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Law

SD House Bill 1272

Notary Law Update: SD House Bill 1272

State: South Dakota

Summary:

House Bill 1272 enacts remote online notarization provisions for tangible (paper) documents and other provisions affecting Notary seals and notarial acts.

Signed:  March 18, 2019

Effective:  July 01, 2019

Chapter: TBD

Affects:

Adds new as yet uncodified sections to Chapter 18-1 and amends Sections 18.1-3.1, 18-1.7, 18-1-11, 18-1-12.1 and 18-4-10 of the South Dakota Codified Laws.

Changes:
  1. Defines "acknowledgment," "communication technology," "notarial act," "notarial officer," and "verification on oath or affirmation."
  2. Authorizes a notarial officer while located in South Dakota to perform online notarizations on tangible (paper) documents.
  3. Requires the notarial officer to do the following to perform a remote notarial act: (a) The notarial officer must have personal knowledge of the person; (b) The notarial officer must affix the officer’s signature to the original tangible document executed by the person; (c) The notarial officer must be reasonably able to confirm the record before the notarial officer as the same record the principal signed; (d) The notarial officer indicates in the notarial certificate the remote location of the person executing the document; and (e) The notarial officer indicates in the notarial certificate that the notarial act involved a statement made or a signature executed by a person not in the physical presence of the notarial officer, but appearing by means of communication technology.
  4. Requires notarial officers (and not just Notaries Public) to have and use an official seal.
  5. Provides that a seal may be a rubber stamp or a physical device approved by the Secretary of State and that is capable of affixing to or embossing on a tangible document.
  6. Requires a notarial officer to indicate the date of commission expiration below the seal.
  7. Provides that it is a Class 2 misdemeanor if a notarial officer signs any document when the parties memorialized in the document have not appeared before the officer either in-person or by means of communication technology.
  8. Clarifies that an acknowledgment of an instrument performed in the presence of a person making the acknowledgment must not be taken unless the notarial officer knows or has satisfactory evidence on the oath or affirmation of a credible witness, that the person making the acknowledgment is the individual who is described in and who executed the instrument; or, if executed by a corporation, that the person making the acknowledgment is an officer of the corporation authorized to execute the instrument.
  9. Makes technical amendments.
Analysis:

House Bill 1272 started out as a broader remote online notarization (RON) bill for electronic and paper documents, but was amended to allow RONs only for paper documents and in cases in which the notarial officer personally knows the principal. HB 1272 also broadens the Notary seal requirement to apply not just to Notaries Public but any "notarial officer" which is defined in the bill to include a Notary or any other person authorized to perform a notarial act.

Read the bill text.

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