Senate Bill #2560 (2018)

AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT -- NOTARIES PUBLIC AND JUSTICES OF THE PEACE

Repeals the current state provisions regarding notaries and adopts an adapted version of the "Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts."

View latest version | View original version
View status on official RI website

Subscribe to email updates


Changes since original draft

  • 2018 – S 2560
  • 2018 – S 2560 SUBSTITUTE A
  • ========
  • LC004334
  • LC004334/SUB A
  • ========
  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2018
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2018
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT – NOTARIES PUBLIC AND
  • JUSTICES OF THE PEACE
  • Introduced By: Senator Maryellen Goodwin
  • Date Introduced: March 01, 2018
  • Referred To: Senate Judiciary
  • (Secretary of State)
  • JUSTICES OF THE PEACE
  • Introduced By: Senator Maryellen Goodwin
  • Date Introduced: March 01, 2018
  • Referred To: Senate Judiciary
  • (Secretary of State)
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. The title of Chapter 42-30 of the General Laws entitled "Notaries Public and Justices of the Peace" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • CHAPTER 42-30
  • Notaries Public and Justices of the Peace
  • Notaries Public and Justices of the Peace
  • CHAPTER 42-30
  • JUSTICES OF THE PEACE
  • JUSTICES OF THE PEACE
  • SECTION 2. Sections 42-30-3, 42-30-4, 42-30-5, 42-30-7, 42-30-10 and 42-30-11 of the General Laws in Chapter 42-30 entitled "Notaries Public and Justices of the Peace" are hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 42-30-3. Appointment of notaries and justices Appointment of justices.
  • The governor shall appoint as many notaries public for the state, and as many justices of the peace for the several towns and cities, as he or she may deem expedient; and every notary public and justice of the peace, so appointed, shall hold office for four (4) years.
  • 42-30-4. Certificate of engagement – Term of engagement.
  • (a) Except as otherwise provided, each notary public and justice of the peace shall, at the time of receiving his or her commission, file with the secretary of state a certificate that he or she has been duly engaged thereon, signed by the person before whom the engagement shall have been taken, and the secretary of state shall, at the request of the notary public or justice of the peace and upon payment of the actual cost thereof, issue a wallet-size identification card to such person.
  • (b) The term of engagement for each notary public and justice of the peace shall be for a period of four (4) years.
  • 42-30-5. Application for appointment.
  • (a) Application. Any individual desiring to be appointed a notary public, or a justice of the peace, shall make written application to the governor over his or her own signature.
  • (b) Qualifications of applicants.
  • (1) Person qualified for a notary public justice of the peace commission shall be at least eighteen (18) years of age and reside legally or conduct business on a regular basis within Rhode Island.
  • (2) The applicant for appointment to the office of notary public or justice of the peace can speak, read, and write the English language and has sufficient knowledge of the powers and duties pertaining to that office.
  • (c) Attorneys and accountants. A member of the Rhode Island bar, and certified public accountants under § 5-3.1-5, shall, regardless of residence, be appointed a notary public justice of the peace upon application and presentment of a certified copy of his or her certificate of admission to the bar or certificate of public accountancy.
  • (d) Any such person making written application to be appointed a notary public or justice of the peace shall, at the time of application, pay to the secretary of state the sum of eighty dollars ($80.00).
  • 42-30-7. Powers of notaries and justices Powers of justices.
  • The officers mentioned in §§ 42-30-3 – 42-30-5, inclusive, shall possess all the powers which now are or hereafter may be conferred by law upon justices of the peace or notaries public.
  • 42-30-10. Removal of notaries, justices, and commissioners Removal of justices, and commissioners.
  • Any notary public, justice of the peace or commissioner of deeds, appointed by the governor, may be removed for cause by the governor, in his or her discretion, within the term for which that officer shall have been appointed, after giving to that officer a copy of the charges against him or her and an opportunity to be heard in his or her defense; provided, however, that any notary public, justice of the peace or commissioner of deeds who is convicted of a felony and incarcerated shall have his or her commission revoked. Said notary public, justice of the peace or commissioner of deeds shall not be eligible to apply for a new commission until his or her voting rights are restored pursuant to R.I. Const., Art. II, Sec. 1.
  • 42-30-11. Continuation of powers without reappointment.
  • Every justice of the peace and notary public appointed by the governor and not reappointed, may continue to officiate for a space of thirty (30) days after the date on which his or her commission expires.
  • SECTION 3. Sections 42-30-8, 42-30-9, 42-30-12, 42-30-13, 42-30-14, 42-30-15 and 42- 30-16 of the General Laws in Chapter 42-30 entitled "Notaries Public and Justices of the Peace" are hereby repealed.
  • 42-30-8. Powers of notaries.
  • Notaries public may, within this state, act, transact, do, and finish all matters and things relating to protests and protesting bills of exchange and promissory notes, and all other matters within their office required by law, take depositions as prescribed by law, and acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments.
