             35      whose identity is personally known to the notary or proven on the basis of satisfactory
             36      evidence, has admitted[, and which admission is made either in the presence of the notary or by
             37      an electronic communication that is as reliable as an admission made in the presence of the
             38      notary, provided that the electronic communication is authorized by law or rule,] signing a
             39      document voluntarily for its stated purpose.
             40          (2) "Commission" means to empower to perform notarial acts and the written authority
             41      to perform those acts.
             42          (3) "Copy certification" means a notarial act in which a notary certifies that a
             43      photocopy is an accurate copy of a document that is neither a public record nor publicly
             44      recorded.
             45          (4) "Jurat" means a notarial act in which a notary certifies that a signer, whose identity
             46      is personally known to the notary or proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence, has made, in
             47      the notary's presence, a voluntary signature and taken an oath or affirmation vouching for the
             48      truthfulness of the signed document.
             49          (5) "Notarial act" and "notarization" mean any act that a notary is empowered to
             50      perform under this section.
             51          (6) "Notarial certificate" means the part of or attachment to a notarized document for
             52      completion by the notary and bearing the notary's signature and seal.
             53          (7) "Notary" means any person commissioned to perform notarial acts under this
             54      chapter.
             55          (8) "Oath" or "affirmation" means a notarial act in which a notary certifies that a person
             56      made a vow or affirmation in the presence of the notary on penalty of perjury.
             57          (9) "Official misconduct" means a notary's performance of any act prohibited or failure
             58      to perform any act mandated by this chapter or by any other law in connection with a notarial

             59      act.
             60          (10) "Personal knowledge of identity" means familiarity with an individual resulting
             61      from interactions with that individual over a period of time sufficient to eliminate every
             62      reasonable doubt that the individual has the identity claimed.
             63          (11) "Satisfactory evidence of identity" means identification of an individual based on:
             64          (a) a current document issued by a federal or state government with the individual's
             65      photograph, signature, and physical description; or
             66          (b) the oath or affirmation of a credible person who is personally known to the notary
             67      and who personally knows the individual[; or].
             68          [(c) by electronic protocols as reliable as those set forth in Subsections (11)(a) or (b)
             69      and established by law or rule.]
             70          Section 2. Section 46-1-6 is amended to read:
             71           46-1-6. Powers and limitations.
             72          The following notarial acts may be performed by a notary within the state:
             73          (1) Acknowledgments[, including authentication of an electronic or digital signature
             74      upon the personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the signer].
             75          [(a) An electronic or digital signature that is authenticated pursuant to this Subsection
             76      (1) shall be considered an authenticated electronic or digital signature.]
             77          [(b) If all parties to a document consent, an authenticated electronic or digital signature
             78      may be treated as a notarized signature on the document, unless otherwise provided by law or
             79      rule.]
             80          [(c) A commissioned Notary Public acting under the supervision and control of a
             81      licensed certification authority who acknowledges and authenticates electronic or digital
             82      signatures pursuant to this Subsection (1) is protected under Title 46, Chapter 3, Utah Digital
             83      Signature Act.]
             84          (2) Copy certifications.
             85          (3) Jurats.
             86          (4) Oaths or affirmations.
             87          Section 3. Section 46-1-14 is amended to read:
             88           46-1-14. Entries in journal.
             89          (1) For every notarial act, the notary may record in the journal at the time of

