MT House Bill 399

Law

State: Montana
Signed: March 25, 2011

Effective: March 25, 2011
Chapter: 74

Summary

House Bill 399 permits registered owners assigning ownership of and secured parties releasing interest in a motor vehicle to sign title documents with electronic signatures and removes the notarization requirement if an electronic signature is used.

Affects

Amends Section 61-3-205 of the Montana Code Annotated

Changes
  1. Permits a registered owner of a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, camper, motorboat, personal watercraft, sailboat or snowmobile to use an electronic signature on the certificate of title or a limited power of attorney to assign ownership.
  2. Permits a secured party releasing interest in one of the abovementioned vehicles to use an electronic signature.
  3. Waives the requirement that the certificate of title or limited power of attorney assigning interest in one of the abovementioned vehicles must be acknowledged before a Notary if an electronic signature is used to sign the certificate of title or limited power of attorney.
Analysis

Montana is one of the few remaining states that still require motor vehicle title documents to be notarized. House Bill 399 permits the registered owner of a motor vehicle to sign a certificate of title and limited power of attorney assigning ownership of the vehicle with an electronic signature. The bill also allows any secured party, such as a lender, to release an interest in a motor vehicle with an electronic signature. While we applaud the Montana legislature for acting to allow electronic documents and signatures, we do not approve of the relaxing of the notarization requirement simply because an electronic signature is used. We believe that transactions involving electronic motor vehicle title documents should be notarized because the paper forms must be notarized. 

Read the bill text.

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