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PRINTER'S NO. 3496
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2370
Session of
2020
INTRODUCED BY M. K. KELLER, GREINER, GALLOWAY, RYAN,
SCHLOSSBERG, STRUZZI, GROVE, SANCHEZ, DeLUCA, WILLIAMS,
BARRAR, JAMES, KEEFER, HILL-EVANS, MACKENZIE, GREGORY AND
ROZZI, MARCH 23, 2020
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, MARCH 23, 2020
AN ACT
Amending Titles 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) and 57
(Notaries Public) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes,
in Uniform Unsworn Foreign Declarations Act, further
providing for heading of chapter, for short title of chapter,
for definitions, for applicability and for form of unsworn
declaration; and, in Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts,
further providing for authority to perform notarial act,
providing for notarial act performed by remotely located
individual and further providing for notification regarding
performance of notarial act on electronic record and
selection of technology.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Chapter 62 heading and sections 6201, 6202, 6203
and 6206 of Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
are amended to read:
CHAPTER 62
UNIFORM UNSWORN [FOREIGN]
DECLARATIONS ACT
§ 6201. Short title of chapter.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Uniform
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Unsworn [Foreign] Declarations Act.
§ 6202. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
["Boundaries of the United States." The geographic
boundaries of the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands
and any territory or insular possession subject to the
jurisdiction of the United States.]
"Law." Includes [the Federal or a state constitution, a
Federal or state] a statute, [a] judicial decision or order, [a]
rule of court, [an] executive order and [an] administrative
rule, regulation or order.
"Record." Information that is inscribed on a tangible medium
or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is
retrievable in perceivable form.
"Sign." With present intent to authenticate or adopt a
record:
(1) to execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or
(2) to attach to or logically associate with the record
an electronic symbol, sound or process.
["State." A state of the United States, the District of
Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or any territory or
insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United
States.]
"Sworn declaration." A declaration in a signed record given
under oath. The term includes a sworn statement, verification,
certificate and affidavit.
"Unsworn declaration." A declaration in a signed record
[that is] not given under oath but [is] given under penalty of
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perjury.
§ 6203. Applicability.
This chapter applies to an unsworn declaration by a declarant
who at the time of making the declaration is physically located
within or outside the boundaries of the United States whether or
not the location is subject to the jurisdiction of the United
States. [This chapter does not apply to a declaration by a
declarant who is physically located on property that is within
the boundaries of the United States and subject to the
jurisdiction of another country or a federally recognized Indian
tribe.]
§ 6206. Form of unsworn declaration.
An unsworn declaration under this chapter must be in
substantially the following form:
I declare under penalty of perjury under the law of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that the foregoing is true
and correct[, and that I am physically located outside
the geographic boundaries of the United States, Puerto
Rico, the Virgin Islands and any territory or insular
possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United
States].
[Executed] Signed on the........day of........,........,
at............................................,
(date)........(month)...........(year).........
([city] county or other location, and state)............
...............................................
(country)..................................
(printed name).............................
(signature)................................
Section 2. Section 304 of Title 57 is amended by adding a
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subsection to read:
§ 304. Authority to perform notarial act.
* * *
(c) Certification of tangible copies.--A notarial officer
may certify that a tangible copy of an electronic record is a
true and correct copy of the electronic record.
Section 3. Title 57 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 314.1. Notarial act performed by remotely located individual.
(a) General rule.--A remotely located individual may comply
with section 306 (relating to personal appearance required) by
appearing before a notary public by means of communication
technology.
(b) Use of communication technology.--A notary public
located in this Commonwealth may perform a notarial act
facilitated by communication technology for a remotely located
individual if all of the following apply:
(1) The notary public:
(i) has personal knowledge under section 307(a)
(relating to identification of individual) of the
identity of the individual;
(ii) has satisfactory evidence of the identity of
the remotely located individual by oath or affirmation
from a credible witness appearing before the notary
public under section 307(b)(2) or under this section; or
(iii) is able to reasonably identify the individual
by at least two different types of identity proofing
processes or services.
(2) The notary public is able to reasonably identify a
record before the notary public as the same record:
(i) in which the remotely located individual made
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the statement; or
(ii) on which the remotely located individual
executed the signature.
(3) The notary public, or a person acting on behalf of
the notary public, creates an audio-visual recording of the
performance of the notarial act.