             90      notarization the following information including:
             91          (a) the date and time of day of the notarial act;
             92          (b) the type of notarial act;
             93          (c) a description of the document or proceeding;
             94          (d) the signature and printed name and address of each person for whom a notarial act
             95      is performed;
             96          (e) the evidence of identity of each person for whom a notarial act is performed, in the
             97      form of either:
             98          (i) a statement that the person is "personally known" to the notary; or
             99          (ii) a description of the identification document, its issuing agency, its serial or
             100      identification number, and its date of issuance or expiration; and
             101          (iii) the signature and printed name and address of a credible witness swearing or
             102      affirming to the person's identity; and
             103          (f) the fee, if any, charged for the notarial act.
             104          (2) A notary may record in the journal the circumstances in refusing to perform or
             105      complete a notarial act.
             106          [(3) If a notarization is performed electronically, the notary may keep an electronic
             107      journal in which to record the information described in Subsections (1) and (2). All electronic
             108      notarizations shall be evidenced by a digital signature.]
             109          Section 4. Section 46-1-16 is amended to read:
             110           46-1-16. Official signature -- Official seal -- Seal impression.
             111          (1) In completing a notarial act, a notary shall sign on the notarial certificate exactly
             112      and only the name indicated on the notary's commission.
             113          (2) (a) A notary shall keep an official notarial seal that is the exclusive property of the
             114      notary and that may not be used by any other person. Upon the resignation, revocation, or
             115      expiration of a notarial commission, the seal shall be destroyed.
             116          (b) Each notarial seal obtained by a notary on or after July 1, 2003 shall use purple ink.
             117          (3) A new seal shall be obtained for any new commission or recommission. A new
             118      seal shall be obtained if the notary changes the notary's name or address of record at any time
             119      during the notary's four-year commission. The seal impression shall be affixed near the notary's
             120      official signature on a notarial certificate and shall include a sharp, legible, and

             121      photographically reproducible ink impression of the notarial seal that consists of:
             122          (a) the notary public's name exactly as indicated on the commission;
             123          (b) the words "notary public," "state of Utah," and "my commission expires
             124      (commission expiration date)";
             125          (c) the address of the notary's business or residence;
             126          (d) a facsimile of the great seal of the state of Utah; and
             127          (e) a rectangular border no larger than one inch by two and one-half inches surrounding
             128      the required words and seal.
             129          (4) An embossed seal impression that is not photographically reproducible may be used
             130      in addition to, but not in place of, the photographically reproducible seal required in this
             131      section.
             132          (5) The notarial seal shall be affixed in a manner that does not obscure or render
             133      illegible any information or signatures contained in the document or in the notarial certificate.
             134          (6) A notary acknowledgment on an annexation, subdivision, or other transparent map
             135      or plat is considered complete without the imprint of the notary's official seal if:
             136          (a) the notary signs the acknowledgment in permanent ink; and
             137          (b) the following appear below or immediately adjacent to the notary's signature:
             138          (i) the notary's full name;
             139          (ii) the words "A notary public commissioned in Utah"; and
             140          (iii) the expiration date of the notary's commission.
             141          (7) A notary acknowledgment on an electronic message or document is considered
             142      complete without the imprint of the notary's seal if[: (a) the electronic message or document
             143      has been digitally signed pursuant to Section 46-3-401 in the presence of a notary; (b) the
             144      notary has confirmed that the digital signature on the electronic message or document is
             145      verifiable by the public key listed in the certificate issued to the signer in accordance with
             146      Section 46-3-403 ; (c) the notary electronically signs the acknowledgment with a digital
             147      signature pursuant to Section 46-3-401 ; and (d)] the following information appears
             148      electronically within the message [digitally signed by the notary]:
             149          [(i)] (a) the notary's full name and commission number exactly as indicated on their
             150      commission; [and]
             151          [(ii)] (b) the words "notary public," "state of Utah," and "my commission expires

             152      on______ (date)"; and
             153          [(iii)] (c) the address of the notary's business or residence exactly as indicated on their
             154      commission.
             155          Section 5. Section 46-4-205 is amended to read:
             156           46-4-205. Notarization and acknowledgment.
             157          If a law requires a signature or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made
             158      under oath, the requirement is satisfied by following the procedures and requirements of
             159      Subsection 46-1-16 (7) if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform those acts,
             160      together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law, is attached
             161      to or logically associated with the signature or record.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-21-05 11:03 AM

Based on a limited legal review, this legislation has not been determined to have a high
probability of being held unconstitutional.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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