Press Releases

Sens. Carper and Sununu Streamline Notary Process For Businesses

Legislation Addresses Problem Faced by Businesses Conducting Interstate Commerce

Sep 21 2007

Looking to eliminate obstacles businesses encounter when conducting interstate transactions, Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and John Sununu (R-N.H.) introduced federal legislation today that would promote electronic notarization.
 
The bipartisan Interstate Recognition of Notarizations (IRON) Act simply requires state and federal courts to recognize documents related to interstate commerce if they have been notarized with a traditional seal valid in one state or notarized by digital authentication. Businesses engaged in interstate commerce suffer great inconveniences when a document notarized in one state is not accepted in another. In addition, many states are currently transitioning from traditional notary seals to electronic seals tagged to a document. The legislation would eliminate problems when one state refuses to recognize a document notarized by another state.
 
“Electronic notarization is secure and efficient, and will update and streamline the notarization process,” said Sen. Carper. “Delaware businesses, especially those in the financial services sector, will benefit from the removal of this common obstacle to interstate commerce.”
 
Of the current system, Sen. Carper said: “It makes no sense to print out an electronic file, notarize it, then rescan it into another electronic file. This bill will ensure that common sense practices are followed and simple electronic notarizations are accepted.”
 
“Businesses in New Hampshire and across the country often face time-consuming work and confusion when dealing with traditional notarizations in the federal and state court systems,” said Sen. Sununu. “Promoting interstate recognition and electronic notarizations will eliminate one more obstacle in the course of conducting business and will allow firms to move forward with their work in a more efficient, productive manner.”
 
Currently, each state is responsible for regulating its own notary system, and the IRON Act will not affect state authority. It also will not affect a business’s or individual’s ability to dispute the authenticity of a notarized document in court.
 
Similar legislation has been introduced in the House by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.).