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Law

IA Senate File 475

Notary Law Update: IA Senate File 475

State: Iowa

Summary:

Senate File 475 authorizes Notaries to perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals (remote online notarization) by enacting the 2018 Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts amendments.

Signed:  April 29, 2019

Effective:  July 01, 2020

Chapter: TBD

Affects:

Amends Section 9B.1, 9B.2, 9B.6, of, and adds Sections 9B.2.4.2A, 9B.2.11A, 9B.4.2A, 9B.14A, 9B.14B, 9B.14C and 9B.20.2A to, the Iowa Code.

Changes:
  1. Defines "instrument affecting real property," "remote facilitator," "communication technology," "foreign state," "identity proofing," "outside the United States" "personally identifiable information" and "remotely located individual."
  2. Authorizes a notarial officer tocertify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy of the electronic record as provided in Section 9B.14A.
  3. Clarifies that a remotely located individual may comply with the requirement to personally appear for a notarial act by using communication technology.
  4. Allows a Notary to perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual if the Notary is able to identify the individual through personal knowledge, the oath or affirmation of a credible witness under IC 9B.7.2, or using at least two different types of identity proofing.
  5. Allows a Notary to perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual if the Notary is able reasonably to confirm that a record before the Notary is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the individual executed a signature.
  6. Allows a Notary to perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual if the Notary, or a person acting on behalf of the Notary, creates an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act.
  7. Allows a Notary to perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual outside the United States if the record: (a) is to be filed with or relates to a matter before a public official or court, governmental entity, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or (b) involves property located in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States or involves a transaction substantially connected with the United States; and (c) the act of making the statement or signing the record is not prohibited by the foreign state in which the remotely located individual is located.
  8. Requires a certificate of notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual to indicate the act was performed using communication technology.
  9. Provides a short-form certificate in IC 9B.16 for a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual is sufficient if it complies with rules adopted by the Secretary of State or is in the form provided in IC 9B.16 and contains a statement substantially as follows: "This notarial act involved the use of communication technology."
  10. Requires a Notary, a guardian, conservator, or agent of a Notary, or a personal representative of a deceased Notary to retain the audio-visual recording of the notarial act for a remotely located individual or cause the recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the person required to retain the recording.
  11. Provides that unless a different period is required by rule, the recording of a notarial act for a remotely located individual must be retained for a period of at least ten years after the recording is made.
  12. Requires a Notary to notify the Secretary of State that the Notary will be performing notarial acts with respect to remotely located individuals and identify the technologies the Notary intends to use prior to performing the Notary's initial notarial act for a remotely located individual.
  13. Provides that if the Secretary of State has established standards for approval of communication technology or identity proofing, the communication technology and identity proofing must conform to the standards.
  14. Provides that the Secretary of State may adopt rules for performing notarial acts with respect to remotely located individuals and provides standards for the rules.
  15. Clarifies that a provider of communication technology appoints the Secretary of State as the provider's agent for service of process in any civil action related to a notarial act for a remotely located individual.
  16. Provides that a document purporting to convey or encumber real property that has been recorded by the county recorder for the jurisdiction in which the real property is located, although the document may not have been certified according to IC 9B.14A, shall give the same notice to third persons and be effective from the time of recording as if the document had been certified according to this section.
  17. Requires a Notary Public who performs a notarial act under IC 9B.14A to be duly commissioned under and remain subject to the requirements of IC 9B.21 and all other applicable requirements of IC Chapter 9B.
  18. Defines "personally identifiable information" as information about or pertaining to an individual in a record which identifies the individual, and includes information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, either alone or when combined with other information."
  19. Provides that "personally identifiable information" includes but is not limited to a person’s photograph, social security number, driver’s license number, name, address, and telephone number.
  20. Prohibits a Notary or remote facilitator from selling, offering for sale, using, or transfering to another person personally identifiable information collected in the course of performing a notarial act for any purpose other than as (a) as required to perform the notarial act; or (b) as necessary to effect, administer, enforce, service, or process the transaction for which the personally identifiable information was provided.
  21. The prohibition against selling, offering for sale or transfering to another person personally identifiable information does not apply in any of the following circumstances: (a) upon written consent of the person for the use or release of that person’s personally identifiable information; (b) in response to a court order, subpoena, or other legal process compelling disclosure; or (c) as part of a change in the form of a business entity’s organization or a change in the control of a business entity, including as a result of an acquisition, merger, or consolidation, but clarifies that any reorganized or successor business entity shall comply with the provisions for handling personally identifiable information.
  22. Provides that any person who violates the provisions related to the handling of personally identifiable information is guilt of a simple misdemeanor.
  23. Requires the Secretary of State to prepare a notice of intended action for the adoption of rules necessary for implementing remote online notarizaitons as soon as possible after July 1, 2020.
Analysis:

Iowa becomes the latest state to enact statutes governing remote online notarization using the Uniform Law Commission's 2018 amendments to the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. As is typical of the enactments of the ULC's provisions, much is left to the Secretary of State to flesh out in rules. 

Senate File 475 ominously enacted restrictive uses of personally identifiable information, the first provisions of its scope. While the NNA supports common sense protections for personally identifiable information, it believes Senate File 475 went too far. For one, any privacy laws should apply to everyone, and not single out Notaries. While no one would want a Notary to use or sell personally identifiable information, existing federal law provides protected uses of personal information that likely would be off limits to Notaries in Iowa. This might not necessarily be a challenge to many professional Notaries, but Notaries who are employees and perform notarizations a part of their job descriptions might be impacted.

Read the bill text.

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