Michigan e-Notary Bill/Remote Notary Trends:
On November 28, 2017, State Senator Peter MacGregor introduced Senate Bill 664 which permits a Michigan Notary to “select 1 or more tamper-evident technologies to perform notarial acts electronically.” The bill requires the Secretary of State and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget to review and approve the technologies for the electronic performance of notarial acts. This bill has been sent to the Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions. The Real Property Section of the State Bar of Michigan and the Michigan Land Title Association both plan to suggest changes to the current legislation.
Electronic or e-Notary is essentially the same as traditional “paper” notarization except that the document is being notarized is in digital form and the Notary signs with an electronic signature.
Almost every state has enacted some form of e-Notarization law whether through the adoption of the Uniform Electronic Transfer Act or by its own state law. Many of these laws are based upon the Model Electronic Notarization Act published in January 2017 by the National Notary Association. Model eNotarization Act 2017
e-Notarization is not remote or “webcam” notarization. Webcam notarization makes use of video and audio technology on the internet to allow signers to personally appear and communicate with the Notary at the time of the notarization. In webcam notarizations, the signer is not in the physical presence of the Notary.
The Michigan bill permits e-Notarization but does not permit remote webcam notarization. Virginia, Montana and Ohio have enacted laws that allow remote webcam notarization. Texas and Nevada have passed laws that permit it after July 1, 2018.
The Michigan bill can be viewed at MI Legislature 0664
Orlans PC will provide input and monitor this bill as it is discussed in the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. Orlans PC will continue to monitor the trend of states that now permit remote video notarization.