137.01 (2m) Online notaries public; application and commission
. (a) A notary 7
public holding a commission under sub. (1g) or (2) may also apply to the department 8
for a commission as an online notary public. The application shall include, at a 9
minimum, all of the following:
1. The applicant's name to be used in acting as an online notary public.
2. A certification that the applicant will comply with standards established by 12
the department under sub. (13) (a) 1.
3. A certification that the applicant will use tamper-evident technologies to 14
perform online notarizations and will have the capability to retain the evidence of 15
these online notarizations for a period established by the department under sub. (13) 16
4. Proof that the applicant has completed a course of instruction approved by 18
the department as provided in sub. (13) (a) 3.
5. Disclosure of all instances in which the applicant's commission, license, or 20
other authorization as a notary public has been revoked or terminated, or the 21
applicant has been otherwise subject to any disciplinary action, in any state within 22
the 10-year period preceding the date of application.
(b) Qualified applicants under this subsection shall be notified by the 24
department to take and file the official oath as an online notary public. This oath is 25
in addition to the oath required under sub. (1g) (d).
(c) For applicants who have fulfilled the requirements of this subsection, the 2
department shall appoint the applicant as an online notary public and issue to the 3
applicant a certificate of appointment for a term of 4 years. The certificate shall state 4
the expiration date of the commission under this subsection.
137.01 (3) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) Except as authorized in s. 137.19,
and except as provided in par.
every notary public shall provide an engraved official seal which makes a distinct 8
and legible impression or official rubber stamp which makes a distinct and legible 9
imprint on paper. The impression of the seal or the imprint of the rubber stamp shall 10
state only the following: “Notary Public," “State of Wisconsin" and the name of the 11
notary. But any notarial seal in use on August 1, 1959, shall be considered in 12
137.01 (3) (c) of the statutes is created to read:
(c) For electronic notarizations and online notarial acts, the notary 15
public and online notary public shall use an electronic notarial seal that clearly and 16
legibly states the following: “Notary Public," “State of Wisconsin," and the name of 17
the notary. The electronic notarial seal shall afford the notary public or online notary 18
public the opportunity to indicate the day, month, and year when his or her 19
commission will expire or that the commission is permanent.
137.01 (4) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) Every official act of a notary public shall be attested by the notary 22
public's written signature or electronic signature, as defined in s. 137.11 (8)
137.01 (4) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) Except as authorized in s. 137.19,
and except when a notary
25public properly uses an electronic notarial seal under sub. (3) (c),
all certificates of
acknowledgments of deeds and other conveyances, or any written instrument 2
required or authorized by law to be acknowledged or sworn to before any notary 3
public, within this state, shall be attested by a clear impression of the official seal or 4
imprint of the rubber stamp of said officer, and in addition thereto shall be written 5
or stamped either the day, month and year when the commission of said notary public 6
will expire, or that such commission is permanent.
137.01 (6) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) The secretary of financial institutions department
may certify 9
to the official qualifications of any notary public and to the genuineness of the notary 10
public's signature and seal or rubber stamp.
137.01 (6m) of the statutes is amended to read:
137.01 (6m) Change of residence.
A notary public does not vacate his or her 13
office by reason of his or her change of residence within the United States. Written 14
notice of any change of address shall be given to the department
within 10 days of the change.
137.01 (7) of the statutes is amended to read:
137.01 (7) Official records to be filed.
When any notary public ceases to hold 18
office, the notary public, or in case of the notary public's death the notary public's 19
personal representative, shall deposit the notary public's official records and papers 20
with the department of financial institutions
. If the notary or personal 21
representative, after the records and papers come to his or her hands, neglects for 22
3 months to deposit them, he or she shall forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $500. 23
If any person knowingly destroys, defaces, or conceals any records or papers of any 24
notary public, the person shall forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $500, and shall
be liable for all damages resulting to the party injured. The department of financial
shall receive and safely keep all such papers and records.
137.01 (9) of the statutes is renumbered 137.01 (9) (am), and 4
137.01 (9) (am) (intro.), as renumbered, is amended to read:
(am) (intro.) A
Except as provided in par. (bm), a
notary public shall 6
be allowed the following fees:
137.01 (9) (bm) of the statutes is created to read:
(bm) Subject to any rule promulgated under sub. (13) (b) 1., an online 9
notary public may charge any fee for the performance of an online notarization.
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: