Your Cookies are Disabled! NationalNotary.org sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

ME House Paper 1503

Law

State: Maine
Signed: April 21, 2022

Effective: July 01, 2023
Chapter: Public Law No. 651

Summary
Maine becomes the latest state to enact the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts and the forty-first state to enact permanent remote notarization provisions.

Affects
Adds 4 MRSA Chapter 39 Sections 1901-1933 and 5 MRSA 90-G, amends 5 MRSA Sections 5, 82, and 33 MRSA 203, 19-A MRSA 654, 655, 657, and repeals 4 MRSA Chapters 19 and 22, and 4 MRSA 1056.

Changes

Definitions

  1. Defines “acknowledgment,” “electronic,” “electronic signature,” “in a representative capacity,” “notarial act,” “notarial officer,” “notary public,” “official stamp,” “person,” record,” “sign,” “signature,” “stamping device,” “state,” and “verification on oath or affirmation.”
  2. Defines “foreign state” for purposes of 4 MRSA 1914.
  3. Defines “communication technology,” “foreign state,” “identity proofing,” outside the United States,” and “remotely located individual” for purposes of 4 MRSA 1915.

Notary Commission

  1. Requires an applicant for a Notary commission to: (b) be at least 18 years of age; (b) be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in Maine; (c) be able to read and write English; (d) not be disqualified to receive a commission under 4 MRSA section 1924; and (e) have passed the examination required under 4 MRSA 1923, subsection
  2. Requires an applicant for a Notary commission to take and subscribe an oath or affirmation, as prescribed, before a Dedimus Justice.
  3. Clarifies that a Notary commission authorizes the Notary to perform notarial acts but does not provide the Notary any immunity or benefit conferred by the laws of this State on public officials or employees.
  4. Requires an applicant for a Notary commission who at the time of application does not currently hold a Maine Notary commission to pass an examination administered by the Secretary of State or an entity approved by the Secretary of State.
  5. Requires the Secretary of State or an entity approved by the Secretary to offer regularly a course of study to applicants for Notary Public commissions in Maine.
  6. Clarifies that the course must cover the laws, rules, procedures, and ethics relevant to notarial acts.
  7. Requires the Notary examination to be based on the course of study offered by the Secretary of State or entity approved by the Secretary.
  8. Authorizes the Secretary of State to deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or impose a condition on a notary public commission for any act or omission that demonstrates the individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence or reliability to act as a notary public, including: (a) failure to comply with Chapter 39; (b) a fraudulent, dishonest or deceitful statement or omission in the application for a notary public commission submitted to the Secretary; (c) conviction of the applicant or Notary of any crime punishable by one year or more imprisonment or a crime involving fraud, dishonesty or deceit; (d) a finding against, or admission of liability by, the applicant or Notary in any legal proceeding or disciplinary action based on the applicant's or notary public's fraud, dishonesty or deceit; (e) failure by the Notary to discharge any duty required of a notary public, whether by this chapter, rules of the Secretary or any federal or state law; (f) use of false or misleading advertising or representation by the Notary representing that the Notary has a duty, right or privilege that the Notary does not have; (g) violation by the Notary of a rule of the Secretary regarding a Notary; (h) denial, refusal to renew, revocation, suspension or conditioning of a Notary commission in another state; or (i) violation of 21-A MRSA 903-E.

