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This version of the Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (“ULONA”) is a comprehensive revision of the Uniform Law on Notarial Acts as approved by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (“NCCUSL”) in 1982. Since that date, countless societal and technological as well as market and economic changes have occurred requiring notarial officers and the notarial acts that they perform to adapt. In addition, there has been a growing non-uniformity among the states in their laws regarding notarial acts. This version of ULONA adapts the notarial process to accommodate those changes, makes the Act more responsive to current transactions and practices, and seeks to promote uniformity among state laws regarding notarial acts. Perhaps the most pervasive change since the adoption of the original version of ULONA has been the development and growing implementation of electronic records in commercial, governmental, and personal transactions. In 1999, NCCUSL approved the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (“UETA”), thereby validating electronic records and putting them on a par with traditional records written on tangible media. The federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. Ch. 96 (2010) (“ESign”) was adopted in 2000, and it also recognized and put electronic records on a par with traditional records on tangible media. In 2004, NCCUSL approved the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (“URPERA”), thereby permitting county recorders and registrars to accept and register electronic real estate records. Each of those acts also recognized the validity of electronic notarial acts (UETA §11; ESign §101(g); URPERA §3(c)). This revision of ULONA further recognizes electronic notarial acts and puts them on a par with notarial acts performed on tangible media (Section 2(5)). It does this by unifying the requirements for and treatment of notarial acts, whenever possible, regardless of whether the acts are performed with respect to tangible or electronic media. While continuing the basic treatment of electronic notarial acts provided in UETA, ESign and URPERA, this Act implements structural and operational rules for those notarial acts that were absent in the prior laws. For example, Section 15 sets forth the requirements for certificates of notarial acts whether performed with respect to tangible and electronic records). In addition, Section 20 provides that before notaries public may perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records, they must first notify the commissioning officer or agency. The Act seeks to provide integrity in the process of performing notarial acts. Regardless of whether the notarial act is completed on a tangible or an electronic record, it requires an individual to appear personally before a notarial officer whenever the officer performs a notarial act regarding a record signed or a statement made by the individual (Section 6), including an acknowledgment, verification, or witnessing of a signature (Section 5(a), (b), and (c)). A notarial officer who certifies a copy of a record must determine that the copy is a full, true, and accurate transcription or reproduction (Section 5(d)).

Recommended Citation

Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (2010)

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Civil Law Commons