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MD Administrative Regulations (2022)

Rule/Regulation

State: Maryland
Signed: November 04, 2022

Effective: November 14, 2022
Chapter: N/A

Summary
The Maryland Secretary of State has adopted rules raising fees for notarial acts and remote notarial acts.
Affects
Amends Sections .01, .02, .07, and .11 of Title 01, Subtitle 02, Chapter 08 of the Code of Maryland Regulations.
Changes

Notary Public Fees

  1. Raises the fee for the performance of a traditional notarial act from no more than $4 to no more than $6 for an original notarial act.
  2.  the fee for the performance of a remote notarial act from no more than $4 to no more than $25 for an original notarial act.
  3. Raises the fee for the notarization of multiple copies of a record as follows: (a) from no more than $2 to no more than $6 for notarizing each signature on the original or first copy of the record; and (b) from no more than $1 to no more than $3 for each signature on each additional copy of the same record.
  4. Raises the fee for reproductions of a notarized record or an entry in the Notary’s journal by photocopying or other means from no more than $1 to no more than $2 for each copy provided.
  5. Raises the fee for certifying a copy of a record in the Notary’s journal from no more than $2 to no more than $6.
  6. Prohibits a Notary from charging more than the allowed fee for a notarial act under Md. Code Ann. (State Gov’t) § 18–214, as set forth in COMAR 01.02.08.02F (sic).

Remote Notarial Acts

  1. Provides that if a Notary intends to perform remote notarial acts using a remote online notary vendor, the Notary must: (a) notify the Office of the Secretary of State in writing within 10 business days after making a change to a new remote online Notary vendor if the Notary changes vendors.
  2. Provides that if a Notary intends to perform remote notarial acts using a remote online Notary vendor, the Notary must notify the Secretary of State promptly in writing if the Notary reasonably believes a vendor previously selected does not allow the Notary to meet requirements set forth in State Government Article, Title 18, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland, and any applicable regulations.
  3. Provides if the Notary intends to perform remote notarial acts without identifying remotely located individuals through identity proofing and credential analysis, the Notary must submit a form used by the Office of the Secretary of State for this purpose and acknowledge that the Notary must have personal knowledge of the identity of the remotely located individual under Md. Code Ann. (State Gov’t) § 18–206(a) or have satisfactory evidence of the identity of the remotely located individual by verification on oath or affirmation from a credible witness appearing before and identified by the Notary under Md. Code Ann. (State Gov’t) 18– 206(b), or as a remotely located individual under COMAR 01.02.08.07.

Repealed Sections

  1. Repeals COMAR 01.02.08.07.A(7), which was moved under COMAR 01.02.08.07.A(2)(b).
  2. Repeals COMAR 01.02.08.07.B, which was moved under COMAR 01.02.08.07.A(2)(c).

Other Changes

  1. Amends the definition of "remote online notary vendor" to mean a company that provides communication technology primarily used to facilitate a notarial act for a remotely located individual "and the technology offered by the vendor includes identity proofing and credential analysis that the notary public may use when required by law to identify a remotely located individual."
  2. Clarifies that COMAR 01.02.08.07.A(2) -- related to notification requirements -- and A(3) -- related to submitting a form for identifying a remotely located individual by personal knowledge or a credible witness -- constitute acts or omissions that may constitute a failure to discharge any duty required of a Notary Public, whether imposed by any federal or State law or regulations adopted by the Secretary of State.
  3. Makes technical changes.
Analysis

New revised rules adopted by the Secretary of State and effective November 14 raise the fees Notaries may charge to perform traditional notarial acts from $4 to $6, and also raise the fees Notaries may charge to perform remote notarial acts from $4 to $25. Any time a fee increase is allowed, it is good for Notaries, and in the case of Maryland, both fees were due for an increase. Even at $6 for a traditional notarial act, Maryland lags behind many states that have raised their fees to $10 or more. But the fee for a remote notarial act was particularly insufficient, since a Notary must use communication and tamper-evident technologies to perform them. At $4 as the fee was prior to the increase, there was simply no way a Notary could make a return on investment for the fees the Notary would have to pay to utilize technology. Thus, $25 brings Maryland more into the mainstream as far as fees for remote notarizations go.

The revised rules also revise some procedures for the performance of remote notarizations. The most significant one is a Notary now must use a form published by the Secretary of State when the Notary does not rely on identity proofing and credential analysis to identify a remotely located individual. The form requires the Notary to acknowledge that they have personal knowledge of the remotely located individual or that they relied on the oath or affirmation of a credible witness to make the identification.

The revised rules were put out for comment, but the Secretary determined to adopt the rules as published.

Read the text of the proposed rules that were adopted as final.

Read the notice of adoption in the Maryland Register (under “Final Actions on Regulations”).

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