Bulletin: MI2019004

Date:
February 27, 2019
To:
All Michigan Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Remote Online Notarization (RON)

Dear Associates:

On December 12, 2018, the Governor of Michigan signed into law Public Acts 360 and 361 of 2018 (attached) which Acts amend MCL 55.275, MCL 55.285 and MCL 55.287 of the Michigan Notary Public Act and become effective March 12, 2019. P.A 360 authorizes remote online notarization (RON) where the notary has employed the use of a platform that has been approved for use by the Michigan Secretary of State and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB). The Act provides, in Sections 26a and 26b that by March 30, 2019, the Secretary and DTMB “shall review and approve at least 1 electronic notarization system for the performance of electronic notarizations in this state”. Further, 26b (1) provides that: A notary public shall not use a remote electronic notarization platform that is not approved under this section.” The section then goes on to identify the criteria that the State shall use to approve a platform or platforms. Thus, until a platform is officially approved by the Secretary, a Michigan Notary will not be able to perform a remote online notarization. 

Public Act 360 in section 5(d) identifies two types of “notarial acts”: 

·         an act performed with respect to a tangible or electronic record commissioned in this state (Michigan) and 

·         an act performed with respect to a tangible or electronic record commissioned in another jurisdiction and meets the requirements of section 25a.  

Section 25a is found in Public Act 361 and it provides that Michigan will recognize a notarial act, which act is performed in either another state, under federal law, by a federally recognized Indian tribe or under the jurisdiction of a foreign country, as having the same effect as if it was performed by a notary licensed in Michigan. The notary must, however, be authorized under the laws of that jurisdiction. The Act goes on to provide that the signature and title of the individual (notary, judge, clerk or deputy clerk of any court) are prima facie evidence of the authority of the individual to perform the act. You may proceed to recognize a remote online notarization performed in another jurisdiction as of March 12, 2019, though please review and comply with the provisions contained in Stewart Bulletin SLS2018003 below.

Please also note that under Section 26 (2) of Public Act 360, a Michigan notary public shall notify the secretary of state that the notary public will be performing notarial acts electronically and identify the electronic notarization system the notary public intends to use for electronic notarization. The provision does not identify “how or where” this notification is to occur. 

Finally, as is provided in Stewart Bulletin SLS2018003, before closing verify with the Register of Deeds office in the county where the property is located that they will receive and record remotely notarized documents. The revisions to the Michigan Notary Act do not recognize a “paper out” solution which is the recording of a copy of the electronic notarized document. We are not able to insure transactions where we cannot record the vesting deed or mortgage instruments.

Please advise all appropriate personnel of the above-identified information.  

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
SLS2018003 UNDERWRITING - Remote Online Notarization
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None