TITLE 29

State Government

State Agencies and Offices Not Created by Constitution

CHAPTER 43. NOTARIES PUBLIC

Subchapter II. Notarial Acts


As used in this chapter:

(1) "Acknowledgment" shall mean a statement by a person that the person has executed an instrument for the purposes stated therein. If the instrument is executed in a representative capacity, an acknowledgement certifies that the person who signed the instrument did so with proper authority and executed the instrument as the act of the person or entity stated therein.

(2) "Affirmation" shall mean a promise of truthfulness that is a solemn, spoken pledge on one's own, personal honor without reference to a Supreme Being.

(3) "Copy certification" means a notarial act in which a notary:

a. Is presented with a document that is not a public record;

b. Copies or supervises the copying of the document using a photographic or electronic copying process;

c. Compares the document to the copy; and

d. Determines that the copy is accurate and complete.

(4) "Credible witness" means an honest, reliable, and impartial person who personally knows an individual appearing before a notary and takes an oath or affirmation from the notary to confirm that individual's identity.

(5) "Document" 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, including a record as defined in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (Chapter 12A of Title 6).

(6) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.

(7) "Electronic document" means information that is created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means.

(8) "Electronic notarial act" and "electronic notarization" mean an official act by a notary under this title or as otherwise authorized by law that involves electronic documents.

(9) "Electronic notarial certificate" means the portion of a notarized electronic document that is completed by the notary public, bears the notary public's signature, title, commission expiration date, and other required information concerning the date and place of the electronic notarization, and states the facts attested to or certified by the notary public in a particular notarization.

(10) "Electronic notary public" or "electronic notary" means a notary public who has been commissioned by the Secretary with the capability of performing electronic notarial acts under this chapter.

(11) "Electronic notary seal" or "electronic seal" means information within a notarized electronic document that confirms the notary's name, jurisdiction, and commission expiration date and generally corresponds to data in notary seals used on paper documents.

(12) "Electronic signature" means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with an electronic document and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the document.

(13) "Notarial act" shall mean any act that a notary public of this State is authorized to perform and includes:

a. Taking an acknowledgement;

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.

(14) "Notarial officer" shall mean a notary public or any other officer authorized to perform notarial acts.

(15) "Oath" shall mean a promise of truthfulness that is a solemn, spoken pledge to a Supreme Being.

(16) "Personal knowledge of identity" or "personally knows" means familiarity with an individual resulting from interactions with that individual over a period of time sufficient to dispel any reasonable uncertainty that the individual has the identity claimed.

(17) "Prima-facie evidence" shall mean evidence that would, if uncontested, establish a fact or raise a presumption of a fact.

(18) "Principal" means:

a. A person whose signature is notarized; or

b. A person, other than a credible witness, taking an oath or affirmation from the notary.

(19) "Record of notarial acts" means a device for creating and preserving a chronological record of notarizations performed by a notary.

(20) "Representative capacity" shall mean:

a. For and on behalf of a corporation, partnership, trust or other entity as an authorized officer, agent, partner or other representative;

b. As a public officer, personal representative, guardian or other representative in the capacity recited in the instrument;

c. As an attorney in fact for a principal; or

d. In any other capacity as an authorized representative of another.

(21) "Satisfactory evidence of identity" means identification of an individual based on:

a. Examination of 1 or more of the following documents bearing a photographic image of the individual's face and signature: a United States Passport, a certificate of United States citizenship, a certificate of naturalization, an unexpired foreign passport, an alien registration card with photograph, a state-issued driver's license or a state-issued identification card or a United States military card; or

b. The oath or affirmation of 1 credible witness unaffected by the document or transaction who is personally known to the notary and who personally knows the individual or of 2 credible witnesses unaffected by the document or transaction who each personally knows the individual and shows to the notary documentary identification as described in paragraph (21)a. of this section.

(22) "Seal" means a device for affixing on a paper document an image containing the notary's name and other information related to the notary's commission.

