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Law

MN House File 4531

Notary Law Update: MN House File 4531

State: Minnesota

Summary:

House File 4531 extends the expiration date of Minnesota driver's licenses and identification cards, two main forms of IDs Notaries accept, during the COVID-19 peacetime public health emergency.

Signed:  March 28, 2020

Effective:  March 28, 2020

Chapter: TBD

Affects:

Minnesota driver's licenses, identification cards, instruction permits, provisional licenses, operator's permits, limited licenses and farm work licenses.

Changes:
  1. Defines "peacetime public health​ emergency period" as the duration of any peacetime emergency declared by the governor​ in an executive order that relates to the infectious disease known as COVID-19, but ending ​no later than January 31, 2021.
  2. Provides that the expiration date is extended for any valid driver's license, including but not limited to an instruction permit,​ provisional license, operator's permit, limited license, and farm work license, and any Minnesota identification card, issued under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 171, that absent​ this extension would otherwise expire (1) during the peacetime public health emergency​ period, or (2) on any day of the month in which the peacetime public health emergency​ period terminates.
  3. Provides that these IDs are extended to the last day of the second consecutive​ month following the month in which the peacetime public health emergency period​ terminates.
Analysis:

Under Minnesota's Notary laws, a Notary may accept as satisfactory evidence of identity for a notarial act "a passport, driver’s license, or government-issued nondriver identification card that is currently valid; or ... another form of government identification issued to an individual that is currently valid, contains the individual’s signature or a photograph of the individual, and is satisfactory to the officer" (MS 358.57 Subd. 2(1)(i)). The important words here are "currently valid." A Minnesota driver's license or identification card must be currently valid for a Notary to accept it. During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals whose driver's licenses and identification cards expire are unable to renew them timely. Thus, House File 4531 seeks to remedy this by extending the expiration dates of these IDs to the end of the second month following the month in which the Governor terminates the peacetime public health emergency. Thus, Minnesota Notaries may accept an expired driver's license or identification card during this time. Notaries must keep informed of the future date when the Governor lifts the emergency to ensure that any ID they accept after that time is currently valid.

Read the bill text (see Section 15).

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