The Study Committee to Amend the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts

by Brian Lewis — Friday, Sept. 15, 2017

Uniform Law Commission Acts and Projects

Part 4

The Study Committee to Amend the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) approved a drafting committee to Amend the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) to authorize remote notarization without geographic limits on the location of the signer and to address interstate recognition of notarial acts. This is the second revision in recent years to RULONA, which was initially promulgated in 2010, with the first amendment being to authorize notaries public to perform notarial acts in the state in which they are commissioned for individuals who are located outside of the United States.  The drafting committee will be co-chaired by New Mexico Commissioner, Patricia Fry, and Pennsylvania Commissioner, Raymond Pepe, with Western New England University School of Law Professor and Dean Emeritus, Arthur R. Gaudio, serving as the reporter. In the current legislative session, legislation dealing with remote notarizations, in the form of Amended RULONA or in non-uniform statutes, has been introduced in a number of states.  Additionally, RULONA was introduced in 9 states, and enacted in 3 states.  The provisions for remote notarization were deleted in committee in several of those jurisdictions.

Prior to the approval of this drafting committee, a ULC study committee monitored developments in notarial law, specifically with respect to “remote notarization,” which entails notarial acts where the notary and the signer communicate via audio and video technologies.  During its study of remote notarization, the committee closely followed the activities of the National Association of Secretaries of State and its Remote Notarization Task Force, as well as working groups from other stakeholders that are studying remote notarization.

This drafting committee will not only prepare an amendment to RULONA authorizing remote notarization without geographical limits on the location of the signer, but also a free-standing act authorizing remote notarization without geographical limits on the location of the signer, for use in jurisdictions that do not have RULONA.  The drafting committee will also review the provisions of RULONA dealing with the inter-state recognition of notarial acts to reduce or eliminate any concerns regarding whether they extend to remote notarization.  Typically, uniform drafting projects require two years of drafting, however, the second year of drafting has been waived and the amendment is expected to be finalized in July 2018 at the ULC annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.

If you are interested in becoming an observer to the drafting committee to Amend RULONA, please contact the Uniform Law Commission Chicago office at (312) 450-6600 or via our website at www.uniformlaws.org.  Or you can contact Brian Lewis, ULC Legislative Counsel and staff attorney who works with this act, at (312) 450-6619 or blewis@uniformlaws.org.

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About Brian Lewis

Brian Lewis serves as Legislative Counsel for the Uniform Law Commission, a national non-profit whose purpose is to draft state legislation in areas in which uniformity is practical and desirable. Brian works with uniform acts regarding unincorporated business entities, criminal law, and military law. Before joining the Uniform Law Commission, Brian practiced personal injury and criminal law at the Law Office of Tamela T. Walla, PA and served on U.S. Congressman G. K. Butterfield’s congressional staff as Executive Assistant and Grants Manager. Brian is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University School of Law. Brian is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and is also an active member of the American Bar Association Business Law Section and Criminal Justice Section.

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