TN Senate Bill 317 | NNA
Law

TN Senate Bill 317

Notary Law Update: TN Senate Bill 317

State: Tennessee

Summary:

Senate Bill 317 enacts the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (URPERA) and authorizes a county register to record a copy of an electronic document if the electronic document is certified as a true and correct copy of the original before a Notary Public.

Signed:  June 13, 2007

Effective:  July 01, 2007

Chapter: 420

Affects:

Amends Section 66-24-101(d) of and adds Sections 66-24-201-6624-206 to the Tennessee Code Annotated

Changes:
  1. Enacts the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (URPERA), which permits county recorders to establish an electronic recording system to record electronic real property documents.
  2. Tasks the information systems council with the responsibility of creating technical standards for implementing the Act.
  3. Validates any electronic documents or digitized images accepted by the county register prior to the effective date of the act for imparting constructive notice.
  4. Stipulates that an electronic notarization is legal without the imprint of a Notary’s official physical seal.
  5. Authorizes a county register to record a copy of an electronic document if: (a) the writing is eligible for recordation; (b) the writing is created or retained as an electronic record in accordance with the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), the URPERA as codified in Tennessee or in another state or in a substantially similar law of another state as the URPERA, or is a digitized image of a paper document that accurately depicts the information in the paper document and is unalterable; and (c) the copy of the electronic document is certified as a true copy by a licensed attorney or custodian of the document before a Notary.
  6. Prescribes a notarial certificate for a copy certification of an electronic record.​
Analysis:

Tennessee adopts the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, adding definitions for “digitized image” and “wet signature” (the first definition for a term that is usually used colloquially for a signature made with pen and ink). Interestingly, Tennessee’s URPERA makes a distinction between an “electronic signature” and a “digitized image of a wet signature,” but this distinction may not be meaningful because an “electronic signature” as defined under the URPERA would encompass such a signature.

Perhaps the most innovative part of this new law is what may be the first enactment of a law authorizing a Notary to perform an electronic copy certification. The electronic copy may be an entirely electronic document or a paper document that has been converted to electronic form (digitized). Also interesting is the definition of a “digitized document,” which requires a paper-converted-to-electronic document to accurately depict the information in the paper document and to be “unalterable.” The law does not indicate how the document becomes “unalterable,” but a Notary using an Electronic Notary Seal to certify the copy could encrypt the digitized document so that any changes made to the document after it was copy-certified would be immediately detectable.

Read the bill text.

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