Notarial and Prohibited Acts

  1. Repeals the authority of a Notary Public to perform marriage ceremonies.
  2. Authorizes notarial officers to perform signature witnessings and certify as true copies paper printouts of electronic records.
  3. Prohibits notarial officers from performing notarial acts for in which an in-law or step or half relative is a party or in which they have a direct beneficial interest.
  4. Provides that a notarial officer who is authorized to solemnize marriages under 19-A MRSA 655 may solemnize the marriage of a parent, sibling, or child or an in-law or a step or half relative.
  5. Prohibits notarial officers from administering an oath or affirmation to a circulator of a petition for direct initiative or people’s veto referendum if the officer also Provides services that are not notarial acts to initiate or promote that direct initiative or people's veto referendum.
  6. Clarifies that a notarial act performed when the Notary has a conflict of interest as provided in the new law is voidable.
  7. Requires a notarial officer who takes an acknowledgment or verification on oath or affirmation, and who witnesses or attests a signature to determine, from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence, that the individual appearing before the officer and making the acknowledgment or verification or signing the record has the identity claimed, and that in the case of an acknowledgment or verification, that the signature on the record is the signature of the individual.
  8. Requires a notarial officer who certifies or attests a copy of a record or an item that was copied to determine that the copy is a full, true, and accurate transcription or reproduction of the record or item.
  9. Requires a notarial officer who makes or notes a protest of a negotiable instrument to determine the matters set forth in 1MRSA 3-1505(1)(b).
  10. Requires a notarial officer, when requested, to enter on record all losses or damages sustained or apprehended by sea or land and all averages and such other matters as, by mercantile usage, appertain to the notarial officer's office and to grant warrants of survey on vessels.
  11. Clarifies that all facts, extracts from documents and circumstances so noted by a notarial officer must be signed and sworn to by all the persons appearing to protest all losses or damages sustained or apprehended by seal or land.
  12. Requires a notarial officer to note, extend and record the protest so made and grant authenticated copies to those who request and pay for them.
  13. Provides that if a notarial act relates to a statement made in or a signature executed on a record, the individual making the statement or executing the signature shall appear personally before the notarial officer.
  14. Provides that a notarial officer has personal knowledge of the identity of an individual appearing before the officer if the individual is personally known to the officer through dealings sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed.
  15. Provides that a notarial officer has satisfactory evidence of the identity of an individual appearing before the officer if the officer can identify the individual by (a) a passport, driver's license or government-issued nondriver identification card; or (b) another form of government identification issued to an individual that contains the signature or a photograph of the individual and is satisfactory to the notarial officer; or (c) by a verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally appearing before the notarial officer and known to the officer or whom the officer can identify on the basis of a passport, driver's license or government-issued nondriver identification card.
  16. Authorizes a notarial officer to require an individual to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to assure the officer of the identity of the individual.
  17. Authorizes a notarial officer to refuse a notarial act if the officer is not satisfied that the individual executing the record is competent or has the capacity to execute the record, or the individual's signature is knowingly and voluntarily made, and further Authorizes a notarial officer to refuse a notarial action unless refusal is prohibited by a law other that is contained in the new laws.
  18. Authorizes a notarial officer to perform a notarial act on a record signed by a person on behalf of an individual who is unable to sign, and Provides rules, as specified, for this circumstance.
  19. Provides that a Notary Public commission does not authorize an individual to: (a) assist persons in drafting legal records, give legal advice or otherwise practice law; (b) act as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters; (c) represent a person in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, United States citizenship or related matters; or (d) receive compensation for performing any of these activities.
  20. Prohibits a Notary from engaging in false or deceptive advertising.
  21. Prohibits a Notary who is not an attorney licensed to practice law in Maine from using the title "notario" or "notario publico."
  22. Requires a Notary Public who is not an attorney licensed to practice law in Maine and in any manner advertises or represents that the Notary offers notarial services, whether orally or in a record, including broadcast media, print media and the Internet, to include the following statement, or an alternate statement authorized or required by the Secretary of State, in the advertisement or representation, prominently and in each language used in the advertisement or representation: "I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in this State. I am not allowed to draft legal records, give advice on legal matters, including immigration, or charge a fee for those activities."
  23. Clarifies that if the form of advertisement or representation in #20 above is not broadcast media, print media or the Internet and does not permit inclusion of the statement required by this subsection because of size, the statement must be displayed prominently or provided at the place of performance of the notarial act before the notarial act is performed.
  24. Prohibits a Notary Public from withholding access to or possession of an original record provided by a person who seeks performance of a notarial act by the Notary except as otherwise allowed by law.

