MN House File 2668 | NNA

MN House File 2668

Notary Law Update: MN House File 2668

State: Minnesota

Summary:

House File 2668 provides that a document submitted to a court requiring a sworn statement made before a Notary or notarial officer no longer must be notarized as long as the document is signed under penalty of perjury and otherwise meets the requirements of the statute. It also exempts certain officers with notarial powers from having to register the intent to perform electronic notarizations with the Secretary of State.

Signed:  May 06, 2014

Effective:  August 01, 2014

Chapter: 204

Affects:

Amends Sections 204B.44, 358.03, 359.01(5), 524.1-401, 524.5-113, 549.32(2), 600.13, 609.48(1), 609.748(3), 611A.04(4), and 645.44(10) and (14) of, and adds new Section 358.116 to, the Minnesota Statutes

Changes:
  1. Removes the requirement for pleadings and affidavits filed with a court of the Minnesota judicial branch to be notarized.
  2. Provides that signing a document filed with the court constitutes “verification upon oath or affirmation” as defined in Minnesota Statutes 358.41(3), without administration of an oath under MS 358.07, provided that the signature, as defined by court rules, is affixed immediately below a declaration using substantially the following language: “I declare under penalty of perjury that everything I have stated in this document is true and correct.”
  3. Provides that in signing a document under penalty of perjury, the date of signing and the county and state where the document was signed must be noted on the document.
  4. Provides that a person who signs knowing that the document is false in any material respect is guilty of perjury under MS 609.48, even if the date, county, and state of signing are omitted from the document.
  5. Clarifies that the requirement for Notaries to register the capability to notarize electronically with the Secretary of State prior to performing electronic notarial acts does not apply to notarial acts performed by peace officers having the power to administer oaths upon information submitted to establish probable cause under MS 358.15(a)(4), and to judges, court administrators, or deputy court administrators of any Minnesota court under MS 358.43(a)(2).
  6. Authorizes a signature of a person made on a document that will be filed with a court, when required by law, to be made electronically if otherwise authorized by statute or court rule.
Analysis:

Minnesota House File 2668 continues the trend in states over the past couple of years to marginalize or eliminate altogether the notarial act of “jurat” or “verification upon oath or affirmation,” as the act is called in Minnesota. Essentially, House File 2668 provides that a document submitted to a court requiring a sworn statement made before a Notary or notarial officer no longer must be notarized as long as the document is signed under penalty of perjury and otherwise meets the requirements of the statute. States like Minnesota do this by redefining the notarial act of “verification upon oath or affirmation” to include signing under penalty of perjury without the administration of an oath or affirmation. It is important to emphasize that while HF 2668 is troubling, it only applies narrowly to verifications upon oath or affirmation submitted to a court and not to all verifications signed in other contexts. For example, an affidavit signed in a mortgage loan refinance transaction still must be sworn to before a Notary. In this respect, Minnesota does not go as far as Montana in making a similar provision apply to any affidavit requiring a verification.

House File 2668 also amends the Notary statute requiring Notaries to register the capability to perform electronic notarial acts with the Secretary of State. It now specifically exempts peace officers with the power to administer oaths and affirmations in matters related to information used to establish probable cause (MS 358.15[a][4]), and judges, court administrators, and deputy court administrators of any Minnesota court (MS 358.43[a][2]).

Read the bill text.

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