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UT House Bill 25


State: Utah
Signed: March 19, 2024

Effective: May 01, 2024
Chapter: TBD


House Bill 25 redefines “electronic notarization” to include in-person electronic notarial acts performed on documents that are filed with a county recorder and makes modifications to certain seal provisions to reflect this expanded definition.


Amends Sections 46-1-2, 46.1-3.6, 46-1-3.7, 46-1-14, and 46-1-17 of the Utah Code Annotated.

  1. Defines "electronic notarization" to mean a (a) remote notarial act or (b) notarial act of a document in an electronic format that may be recorded under UCA 17-21-18.5 and that conforms to the rules adopted under UCA 46-1-3.7.
  2. Clarifies that an “electronic seal” is an electronic version of the official seal described in UCA 46-1-16 that a Notary may attach to a notarial certificate to complete an electronic notarization and conforms with rules made under UCA 46-1-3.7(1)(d).
  3. Provides that an individual may not create, obtain, or possess an electronic seal unless the (a) individual is a Notary and (b) electronic seal complies with the standards established by rule.
  4. Modifies a provision authorizing the Lieutenant Governor to adopt rules for the electronic software and hardware that a Notary may use to perform an electronic notarization and electronic seals that a Notary may use to complete an electronic notarial act.
  5. Makes pointer reference changes.
  6. Makes technical edits.

In state enactments of remote notarization laws, the NNA has observed that in many cases policymakers have ignored in-person electronic notarization or equated the two. House Bill 25 does the latter when it defines “electronic notarization” as a remote notarization or any notarial act in an electronic format that may be recorded by a county recorder. But not only does House Bill 25 confusingly refer to a remote and an in-person electronic notarization by the same term, the new definition of “electronic notarization is problematic for another reason. It appears to limit — at least in the Notaries Public Reform Act — in-person electronic notarial acts to electronic real property documents and any other documents that are filed with a county recorder. In addition, House Bill 25 and the Notaries Public Reform Act nowhere explicitly authorize Notaries to perform in-person electronic notarial acts. Since 2000, the Utah Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) has authorized Notaries Public to use electronic signatures to perform notarial acts not only on real estate documents but in any “transaction” (UCA 46-4-103), but it indicates that in performing a notarial act on an electronic record, UCA 46-1-16(8) must be followed. That statute refers to a notarial certificate on an electronic message or document being complete without the Notary’s official seal if certain information, as specified, appears electronically within the message or document. This is a sort of backhanded authorization. Thus, House Bill 25 is a half solution. It recognizes there are other electronic notarizations distinct from remote notarizations. However, a definitive authorization for Notaries to perform in-person electronic notarial acts and a clarification that authorizes Notaries to perform in-person electronic notarial acts on any document requiring notarization and not just real property documents that are filed with a recorder are needed now.

Read House Bill 25.