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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 19, 2017 09:13 AM
From: Senator Mike Folmer
To: All Senate members
Subject: Electronic Notarization of Documents
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to amend Title 57 (Notaries) to authorize the electronic notarization of documents where the signer appears before the notary by means of real-time audio-video communication.

If enacted into law, this concept would represent a significant modernization of the Notary law that would put Pennsylvania near the forefront in adopting this user-friendly and secure method of notarizing documents. The legislation builds upon the good work and dedication of the Commonwealth’s notaries while providing them an additional tool to authenticate documents and identify individual parties to a covered transaction.

Under my proposal, a notary public in this Commonwealth may perform acknowledgments, administer an oath or affirmation, take a verification on oath or affirmation, witness or attest electronic signatures, and certify or attest a copy by means of a real-time, two-way audio-video communication. Notarial acts by means of audio-video communication would only be performed using technology that allows individuals to communicate by simultaneously seeing and speaking to one another.

This proposal does not replace notaries, nor does it change in any way the types of services notaries provide. Rather, it would authorize the use of secure and reliable technology to assist notaries in the performance of their duties while at the same time providing a business and government-friendly alternative to being physically present. Similar legislation has been passed and widely utilized in Virginia and is currently pending consideration in multiple other states.

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this important and innovative initiative.

Introduced as SB595