  • 42-30-9. Lists of appointees – Certificates of appointment.
  • It shall be the duty of the secretary of state to make a list of all notaries public and justices of the peace appointed by the governor and duly qualified, and send a copy thereof to each of the clerks of the supreme, superior, and family courts and to the clerks of the district courts for the second, third, fourth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth judicial districts, to be kept in the files of those courts, and the clerks shall, upon application, issue certificates of office to the person entitled thereto, and shall receive a fee of one dollar ($1.00) for every certificate.
  • 42-30-12. Continuation of powers without new engagement.
  • Every such officer listed in § 42-30-14 who may be reappointed or continued in office, may continue to officiate while in office without taking a new engagement.
  • 42-30-13. Fees of notaries.
  • The fees of notaries public shall be as follows:
  • (1) For noting a marine protest, one dollar ($1.00);
  • (2) For drawing and extending a marine protest and recording it, one dollar and fifty cents ($1.50);
  • (3) For taking affidavits, twenty-five cents (25¢);
  • (4) For travel, per mile, ten cents (10¢);
  • (5) For taking acknowledgment of any instrument and affixing his seal, one dollar ($1.00);
  • (6) For the protest of a bill of exchange, order or draft, for non-acceptance or nonpayment, or of a promissory note or check for nonpayment, if the amount thereof is five hundred dollars ($500) or more, one dollar ($1.00), if it is less than five hundred dollars ($500), for recording the same, fifty cents (50¢);
  • (7) For noting the non-acceptance or nonpayment of a bill of exchange, order or draft, or the nonpayment of a promissory note or check, seventy-five cents (75¢); and
  • (8) For each notice of the non-acceptance or nonpayment of a bill, order, draft, check, or note, given to a party liable for the payment thereof, twenty-five cents (25¢);
  • provided, that the whole cost of protest, including necessary notices and the record, shall not exceed two dollars ($2.00), and the whole cost of noting, including notices, shall in no case exceed one dollar and twenty-five cents ($1.25).
  • 42-30-14. Public officers having notary powers.
  • (a) Every state senator, state representative, member of a city or town council, chief, deputy, and assistant clerk of any state court, clerks of the board of canvassers, and worker's compensation court, and municipal clerk and the board of canvassers registrar during the period for which he or she has been elected or appointed, shall, upon completion of the certificate of engagement as set forth in § 42-30-4, have the power to act as a notary public as provided in this chapter.
  • (b) Two (2) police officers from each state and local police department, as identified in writing by the chief of police, shall, upon completion of the certificate of engagement as set forth in § 42-30-4, have the power to act as a notary public as provided in this chapter. No office holder set forth in this section shall be required to pay the commission fee as provided in § 42-30-5. The office holders must complete the certificate of engagement as set forth in § 42-30-4.
  • 42-30-15. Fees for authentication of a notary public signature.
  • A fee of five dollars ($5.00) shall be charged and collected by the secretary of state for the authentication or certification of the signature of a notary public. A fee of no more than one hundred fifty dollars ($150) shall be charged and collected by the secretary of state for the authentication or certification of the signature(s) of a notary public on all relevant documents filed at one time which pertain to the same matter or transaction.
  • 42-30-16. Notary public – Fraud or deceit in office.
  • A notary public, who in the exercise of the powers, or in the performance of the duties of such office, shall practice any fraud or deceit, the punishment for which is not otherwise provided for by law, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
  • SECTION 4. Title 42 of the General Laws entitled "STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
  • CHAPTER 30.1
  • UNIFORM LAW ON NOTARIAL ACTS
  • 42-30.1-1. Title.
  • This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Uniform Law on Notarial Acts.
  • 42-30.1-2. Definitions.
  • For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
  • (1) "Acknowledgment" means a declaration by an individual before a notarial officer that the individual has signed a record for the purpose stated in the record and, if the record is signed in a representative capacity, that the individual signed the record with proper authority and signed it as the act of the individual or entity identified in the record.
  • (2) "Commissioning agency" means the Rhode Island office of the secretary of state.
  • (3) "Commissioning officer" means the governor of the state of Rhode Island.
  • (4) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
  • (5) "Electronic signature" means an electronic symbol, sound, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by an individual with the intent to sign the record.
  • (6) "In a representative capacity" means acting as:
  • (i) An authorized officer, agent, partner, trustee, or other representative for a person other than an individual;
  • (ii) A public officer, personal representative, guardian, or other representative, in the capacity stated in a record;
  • (iii) An agent or attorney-in-fact for a principal; or
  • (iv) An authorized representative of another in any other capacity.
