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140.01   Definitions.
140.02   Notaries.
140.04   Authority to perform notarial act.
140.05   Requirements for certain notarial acts.
140.06   Personal appearance required.
140.07   Identification of individual.
140.08   Authority to refuse to perform notarial act.
140.09   Signature if individual unable to sign.
140.10   Notarial act in this state.
140.11   Notarial act in another state.
140.12   Notarial act under authority of federally recognized Indian tribe.
140.13   Notarial act under federal authority.
140.14   Foreign notarial act.
140.145   Notarial act performed for remotely located individual.
140.15   Certificate of notarial act.
140.16   Short form certificates.
140.17   Official stamp.
140.18   Stamping device.
140.20   Notification regarding performance of notarial act for remotely located individuals; selection of technology; acceptance of tangible copy of electronic record.
140.24   Database of notaries public.
140.26   Validity of notarial acts.
140.27   Rules; powers of the department.
140.30   Uniformity of application and construction.
140.31   Relation to electronic signatures in global and national commerce act.
140.34   Short title.
140.01 140.01 Definitions. In this chapter:
140.01(1) (1)“Acknowledgment” means a declaration by an individual before a notarial officer that the individual has signed a record for the purpose stated in the record and, if the record is signed in a representative capacity, that the individual signed the record with proper authority and signed it as the act of the individual or entity identified in the record.
140.01(2) (2)“Department” means the department of financial institutions.
140.01(3) (3)“Domestic partner" has the meaning given in s. 770.01 (1).
140.01(4) (4)“Electronic” means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
140.01(5) (5)“Electronic signature” means an electronic symbol, sound, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by an individual with the intent to sign the record.
140.01(6) (6)“In a representative capacity” means acting as any of the following:
140.01(6)(a) (a) An authorized officer, agent, partner, trustee, or other representative for a person other than an individual.
140.01(6)(b) (b) A public officer, personal representative, guardian, or other representative, in the capacity stated in a record.
140.01(6)(c) (c) An agent or attorney-in-fact for a principal.
140.01(6)(d) (d) An authorized representative of another in any other capacity.
140.01(7) (7)“Notarial act” means an act, whether performed with respect to a tangible or electronic record, that a notarial officer may perform under the law of this state. The term includes taking an acknowledgment, administering an oath or affirmation, taking a verification on oath or affirmation, witnessing or attesting a signature, certifying or attesting a copy, and noting a protest of a negotiable instrument.
140.01(8) (8)“Notarial officer” means a notary public or other individual authorized to perform a notarial act.
140.01(9) (9)“Notary public” means an individual commissioned to perform a notarial act.
140.01(10) (10)“Official stamp” means a physical image affixed to or embossed on a tangible record or an electronic image attached to or logically associated with an electronic record.
140.01(11) (11)“Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust, statutory trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation, government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity.
140.01(12) (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.
140.01(13) (13)“Sign” means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record, any of the following:
140.01(13)(a) (a) To execute or adopt a tangible symbol.
140.01(13)(b) (b) To attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol, sound, or process.
140.01(14) (14)“Signature” means a tangible symbol or an electronic signature that evidences the signing of a record.
140.01(15) (15)“Stamping device” means any of the following:
140.01(15)(a) (a) A physical device capable of affixing to or embossing on a tangible record an official stamp.
140.01(15)(b) (b) An electronic device or process capable of attaching to or logically associating with an electronic record an official stamp.
140.01(16) (16)“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.
140.01(17) (17)“Tamper-evident” means that any change to a record generates evidence of the change.
140.01(18) (18)“Verification on oath or affirmation” means a declaration, made by an individual on oath or affirmation before a notarial officer, that a statement in a record is true.
140.01 History History: 2019 a. 125.
140.02 140.02 Notaries.
140.02(1)(1)Notaries public who are not attorneys.
140.02(1)(a)(a) The department shall appoint notaries public who shall be United States residents and at least 18 years of age. Applicants who are not attorneys shall file an application with the department and pay a $20 fee.
140.02(1)(b) (b) The department shall satisfy itself that the applicant has the equivalent of an 8th grade education, is familiar with the duties and responsibilities of a notary public and, subject to ss. 111.321, 111.322 and 111.335, does not have an arrest or conviction record.
140.02(1)(c) (c) If an application is rejected the fee shall be returned.
140.02(1)(d) (d) Qualified applicants shall be notified by the department to take and file the official oath and execute and file an official bond in the sum of $500, with a surety executed by a surety company and approved by the department.
140.02(1)(e) (e) The qualified applicant shall file his or her signature, post-office address, and an impression of his or her official seal, or imprint of his or her official rubber stamp, with the department.
