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Law

IN House Bill 1056

Notary Law Update: IN House Bill 1056

State: Indiana

Summary:
House Bill 1056 corrects the mistake of requiring both an acknowledgment and a proof of execution as a requirement for a document to be recorded in the land records.

Signed:  February 18, 2021

Effective:  February 18, 2021

Chapter: Public Law 2-2021

Affects:
Adds Sections 32-21-2-1.5, 32-21.2.1.7, and 32-21-4-0.5 to and amends Sections 32-21-2-3 and 32-21-4-1 of the Indiana Code.

Changes:
  1. Defines a "proof" as a proof under common law or where the witness: (a) appears before a notarial officer; (b) was personally known by the notarial officer or identified by the notarial officer through satisfactory evidence; (c) was not a party to, or a beneficiary of, the record being signed by the principal and the witness; and (d) took an oath or gave an affirmation and testified that they signed the record, that they identified the principal who signed the record and that they personally observed the principal sign the same record that the witness signed.
  2. Clarifies that any instrument to be recorded must have 1 of the following notarial acts: (a) an acknowledgment (as defined in IC 33-42-0.5-2) or (b) a proof.
  3. Provides that an acknowledgment or proof must be performed (a) by a notarial officer (as defined in IC 33-42-0.5-19) or (b) by a remote notary public (as defined in IC 33-42-0.5-27); or (c) in compliance with IC 33-42-9-8, IC 33-42-9-9, IC 33-42-9-10, or IC 33-42-9-11.
  4. Provides that a or proof must be performed (a) by a notarial officer (as defined in IC 33-42-0.5-19); or (b) in compliance with IC 33-42-9-8, IC 33-42-9-9, IC 33-42-9-10, or IC 33-42-9-11.
  5. Provides that in addition to the requirement that an instrument presented for recording must be acknowledged or proved, an instrument may not be recorded unless it meets the requirements of IC 32-21, the notarial requirements for an acknowledgment or a proof, or IC 36-2-11.
Analysis:
House Bill 1056 corrects the drafting error in Senate Bill 340 of 2020 that mistakenly required two notarial acts -- an acknowledgment and a proof -- for a document to be recorded in the land records. The new law goes beyond a simple fix and defines a "proof" and says who can perform one. Any Indiana notarial officer, including a Notary Public, can perform a proof. A remote Notary also may perform a proof as well. Since last year's Senate Bill 340 had a wide-ranging effect on recordable real property documents, this year's House Bill 1056 was enacted as an emergency statute and took effect on February 18, 2021, when the Governor approved the bill.

Read the bill text.

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