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Law

IN Senate Bill 340

Notary Law Update: IN Senate Bill 340

State: Indiana

Summary:

Senate Bill 340 requires Notaries to perform two notarial acts – an acknowledgment and proof of execution – on document that will be recorded in an Indiana county.

Signed:  March 18, 2020

Effective:  July 01, 2020

Chapter: Public Law 80

Affects:

Amends Section 32-21-2-2 of the Indiana Code.

Changes:
  1. Provides that a conveyance, a mortgage, or an instrument of writing to be recorded must be acknowledged by the grantor and proved before a judge, clerk of court of record, county auditor, county recorder, Notary Public, mayor of a city in Indiana or any other state, commissioner appointed in a state other than Indiana by the governor of Indiana, minister, charge d’affairs, or consul of the United States in any foreign country, clerk of the city council for a consolidated city, city clerk for a second class city, or clerk-treasurer for a third class city, clerk-treasurer for a town, or a person authorized under IC 2-3-4-1.
Analysis:

In what can only be described as an unintentional drafting error with potential consequences for Notaries in every U.S. jurisdiction, Senate Bill 340 requires Notaries to perform two notarial acts — an acknowledgment and a proof of execution by subscribing witness — on every document that will be recorded in an Indiana county beginning July 1, 2020. The prior statute required a document submitted for recording to be acknowledged or proved, but SB 340 changed “or” to “and.” It has been reported to the NNA that while the change was made to make the statute clearer, there was no intention to change existing law that required either and not both notarial acts to be performed on a document submitted for recording. The Indiana State Bar, Indiana Land Title Association and several title underwriters have issued advisories on the effect of the new law and have begun to educate their members on how to perform the common law notarial act of proof of execution. These associations and underwriters all agree that emergency legislation to fix the error in the 2021 legislative session will be necessary to revert the statute back to its original reading.

Read the bill text.

Read the Notary Bulletin article on this new law.

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