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Law

MN House File 15

Notary Law Update: MN House File 15

State: Minnesota

Summary:
House File 15 allows any Minnesota notarial officer to perform remote notarizations on any real property document that must be recorded during the peacetime public health emergency and for 60 days after it ends.

Signed:  October 21, 2020

Effective:  October 21, 2020

Chapter: TBD

Affects:
Creates an as yet uncodifed section in the Minnesota Statutes.

Changes:

Temporary Remote Notarization of Real Property Documents

  1. Clarifies that the requirement to appear personally for a real estate document that must be recorded is met during and for 60 days after the expiration of a peacetime public health emergency when the notarial officer and the individual making the statement or executing the signature communicate using video conference in real time.
  2. Defines "peacetime public health emergency" as any peacetime emergency declared by the governor in an executive order that relates to the infectious disease known as COVID-19.
  3. Authorizes the signer to act on behalf of themselves or in a representative capacity.
  4. Requires the notarial officer and signer to be physically located in Minnesota.
  5. Clarifies that the new law does not alter any other requirement in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 358.

Recording of Remote Notarial Act

  1. Requires the notarial officer to create an audio and video recording of the performance of the notarial act.
  2. Requires the recording to include the items required by Minnesota Statutes, 358.645 Subd. 4(a)(1), (3), (4), (5) and (6), namely: (a) The date and time of the notarization; (b) The type, the title, or a description of the electronic document or proceeding; (c) The printed name and address of each principal; (d) Evidence of identity of each principal whether by noting personal knowledge, the type of ID presented, the name and address of a credible witness personally known to the notarial officer, or the name and address of a credible witness not personally known to the officer public and a description of the type of identification documents provided to the officer; and (ed) The fee, if any, charged for the notarization.
  3. Requires the notarial officer to inform the signer on the recording of the temporary authority under which the temporary personal appearance is made, that the notarization is being recorded, that the recording may be subject to inspection by the commissioner of commerce, and that the recording will be maintained for a period of ten years.
  4. Requires the notarial officer to take reasonable steps to ensure the integrity, security, and authenticity of the audio and video record of the performance of the notarial act.
  5. Requires the notarial officer must maintain a backup of the audio and video record required in the new law and to protect the record and the backup from unauthorized access or use.
  6. Requires the notarial officer to maintain the recording for at least ten years after the date of the transaction or proceeding.
  7. Clarifies that the notification requirements of MS 358.645(6)(c) apply: (a) The notarial officer must immediately notify an appropriate law enforcement agency and the commissioner of commerce of the theft or vandalism of the officer’s electronic journal, electronic signature, or electronic seal; and (b) The notarial officer must immediately notify the commissioner of commerce of the loss or use by another person of the officer’s electronic journal or electronic seal.
  8. Requires the notarial officer to make any recordings made under this act available for inspection by the commissioner of commerce upon reasonable notice.
Analysis:
House File allows any Minnesota notarial officer (including a Notary Public) to perform remote notarizations on real property documents that must be recorded during the COVID-19 public health emergency and for 60 days after it ends. Under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 358 a Notary Public is authorized to perform remote notarizations, but this bill represents a temporary authorization. The bill does not alter any of these existing requirements for notarial officers who perform these remote notarizations.

The bill expires on January 6, 2020.

Read the bill text.

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