Governor Tom Corbett today signed into law House Bill No. 25, legislation which revises the Pennsylvania Notary Public Law.
“While our current notary law works most of the time for most of Pennsylvania’s notaries and the public whom we serve, the concept of ‘most of the time’ is not satisfactory,” said Marc L. Aronson, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries, headquartered in Pittsburgh. “The law needs to work all of the time for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians. This new notary law will give the Secretary of State the ability to ensure that the notary population is properly trained, keeps accurate records and, when there is a need, be disciplined in an effective manner.”
The legislation will:
- Prohibit notaries from engaging in false or deceptive advertising, providing legal advice and purporting to act as a notario publico.
- Increase the requirements for information retained in a notary’s register (journal).
- Advance the importance of notarial education.
- Authorize notaries to rely on additional verifications of the identity of persons/customers.
- Expand the grounds for denying, refusing to renew, revoking or suspending notary commissions.
- Improve procedures for performing notarial acts on electronic records.
- Provide recognition of unsworn foreign declarations consistent with federal law that will facilitate international commerce.
“It has been 10 years since the effective date of the notary law of 2003. In the ensuing decade, there have been many changes to our social environment, including the increase of an immigrant population in our state, the preponderance of identity theft and the robo-signing scandal which shed light on the deficiencies in the law,” Aronson said.
“Specific details on the new notary law will need to be worked out by the Secretary of State. PAN will work closely with the Secretary to be sure that the law meets the needs of Pennsylvania notaries,” he added. “Although the law has been signed by the governor, it is not effective yet. Notaries should continue to follow the old notary law. When PAN learns the effective date of the new law, you will be the first to know.”