U.S. Notary Law Updates AUG 1, 2010 North Dakota

Notary Law Update: Senate Bill 2322

Description:

Senate Bill 2322 prohibits a Notary from notarizing any signature without positively identifying the signer. SB 2322 authorizes the Secretary of State to deny, revoke or suspend the commission of a Notary for violating any provision of Chapter 44-06 (“Notaries Public”) of the North Dakota Century Code and to adopt rules governing the signing and submission of electronic documents with a state agency. It also prohibits a Notary from notarizing a petition filed as a prerequisite to the calling of an election or for the performance or prohibition of any act under Section 1-01-50 of the North Dakota Century Code if the petition contains the Notary’s or the Notary’s spouse’s signature.

State: North Dakota

Effective: August 1, 2010

Signed: April 8, 2009

Chapter: TBD

Affects:

Amends Sections 1-08-12, 44-06-13.1 and 44-06-13.2 of the North Dakota Century Code

Changes:

1. Prohibits a Notary from notarizing a signature on a document if the Notary did not personally know or obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of the signer.

2. Authorizes the Secretary of State to deny, revoke or suspend the commission of a Notary for violating any provision of Chapter 44-06 (“Notaries Public”) of the North Dakota Century Code.

3. Prohibits a Notary from notarizing a signature on a petition submitted as a prerequisite for calling an election or for the performance or prohibition of any act under Section 1-01-50 if the Notary or Notary’s spouse is a signatory to the petition.

Analysis:

Senate Bill 2322 is an important new law that raises the bar for North Dakota Notaries in three important ways. First, the new law specifically prohibits a Notary from performing a notarial act without positively identifying the signer. Previously, identification was expressly required only for acknowledgments (see NDCC 47-19-20). Now, a signer of a document bearing a jurat must be identified through the Notary’s personal knowledge of the signer or satisfactory evidence. Second, North Dakota’s already strong statute prohibiting a Notary from notarizing a document containing the Notary’s or the Notary’s spouse’s name has been made stronger. The new law extends to any petition filed with a state officer, governing body, board, agency, instrumentality, or political subdivision as a prerequisite to the calling of an election or for the performance or prohibition of any act if the signature of the Notary or the Notary’s spouse is on the petition. Third, the new law authorizes the Secretary of State to take administrative action against the commission of a Notary who violates any provision of Chapter 44-06 of the North Dakota Century Code, the chapter of laws governing Notaries.