NOTARIAL CERTIFICATE

  1. Requires a notarial act to be evidenced by a certificate.
  2. Requires a certificate of notarial act to: (a) be executed contemporaneously with the performance of the notarial act; (b) be signed and dated by the notarial officer and, if the notarial officer is a notary public, be signed in the same manner as on file with the Secretary of State; (c) identify the jurisdiction in which the notarial act is performed; (d) contain the title of office of the notarial officer; (e) if the notarial officer is a notary public, indicate the date of expiration, if any, of the officer's commission, and (f) contain the legibly printed or typed name of the notarial officer.
  3. Provides a certificate of notarial act is sufficient if it meets the requirements in #and #2 above and (a) is in a short form set forth in 4 MRSA 1917, (b) is in a form otherwise permitted by the laws of Maine, (c) is in a form permitted by the law applicable in the jurisdiction in which the notarial act was performed, or (d) sets forth the actions of the notarial officer and the actions are sufficient to meet the requirements of the notarial act as provided in 4 MRSA 1905, 1906 and 1907 or a law of Maine other than Chapter 3
  4. Clarifies that by executing a notarial certificate, a notarial officer certifies that the officer has complied with the requirements and made the determinations specified in 4 MRSA 1904, 1905 and 1906.
  5. Prohibits a notarial officer from affixing the officer's signature to, or logically associate it with, a certificate until the notarial act has been performed.
  6. Requires a tangible notarial certificate to be part of or securely attached to the record.
  7. Requires an electronic notarial certificate to be affixed to or logically associated with the electronic record.
  8. Provides that if the Secretary of State has established standards by rule pursuant to 4 MRSA 1928 for attaching, affixing or logically associating the certificate, the process must conform to the standards.
  9. Provides short notarial certificate forms for an acknowledgment in an individual and representative capacity, an oath or affirmation, a signature witnessing, and a copy certification.

Official Stamp

  1. Requires a Notary Public to affix or emboss an official stamp on a tangible notarial certificate.
  2. Provides that if a notarial act is performed regarding a tangible record by a notarial officer other than a notary public and the is signed and dated by the notarial officer, identifies the jurisdiction in which the notarial act is performed, and contains the title of office of the notarial officer, an official stamp may be affixed to or embossed on the certificate.
  3. Provides that if a notarial act regarding an electronic record is performed by a notarial officer and the certificate is signed and dated by the notarial officer, identifies the jurisdiction in which the notarial act is performed, and contains the title of office of the notarial officer, an official stamp may be attached to or logically associated with the certificate.
  4. Requires the official stamp to be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed or attached or with which it is logically associated.
  5. Requires a Notary Public to be responsible for the security of the Notary's stamping device and may not allow another individual to use the device to perform a notarial act.
  6. Requires a Notary Public or a Notary’s personal representative to promptly notify the Secretary of State on discovering that the Notary’s stamping device is lost or stolen.
  7. Provides that on the expiration of the date set forth in the stamping device, if any, a Notary Public must disable the stamping device by destroying, defacing, damaging, erasing, or securing it against use in a manner that renders it unusable.
  8. Provides that on the death or adjudication of incompetency of a Notary Public, the Notary's personal representative or guardian or any other person knowingly in possession of the stamping device shall render it unusable by destroying, defacing, damaging, erasing or securing it against use in a manner that renders it unusable.

Journal

  1. Requires a notarial officer other than an attorney admitted and eligible to practice in Maine courts to maintain a journal in which the officer chronicles all notarial acts that the officer performs.
  2. Requires a notarial officer to retain the journal for 10 years after the performance of the last notarial act chronicled in the journal.
  3. Authorizes a journal to be tangible or electronic.
  4. Provides that a notarial officer must maintain only one journal at a time to chronicle all notarial acts performed regarding tangible records and one or more journals to chronicle all notarial acts performed regarding electronic records.
  5. Provides that a tangible journal must be a permanent, bound register with numbered pages.
  6. Provides that an electronic journal must be in a permanent, tamper-evident electronic format complying with the rules of the Secretary of State.
  7. Requires the following entries in the journal for each notarial act: (a) the date and time of the notarial act;(b) a description of the record, if any, and type of notarial act; (c) the full name and address of each individual for whom the notarial act is performed; (d) if identity of the individual is based on personal knowledge, a statement to that effect, or if identity of the individual is based on satisfactory evidence, a brief description of the method of identification and the identification credential presented, if any, including the dates of issuance and expiration of any identification credential; and (e) the fee, if any, charged by the notarial officer.
  8. Requires a notarial officer to promptly notify the Secretary of State on discovering that the Notary’s journal is lost or stolen.
  9. Provides that on resignation from, or the revocation or suspension of, a Notary Public's commission, the former Notary must retain journal in for 10 years after performance of the last notarial act recorded in the journal and inform the Secretary of State where the journal is located.
  10. Provides that instead of retaining a journal, a former Notary Public may transmit the journal to the Secretary of State or a repository approved by the Secretary.
  11. Provides that on the death or adjudication of incompetency of a current or former Notary Public, the notary's personal representative or guardian or any other person knowingly in possession of the journal shall transmit it to the Secretary of State or a repository approved by the Secretary of State.