  • (7) "Notarial act" means an act, whether performed with respect to a tangible or electronic record, that a notarial officer may perform under the law of this state. The term includes taking an acknowledgment, administering an oath or affirmation, taking a verification on oath or affirmation, witnessing or attesting a signature, certifying or attesting a copy, noting a protest of a negotiable instrument and transact, do and finish all matters and things relating to protests and protesting bills of exchange and promissory notes, and all other matters within their office required by law, take depositions as prescribed by law, and acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments.
  • (8) "Notarial officer" means a notary public or other individual authorized to perform a notarial act.
  • (9) "Notary public" means an individual commissioned to perform a notarial act by the commissioning officer.
  • (10) "Official stamp" means a physical image affixed to a tangible record or an electronic image attached to or logically associated with an electronic record.
  • (11) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, statutory trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation, government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity.
  • (12) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
  • (13) "Sign" means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record:
  • (i) To execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or
  • (i) To attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol, sound, or process.
  • (14) "Signature" means a tangible symbol or an electronic signature that evidences the signing of a record.
  • (15) "Stamping device" means:
  • (i) A physical device capable of affixing an official stamp upon a tangible record; or
  • (ii) An electronic device or process capable of attaching to or logically associating an official stamp with an electronic record.
  • (16) "State" means a state of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
  • (17) "Verification on oath or affirmation" means a declaration that a statement in a record is true, made by an individual under oath or by affirmation before a notarial officer.
  • 42-30.1-3. Authority to perform notarial act.
  • (a) A notarial officer may perform a notarial act authorized by this chapter or by law of this state other than this chapter.
  • (b) A notarial officer may not perform a notarial act with respect to a record to which the notarial officer or the notarial officer's spouse or domestic partner is a party, or in which either of them has a direct beneficial interest, except where such persons witness a will or other legal document prepared by the notary who is an attorney licensed in the state of Rhode Island. A notarial act performed in violation of this subsection is voidable.
  • A notarial officer may perform a notarial act authorized by this chapter or by law of this state other than this chapter.
  • 42-30.1-4. Requirements for certain notarial acts.
  • (a) A notarial officer who takes an acknowledgment of a record shall determine, from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual, that the individual appearing before the officer and making the acknowledgment has the identity claimed and that the signature on the record is the signature of the individual.
  • (b) A notarial officer who takes a verification of a statement on oath or affirmation shall determine, from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual, that the individual appearing before the notarial officer and making the verification has the identity claimed and that the signature on the statement verified is the signature of the individual.
  • (c) A notarial officer who witnesses or attests to a signature shall determine, from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual, that the individual appearing before the notarial officer and signing the record has the identity claimed.
  • (d) A notarial officer who certifies or attests a copy of a record or an item that was copied shall determine that the copy is a full, true, and accurate transcription or reproduction of the record or item.
  • (e) A notarial officer who makes or notes a protest of a negotiable instrument shall determine the matters set forth in § 6A-3-505 (uniform commercial code).
  • 42-30.1-5. Personal appearance required.
  • If a notarial act relates to a statement made in or a signature executed upon a record, the individual making the statement or executing the signature shall appear personally before the notarial officer.
  • 42-30.1-6. Identification of individual.
  • (a) A notarial officer has personal knowledge of the identity of an individual appearing before the notarial officer if the individual is personally known to the notarial officer through dealings sufficient to provide reasonable certainty regarding the legal identity of the individual.
  • (b) A notarial officer has satisfactory evidence of the identity of an individual appearing before the notarial officer if the notarial officer can identify the individual:
  • (1) By means of:
  • (i) A passport, driver's license, or government issued non-driver identification card, which is current or expired not more than three (3) years before performance of the notarial act; or
  • (ii) Another form of government identification issued to an individual, which is current or expired not more than three (3) years before performance of the notarial act, contains the signature or a photograph of the individual, and is satisfactory to the notarial officer; or
  • (2) By a verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally appearing before the notarial officer and known to the notarial officer or whom the notarial officer can identify on the basis of a passport, driver's license, or government issued non-driver identification card, which is current or expired not more than three (3) years before performance of the notarial act.
  • (c) A notarial officer may require an individual to provide additional information or identification credentials necessary to assure the notarial officer of the identity of the individual.
  • 42-30.1-7. Authority to refuse to perform notarial act.
  • (a) A notarial officer may refuse to perform a notarial act if the notarial officer is not satisfied that:
  • (1) The individual executing the record is competent or has the capacity to execute the record; or
  • (2) The individual's signature is knowingly and voluntarily made.
  • (b) A notarial officer may refuse to perform a notarial act unless refusal is prohibited by law other than this chapter.
  • 42-30.1-8. Signature if individual unable to sign.
  • If an individual is physically unable to sign a record, the individual may direct an individual other than the notarial officer to sign the individual's name on the record. The notarial officer shall insert "Signature affixed by (name of other individual) at the direction of (name of individual)" or words of similar import.
  • 42-30.1-9. Notarial act in this state.
