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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 14, 2020 04:01 PM
From: Senator Doug Mastriano
To: All Senate members
Subject: Remote Notarization of Documents
In the near future, I intend to introduce the following legislation, and I invite you to join me as a co-sponsor:

Remote Notarization of Documents.

This proposal represents a significant modernization of the Notary Law by allowing user-friendly and secure methods for the electronic notarization of documents. Notaries would be given additional tools to perform their duties for remotely located individuals – including those who may be outside the United States. This would be done by authenticating documents and identifying individual parties through communication technology and identity proofing to certify copies of electronic records are true copies.

My bill establishes definitions for “communication technology”, “foreign state”, “identity proofing”,” outside the United States”, and “remotely located individual”. The Pennsylvania Department of State would be required to issue regulations for these new definitions and for retention periods for recordings.

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 a number of other states.

The bill was previously introduced as SB595 during the 2017-2018 legislative session. It was co-sponsored by Senators Brewster, Browne, Dinniman and Martin. The legislation passed the Senate by a unanimous vote.

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this important and innovative initiative. If you have any thoughts, questions or concerns, please contact Scot Pitzer in my office at 717-787-4651.

Introduced as SB1097