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New Wyoming Law Strengthens State Notary Practices

Wyoming has significantly modernized its Notary Public statutes with a new law that includes major definitions and ethical provisions prescribed by the Model Notary Act of 2010. The new laws take effect July 1 for all commissioned Wyoming Notaries.

Senate Bill 150 clarifies procedures for performing a variety of notarial acts and important related issues, including updated clarifications and definitions regarding “satisfactory evidence of identity” and, “personal knowledge of identity,” among many others. And, for the first time, Wyoming has adopted the Model Notary Act’s “verification of fact” notarial act.

Also included in its provisions are an updated definition of “personal appearance,” an expanded fee schedule for notarial acts and instructions for when a Notary may charge a separate fee for travel expenses and guidelines for notarizing a signature by mark. The law specifically prohibits notarizing documents the Notary may have a beneficial interest in, signing a notarial certificate with information the Notary knows or believes is false, and using a Notary seal for endorsements.

The law further clarifies that a Notary may not certify a copy of a vital record or publicly recordable document, and stipulates that to certify a copy, a notarial officer must have the original document in his or her presence and copy or supervise the copying.

The full text of the bill is available from the Wyoming state legislature Web site. Members with questions about the new laws can also contact the NNA’s Notary Hotline.

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