137.01 (10) of the statutes is created to read:
137.01 (10) Online notarization system providers
. (a) In this subsection:
1. “Electronic notarial act” or “electronic notarization” means an act that an 13
online notary public is authorized to perform. The term includes all of the following:
a. Taking an acknowledgment.
b. Administering an oath or affirmation.
c. Taking a verification upon oath or affirmation.
d. Witnessing or attesting a signature.
e. Certifying or attesting a copy.
f. Noting a protest of a negotiable instrument.
g. Performing any other duty prescribed by a specific statute for an online 21
2. “Electronic notarization system” means a set of applications, programs, 23
hardware, software, or technologies designed to enable an online notary public to 24
perform electronic notarizations.
3. “Online notarization system provider” means any person that offers the 2
services of an electronic notarization system.
(b) The department shall establish and maintain a registration system for 4
online notarization system providers.
(c) No person may conduct business in this state as an online notarization 6
system provider unless the person first registers with the department as such.
(d) 1. An online notarization system provider may not authorize use of its 8
electronic notarization system by any person other than an online notary public 9
holding a commission under sub. (2m). An online notarization system provider shall 10
establish a method for enrolling online notaries public authorized to use its electronic 11
2. Within 5 days after enrolling an online notary public to use its electronic 13
notarization system, an online notarization system provider shall notify the 14
department of the name of the online notary public.
(e) Each online notarization system provider shall take reasonable steps to 16
ensure that any online notary public authorized to use its electronic notarization 17
system has the requisite knowledge to perform electronic notarial acts using the 18
(f) An online notarization system provider shall ensure that all of the following 20
requirements are satisfied with respect to its electronic notarization system:
1. The electronic notarization system incorporates security measures to limit 22
system access and complies with all security standards established by the 23
department under sub. (13) (a) 5.
2. The electronic notarization system allows an online notary public to affix the 25
online notary public's electronic signature and electronic notarial seal in a manner
that attributes the electronic notarial act to the online notary public and renders the 2
electronic notarial act tamper-evident.
137.01 (11) of the statutes is created to read:
137.01 (11) Termination of notary public's commission; destruction of
5hardware or software.
(a) Except as provided in par. (b), if a notary public 6
maintains any coding, disk, certificate, card, software, or password that enables the 7
notary public's electronic signature or electronic seal to be affixed and if the notary 8
public's commission is terminated, the notary public shall destroy the coding, disk, 9
certificate, card, software, or password within 3 months of termination of the notary 10
(b) If a notary public's commission is terminated for any reason other than 12
revocation or denial of renewal, the notary public is not required to destroy the 13
coding, disk, certificate, card, software, or password as described in par. (a) if the 14
notary public is recommissioned within 3 months and keeps the same electronic 15
signature and electronic seal.
137.01 (12) of the statutes is created to read:
137.01 (12) Wrongful possession or destruction of software or hardware. 18
Any person who knowingly obtains or destroys, without prior authorization, a 19
certificate, disk, coding, card, program, software, or hardware that enables a notary 20
public's electronic signature or electronic seal to be affixed is guilty of a Class I felony.
137.01 (13) of the statutes is created to read:
137.01 (13) Rule making.
(a) The department shall promulgate rules that do 23
all of the following:
1. Establish standards for online notaries public holding a commission under 25
2. Establish a minimum period during which online notaries public shall retain 2
evidence of online notarizations.
3. Require applicants for appointment as an online notary public under sub. 4
(2m) to complete a course of instruction and identify all courses of instruction 5
approved by the department to satisfy this requirement.
4. Specify the electronic notarial seals described in sub. (3) (c).
5. Establish security standards for accessing electronic notarization systems 8
maintained by online notarization system providers under sub. (10).
(b) The department may promulgate rules that do any of the following:
1. Establish maximum fees that may be charged by an online notary public for 11
performing an online notarization.
2. Establish any other standard or requirement, not inconsistent with this 13
section and s. 137.195, relating to online notaries public and online notarizations.
Subchapter II (title) of chapter 137 [precedes 137.11] of the 15
statutes is amended to read:
ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS AND 19
RECORDS; ELECTRONIC NOTARIZATION
137.11 (8) of the statutes is amended to read:
“Electronic signature" means an electronic sound, symbol, or process 23
attached to, incorporated into,
or logically associated with a record and executed or 24
adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.
137.19 of the statutes is amended to read:
1137.19 Notarization and acknowledgement.
If a law requires a signature 2
or record to be notarized, acknowledged, verified, or made under oath, the 3
requirement is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to 4
administer the oath or to make the notarization, acknowledgment, or verification, 5
together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law, 6
is attached to, incorporated into,
or logically associated with the signature or record.
137.195 of the statutes is created to read:
8137.195 Online notarization. (1)
. In this section:
(a) “Credential” means a tangible record evidencing the identity of a person.
(b) “Credential analysis" means a process or service that complies with any 11
rules promulgated by the department through which a 3rd party affirms the validity 12
of a government-issued credential or any data thereon through review of public and 13
proprietary data sources.
(c) “Communication technology” means an electronic device or process that 15
allows an individual physically in one location and a notary public physically located 16
at another location in this state to communicate with each other in real time by sight 17
(d) “Department” means the department of financial institutions.
