Four-Year Effort Creates Updated Roadmap for Improving Notary Statutes In Wake of Court Rulings and Liability/Compliance Concerns
LOS ANGELES — Amid important legal cases involving Notaries, and with liability and compliance issues becoming a major concern for businesses and governments, the National Notary Association has published a much-anticipated revision of its Model Notary Act — the landmark model that, for 40 years, has grown in importance as a guide for lawmakers to improve standards of care for Notaries.
The updated and expanded Model Notary Act of 2010, now in the public domain, features electronic and paper-based provisions to modernize and enhance the Notary office. The revisions culminated a four-year effort by an NNA-recruited, 26-member national drafting panel comprised of law professors, high-tech experts, mortgage industry representatives and government officials at every level.
The MNA is intended for state legislators and administrators who want to strengthen Notary laws to improve their fraud-deterrent effectiveness in an era of rampant identity theft. An expanded Article III of the Act also allows the integration of electronic notarization provisions with traditional paper-based rules.
Lawmakers and industry officials for years have looked to the Model Notary Act for guidance in modernizing their Notary rules and statutes. But due to a groundbreaking Illinois Appellate Court ruling, Vancura v. Katris, the Act has taken on a heightened importance in American jurisprudence. The Court cited the Act as a “common law” standard which Notaries and their employers should rely on for guidance in instances where state law provides no direction.
“The Model Notary Act has taken on new significance with Vancura v. Katris,” said NNA Vice President Charles N. Faerber. “If a situation arises where the state doesn’t provide guidance, the Notary, according to the court, can rely on the Model Notary Act.”
The MNA guidelines define a more proactive role for Notaries in securing documents, including updated fraud-deterrence rules for both electronic and traditional paper-based notarization. The new Act also adds new provisions for handling loose certificates, recognizing notarial acts performed outside a given state, and for defining a Notary-certified copy in a way that is adaptable to both paper and electronic originals.
Since its original publication as the Uniform Notary Act in 1973 — and subsequent updates as the Model Notary Act in 1984 and 2002 — more than 40 states and territories have adopted its provisions.
Interested parties can download the Model Notary Act of 2010 by visiting the National Notary Association’s Web site at NationalNotary.org. To request a printed version, please contact National Notary Association Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the National Notary Association
Established in 1957, the National Notary Association (NNA) is the leading professional authority on the American Notary office and is dedicated to educating, serving and advocating for the nation’s 4.8 million Notaries. The NNA imparts comprehensive notarial knowledge and understanding, promotes a positive public perception of the Notary professional, and bolsters consumer protection by promoting best practices. The Association’s accredited professional programs, services and model legislation help Notaries advance their careers and serve the American public with the highest level of professionalism and ethics. To learn more, visit us at NationalNotary.org.