  • The signature and title of an individual performing a notarial act in this state are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title.
  • 42-30.1-10. Notarial act in another state.
  • (a) A notarial act performed in another state has the same effect under the law of this state as if performed by a notarial officer of this state, if the act performed in that state is performed by:
  • (1) A notary public of that state;
  • (2) A judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of a court of that state; or
  • (3) Any other individual authorized by the law of that state to perform the notarial act.
  • (b) The signature and title of an individual performing a notarial act in another state are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title.
  • (c) The signature and title of a notarial officer described in subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section conclusively establish the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act.
  • 42-30.1-11. Notarial act under authority of federally recognized Indian tribe.
  • (a) A notarial act performed under the authority and in the jurisdiction of a federally recognized Indian tribe has the same effect as if performed by a notarial officer of this state, if the act performed in the jurisdiction of the tribe is performed by:
  • (1) A notary public of the tribe;
  • (2) A judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of a court of the tribe; or
  • (3) Any other individual authorized by the law of the tribe to perform the notarial act.
  • (b) The signature and title of an individual performing a notarial act under the authority of and in the jurisdiction of a federally recognized Indian tribe are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title.
  • (c) The signature and title of a notarial officer described in subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section conclusively establish the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act.
  • 42-30.1-12. Notarial act under federal authority.
  • 42-30.1-11. Notarial act under federal authority.
  • (a) A notarial act performed under federal law has the same effect under the law of this state as if performed by a notarial officer of this state, if the act performed under federal law is performed by:
  • (1) A judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of a court;
  • (2) An individual in military service or performing duties under the authority of military service who is authorized to perform notarial acts under federal law;
  • (3) An individual designated a notarizing officer by the United States Department of State for performing notarial acts overseas; or
  • (4) Any other individual authorized by federal law to perform the notarial act.
  • (b) The signature and title of an individual acting under federal authority and performing a notarial act are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the individual holds the designated title.
  • (c) The signature and title of an officer described in subsection (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) of this section conclusively establish the authority of the officer to perform the notarial act.
  • 42-30.1-13. Foreign notarial act.
  • (a) In this section, "foreign state" means a government other than the United States of America, a state not including the state of Rhode Island, or a federally recognized Indian tribe.
  • (b) If a notarial act is performed under authority and in the jurisdiction of a foreign state or constituent unit of the foreign state or is performed under the authority of a multinational or international governmental organization, the act has the same effect under the law of this state as if performed by a notarial officer of this state.
  • 42-30.1-12. Foreign notarial act.
  • (a) In this section, "foreign state" means a government other than the United States of America or a state not including the state of Rhode Island.
  • (b) If a notarial act is performed under authority and in the jurisdiction of a foreign state or constituent unit of the foreign state, the act has the same effect under the law of this state as if performed by a notarial officer of this state.
  • (c) If the title of office and indication of authority to perform notarial acts in a foreign state appears in a digest of foreign law or in a list customarily used as a source for that information, the authority of an officer with that title to perform notarial acts is conclusively established.
  • (d) The signature and official stamp of an individual holding an office described in subsection (c) of this section are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and the individual holds the designated title.
  • (e) An apostille in the form prescribed by the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, and issued by a foreign state party to the convention conclusively establishes that the signature of the notarial officer is genuine and that the officer holds the indicated office.
  • (f) A consular authentication issued by an individual designated by the United States Department of State as a notarizing officer for performing notarial acts overseas and attached to the record with respect to which the notarial act is performed conclusively establishes that the signature of the notarial officer is genuine and that the officer holds the indicated office.
  • 42-30.1-14. Certificate of notarial act.
  • (a) A notarial act must be evidenced by a certificate. The certificate must:
  • (1) Be executed contemporaneously with the performance of the notarial act;
  • (2) Be signed and dated by the notarial officer and, if the notarial officer is a notary public, be signed in the same manner as on file with the commissioning agency;
  • (3) Identify the jurisdiction in which the notarial act is performed;
  • (4) Contain the title of office of the notarial officer; and
  • (5) If the notarial officer is a notary public, indicate the date of expiration, if any, of the officer's commission.
  • (b) If a notarial act regarding a tangible record is performed by a notary public, an official stamp must be affixed to or embossed on the certificate. If a notarial act is performed regarding a tangible record by a notarial officer other than a notary public and the certificate contains the information specified in subsection (a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(4) of this section, an official stamp may be affixed to the certificate. If a notarial act regarding an electronic record is performed by a notarial officer and the certificate contains the information specified in subsection (a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(4) of this section, an official stamp may be attached to or logically associated with the certificate.
