MN House File 548 | NNA
Law

MN House File 548

Notary Law Update: MN House File 548

State: Minnesota

Summary:

House File 548 makes minor changes to Minnesota’s Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, most notably by emphasizing that the notarial acts of verification upon oath or affirmation and signature witnessing must be performed with the Notary present. An additional section of H.F. 548 expands the legislative permission for Minnesota counties to pursue electronic recording under the authority, standards-setting and pilot projects of the Electronic Real Estate Recording Task Force. 

Signed:  May 25, 2007

Effective:  August 01, 2007

Chapter: 148

Affects:

Amends Minnesota Statutes 358.41, 358.42, 358.50, 358.085 and 507.24

Changes:
  1. Expands the definition of “in a representative capacity” to include a limited liability company and states that an acknowledgment made for or on behalf of a limited liability company is prima facie (“on its face”) evidence that the instrument or electronic record was executed and delivered with proper authority.
  2. Clarifies that in taking a verification upon oath or affirmation or witnessing or attesting a signature, the Notary must be present.
  3. Authorizes the Electronic Real Estate Recording Task Force to amend existing standards and set new or additional standards for electronic recording in Minnesota; and to establish pilot projects to the full extent permitted by law.
Analysis:

The new changes reported in this New Law Alert were buried in a massive appropriations bill signed by the Governor on May 25, 2007. The changes made to Minnesota’s enactment of the Uniform Law on Notarial Acts simply reinforce that the Notary must be present to take a verification upon oath or affirmation and to witness or attest a signature and do not offer any new rules Notaries must follow. In fact, the Uniform Law on Notarial Acts already indicates that the person making the verification or signing for a signature witnessing must appear before the Notary; nevertheless, the additions were no doubt added to curb confusion or the lax practice of Notaries who performed these acts without requiring the presence of the person at the time the act was performed.

In Minnesota, the legal basis for electronic recording rests under a pilot program in which the Electronic Real Estate Recording Task Force (ERERTF) created in 2000 adopted standards and pilots in several counties. Section 70 of H.F. 548 appears to expand the influence and scope of the ERERTF. While perhaps Minnesota would be better served through enactment of a more permanent law such as the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, the legislature’s support of the ERERTF is encouraging. However, since the ERERTF can set standards for electronic recording, these standards could impact the notarizations performed on electronic records submitted for recording.

Read the bill text.

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