Idaho Enacts Provisions Regarding Notarial Acts

The state of Idaho has recently enacted the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, with various provisions becoming effective between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2019.

The provisions require that a notary public who either attests to a signature, takes an acknowledgement of a record, or takes a verification of a statement must determine from either satisfactory evidence or personal knowledge that the person appearing before him or her has the identity claimed, and has provided his or her true and accurate signature. In addition, when a notary is certifying a copy of a record, it is the duty of the notary to determine that the copy is a true and accurate reproduction of the original.

A notary is not necessarily required to request identification from the person executing the record. If a notary has personal knowledge of the individual “through dealings sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed,” then further means of identification are not required.  If the notary does not have such personal knowledge, then he or she must have satisfactory evidence of the identity of the person appearing before him or her.  Sufficient forms of identification include a passport or driver’s license (or government issued non-driver ID card) not more than 3 years expired, which includes a photograph and signature.  In lieu of these forms of identification, a notary may also confirm the identity of the person appearing before him or her by using a credible witness that personally appears before the notary. The witness must either be known to the notary, or be identified by the notary with a passport or driver’s license (or government-issued non-driver ID card), before the notarial act is performed.

In the situation where the person executing the record is physically unable to provide his or her signature, he or she may direct someone other than the notary to sign his or her name on the record. The notary must insert “signature affixed by [name of individual]” or similar language.

In certain situations, a notary may refuse to perform a notarial act. For example, if the notary is not satisfied that the person executing the record is competent or has the capacity to execute the record, then he or she may refuse to perform the notarial act.  This would also be the case if the notary was not satisfied that the person’s signature was knowingly and voluntarily made.

The provisions also prohibit notaries from performing notarial acts in certain situations. For example, a notary may not notarize a record if the notary or his or her spouse is party to that record.  In addition, the notary may not perform the notarial act if either the notary or his or her spouse has a direct beneficial interest in the transaction.  If a notary violates these provisions, then the notarial act will become voidable.

Each notarial act must be evidenced by a certificate that is executed contemporaneously with the performance of the act. The certificate must identify the jurisdiction in which the act is performed, the date that the notary’s commission expires, and must be signed and dated by the notary.

 

The full text is available at:

https://legislature.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/sessioninfo/2017/legislation/H0209.pdf

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Zachary Pearlstein, JD, is a senior regulatory compliance consultant with Bankers Advisory. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and earned his juris doctor at Suffolk University Law School. He is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.

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