  • (c) A certificate of a notarial act is sufficient if it meets the requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of this section and:
  • (1) Is in a form otherwise permitted by the law of this state;
  • (2) Is in a form permitted by the law applicable in the jurisdiction in which the notarial act was performed; or
  • (3) Sets forth the actions of the notarial officer and the actions are sufficient to meet the requirements of the notarial act as provided in §§ 42-30.1-4, 42-30.1-5, and 42-30.1-6 or law of this state other than this chapter.
  • (d) By executing a certificate of a notarial act, a notarial officer certifies that the notarial officer has complied with the requirements and made the determinations specified in §§ 42-30.1- 3, 42-30.1-4, and 42-30.1-5.
  • (e) A notarial officer may not affix the notarial officer's signature to, or logically associate it with, a certificate until the notarial act has been performed.
  • (f) If a notarial act is performed regarding a tangible record, a certificate must be part of, or securely attached to, the record. If a notarial act is performed regarding an electronic record, the certificate must be affixed to, or logically associated with, the electronic record. If the commissioning agency has established standards pursuant to § 42-30.1-24 for attaching, affixing, or logically associating the certificate, the process must conform to the standards.
  • (g) The commissioning agency shall develop short form certificates of notarial acts, if completed with the information required by § 42-30.1-14(a) and (b), for the following purposes:
  • (1) An acknowledgment in an individual capacity;
  • (2) An acknowledgment in a representative capacity;
  • (3) A verification on oath or affirmation;
  • (4) Witnessing or attesting a signature; or
  • (5) Certifying a copy of a record.
  • 42-30.1-15. Official stamp.
  • (e) A consular authentication issued by an individual designated by the United States Department of State as a notarizing officer for performing notarial acts overseas and attached to the record with respect to which the notarial act is performed conclusively establishes that the signature of the notarial officer is genuine and that the officer holds the indicated office.
  • 42-30.1-13. Official stamp.
  • The official stamp of a notary public must:
  • (1) Include the notary public's name, the words "notary public," jurisdiction, and other information required by the rules of the commissioning agency; and
  • (2) Be capable of being copied together with the record to which it is affixed or attached or with which it is logically associated;
  • (3) This section shall not preclude a notarial officer who is a member of the general assembly in this state from notarizing a document without the use of a stamp on the floor of the general assembly during open session.
  • 42-30.1-16. Notification regarding performance of notarial act on electronic record; selection of technology.
  • 42-30.1-14. Notification regarding performance of notarial act on electronic record; selection of technology.
  • (a) A notary public may select one or more tamper-evident technologies to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records. A person may not require a notary public to perform a notarial act with respect to an electronic record with a technology that the notary public has not selected.
  • (b) Before a notary public performs the notary public's initial notarial act with respect to an electronic record, a notary public shall notify the commissioning agency that the notary public will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records and identify the technology the notary public intends to use. If the commissioning agency has established standards for approval of technology pursuant to § 42-30.1-24, the technology must conform to the standards. If the technology conforms to the standards, the commissioning agency shall approve the use of the technology.
  • 42-30.1-17. Commission as notary public; qualifications; no immunity or benefit.
  • (a) A notarial act may be performed in this state by:
  • (1) A notary public of this state;
  • (2) An individual qualified under subsection (b) of this section may apply to the commissioning officer for a commission as a notary public. The applicant shall comply with and provide the information required by rules established by the commissioning agency and pay the sum of eighty dollars ($80.00).
  • (b) An applicant for a commission as a notary public must:
  • (1) Be at least eighteen (18) years of age;
  • (2) Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States;
  • (3) Be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in this state;
  • (4) Be able to read and write English;
  • (5) Not be disqualified to receive a commission under § 42-30.1-18; and
  • (6) Demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the powers and duties pursuant to the requirements of this chapter.
  • (c) A member in good standing of the Rhode Island bar and certified public accountants under § 5-3.1-5, shall, regardless of residence, be appointed a notary public upon application and presentment of a certified copy of their certificate of admission to the bar or certificate of public accountancy;
  • (d) Every state senator, state representative, member of a city or town council, chief, deputy, and assistant clerk of any state court, clerks of the board of canvassers and workers' compensation court, municipal clerks, and the board of canvassers registrar may be appointed a notary public following election, appointment or hiring, as applicable, and upon application and presentment of reasonable evidence of said office or employment, and shall retain such appointment throughout the uninterrupted duration and term of such office, appointment or employment;
  • (b) Before a notary public performs the notary public's initial notarial act with respect to an electronic record, a notary public shall notify the commissioning agency that the notary public will be performing notarial acts with respect to electronic records and identify the technology the notary public intends to use. If the commissioning agency has established standards for approval of technology, such technology must conform to the standards. If the technology conforms to the standards, the commissioning agency shall approve the use of the technology.
  • 42-30.1-15. Commission as notary public; qualifications; no immunity or benefit.
  • (a) A notarial act may be performed in this state by:
  • (1) A notary public of this state;
  • (2) An individual qualified under subsection (b) of this section may apply to the commissioning officer for a commission as a notary public. The applicant shall comply with the information required herein and pay the sum of eighty dollars ($80.00).