Notarial Acts on Electronic Records

  1. Authorizes a notarial officer to select one or more tamper-evident technologies to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records.
  2. Prohibits a person from requiring a notarial officer to perform a notarial act with respect to an electronic record with a technology that the officer has not selected.
  3. Provides that before a notarial officer performs the officer's initial notarial act with respect to an electronic record, the officer shall notify the Secretary of State that the officer will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records and identify the technology the officer intends to use.
  4. Provides that if the Secretary of State has established by rule standards for approval of technology pursuant to section 1928, the technology must conform to the rules.
  5. Requires the Secretary of State to determine whether the technology proposed by the notarial officer is approved for use in Maine.

Notarial Acts for Remotely Located Individuals

  1. Provides that a remotely located individual may personally appear before a notarial officer using communication technology.
  2. Prohibits a notarial officer from performing the following notarial acts for a remotely located individual: (a) solemnizing a marriage pursuant to 19-A MRSA 655; (b) witnessing the marking and sealing of an absentee ballot pursuant to 21-A MRSA 754-A; (c) administering an oath or affirmation to a candidate for office under 21-A MRSA 336 or 355; (d) administering an oath or affirmation to the circulator of a candidate petition under 21-A MRSA 335 or 354; (e) witnessing the signing of an application for a people's veto referendum or the direct initiative of legislation under 21-A MRSA 901; or (f) administering an oath or affirmation to the circulator of a people's veto referendum or the direct initiative of legislation under 21-A MRSA 902.
  3. Authorizes a notarial officer located in Maine to use communication technology to perform a notarial act if the officer (a) has personal knowledge of the remotely located individual, (b) can identify the remotely located individual by the oath or affirmation from a credible witness appearing physically or remotely before the officer, or (3) can identify the remotely located individual by 2 forms of identity proofing.
  4. Authorizes a notarial officer located in Maine to use communication technology to perform a notarial act if the officer is able reasonably to confirm that a record before the notarial officer is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the individual executed a signature.
  5. Authorizes a notarial officer located in Maine to use communication technology to perform a notarial act if the notarial officer, or a person acting on behalf of the notarial officer, creates an audiovisual recording of the performance of the notarial act.
  6. Authorizes a notarial officer located in Maine to use communication technology to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual located 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.
  7. Authorizes a notarial officer located in Maine to use communication technology to perform a notarial act for a remotely located individual located outside the United States if 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. Authorizes a notarial officer to take an acknowledgment of a signature on a tangible record using communication technology if the record is displayed to and identified by the remotely located individual during the audiovisual recording.
  9. Clarifies that for an acknowledgment of a tangible record the requirement for a notarial officer to ensure that both the officer and remotely located individual are viewing the same record is satisfied if (a) the remotely located individual during the audiovisual recording, signs the record, makes a written declaration, as specified, under penalty of perjury that is part of or securely attached to the record, and sends the record and declaration to the officer not later than 4 days later; and (b) the notarial officer records the individual sign the declaration and tangible record, and after receipt of the tangible record and declaration executes a notarial certificate with a prescribed statement, as specified, in substantially the form provided.
  10. Provides that an acknowledgment performed by communication technology on a tangible record in compliance with the new law complies with the requirement that a notarial certificate must be executed contemporaneously with performance of the notarial act.
  11. Clarifies that the signed declaration is not the only procedure a notarial officer may use in taking a remote acknowledgment on a tangible record to satisfy the requirement that both the officer and remotely located individual are viewing the same record.
  12. Authorizes a notarial officer located in Maine to use communication technology to administer an oath or affirmation to a remotely located individual, if, except as otherwise provided by other Maine laws, the officer identifies the individual under the rules for a remote notarization, creates or causes the creation of an audiovisual recording of the individual taking the oath or affirmation, and retains or causes the retention of the recording in compliance with 4 MRSA 1911.
  13. The bill Provides that a short form certificate under 4 MRSA 1917 is sufficient for a notarial act using communication technology if it complies with any rules adopted regarding notarial acts for remotely located individuals and contains a statement substantially in the following form: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”
  14.  Requires a notarial officer, a guardian, conservator or agent of a notarial officer or a personal representative of a deceased notarial officer shall retain the audiovisual recording or cause the recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the person required to retain the recording, and further Requires the recording to be retained for at least 10 years unless a different period is required by administrative rule.
  15. Requires a notarial officer to notify the Secretary of State that the officer will be performing notarial acts with respect to remotely located individuals and identify the technologies the officer intends to use before the officer performs the officer’s initial such act.
  16. The bill Provides that a provider of communication technology, identity proofing, or storage appoints the Secretary of State as the provider's agent for service of process in any civil action in Maine related to the notarial act.

