COLUMBUS—State Senator Steve Wilson
(R-Maineville) today applauded the signing of the "Notary Public Modernization Act," which will take a number of steps to update and enhance the notary public system in Ohio. Wilson joint-sponsored the legislation alongside Senator Matt Huffman
Most notably, Ohioans will now be able to get their documents notarized by connecting with a commissioned Ohio notary online, rather than face-to-face, utilizing live audio-video communications technology.
In addition to providing Ohioans with a new method for getting their documents notarized, the bill also provides for certain consumer protections to ensure the authenticity of electronic signatures and online notarial acts. Online notarization is a growing trend across the country and passage of this legislation solidifies Ohio as a leader of this historic advancement.
"As legislators, we are always exploring new ways to advance our state and better meet the needs of the people we serve," said Wilson. "This bill does just that by placing Ohio at the forefront of a cutting-edge movement to provide a new, more convenient option for consumers and businesses alike."
Other provisions of the bill will streamline and modernize Ohio’s outdated system for commissioning notaries public by consolidating the process under the authority of the Secretary of State's office. Ohio’s current commissioning process lacks consistency and efficiency due to a complex web of state and local involvement that varies county by county, resulting in 88 different processes by which a person can become a notary public.
“Notaries perform important services, and the materials they are trusted with contain vital information," said Huffman. "It is imperative that Ohioans are able to have the utmost confidence in the individuals notarizing their documents. This legislation provides that assurance.”
Under the bill, certain applicants will be required to submit a BCI background check, participate in an approved training course and pass an assessment.
For more information on Senate Bill 263, click here