(4) If the remotely located individual is located
outside the United States, all of the following apply:
(i) The record:
(A) is to be filed with or relates to a matter
before a court, governmental entity, public official
or other entity under the jurisdiction of the United
States; or
(B) involves:
(I) property located in the territorial
jurisdiction of the United States; or
(II) a transaction substantially connected
with the United States.
(ii) The act of making the statement or signing the
record is not prohibited by the foreign state where the
remotely located individual is located.
(c) Notarial certificate.--If a notarial act is subject to
this section, the certificate of notarial act required by
section 315 (relating to certificate of notarial act) and the
short form certificate under section 316 (relating to short form
certificates) must indicate that the notarial act was performed
by means of communication technology.
(d) Sufficiency.--A short form certificate under section 316
for a notarial act subject to this section is sufficient if
either of the following apply:
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(1) The short form certificate is in the form provided
by section 316 and contains a statement substantially as
follows:
"This notarial act involved the use of communication
technology."
(2) The certificate complies with the regulations
promulgated under subsection (g)(1).
(e) Audio-visual recording.--The following apply:
(1) This subsection applies to:
(i) a notary public;
(ii) a guardian, a conservator or an agent of a
notary public; or
(iii) a personal representative of a deceased notary
public.
(2) A person under paragraph (1) shall retain the audio-
visual recording created under subsection (b)(3) or cause the
recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on
behalf of the notary public. The person shall retain the
recording:
(i) for at least 10 years after the recording is
created; or
(ii) as otherwise required by the regulations
promulgated under subsection (g)(4).
(f) Notification.--The following apply:
(1) Before a notary public performs the notary public's
initial notarial act under this section, the notary public
must notify the department that the notary public will be
performing notarial acts facilitated by communication
technology and identify the technology.
(2) If the department has established standards for
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approval of communication technology or identity proofing
under subsection (g) and section 327 (relating to
regulations), the communication technology and identity
proofing must conform to the standards.
(g) Regulations.--In addition to matters listed in section
327, the department may promulgate regulations regarding
performance of a notarial act performed under this section. The
regulations may do all of the following:
(1) Prescribe the means of performing a notarial act
involving communication technology to communicate with a
remotely located individual.
(2) Establish standards for communication technology and
identity proofing. This paragraph includes the use of
credential analysis, dynamic knowledge-based authentication,
biometrics and other means of identification.
(3) Establish requirements or procedures to approve
providers of communication technology and the process of
identity proofing.
(4) Establish standards and periods for the retention of
an audio-visual recording created under subsection (b)(3) of
the performance of a notarial act.
(h) Promotion of uniformity.--Before promulgating, amending
or repealing regulations about the performance of a notarial act
with respect to a remotely located individual, the department
shall consider, if consistent with this chapter, all of the
following:
(1) The most recent standards regarding the performance
of a notarial act with respect to remotely located
individuals promulgated by a national standard-setting
organization. This paragraph includes the National
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Association of Secretaries of State.
(2) Standards, practices and customs of other
jurisdictions that enact a statutory provision substantially
similar to this section.
(3) The views of governmental officials and entities and
other interested persons.
(i) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Communication technology." An electronic device or process
that:
(1) allows a notary public located in this Commonwealth
and a remotely located individual to communicate with each
other simultaneously by sight and sound; and
(2) makes reasonable accommodations for an individual
with a vision, hearing or speech impairment in accordance
with law.
"Foreign state." A jurisdiction other than the United
States, a state or a federally recognized Indian tribe.
"Identity proofing." A process or service by which a third
person provides a notary public with a means to verify the
identity of a remotely located individual by a review of
personal information from public or private data sources.
"Outside the United States." A location outside the
geographic boundaries of:
(1) the United States;
(2) Puerto Rico;
(3) the Virgin Islands; and
(4) any territory, insular possession or other location
subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
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"Remotely located individual." An individual who is not in
the physical presence of the notary public performing a notarial
act under subsection (b).
Section 4. Section 320 of Title 57 is amended by adding a
subsection to read:
§ 320. Notification regarding performance of notarial act on
electronic record; selection of technology.
* * *
(c) Certification of tangible copies.--A recorder of deeds
may accept for recording a tangible copy of an electronic record
containing a notarial certificate as satisfying any requirement
that the record be an original, if the notarial officer
executing the notarial certificate certifies that the tangible
copy is an accurate copy of the electronic record.
Section 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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