Recognition of Notarial Acts

  1. Recognizes notarial acts performed by a notary public, justice, judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a Maine court, a Maine attorney, and any individual authorized by a Maine law to perform a specific notarial act, Clarifies that the signature and title of any of these individuals are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title, and Provides that the signature and title of the notary public, judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a Maine court, or a Maine attorney conclusively establishes the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act.
  2. Recognizes notarial acts performed by a notary public, judge, clerk or deputy clerk of another state, and any individual authorized by law of the other state to perform a notarial act, Clarifies that the signature and title of any of these individuals are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title, and Provides that the signature and title of the notary public, judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a court of another state conclusively establishes the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act.
  3. Recognizes notarial acts performed by a notary public, judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a federally recognized Indiana tribe, and any individual authorized by law of the tribe to perform a notarial act, Clarifies that the signature and title of any of these individuals are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title, and Provides that the signature and title of the notary public, judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a court of the tribe conclusively establishes the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act.
  4. Recognizes notarial acts performed by a judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a federal court, an individual in military service or performing duties under the authority of military service who is authorized to perform notarial acts under federal law, an individual designated a notarizing officer by the United States Department of State for performing notarial acts overseas, and any individual authorized by federal law to perform a notarial act, Clarifies that the signature and title of any of these individuals are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title, and Provides that except for any other individual authorized to perform the notarial act under federal laws the signature and title of the officer conclusively establishes the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act.
  5. Recognizes notarial acts performed under authority and in the jurisdiction of a foreign state or constituent unit of a foreign state or performed under the authority of a multinational or international governmental organization, Provides that if the title of office and indication of authority to perform notarial acts in a foreign state appears in a digest of foreign law or in a list customarily used as a source for that information, the authority of an officer with that title to perform notarial acts is conclusively established, and that the signature and official stamp of the notarial officer of a foreign state are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and the individual holds the designated title.
  6. Clarifies that an apostille issued under the Hague Convention on Authentication or a consular authentication issued by an individual designated by the U.S. Department of State as a notarizing officer for performing notarial acts overseas and attached to the record with respect to which the notarial act is performed conclusively establishes that the signature of the notarial officer is genuine and that the officer holds the indicated office.

