RESOLUTION SUPPORTING PENNSYLVANIA SENATE BILL 887, PRINTER'S NO. 1048, AND SIMILAR LEGISLATION, THAT AMENDS THE ACT OF AUGUST 21, 1953 (P.L. 1323, NO. 373) KNOWN AS THE NOTARY PUBLIC LAW, WITH RECOMMENDED ADDITIONAL CHANGES
WHEREAS, Senate Bill 887, Printer's No. 1048 proposes to amend the Act of August 21, 1953 (P.L. 1323, No. 373) known as the Notary Public Law;
WHEREAS, the proposed statutory changes update the Commonwealth's notary laws and provide for electronic notarization. The amendments promote national uniformity of electronic signature laws and contribute to the development of electronic commerce in Pennsylvania;
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania led the way and became the second state to adopt the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act ("UETA") that enables the use of electronic signatures and records in December, 1999. Forty jurisdictions have adopted UETA, including Delaware and New Jersey. SB 887 (and companion measure, House Bill 851) represent the legislature's effort, in consultation with the Commonwealth's notary public regulators, to ensure that Pennsylvania's legislative and regulatory infrastructure governing notarization is compatible with UETA's electronic notarization provisions;
WHEREAS, technology and electronic commerce are increasingly important tools in reducing barriers to home ownership and in making housing more affordable for millions of Americans. Innovative technology solutions can significantly reduce the costs that home buyers incur in the loan origination and settlement process. The proposed amendments would help establish the legal enforceability of the use of electronic signatures, records, and contracts in transactions and remove the current uncertainty of their use in Pennsylvania;
WHEREAS, notwithstanding the improvements that SB 887 can contribute to eCommerce in Pennsylvania, there are certain provisions that may require further amendment;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, Section 5 of SB 887 that amends Section 9(c) of P.L. 222, no. 122, amended July 22, 1965, should be changed as follows:
(c) In acting as a notary public, a notary shall sign the notary's name exactly and only as it appears on the commission, or otherwise execute his or her electronic signature in a manner that attributes such signature to the notary public identified on the commission.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Section 6 of SB 887 that amends Section 12(f) of P.L. 462, No. 78, amended June 30, 1988, should be changed as follows:
(f) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, in accordance with the Act of December 16, 1999 (P.L. 971, No. 69) known as the "Electronic Transactions Act," a notary public
may is not required to use an electronic seal for the notarization, acknowledgment or verification of electronic records and electronic signatures, provided that, in any event the following information is attached to or logically associated with the electronic signature or electronic record being notarized, acknowledged or verified: The electronic seal shall contain the following information in order:
(1) The full name of the notary along with the words "Notary Public,"
(2) The name of the political subdivision and the county in which the notary maintains an office; and
(3) The date the notary's commission is due to expire.
The notary's electronic signature and the required information shall be attached to or logically associated with the electronic signature or record.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association supports the enactment of SB 887, Printer's No. 1048, with the above-described recommended changes to Section 5 that amends Section 9(c) of P.L. 222, No. 122, amended July 22, 1965 and Section 6 that amends Section 12(f) of P.L. 462, No. 78, amended June 30, 1988.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association authorizes the Chancellor, or his designee, to take all necessary steps, including contacting appropriate members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate regarding this Association's support for SB 887 along with the above-described recommended changes that seek to clarify and enhance the legislation.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: October 24, 2002