Michigan Notarization Bills/Remote and Electronic Notarization Updates:


On April 17, 2018, Representative Diana Farrington introduced House Bill 5811 which permits a Michigan Notary to “perform a notarial act using a remote electronic notarization platform.”  Remote electronic notarization is often referred to as “webcam” notarization since webcams are the most common technology utilized for remote notarizations.  Webcam notarization makes use of video and audio technology on the internet to allow signers to  appear by webcam and communicate with the Notary at the time of the notarization.  During a webcam notarization, the signer is not in the physical presence of the Notary.


HB 5811 specifies the guidelines and establishes the procedures to be followed for remote or webcam notarizations.


HB 5811 requires that the Secretary of State and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget review and approve the remote electronic notarization platform, including features that permit remote credential analysis and identity proofing.  The House passed the bill on May 16 and sent it to the Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions.  The Michigan Association of Realtors, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Credit Union League and the Michigan Creditors Bar Association are all in favor of the bill.  The Michigan Land Title Association has requested clarification on the process to be used to record instruments that are notarized remotely.


To review HB 5811, please Click Here. The bill has passed both the House and Senate and was presented to the Governor for signature on June 20.  The bill is expected to be signed by the Governor and would become law 90 days after signing.  The Secretary of State and Department of Technology could approve the remote notarization platform any time after January 1, 2019.


Almost every state has enacted some form of e-Notarization law whether through the adoption of the Uniform Electronic Transfer Act or by its own state law.  Many of these laws are based upon the Model Electronic Notarization Act published in January 2017 by the National Notary Association.


Back on November 28, 2017, State Senator Peter MacGregor introduced Senate Bill 664 which permits a Michigan Notary to “select 1 or more tamper-evident technologies to perform notarial acts electronically.”  Similar to HB 5811, this bill requires the Secretary of State and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget to review and approve the technologies for the electronic performance of notarial acts.  The bill is under review by the Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions.


Electronic or e-Notarization is different from remote notarization.  Electronic notary is essentially the same as traditional “paper” notarization except that the document is being notarized is in digital form and the Notary signs with an electronic signature.  The signer appears before the notary. As explained earlier, remote notarization allows a Notary to authenticate the signing of a document remotely using a technology platform.


To review SB 664, please Click Here.


Orlans PC is providing input and monitor both HB 5811 and SB 664 since both are moving quickly through the legislature.  Orlans PC will continue to monitor the trend of states that now permit remote video notarization.