2003 WISCONSIN ACT 294
An Act to repeal 137.04, 137.06 and 224.30 (2); to renumber 137.05 (title); to renumber and amend 137.05; to amend chapter 137 (title), subchapter I (title) of chapter 137 [precedes s. 137.01], 137.01 (3) (a), 137.01 (4) (a), 137.01 (4) (b), subchapter II (title) of chapter 137 [precedes 137.04], 889.29 (1), 910.01 (1), 910.02 and 910.03; and to create 137.11 to 137.24, 137.25 (2) and 137.26 of the statutes; relating to: electronic transactions and records and granting rule-making authority.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
Chapter 137 (title) of the statutes is amended to read:
authentications AND ELECTRONIC
TRANSACTIONS AND records
Subchapter I (title) of chapter 137 [precedes s. 137.01] of the statutes is amended to read:
NOTARIES AND COMMISSIONERS
OF DEEDS; NONELECTRONIC
NOTARIZATION AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
137.01 (3) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
137.01 (3) (a) Every Except as authorized in s. 137.19, every notary public shall provide an engraved official seal which makes a distinct and legible impression or official rubber stamp which makes a distinct and legible imprint on paper. The impression of the seal or the imprint of the rubber stamp shall state only the following: "Notary Public," "State of Wisconsin" and the name of the notary. But any notarial seal in use on August 1, 1959, shall be considered in compliance.
137.01 (4) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
137.01 (4) (a) Every official act of a notary public shall be attested by the notary public's written signature or electronic signature, as defined in s. 137.04 (2)
137.01 (4) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
137.01 (4) (b) All Except as authorized in s. 137.19, all certificates of acknowledgments of deeds and other conveyances, or any written instrument required or authorized by law to be acknowledged or sworn to before any notary public, within this state, shall be attested by a clear impression of the official seal or imprint of the rubber stamp of said officer, and in addition thereto shall be written or stamped either the day, month and year when the commission of said notary public will expire, or that such commission is permanent.
Subchapter II (title) of chapter 137 [precedes 137.04] of the statutes is amended to read:
TRANSACTIONS AND records;
137.04 of the statutes is repealed.
137.05 (title) of the statutes is renumbered 137.25 (title).
137.05 of the statutes is renumbered 137.25 (1) and amended to read:
137.25 (1) Unless otherwise prohibited by law, with the consent of a governmental unit of this state that is to receive a record, any document record that is required by law to be submitted in writing to a that governmental unit and that requires a written signature may be submitted by transforming the document into as an electronic
format, but only with the consent of the governmental unit that is to receive the document record, and if submitted as an electronic record may incorporate an electronic signature.
137.06 of the statutes is repealed.
137.11 to 137.24 of the statutes are created to read:
137.11 Definitions. In this subchapter:
(1) "Agreement" means the bargain of the parties in fact, as found in their language or inferred from other circumstances and from rules, regulations, and procedures given the effect of agreements under laws otherwise applicable to a particular transaction.
(2) "Automated transaction" means a transaction conducted or performed, in whole or in part, by electronic means or by the use of electronic records, in which the acts or records of one or both parties are not reviewed by an individual in the ordinary course in forming a contract, performing under an existing contract, or fulfilling an obligation required by the transaction.
(3) "Computer program" means a set of statements or instructions to be used directly or indirectly in an information processing system in order to bring about a certain result.
(4) "Contract" means the total legal obligation resulting from the parties' agreement as affected by this subchapter and other applicable law.
(5) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
(6) "Electronic agent" means a computer program or an electronic or other automated means used independently to initiate an action or respond to electronic records or performances in whole or in part, without review or action by an individual.
(7) "Electronic record" means a record that is created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means.
(8) "Electronic signature" means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.
(9) "Governmental unit" means:
(a) An agency, department, board, commission, office, authority, institution, or instrumentality of the federal government or of a state or of a political subdivision of a state or special purpose district within a state, regardless of the branch or branches of government in which it is located.
(b) A political subdivision of a state or special purpose district within a state.
(c) An association or society to which appropriations are made by law.
(d) Any body within one or more of the entities specified in pars. (a) to (c) that is created or authorized to be created by the constitution, by law, or by action of one or more of the entities specified in pars. (a) to (c).
(e) Any combination of any of the entities specified in pars. (a) to (d).
(10) "Information" means data, text, images, sounds, codes, computer programs, software, databases, or the like.
(11) "Information processing system" means an electronic system for creating, generating, sending, receiving, storing, displaying, or processing information.