  • (b) An applicant for a commission as a notary public must:
  • (1) Be at least eighteen (18) years of age;
  • (2) Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States;
  • (3) Be a resident of or have a place of employment or practice in this state;
  • (4) Be able to read and write English;
  • (5) Not be disqualified to receive a commission under § 42-30.1-16; and
  • (6) Demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the powers and duties pursuant to the requirements of this chapter.
  • (c) A member in good standing of the Rhode Island bar and certified public accountants under § 5-3.1-5, shall, regardless of residence, be appointed a notary public upon application and presentment of a certified copy of their certificate of admission to the bar or certificate of public accountancy;
  • (d) Every state senator, state representative, member of a city or town council, chief, deputy, and assistant clerk of any state court, clerks of the board of canvassers and workers' compensation court, municipal clerks, and the board of canvassers registrar may be appointed a notary public following election, appointment or hiring, as applicable, and upon application and presentment of reasonable evidence of said office or employment, and shall retain such appointment throughout the uninterrupted duration and term of such office, appointment or employment;
  • (1) No notary public set forth in § 42-30.1-15(d) shall be required to pay an application fee. The notaries public set forth in § 42-30.1-15(d) must complete the appropriate oath of office as set forth in § 42-30.1-15(2). The notaries public set forth in § 42-30.1-15(d) who may be reappointed or continued in office, may continue to officiate while in office without taking a new oath of office.
  • (2) Before issuance of a commission as a notary public, an applicant for the commission shall execute an oath of office and submit it to the commissioning agency.
  • (e) Two (2) police officers from each state and local police department of this state, as identified in writing by the chief of police.
  • (2) No notary public set forth in §§ 42-30.1-17 (c) and (d) shall be required to pay an application fee. The notaries public set forth in §§ 42-30.1-17 (c) and (d) must complete the appropriate oath of office as set forth in § 42-30.1-17(3). The notaries public set forth in §§ 42- 30.1-17 (c) and (d) who may be reappointed or continued in office, may continue to officiate while in office without taking a new oath of office.
  • (3) Before issuance of a commission as a notary public, an applicant for the commission shall execute an oath of office and submit it to the commissioning agency.
  • (f) On compliance with this section, the commissioning officer shall issue a commission as a notary public to an applicant for a term of four (4) years.
  • (g) Every notary public appointed by the commissioning officer and not reappointed, may continue to officiate for a space of thirty (30) days after the date on which their commission expires.
  • (h) A commission to act as a notary public authorizes the notary public to perform notarial acts. The commission does not provide the notary public any immunity or benefit conferred by law of this state on public officials or employees.
  • 42-30.1-18. Grounds to deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend, or condition commission of notary public.
  • 42-30.1-16. Grounds to deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend, or condition commission of notary public.
  • (a) The commissioning officer may deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend, or impose a condition on a commission as notary public for any act or omission that demonstrates the individual lacks the honesty, integrity, competence, or reliability to act as a notary public, including without limitation:
  • (1) Failure to comply with this chapter;
  • (2) A fraudulent, dishonest, or deceitful misstatement or omission in the application for a commission as a notary public submitted to the commissioning officer and/or agency;
  • (3) A conviction of the applicant or notary public of any crime which involves fraud, dishonesty, or deceit; provided that in determining whether to deny, refuse to renew, revoke, suspend or condition the commission, the commissioning officer shall consider such factors as the seriousness of the crime; whether the crime relates directly to the training and skills needed for the commission of a notary public; how much time has elapsed since the crime was committed; and the applicant's actions and conduct since the crime was committed;
  • (4) A finding against, or admission of liability by, the applicant or notary public in any legal proceeding or disciplinary action based on the applicant's or notary public's fraud, dishonesty, or deceit;
  • (5) Failure by the notary public to discharge any duty required of a notary public, whether by this chapter, rules of the commissioning agency, or any federal or state law;
  • (6) Use of false or misleading advertising or representation by the notary public representing that the notary public has a duty, right, or privilege that the notary public does not have;
  • (7) Violation by the notary public of a rule of the commissioning agency regarding a notary public;
  • (8) Denial, refusal to renew, revocation, suspension, or conditioning of a notary public commission in another state; or
  • (9) Termination or revocation of a certificate of admission to the Rhode Island bar or a certificate of public accountancy.
  • (5) Use of false or misleading advertising or representation by the notary public representing that the notary public has a duty, right, or privilege that the notary public does not have;
  • (6) Denial, refusal to renew, revocation, suspension, or conditioning of a notary public commission in another state; or
  • (7) Termination or revocation of a certificate of admission to the Rhode Island bar or a certificate of public accountancy.
  • (b) If the commissioning officer denies, refuses to renew, revokes, suspends, or imposes conditions on a commission as a notary public, the applicant or notary public is entitled to timely notice and hearing in accordance with chapter 35 of title 42.