Rules

  1. Authorizes the Secretary of State to adopt rules to implement the Act.
  2. Authorizes the Secretary of State to adopt rules with respect to remotely located individuals.
  3. Authorizes the Secretary of State to specify by rule a reasonable fee for accepting service of process on behalf of a provider of communication technology, identity proofing, or storage.
  4. Clarifies that rules that are adopted are routine technical rules as defined in MRSA Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

Other Provisions

  1. Requires the Secretary of State to maintain an electronic database of Notaries Public through which a person may verify the authority of a Notary to perform notarial acts; and whether a Notary has notified the Secretary that the Notary will be performing notarial acts on electronic records or remotely.
  2. Provides that except as otherwise provided in 4 MRSA 1904, subsection 6, the failure of a notarial officer to perform a duty or meet a requirement specified in this chapter does not invalidate a notarial act performed by the notarial officer.
  3. Clarifies that the validity of a notarial act under Chapter 39 does not prevent an aggrieved person from seeking to invalidate the record or transaction that is the subject of the notarial act or from seeking other remedies based on the laws of Maine other than Chapter 39 or the laws of the United States.
  4. Clarifies that 4 MRSA 1927 does not validate a purported notarial act performed by an individual who does not have the authority to perform notarial acts.
  5. Clarifies that 4 MRSA 1927 does not limit the authority of the Secretary of State to reject candidate or initiative or referendum petitions under MRSA Title 21-A on the basis of improper notarizations.
  6. Provides that a Notary Public commission in effect on July 1, 2023, continues until its date of expiration.
  7. Clarifies that a Notary Public who applies to renew a commission on or after July 1, 2023, is subject to and shall comply the new laws.
  8. Clarifies that a Notary Public, in performing notarial acts after July 1, 2023, must comply with the new laws.
  9. Provides that violation of 4 MRSA 1926 (relating to prohibited acts) constitutes a civil violation for which a fine of not more than $5,000 may be adjudged.
  10. Extends the temporary authorization to perform remote notarizations during the COVID-19 state of emergency until July 1, 2023.
  11. Clarifies that in addition to any other remedy that may be available, a person who is aggrieved by a violation of 4 MRSA 1926 (relating to prohibited acts) may initiate a civil action in the Superior Court against the violator for injunctive relief or damages or both.
  12. Clarifies that if a court finds a violation of 4 MRSA 1926 (relating to prohibited acts), the court may award to the person: (a) an amount equal to actual damages sustained by the person as a result of the violation; (b) an amount equal to 3 times the actual damages; and (c) the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court.
  13. Provides that if the Attorney General has reason to believe that a person in Maine has engaged in or is engaging in activities that violate 4 MRSA 1926 (relating to prohibited acts), the Attorney General may initiate an action in the Superior Court to enforce this section.
  14. Authorizes the Secretary of State to license marriage officiants, and Provides rules, as specified, for licensure.
  15. Clarifies that if the Secretary of State denies, refuses to renew, revokes, suspends, or imposes conditions on a Notary Public commission, the applicant or Notary is entitled to timely notice and hearing in accordance with 5 MRSA, Chapter 375, subchapter 4.
  16. Clarifies that the authority of the Secretary of State to deny, refuse to renew, suspend, revoke, or impose conditions on a notary public commission does not prevent a person from seeking and obtaining other criminal or civil remedies provided by law.
  17. Authorizes the Secretary of State to license and renew a license of a marriage officiant who is (a) 18 years of age or older; (b) a resident of Maine; and (c) demonstrates a proficiency in the English language.
  18. Provides that a marriage officiant license is valid for 7 years.
  19. Makes conforming changes to other Maine statutes.

Repealed Provisions

  1. Repeals 4 MRSA Chapter 19 (the current Notary statutes).
  2. Repeals 4 MRSA Chapter 22 (the Uniform Recognition of Acknowledgments Act).
  3. Repeals 4 MRSA 1056 (the power of attorneys having the powers of Notaries Public).
Analysis
Maine thoroughly updates its Notary statutes with the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, including the RULONA's provisions for notarizations on electronic records and for remotely located individuals (remote notarization). The new law repeals the prior authority of Notaries Public in Maine to officiate at wedding ceremonies, but authorizes the Secretary of State to license "marriage officiants," which may include any Notaries who apply. Maine also continues the encouraging trend of enacting a journal requirement for all notarial acts, and requires any applicant who at the time of application does not have a Notary commission to pass an examination. The new law also requires the Secretary of State or an entity approved by the Secretary to regularly offer a course of instruction.

Read the text of House Paper 1503.
Close