(e) “Identity proofing" means a process or service operating according to criteria 20
approved by the department through which a 3rd party affirms the identity of an 21
individual through review of personal information from public and proprietary data 22
(f) “Online notarial act" or “online notarization” means a notarial act, as defined 24
in s. 706.07 (1) (c), performed by means of communication technology that meets the 25
standards established by the department.
(g) “Online notary public” means a person appointed and holding a commission 2
under s. 137.01 (2m).
(h) “Principal" means any of the following:
1. An individual whose electronic signature is notarized in an online 5
2. An individual taking an oath or affirmation from an online notary public but 7
not in the capacity of a witness for the online notarial act.
(i) “Real time” means the actual span of uninterrupted time during which all 9
parts of an online notarial act occur.
(j) “Remote presentation" means the transmission to an online notary public 11
through communication technology of an image of a government-issued credential 12
that is of sufficient quality to enable the online notary public to do all of the following:
1. Identify the individual appearing before the online notary public.
2. Perform a credential analysis.
(k) “United States” has the meaning given in s. 990.01 (44) but also includes 16
a tribe, as defined in s. 822.02 (16).
17(2) Authority to perform online notarizations
. (a) An online notary public 18
may perform online notarial acts for a person who is physically located in the United 19
(am) An online notary public may perform online notarial acts for a person who 21
is physically located outside the United States if all of the following apply:
1. The online notarial act is not, to the notary's actual knowledge, prohibited 23
in the jurisdiction where the person is physically located at the time of the online 24
2. The online notarial act relates to any of the following:
a. A matter that is before a court, a governmental entity, or another entity in 2
the United States.
b. Property located in the United States.
c. A transaction substantially connected to the United States.
(b) An online notary public must be physically located in this state in order to 6
perform the online notarial act.
7(3) Online notarization procedures
. (a) An online notary public shall verify 8
the identity of the person creating the electronic signature at the time the signature 9
is taken by using communication technology that meets the requirements of this 10
section and rules promulgated by the department. The identity may be verified by 11
any of the following:
1. The online notary public's personal knowledge of the person creating the 13
2. The occurrence of all of the following:
a. The principal's remote presentation of a government-issued credential, 16
including a passport or operator's license, that contains a signature and photograph 17
of the principal.
b. The online notary public's application of credential analysis to the credential 19
under subd. 2. a.
c. The online notary public's use of identity proofing with respect to the 21
principal making the remote presentation under subd. 2. a.
(b) The online notary public shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the 23
communication technology used for the online notarization is secure from 24
(c) A principal for whom an online notarization is performed under this section 2
is considered, for purposes of any other law, to appear personally before and be in the 3
physical presence of the online notary public at the time of the online notarial act.
(d) 1. For each online notarial act performed under this section, the online 5
notary public shall prepare an electronic certificate of notarial act that satisfies the 6
requirements for a certificate of notarial act under s. 706.07 (7) and (8) except to the 7
extent provided in subds. 2. to 4.
2. The electronic certificate of notarial act for an online notarial act shall clearly 9
indicate that the principal appeared by remote presentation, and the face of the 10
notarized record shall clearly indicate that it was notarized by means of an online 11
notarial act. For purposes of the forms under s. 706.07 (8) and any other form 12
authorized under s. 706.07 (7) (b), a principal for whom an online notarial act is 13
performed is considered to be before the online notary public. An electronic 14
certificate of notarial act for an online notarial act shall be in lieu of any written 15
3. For purposes of determining the jurisdiction in which an online notarial act 17
is performed, the location of the online notary public shall be determinative. The 18
commission expiration date appearing on the certificate shall be the expiration date 19
of the commission as an online notary public, regardless of any other commission the 20
notary public holds. The online notary public shall use on the electronic certificate 21
the electronic notarial seal under s. 137.01 (3) (c).
4. By executing an electronic certificate of notarial act under this paragraph, 23
the online notary public certifies that the online notary public has acted in 24
compliance with this section. Section 706.07 (7) (c) does not apply with respect to an 25
electronic certificate of notarial act.
(e) An online notarial act performed under this section involving the principal's 2
remote presentation shall comply with the following minimum standards:
1. The online notary public shall use identity proofing that includes 4
knowledge-based authentication with at least the following minimum security 5
a. The principal shall be presented with 5 or more questions with a minimum 7
of 5 possible answer choices per question.
b. Each question under subd. 1. a. shall be drawn from a 3rd-party provider 9
of public and proprietary data sources and be identifiable to the principal's social 10
security number or other identification information or the principal's identity and 11
historical events records.
c. Responses to all questions under subd. 1. a. shall be made within a 2-minute 13
d. The principal shall answer a minimum of 80 percent of the questions 15
e. The principal may be offered an additional attempt in the event of a failed 17
f. During a second attempt, the principal may not be presented with more than 19
3 questions from the prior attempt.
2. The online notary public shall confirm that the principal's credential is valid 21
and matches the principal's claimed identity by using credential analysis consisting 22
of one or more automated software or hardware processes that scan the credential, 23
including its format features, data, bar codes, or other security elements.
24(4) Electronic record of online notarizations
. (a) Subject to par. (e), an 25
online notary public shall keep electronic records for online notarized documents and
shall maintain the security of these records. These records shall include all of the 2