Scenic photo of Dismals Canyon

Congressman Aderholt Introduces Notary Public Bill

April 20, 2007
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) today introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that will correct problems dealing with the recognition of notarizations across state lines. The Interstate Recognition of Notarizations (IRON) Act, H.R. 1979, previously passed the House of Representatives in December 2006. However, the legislation failed to pass the Senate in the final hours of the 109th Congress. 

“This issue continues to be a problem for businesses and individuals who engage in business across state lines,” said Congressman Aderholt. “My legislation offers a commonsense solution to a problem that is more widespread than is generally recognized.”

The IRON Act would eliminate the confusion which arises when states refuse to acknowledge the integrity of documents notarized out-of-state. This legislation would require that documents be recognized in any state or federal court if the subject affects interstate commerce and the document is duly notarized by seal or if a seal is tagged to an electronic document. The bill does not preclude the challenge of a notarized document, such as a will contest.

Currently, each state is responsible for regulating its notaries. Typically, someone who wishes to become a notary pays a fee, submits an application and takes an oath of office. Some states require applicants to enroll in an educational course, pass an exam, and obtain a notary bond. This legislation does not change how the individual states regulate notaries in any manner.

Congressman Aderholt continued, “I believe that this is a simple problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. This is a bill that everyone in Congress can get behind and I look forward to its swift passage and enactment.”

H.R. 1979 is expected to be referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. Representatives Artur Davis (D-AL) and Bruce Braley (D-IA) are the original cosponsors.