  • (c) The authority of the commissioning officer to deny, refuse to renew, suspend, revoke, or impose conditions on a commission as a notary public does not prevent a person from seeking and obtaining other criminal or civil remedies provided by law.
  • 42-30.1-19. Database of notaries public.
  • 42-30.1-17. Database of notaries public.
  • The commissioning agency shall maintain an electronic database of notaries public:
  • (1) Through which a person may verify the authority of a notary public to perform notarial acts; and
  • (2) Which indicates whether a notary public has notified the commissioning agency that the notary public will be performing notarial acts on electronic records.
  • 42-30.1-20. Prohibited acts.
  • 42-30.1-18. Prohibited acts.
  • (a) A commission as a notary public does not authorize an individual to:
  • (1) Assist persons in drafting legal records, give legal advice, or otherwise practice law;
  • (2) Act as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters;
  • (3) Represent a person in a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to immigration to the United States, United States citizenship, or related matters; or
  • (4) Receive compensation for performing any of the activities listed in this subsection.
  • (b) A notary public may not engage in false or deceptive advertising.
  • (c) A notary public, other than an attorney licensed to practice law in this state, may not use the term "notario" or "notario publico".
  • (d) A notary public, other than an attorney licensed to practice law in this state, may not advertise or represent that the notary public may assist persons in drafting legal records, give legal advice, or otherwise practice law. If a notary public who is not an attorney licensed to practice law in this state in any manner advertises or represents that the notary public offers notarial services, whether orally or in a record, including broadcast media, print media, and the Internet, the notary public shall include the following statement, or an alternate statement authorized or required by the commissioning agency, in the advertisement or representation, prominently and in each language used in the advertisement or representation: "I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in this state. I am not licensed to draft legal records, give advice on legal matters, including immigration, or charge a fee for those activities." If the form of advertisement or representation is not broadcast media, print media, or the Internet and does not permit inclusion of the statement required by this subsection because of size, it must be displayed prominently or provided at the place of performance of the notarial act before the notarial act is performed.
  • (e) Except as otherwise allowed by law, a notary public may not withhold access to or possession of an original record provided by a person that seeks performance of a notarial act by the notary public.
  • 42-30.1-21. Validity of notarial acts.
  • 42-30.1-19. Validity of notarial acts.
  • Except as otherwise provided in § 42-30.1-3(b), the failure of a notarial officer to perform a duty or meet a requirement specified in this chapter does not invalidate a notarial act performed by the notarial officer. The validity of a notarial act under this chapter does not prevent an aggrieved person from seeking to invalidate the record or transaction that is the subject of the notarial act or from seeking other remedies based on the law of this state other than this chapter or law of the United States of America. This section does not validate a purported notarial act performed by an individual who does not have the authority to perform notarial acts.
  • 42-30.1-22. Fees for authentication of a notary public signature.
  • 42-30.1-20. Fees for authentication of a notary public signature.
  • A fee of five dollars ($5.00) shall be charged and collected by the office of the secretary of state for the authentication or certification of the signature of a notary public. In any event where the office of the secretary of state shall authenticate or certify the signatures of a notary public upon multiple relevant documents presented simultaneously, and all of which documents pertain to the same matter or transaction and are to be filed at one time, the aggregate fee charged for said authentications or certifications shall be the lesser of the above-referenced fee charged per each authentication or certification, or one hundred fifty dollars ($150).
  • 42-30.1-23. Notary public – Fraud or deceit in office.
  • 42-30.1-21. Notary public – Fraud or deceit in office.
  • A notary public, who in the exercise of the powers, or in the performance of the duties of such office, shall practice any fraud or deceit, the punishment for which is not otherwise provided for by law, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
  • 42-30.1-24. Rules and Regulations.
  • (a) The commissioning agency may adopt rules and regulations to implement this chapter. Rules and regulations adopted regarding the performance of notarial acts with respect to electronic records may not require, or accord greater legal status or effect to, the implementation or application of a specific technology or technical specification. The rules and regulations may:
  • (1) Prescribe the manner of performing notarial acts regarding tangible and electronic records;
  • (2) Include provisions to ensure that any change to or tampering with a record bearing a certificate of a notarial act is self-evident;
  • (3) Include provisions to ensure integrity in the creation, transmittal, storage, or authentication of electronic records or signatures;
  • (4) Prescribe the process of granting, renewing, conditioning, denying, suspending, or revoking a notary public commission and assuring the trustworthiness of an individual holding a commission as notary public;
  • (5) Include provisions to prevent fraud or mistake in the performance of notarial acts;
  • (6) Provide for an evaluation tool for applicants to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the powers and duties of a notary commission; and
  • (7) Establish a schedule of fees for notary public services.