(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) "Security procedure" means a procedure employed for the purpose of verifying that an electronic signature, record, or performance is that of a specific person or for detecting changes or errors in the information in an electronic record. The term includes a procedure that requires the use of algorithms or other codes, identifying words or numbers, encryption, callback, or other acknowledgment procedures.
(14) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes an Indian tribe or band, or Alaskan native village, which is recognized by federal law or formally acknowledged by a state.
(15) "Transaction" means an action or set of actions occurring between 2 or more persons relating to the conduct of business, commercial, or governmental affairs.
137.12 Application. (1) Except as otherwise provided in sub. (2) and except in ss. 137.25 and 137.26, this subchapter applies to electronic records and electronic signatures relating to a transaction.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in sub. (3), this subchapter does not apply to a transaction to the extent it is governed by:
(a) Any law governing the execution of wills or the creation of testamentary trusts;
(b) Chapters 401 and 403 to 410, other than ss. 401.107 and 401.206.
(2m) This subchapter does not apply to any of the following records or any transaction evidenced by any of the following records:
(a) Records governed by any law relating to adoption, divorce, or other matters of family law.
(b) Notices provided by a court.
(c) Court orders.
(d) Official court documents, including briefs, pleadings, and other writings, required to be executed in connection with court proceedings.
This subchapter applies to a transaction governed by the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 USC 7001
, et seq., but this subchapter is not intended to limit, modify, or supersede 15 USC 7001
To the extent that it is excluded from the scope of 15 USC 7003
, this subchapter does not apply to a notice to the extent that it is governed by a law requiring the furnishing of any notice of:
(a) The cancellation or termination of utility services, including water, heat, and power service.
(b) Default, acceleration, repossession, foreclosure, or eviction, or the right to cure, under a credit agreement secured by or a rental agreement for a primary residence of an individual;
(c) The cancellation or termination of health insurance or benefits or life insurance benefits, excluding annuities;
(d) Recall of a product, or material failure of a product, that risks endangering health or safety; or
(e) A law requiring a document to accompany any transportation or handling of hazardous materials, pesticides, or other toxic or dangerous materials.
(3) This subchapter applies to an electronic record or electronic signature otherwise excluded from the application of this subchapter under subs. (2), (2m), and (2r) to the extent it is governed by a law other than those specified in subs. (2), (2m), and (2r).
(4) A transaction subject to this subchapter is also subject to other applicable substantive law.
(5) This subchapter applies to the state of Wisconsin, unless otherwise expressly provided.
137.13 Use of electronic records and electronic signatures; variation by agreement. (1) This subchapter does not require a record or signature to be created, generated, sent, communicated, received, stored, or otherwise processed or used by electronic means or in electronic form.
(2) This subchapter applies only to transactions between parties each of which has agreed to conduct transactions by electronic means. Whether the parties agree to conduct a transaction by electronic means is determined from the context and surrounding circumstances, including the parties' conduct.
(3) A party that agrees to conduct a transaction by electronic means may refuse to conduct other transactions by electronic means. The right granted by this subsection may not be waived by agreement.
(4) Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, the effect of any provision of this subchapter may be varied by agreement. Use of the words "unless otherwise agreed," or words of similar import, in this subchapter shall not be interpreted to preclude other provisions of this subchapter from being varied by agreement.
(5) Whether an electronic record or electronic signature has legal consequences is determined by this subchapter and other applicable law.
137.14 Construction. This subchapter shall be construed and applied:
(1) To facilitate electronic transactions consistent with other applicable law;
(2) To be consistent with reasonable practices concerning electronic transactions and with the continued expansion of those practices; and
(3) To effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this subchapter among states enacting laws substantially similar to the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act as approved and recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1999.
137.15 Legal recognition of electronic records, electronic signatures, and electronic contracts. (1) A record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.
(2) A contract may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because an electronic record was used in its formation.
(3) If a law requires a record to be in writing, an electronic record satisfies that requirement in that law.
(4) If a law requires a signature, an electronic signature satisfies that requirement in that law.
137.16 Provision of information in writing; presentation of records. (1) If parties have agreed to conduct a transaction by electronic means and a law requires a person to provide, send, or deliver information in writing to another person, a party may satisfy the requirement with respect to that transaction if the information is provided, sent, or delivered, as the case may be, in an electronic record capable of retention by the recipient at the time of receipt. An electronic record is not capable of retention by the recipient if the sender or its information processing system inhibits the ability of the recipient to print or store the electronic record.
(2) If a law other than this subchapter requires a record to be posted or displayed in a certain manner, to be sent, communicated, or transmitted by a specified method, or to contain information that is formatted in a certain manner, then: