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Law

WA House Bill 1908

Notary Law Update: WA House Bill 1908

State: Washington

Summary:

House Bill 1908 repeals the Washington Electronic Authentication Act.

Signed:  April 24, 2019

Effective:  July 28, 2019

Chapter: 132

Affects:

Repeals Sections  19.34.010, 19.34.020, 19.34.030, 19.34.040, 19.34.100,19.34.101, 19.34.110, 19.34.111, 19.34.120, 19.34.130, 19.34.200, 19.34.210, 19.34.220, 19.34.230, 19.34.231, 19.34.240, 19.34.250, 19.34.260, 19.34.270, 19.34.280, 19.34.290, 19.34.291, 19.34.300, 19.34.305, 19.34.310, 19.34.311, 19.34.320,19.34.321, 19.34.330, 19.34.340, 19.34.350, 19.34.351, 19.34.360, 19.34.400, 19.34.410, 19.34.420, 19.34.500, 19.34.501, 19.34.502, 19.34.503, 19.34.900, 19.34.901, and 43.19.794 of the Revised Code of Washington.

Changes:
  1. Repeals the Washington electronic authentication act.
  2. Repeals the specific provision equating a digital signature and an acknowledgment certificate by a Notary.
Analysis:

The Washington Electronic Authentication Act (EAA) was an early (pre 2000) electronic signature and transactions law that was based on the implementation of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology. As such, it was a technology-specific law. When the Uniform Law Commission's technology-neutral Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) began being enacted throughout state legislatures, Washington held on to its own act. However, with the UETA being enacted in virtually every U.S. state and the District of Columbia, the Washington EAA became an outlier. Added to this is the fact that PKI technology was never broadly implemented. As the years went on, Washington enacted the Uniform Law Commission's Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act and Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, both which are founded on UETA principles. Thus, the repeal of the EAA makes sense because the world has changed and Washington itself has changed. The only question now is whether in a subsequent legislative session Washington will enact the UETA.

Read the bill text.

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