AZ House Bill 2178 | NNA
Law

AZ House Bill 2178

Notary Law Update: AZ House Bill 2178

State: Arizona

Summary:

House Bill 2178 makes numerous changes to Arizona's Notary statutes that affect Notary seals, the identification Notaries accept, electronic notarization and translations of documents.

Signed:  March 16, 2018

Effective:  August 03, 2018

Chapter: 13

Affects:

Amends Sections 38-294, 41-311, 41-313, 41-315, 41-317, 41-323, 41‑332, 41‑351 and 44-7011 of, repeals Sections 41‑352, 41‑353, 41‑354, 41‑355, 41‑357, 41‑358, 41‑359, 41‑360, 41‑361, 41‑362, 41‑363, 41‑364, 41‑365, 41‑366, 41‑367, 41‑368, 41‑369 and 41‑370 of, and adds Section 41-352 to the Arizona Revised Statutes

Changes:
  1. Requires a Notary who resigns to submit their resignation in writing to the Secretary of State, rather than the Governor.
  2. Removes language permitting a Notary to perform a notarial act on a document that is a translation of a document that is in a language that the Notary does not understand if the translator signs an affidavit containing an oath or affirmation that the translation is accurate and complete.
  3. Requires the official seal of a Notary to include their commission number, but allows Notaries with a current appointment to use their current seals without the commission number until they seek reappointment to a new commission.
  4. Requires the Secretary of State to accept a Notary surety bond that was issued 60 days, rather than 30 days, after the Secretary of State commissions the Notary.
  5. Requires a Notary whose official journal or seal is compromised to deliver a signed notice of the compromise to the Secretary of State within 10 days.
  6. Stipulates that any Notary that fails notify the Secretary of State has failed to discharge their duties.
  7. Permits the Secretary of State to impose a civil penalty of $25 on any Notary who fails to comply with notification requirements.
  8. Repeals several statutes relating to electronic notarization and, instead, requires the Secretary of State to adopt standards for secure and feasible implementation of electronic notarization before January 1, 2020.
  9. Permits Notary commission, duties and acts to be performed electronically.
  10. Allows Notaries to accept documents signed with an electronic signature.
  11. Requires a Notary appointed before the effective date to replace their official seal on reappointment with an official seal imprinted with their Notary commission number.
  12. Modifies the definition of a “notarial act" or "notarization” to specify that it only verifies the identity of the signer of a document and not the truthfulness, accuracy or validity of the document.
  13. Expands the list of satisfactory evidence of identity for the purpose of notarizing to include: (a) a nonoperating ID license; (b) an inmate identification card issued by Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC), if the inmate is in the custody of ADC; and (c) any form of inmate ID issued by a county sheriff, if the inmate is in their custody.
  14. Makes technical and conforming changes.
Analysis:

House Bill 2178 makes some important changes to Arizona's Notary laws. It expands the IDs Notaries may accept from signers to include certain inmate IDs and a nonoperating ID license. It repeals a provision that allowed Notaries to perform a notarial act on a document that is a translation of a document and that is in a language that the Notary does not understand if the translator signs an affidavit containing an oath or affirmation that the translation is accurate and complete. It requires any new Notary commissioned after the effective date to include the Notary's commission ID number in their seal but allows Notaries with current commissions to use their existing seals without their commission ID number and to change their seals to include it when they are reappointed to a new commission. It picks up a California provision that clarifies that in performing a notarial act a Notary verifies only the identity of the signing party and not the truthfulness, accuracy or validity of the document. It repeals several provisions on electronic notarization enacted in the early years of electronic notarization that were unworkable and no longer relevant and instead tasks the Secretary of State with adopting standards on electronic notarization before January 1, 2020.

Read the bill text.

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