Pennsylvania Legislative Update

Pennsylvania Legislative Update

The Pennsylvania legislature recently enacted the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (the “Law”).  The Law has multiple effective dates.  The provisions of the Law that were effective on October 9, 2013 will be discussed in this Compliance Memorandum.  The other provisions will be discussed in a future Compliance Memorandum.

 

PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE BILL 25

 

The Department of State of the Commonwealth (“Department”) may promulgate regulations to implement the Law.  Regulations regarding the performance of notarial acts with respect to electronic records may not require, or give greater legal status or effect to, the implementation or application of a specific technology or technical specification.  Regulations 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, or revoking 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;
  • Establish the process for approving and accepting surety bonds;
  • Provide for the administration of examinations and the course of study; and
  • Include any other provision necessary to implement the Law.

 

In promulgating regulations about notarial acts with respect to electronic records, the Department will consider:

  • The most recent standards regarding electronic records promulgated by national bodies, such as the National Association of Secretaries of State;
  • Standards, practices, and customs of other states which substantially enact the Law; and
  • The views of governmental officials and entities and other interested persons.

 

A commission as a notary public continues until its date of expiration.  A notary public who applies to renew a commission as a notary public is subject to the Law.  A notary public, in performing notarial acts, must comply with the Law.  The Law does not affect the validity or effect of a notarial act performed before October 9, 2013.

 

 

The fees of notaries public are determined by the Department by regulation.  A notary public may not charge or receive a notary public fee in excess of the fee set by the Department.

 

 

The fees of the notary must be separately stated.  A notary public may waive the right to charge a fee.

 

 

A notary public must display fees in a conspicuous location in the place of business of the notary public or provide fees, upon request, to a person utilizing the services of the notary public.

 

 

The fee for a notary public is the property of the notary public and, unless mutually agreed by the notary public and the employer, need not belong to or be received by the entity that employs the notary public.