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Law

VT Senate Bill 114

Notary Law Update: VT Senate Bill 114

State: Vermont

Summary:

Senate Bill 114 enacts provisions related to powers of attorney and real estate documents that are signed in conformance with the Vermont Secretary of State's emergency rules for remote notarial acts.

Signed:  April 28, 2020

Effective:  April 28, 2020

Chapter: TBD

Affects:

Amends 14 VSA 3503 and 27 VSA 341.

Changes:
  1. Provides that during the period that the Secretary of State's emergency rules for remote notarial acts are in effect, the witness to a power of attorney signed in conformance with the rules and pursuant to 14 VSA 3503 shall be considered in the presence of the principal whether or not the witness is physically present with the principal or Notary.
  2. Provides that a power of attorney executed in compliance with the Secretary's emergency rules shall be presumed to be valid if the notarial certificate attached to the power contains an affirmative statement of compliance with the emergency rules.
  3. Provides that a deed or other instrument executed in compliance with the emergency rules of the Secretary of State will be presumed to be valid if the notarial certificate attached to the deed or other instrument contains an affirmative statement of compliance with the rules.
  4. Allows a party to file any document that would otherwise require the approval or verification of a Notary, except for an affidavit in support of a search warrant application or to an application for a nontestimonial identification order, by filing with the document a statement, as specified, under declaration of penalty of perjury.
Analysis:

During the COVID-19 state of emergency, the Vermont Secretary of State issued emergency rules authorizing remote ink signed notarizations (RIN) during the state of emergency and until September 25, 2020. Senate Bill 114 appears to address concerns about whether powers of attorney and real property documents notarized under the emergency rules are valid.

Read the bill text.

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