  • (b) In adopting, amending, or repealing rules about notarial acts with respect to electronic records, the commissioning agency shall consider, so far as is consistent with this chapter:
  • (1) The most recent standards regarding electronic records promulgated by national bodies, such as the National Association of Secretaries of State;
  • (2) Standards, practices, and customs of other jurisdictions that substantially enact this chapter; and
  • (3) The views of governmental officials and entities and other interested persons.
  • 42-30.1-25. Notary public commission effect.
  • 42-30.1-22. Notary public commission effect.
  • A commission as a notary public in effect on January 1, 2019 continues until its date of expiration. A notary public who applies to renew a commission as a notary public on or after January 1, 2019 is subject to and shall comply with this chapter. A notary public, in performing notarial acts after January 1, 2019, shall comply with this chapter.
  • 42-30.1-26. Savings Clause.
  • 42-30.1-23. Savings Clause.
  • This chapter does not affect the validity or effect of a notarial act performed before January 1, 2019.
  • 42-30.1-27. Uniformity of application and construction.
  • In applying and construing this uniform law on notarial acts, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.
  • 42-30.1-28. Relation to electronic signatures in global and national commerce act.
  • 42-30.1-24. Relation to electronic signatures in global and national commerce act.
  • This chapter modifies, limits, and supersedes the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 7001 et seq., but does not modify, limit, or supersede Section 101(c) of that act, 15 U.S.C. Section 7001(c), or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in Section 103(b) of that act, 15 U.S.C. Section 7003(b).
  • SECTION 5. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2019.
  • ========
  • LC004334
  • ========
  • SECTION 5. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2019. ======== LC004334/SUB A ========
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT – NOTARIES PUBLIC AND
  • JUSTICES OF THE PEACE
  • ***
  • This act would repeal the current state provisions regarding notaries and would adopt an adapted version of the "Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts."
  • This act would take effect on January 1, 2019. ======== LC004334 ========
  • This act would take effect on January 1, 2019. ======== LC004334/SUB A ========

Votes

NOTE: Electronic voting records are unofficial and may not be accurate. For an official vote tally, check the House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.

Floor vote for Passage

June 23, 2018 at 4:47pm
Yeas: 32 / Nays: 1 / Not voting: 4 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Algiere NV
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Calkin Y
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Conley NV
Sen. Cote NV
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Crowley Y
Sen. DaPonte Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag NV
Sen. Fogarty Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Gee Y
Sen. Goldin Y
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Jabour Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Lynch Prata Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Metts Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan N
Sen. Nesselbush Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Satchell Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sheehan Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y

Floor vote for PASSAGE IN CONCURRENCE

June 23, 2018 at 10:12pm
Yeas: 54 / Nays: 1 / Not voting: 20 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Rep. Abney Y
Rep. Ackerman Y
Rep. Ajello Y
Rep. Almeida Y
Rep. Amore Y
Rep. Azzinaro Y
Rep. Barros NV
Rep. Bennett Y
Rep. Blazejewski Y
Rep. Canario NV
Rep. Carson NV
Rep. Casey NV
Rep. Casimiro Y
Rep. Chippendale N
Rep. Corvese Y
Rep. Costantino Y
Rep. Coughlin NV
Rep. Craven Y
Rep. Cunha NV
Rep. Diaz Y
Rep. Donovan Y
Rep. Edwards Y
Rep. Fellela Y
Rep. Filippi Y
Rep. Fogarty NV
Rep. Giarrusso Y
Rep. Handy Y
Rep. Hearn NV
Rep. Hull Y
Rep. Jacquard NV
Rep. Johnston Y
Rep. Kazarian NV
Rep. Keable Y
Rep. Kennedy Y
Rep. Knight Y
Rep. Lancia NV
Rep. Lima Y
Rep. Lombardi Y
Rep. Maldonado Y
Rep. Marshall Y
Rep. Marszalkowski Y
Rep. Mattiello Y
Rep. McEntee NV
Rep. McKiernan Y
Rep. McLaughlin Y
Rep. McNamara Y
Rep. Mendonca Y
Rep. Messier NV
Rep. Morgan NV
Rep. Morin NV
Rep. Nardolillo Y
Rep. Newberry NV
Rep. Nunes Y
Rep. O'Brien Y
Rep. O'Grady Y
Rep. Perez Y
Rep. Phillips Y
Rep. Price Y
Rep. Quattrocchi Y
Rep. Ranglin-Vassell NV
Rep. Regunberg Y
Rep. Roberts NV
Rep. Ruggiero NV
Rep. Serpa Y
Rep. Shanley Y
Rep. Shekarchi Y
Rep. Slater Y
Rep. Solomon Y
Rep. Tanzi Y
Rep. Tobon Y
Rep. Ucci Y
Rep. Vella-Wilkinson Y
Rep. Walsh Y
Rep. Williams Y
Rep. Winfield NV