NE Legislative Bill 465 | NNA
Law

NE Legislative Bill 465

Notary Law Update: NE Legislative Bill 465

State: Nebraska

Summary:

Nebraska LB 465 enacts specific statutory rules for electronic notarization effective July 1, 2017.

Signed:  April 18, 2016

Effective:  July 01, 2017

Chapter: TBD

Affects:

Creates as yet uncodified sections in the Nebraska Revised Statutes

Changes:

Definitions

  1. Defines “electronic,” “electronic document,” “electronic notarial act,” “electronic notary public,” “electronic notary seal,” “electronic notary solution provider,” and “electronic signature.”
  2. Provides that a Notary’s electronic Notary signature is an electronic signature which has been approved by the Secretary of State in rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary.

Registration

  1. Requires Notaries who want to perform electronic notarization to register as electronic Notaries before performing electronic notarizations.
  2. Requires Notaries to hold a valid Notary commission, take an education course approved by the Secretary of State, pass an examination and pay the for registration established by the Secretary of State by regulation in order to register as an electronic Notary. (Note: The fee may not be more than $100.). The Act also requires the registration to specify the technology the Notary intends to use and requires such technology to be provided by an electronic Notary solution provider approved by the Secretary of State.
  3. Clarifies that registration as an electronic Notary coincides with one’s Notary commission and further clarifies that an electronic Notary may renew his or her registration at the same time he or she renews his or her Notary commission.

Electronic Notarial Acts

  1. Authorizes the notarial acts electronic Notaries may perform – acknowledgments, jurats, verifications or proofs and oaths or affirmations.
  2. Prohibits an electronic Notary from performing an electronic notarization if the signer is not in the physical presence of an electronic Notary.
  3. Prohibits an electronic Notary from performing an electronic notarization if the signer is not personally known to the electronic Notary or identified through satisfactory evidence of identity as provided in RSN 64-105.
  4. Requires an electronic notarial act to contain the Notary’s electronic Notary seal and electronic signature and completed wording for an acknowledgment, jurat, verification or proof, or oath or affirmation certificate.
  5. Provides that a Notary’s electronic signature in combination with the electronic Notary seal shall be used only for the purpose of performing an electronic notarial act.
  6. Prescribes rules for authenticating the electronic signatures and seals by the Secretary of State and authorizes the Secretary to charge $20 for an electronic certificate of authority.
  7. Provides that a person who violates the Electronic Notary Public Act may have his or her registration removed under RSN 64-113.
  8. Clarifies that RSN 64-101 to 64-119 and 64-211 to 64-215 and the Uniform Recognition of Acknowledgments Act govern an electronic Notary unless the provisions of such sections and act are in conflict with the Electronic Notary Public Act, in which case the Electronic Notary Public Act controls.

Security and Integrity of Electronic Notarizations

  1. Requires an electronic Notary public to safeguard his or her electronic signature, electronic Notary seal, and all other notarial records. 
  2. Requires notarial records to be maintained by the electronic Notary and prohibits an electronic Notary from surrendering or destroying the records except as required by a court order or as allowed under rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the Secretary of State.
  3. Requires an electronic Notary public to keep his or her electronic signature, electronic Notary seal, and all other notarial records secure, under his or her exclusive control, and shall not allow them to be used by any other Notary or any other person.
  4. Requires an electronic Notary within ten days after discovering that his or her electronic Notary seal or electronic signature has been stolen, lost, damaged, or otherwise rendered incapable of being attached to or logically associated with an electronic document to notify the Secretary of State and appropriate law enforcement agency in the case of theft or vandalism.
  5. Provides that when the registration of an electronic Notary public expires or is resigned, canceled, or revoked or when an electronic Notary dies, he or she or his or her duly authorized representative shall erase, delete, or destroy the coding, disk, certificate, card, software, file, or program that enables the attachment or logical association of the Notary public’s electronic signature. 
  6. Clarifies that a former electronic Notary whose previous registration was not revoked, canceled, or denied by the Secretary of State need not erase, delete, or destroy the coding, disk, certificate, card, software, file, or program that enables the attachment or logical association of the Notary’s electronic signature if he or she is reregistered using the same electronic signature within three months after the registration expires.

Rules and Regulations

  1. Permits the Secretary of State to promulgate rules and regulations for ensuring the integrity, security and authenticity of electronic notarizations, and requires the rules and regulations to provide for approving electronic Notary solution providers.
  2. Permits the Secretary of State to promulgate rules and regulations for requiring an electronic Notary to maintain a record, journal or entry of each electronic notarization.
Analysis:

Nebraska joins a number other states that have enacted specific laws for electronic notarization. Nebraska Legislative Bill 465 enacts specific rules for electronic notarizations based largely on the NNA’s Model Notary Act of 2010. The bill requires Notaries to register as electronic Notaries before performing eNotarizations. They must take a course of instruction and pass an examination on electronic notarization. Notaries must inform the Secretary of State of the technology they intend to use when performing eNotarizations and use only electronic Notary solution providers who have been approved by the Secretary of State. The bill outlines the requirements for securing the electronic Notary’s electronic signature and seal, and records of eNotarizations. The bill allows the Secretary of State to promulgate rules and regulations for ensuring the integrity of electronic notarial acts and for approving electronic Notary solution providers.

The bill takes effect on July 1, 2017.

Read the bill text.

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