140.02(1)(f) (f) A certificate of appointment as a notary public for a term of 4 years stating the expiration date of the commission shall be issued to applicants who have fulfilled the requirements of this subsection.
140.02(1)(g) (g) At least 30 days before the expiration of a commission the department shall provide notice of the expiration date to the holder of a commission.
140.02(1)(h) (h) A notary shall be entitled to reappointment.
140.02(1)(i) (i) A notary public appointed under this subsection may not do any of the following:
140.02(1)(i)1. 1. State or imply that he or she is an attorney licensed to practice law in this state.
140.02(1)(i)2. 2. Solicit or accept compensation to prepare documents for or otherwise represent the interests of another person in a judicial or administrative proceeding, including a proceeding relating to immigration to the United States or U.S. citizenship.
140.02(1)(i)3. 3. Solicit or accept compensation to obtain relief of any kind on behalf of another person from any officer, agent, or employee of this state, a political subdivision of this state, or the United States.
140.02(1)(i)4. 4. Use the phrase “notario," “notarizaciones," “notarizamos," or “notario publico," or otherwise advertise in a language other than English on signs, pamphlets, stationery, or other written communication, by radio or television, or on the Internet his or her services as a notary public if the advertisement fails to include, in English and the language of the advertisement, all of the following:
140.02(1)(i)4.a. a. The statement, if in a written advertisement, in all capital letters and the same type size: “I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN WISCONSIN AND MAY NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE OR ACCEPT FEES FOR LEGAL ADVICE." If the advertisement is given orally, the statement may be modified but must include substantially the same message and be understandable.
140.02(1)(i)4.b. b. The fees that a notary public may charge under sub. (9).
140.02(1)(j) (j) The prohibitions under par. (i) 2. and 3. do not apply to a notary public who is an accredited representative, as defined in 8 CFR 292.1 (a) (4).
140.02(1)(k) (k) A person who violates par. (i) may be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months or both. A person who commits a 2nd or subsequent violation of par. (i) may be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 6 years or both.
140.02(2) (2)Notaries public who are attorneys.
140.02(2)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (am), any United States resident who is licensed to practice law in this state is entitled to a permanent commission as a notary public upon application to the department and payment of a $50 fee. The application shall include a certificate of good standing from the supreme court, the signature and post-office address of the applicant and an impression of the applicant's official seal, or imprint of the applicant's official rubber stamp.
140.02(2)(am) (am) If a United States resident has his or her license to practice law in this state suspended or revoked, upon reinstatement of his or her license to practice law in this state, the person may be entitled to receive a certificate of appointment as a notary public for a term of 4 years. An eligible notary appointed under this paragraph is entitled to reappointment for 4-year increments. At least 30 days before the expiration of a commission under this paragraph the department shall provide notice of the expiration date to the holder of the commission.
140.02(2)(b) (b) The department shall issue a certificate of appointment as a notary public to persons who qualify under the requirements of this subsection. The certificate shall state that the notary commission is permanent or is for 4 years.
140.02(2)(c) (c) The supreme court shall file with the department notice of the surrender, suspension, or revocation of the license to practice law of any attorney who holds a permanent commission as a notary public. Such notice shall be deemed a revocation of said commission.
140.02(3) (3)Notarial seal or stamp.
140.02(3)(a) (a) Except as authorized in s. 137.19, and except as provided in s. 140.17, 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.
140.02(3)(b) (b) The impression of the notarial seal upon any instrument or writing or upon wafer, wax or other adhesive substance and affixed to any instrument or writing shall be deemed an affixation of the seal, and the imprint of the notarial rubber stamp upon any instrument or writing shall be deemed an affixation of the rubber stamp.
140.02(4) (4)Attestation.
140.02(4)(a) (a) Every official act of a notary public shall be attested by the notary public's written signature or electronic signature.
140.02(4)(b) (b) Except as authorized in s. 137.19, and except when a notary public properly uses an official stamp under s. 140.17, 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.
140.02(4)(c) (c) The official certificate of any notary public, when attested and completed in the manner provided by this subsection, shall be presumptive evidence in all cases, and in all courts of the state, of the facts therein stated, in cases where by law a notary public is authorized to certify such facts.
140.02(5) (5)Powers. Notaries public have power to act throughout the state. Notaries public have power to demand acceptance of foreign and inland bills of exchange and payment thereof, and payment of promissory notes, and may protest the same for nonacceptance or nonpayment, may administer oaths, take depositions and acknowledgments of deeds, and perform such other duties as by the law of nations, or according to commercial usage, may be exercised and performed by notaries public.
140.02(5m) (5m)Confidentiality.
140.02(5m)(a) (a) In this subsection, “communication technology” has the meaning given in s. 140.145 (1) (a).
This is an archival version of the Wis. Stats. database for 2019. See Are the Statutes on this Website Official?