Iowa enacted new laws this month that strengthen the state’s notarial system to protect consumers, and provide clear procedures in several key areas. Senate File 2265, signed into law April 4 by Governor Terry Branstad, draws many of its provisions from the Revised Uniform Law On Notarial Acts (RULONA), a set of uniform model laws designed to help state lawmakers standardize and modernize their statutes.
The law now cites clear definitions and procedures for requiring personal appearance, what constitutes satisfactory evidence of identification, when beneficial interest disqualifies a person from notarizing a document, and alternative steps if a person is physically unable to sign a document.
The legislation also specifies that several best practices supported by the NNA — such as mandatory personal appearance by a signer — are now required under state law for every notarization.
Iowa is the second state to adopt provisions of the 2010 version of RULONA. North Dakota was the first, enacting legislation last August. First drafted in 1982 by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), RULONA was intended to help state legislators bring a measure of uniformity to their notarial laws, which often varied widely from one jurisdiction to another. RULONA was revised in 2010 to reflect how transactions are done in the 21st century and the issues that affect Notaries on a daily basis.