H.R. 3808: Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2009

H.R. 3808

Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2009

Date
April 27, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

H.R. 3808 is being considered on the floor on Tuesday, April 27, 2010, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-third majority vote for passage.  This legislation was introduced by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) on October 14, 2009.  The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, which took no official action.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3808 would require that all federal courts recognize lawful notarization made by a notary public licensed or commissioned under the laws of a state other than the state where the federal court is located if:

(1) such notarization occurs in or affects interstate commerce; and

(2) a seal of office, as a symbol of the notary public's authority, is used in the notarization; or in the case of an electronic record, the seal information is securely attached to, or logically associated with, the electronic record so as to render the record tamper-resistant.       

 

The bill would also require that all courts that operate under the jurisdiction of a state shall recognize any lawful notarization made by a notary public licensed or commissioned under the laws of a state other than the state where the court is located if:

(1)   such notarization occurs in or affects interstate commerce; and

(2)   a seal of office, as a symbol of the notary public's authority, is used in the notarization; or in the case of an electronic record, the seal information is securely attached to, or logically associated with, the electronic record so as to render the record tamper-resistant.

 

H.R. 3808 applies the definition for "electronic record" from Section 106 of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (15 USC §7006) to the bill.  The bill also specifies that seal information is "logically associated with" an electronic record if the seal information is securely bound to the electronic record in such manner as to make it impracticable to falsify or alter, without detection, either the record or the seal information.

 

Background

Rep. Aderholt was approached by a constituent whose services as a notary-court reporter were not recognized in a legal proceeding held outside the State of Alabama.  Testimony taken at a 2006 Subcommittee hearing revealed, notwithstanding the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution, some states do not always recognize the legal validity of documents notarized in another state, thus complicating commercial transactions and legal disputes that cross state lines.

Cost

A CBO score for H.R. 3808 was not available as of press time.