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Rule

TN Online Notarization Rules (2019)

Notary Law Update: TN Online Notarization Rules (2019)

State: Tennessee

Summary:

The Tennessee Secretary of State issues permanent online notarization rules to replace emergency rules adopted earlier this year.

Signed:  October 09, 2019

Effective:  January 07, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

Adds new chapter 1360-07-03 to the Tennessee Administrative Code.

Changes:
  1. Removes references throughout the rules to an online Notary's "unique" digital certificate and electronic seal.
  2. Repeals the provision in the emergency rules stating that the Secretary of State will issue an online Notary an identification number, which the online Notary must provide to anyone for whom the Notary performs an online notarization
  3. Repeals the former emergency rule requiring the ID number to appear below the electronic seal.
  4. Clarifies that an online Notary commission terminates on the same date on which the Notary Public commission terminates, regardless of when the online Notary commission was granted.
  5. Requires applications for an online Notary commission to be submitted online at sos.tn.gov .
  6. Provides that an online Notary may certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is an accurate copy only when the online Notary is capable of independently verifying the document is a true copy of the electronic record consistent with TCA 66-24-101(d).
  7. Clarifies that an online Notary's electronic seal may be square or rectangular in shape, and not just circular.
  8. Requires the words "My Commission Expires: [Date]" to appear below the words "Online Notary Public" beneath the electronic seal.
  9. Repeals the emergency rule requiring an online Notary to notify the Secretary of State of a change of name within 15 days of the change and repeals the emergency rule outlining the procedures for reporting a name change.
  10. Clarifies that an online Notary who replaces or changes an electronic notarial certificate or electronic seal or elects to use a new vendor or technologies to attach or logically associate an electronic notarial certificate, signature and seal, or to conduct identity proofing and credential analysis may provide updates on the Secretary of State's web-based Online Notary Application.
  11. Makes minor non-technical changes.
Analysis:

The Tennessee Secretary of State has updated its emergency rules implementing remote online notarization with permanent rules that take effect January 7, 2020. The emergency rules were effective until October 12, 2019, and thus needed to be extended or replaced with permanent rules. The permanent rules retain the emergency rules in substance, although there are some notable changes. The permanent rules no longer require the Notary’s identification number to appear beneath the seal. The Notary’s electronic seal now may be square or rectangular, and not only circular. The emergency rules regarding the reporting of a name change were dropped.

Read the text of the permanent rules.

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