VA Senate Bill 833 | NNA
Law

VA Senate Bill 833

Notary Law Update: VA Senate Bill 833

State: Virginia

Summary:

In 2007, Virginia enacted a sweeping new electronic notarization bill with an effective date of July 1, 2008. The effective date was postponed due to the lack of standards for electronic notarization. Senate Bill 833 authorizes the Secretary of the Commonwealth to develop these standards in consultation with the Virginia Information Technologies Agency. The Act also declares that any electronic notarization performed in conformance with the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act that appears on its face to be properly notarized shall be presumed to have been notarized in accordance with Virginia law and rule.

Signed:  March 16, 2009

Effective:  March 16, 2009

Chapter: 160

Affects:

Adds Section 47.1-6.1 and amends Sections 47.1-7 and 47.1-16 of the Code of Virginia

Changes:
  1. Authorizes the Secretary of the Commonwealth to promulgate standards related to the equipment, security and technology of electronic notarization with the assistance and counsel of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.
  2. Exempts the creation and maintenance of electronic notarization standards from the Administrative Process Act.
  3. Requires an applicant registering for an electronic Notary commission to certify that he or she is in compliance with the electronic notarization standards promulgated by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
  4. Clarifies that a Notary’s electronic signature and seal shall conform to the standards promulgated by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
  5. Declares that an electronic notarization performed in compliance with the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act that on its face appears to be properly notarized shall be presumed to have been properly notarized in conformance with the laws and regulations of Virginia.
Analysis:

In the days leading up to the July 1, 2008, effective date of Virginia House Bill 2058 of 2007, the Secretary of the Commonwealth sought the opinion of the Virginia Attorney General to clarify whether the newly-enacted eNotarization laws that were part of House Bill 2058 authorized the Secretary to establish rules for electronic notarization. The Attorney General opined that the law did not give the Secretary or any state office this authority. Meanwhile, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency determined that proceeding to implement these laws without any technological standards or requirements would be inherently prone to fraud and would lead to an overall lack of confidence in electronic notarization in Virginia. This prompted the Governor to formally postpone the effective date of the eNotarization laws until the lack of standards could be remedied by the General Assembly. Senate Bill 833 was enacted by the General Assembly to authorized the Secretary of the Commonwealth to publish regulations for eNotarization.

Section 2 of the Act declares that all electronic notarizations previously performed in Virginia under the authority granted by Virginia’s Uniform Electronic Transactions Act are presumed to be valid notarizations.

The drafting of electronic notarization rules has already begun and the NNA is involved in the process to ensure that the rules are beneficial to Notaries.

Read the bill text.

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