CT House Bill 5364 Notary Law Update: CT House Bill 5364State: ConnecticutSummary: House Bill 5364 defines and creates standards for performing copy certifications and modifies the definition of “notarial act” to include the specific types of notarization Notaries Public may perform. Signed: May 14, 2012Effective: October 01, 2012Chapter: 12-29Affects:Amends Section 3-94a of the Connecticut General Statutes Changes: Defines “copy certification” as a notarial act in which a Notary: (a) is presented with an original document, (b) copies or supervises the copying of such document using a photographic or electronic copying process, (c) compares the original document presented to the copy, and (d) certifies that the copy is an accurate and complete reproduction of the original document. Prohibits a copy certification from being performed on (i) a vital record, as defined in section 7-36 of the General Statutes, (ii) a document that is required to be recorded by an agent or employee of the state or any political subdivision thereof, or (iii) a document issued by a federal agency and federal law prohibits the copying of such document. Amends the definition of “notarial act” to include an acknowledgment, administering an oath or affirmation, witnessing or attesting a signature and completing a copy certification. Analysis:House Bill 5364 repeals and reenacts Section 3-94a of the Connecticut General Statutes with two substantive amendments. First, the bill provides a definition of “copy certification,” which lays out clear standards for how copy certifications are to be performed. A copy certification may only be performed on an “original document” presented to the Notary (photocopies of an original may not be copy certified), copied by the Notary or someone under the supervision of the Notary using a photographic or electronic copying process (handwritten copies of documents may not be copy certified) and compared to ensure that the copy is an accurate and complete reproduction of the original. The definition lists three types of documents that may not be copy certified, including a vital record, a document that is required to be recorded by an agent or employee of the state or any political subdivision of the state, and a document issued by a federal agency which is prohibited by law to be copied. HB 5364 also expands the definition of “notarial act” to include acknowledgments, oaths and affirmations, copy certifications and witnessing or attesting signatures. Interestingly, the definition excludes “jurats” even though the term is defined as a notarial act in the very same section and includes “witnessing or attesting a signature” which is not defined. The other acts – “acknowledgment,” and “oath” or “affirmation” are defined. The effect of this change is that Connecticut Notaries may now perform two notarial acts not previously authorized in statute, copy certifications and signature witnessings. However, whereas standards for copy certification are clearly provided, rules for signature witnessings are not. Read the bill text.