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Law

IN House Bill 1255

Notary Law Update: IN House Bill 1255

State: Indiana

Summary:
House Bill 1255 makes numerous and varied changes to Indiana’s probate, real property, and Notary Public statutes.

Signed:  April 29, 2021

Effective:  April 29, 2021

Chapter: Public Law 185-2021

Affects:

Adds Section 30-5-11-4.1, 32-21-2.5-12, to, amends Sections 30-5-4-1, 30-5-11-4, 32-17-14-12, IC 32-21-2-7, 33-42-0.5-18, 33-42-9-7, 33-42-9-12, 33-42-17-7, and 33-42-17-12 of, and repeals Sections 32-21-9-1, 32-21-9-2, 32-21-9-3, 32-21-9-4 of the Indiana Statutes.

Changes:
  1. Allows a paper or electronic power of attorney to be signed in the presence of a Notary or witnesses, and not only in the presence of a Notary as under current law.
  2. Allows a deed of gift, bill of sale, or other writing intended to transfer an interest in tangible personal property to be signed in the presence of a Notary or witnesses, and not only in the presence of a Notary as under current law.
  3. Validates an electronic power of attorney that is electronically signed and notarized using audiovisual communication on or after March 31, 2020, and before January 1, 2022, if it complies with all other requirements of Section 4 of IC 30-5-11 as they existed on June 30, 2020.
  4. Fixes the issue with a real property document requiring both a proof of execution and acknowledgment caused by Senate Bill 340 of 2020.
  5. Provides that the form of acknowledgment prescribed in IC 32-21-2-7(a)(3) and any of the following forms that are substantially the same are good and sufficient forms of acknowledgment of an instrument that is described in IC 32-21-2-3 and to be recorded: (a) an acknowledgment that complies with IC 33-42-0.5-2 and IC 33-42-9-12; (b) an acknowledgment for a remote notarial act that complies with IC 33-42-0.5-2, 33-42-0.5-26, 33-42-9-12, and 33-42-17-7.
  6. Defines and authorizes a remote Notary to take a proof.
  7. Provides a certificate form for a proof.
  8. Authorizes a Notary to certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record notarized with an acknowledgment or proof is a true copy.
  9. Provides a certificate for the copy certification of a paper printout of an electronic record that requires the Notary to certify that, at the time of printing, no security features present on the electronic record indicated any changes or errors in an electronic signature or other information in the electronic record after the electronic record's creation or execution.
  10. Repeals the authority of certain individuals serving in the armed services to perform notarial acts, as specified.
  11. Adds taking a proof as a notarial act in IC 33-42-0.5-18.
  12. Authorizes county recorders in their respective counties to perform notarial acts.
  13. Makes conforming changes to Indiana's Notary statutes by authorizing Notaries to perform proofs.
  14. Corrects IC 33-42-17-12 in striking the requirement that any individual performing remote notarial acts under any of the "recognition of notarial acts statutes" (IC 33-42-9-8, 33-42-9-9, 33-42-9-10 or 33-42-9-11) must be commissioned as an Indiana Notary, be registered as a remote Notary, and perform remote notarial acts as provided under IC 33-42.
  15. Validates powers of attorney electronically signed and notarized on or after March 31, 2020, and before January 1, 2022 using audiovisual communication technology to positively identify the principal or person signing at the principal’s direction, if the power of attorney complies with all other requirements of IC 30-5-11 as they existed on June 30, 2020.
  16. Makes technical changes.
Analysis:

House Bill 1255 contains a myriad of amendments to Indiana’s probate, real property, and Notary statutes. The bill is the second piece of legislation enacted into law this session clarifying that an acknowledgment or a proof of execution is required for a document to be recorded with the county recorders, correcting the slip-up last year which said both are required. HB 1255 authorizes Notaries to certify that a paper printout of an electronic record the Notary notarized is a true copy. HB 1255 also repeals a provision that required any Notary or notarial officer of any other U.S. state, Indian tribe, the federal government or a foreign state to be registered as an Indiana remote Notary in order to perform notarial acts. This statute was particularly problematic because Indiana’s Secretary of State has no authority over Notaries and notarial officers of other jurisdictions. The NNA worked with the Indiana Secretary of State’s office to fix this provision.

Read the bill text.

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