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Model Electronic Notarization Act Of 2017 Provides Fraud-Deterrent Updates For Notary Laws

LOS ANGELES - February 09, 2017

Model Legislation Aids Lawmakers Addressing Advances In Technology

Amid Increased Concerns About Consumer Protection

The National Notary Association (NNA) published the Model Electronic Notarization Act of 2017 (MENA) to ensure electronically notarized records are as trustworthy and fraud-free as their paper-based counterparts. The MENA updates and expands the electronic notarization provisions of the NNA’s 2010 Model Notary Act and is designed to complement existing Notary statutes. As with all of the NNA’s prior model acts, state legislators and regulators may choose to adopt all or part of the MENA to meet their needs.

“The MENA is the go-to resource for electronic notarization laws and rules. Every policymaker considering eNotarization should consult the MENA to review all policy options available to them,” said Bill Anderson, NNA Vice President of Government Affairs and a Drafting Coordinator to the MENA.

The Act contains updated rules for eNotarization systems, electronic journal records and the use of audio-video communication. It applies the fraud prevention and consumer protection best practices of traditional notarization to eNotarizations performed in the physical presence of the Notary and acts using audio-video communication technology. Drafted by the NNA and reviewed by a diverse panel of 28 state officials, legal and law enforcement professionals, technology providers, industry leaders and Notaries, the MENA includes a detailed legal commentary explaining the Act’s positions.

State officials and Notary experts have vigorously debated the use of webcam communication for notarial acts. Supporters claim audio-video technology will make eNotarization more convenient and secure. However, some states prohibit webcam notarizations, and detractors argue that removing physical presence from an electronic notarial act increases the risk of fraud. Reflecting the lack of consensus, the MENA brackets the Chapter 5A provisions on remote electronic notarization, giving legislators and policymakers the option of including or excluding them.

Please visit NationalNotary.org/mena to download the Act. For more information, read our special report What Businesses Need To Know About eNotarization: Technology, Trends & Webcams.

About the National Notary Association:

Established in 1957, the National Notary Association (NNA) is the leading professional authority on the American Notary office and is dedicated to educating, serving and advocating for the nation’s 4.4 million notaries. The NNA published the Model Notary Act and the Model Electronic Notarization Act to help lawmakers enact effective legislation and created The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility, a standard for best practices and professional conduct. To learn more, visit NationalNotary.org.