(23) "Secretary" means Secretary of State.

(24) "Verification upon oath or affirmation" shall mean a statement by a person who asserts that the statement is true and makes the assertion upon oath or affirmation.

63 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 4; 64 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 65, § 8; 76 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 1.;

(a) In taking an acknowledgment, the notarial officer must determine, either from personal knowledge of identity or from satisfactory evidence of identity, that the person appearing before the officer and making the acknowledgment is the person whose true signature is on the instrument.

(b) In taking a verification upon oath or affirmation, the notarial officer must determine, either from personal knowledge of identity or from satisfactory evidence of identity, that the person appearing before the officer and making the verification is the person whose true signature is on the statement verified.

(c) In witnessing or attesting a signature, the notarial officer must determine, either from personal knowledge of identity or from satisfactory evidence of identity, that the signature is that of the person appearing before the officer and named therein.

(d) In certifying or attesting a copy of a document the notary public must supervise the making of a photocopy of an original document and shall attest to the authenticity of such copy. Notaries public, however, shall not attest to copies of official or public records, only of documents that cannot be certified by a public official.

(e) In making or noting a protest of a negotiable instrument, a notarial officer must determine the matters set forth in § 3-505 of Title 6.

(f) An electronic notarial act performed by a notary public or other person authorized in this title shall constitute a notarial act under the laws of this State, provided that the official signature and seal of an electronic notary:

(1) Shall be attached to or logically associated with the document;

(2) Shall be independently verifiable; and

(3) Will be invalidated if the underlying document is modified.

63 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 4; 64 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 65, § 9; 76 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 1.;

(a) A notarial act may be performed within this State by the following persons:

(1) A notary public of this State;

(2) A judge, clerk or deputy clerk of any court of this State;

(3) A person licensed to practice law in this State;

(4) A person authorized by the law of this State to administer oaths; and

(5) Any other person authorized to perform the specific act by the law of this State.

(b) Notarial acts performed within this State under federal authority as provided in § 4325 of this title have the same effect as if performed by a notarial officer of this State.

(c) The signature and title of a person performing a notarial act are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the person holds the designated title.

(d) An electronic notarial act performed by a person appointed by the Governor under this chapter shall be deemed to have been performed within this State.

(e) A document notarized by a notary public or other person referenced in this section above, which appears on its face to be properly notarized, shall be presumed to have been notarized properly in accordance with the laws and regulations of this State.

64 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 1.;

(a) A notarial act has the same effect under the law of this State, as if performed by a notarial officer of this State, if performed in another state, commonwealth, territory, district or possession of the United States by any of the following persons:

(1) A notary public of that jurisdiction;

(2) A judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a court of that jurisdiction; or

(3) Any other person authorized by the law of that jurisdiction to perform notarial acts.

(b) Notarial acts performed in other jurisdictions of the United States under federal authority as provided in § 4325 of this title have the same effect as if performed by a notarial officer of this State.

(c) The signature and title of a person performing a notarial act are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine, and that the person holds the designated title.

(d) The signature and title of an officer listed in paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section conclusively establish the authority of a holder of that title to perform a notarial act.

(e) A document notarized by a notary public or other person referenced in this section above, which appears on its face to be properly notarized, shall be presumed to have been notarized properly in accordance with the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction within the United States in which the document was notarized.

64 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 1.;

(a) A notarial act has the same effect under the law of this State, as if performed by a notarial officer of this State, if performed anywhere by any of the following persons under authority granted by the law of the United States:

(1) A judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a court;

(2) A commissioned officer on active duty with the military services of the United States;

(3) An officer of the foreign service or consular officer of the United States; or

(4) Any other person authorized by federal law to perform notarial acts.

(b) The signature and title of a person performing a notarial act are prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the person holds the designated title.

(c) The signature and title of an officer listed in paragraph (a)(1), (a)(2) or (a)(3) of this section conclusively establish the authority of a holder of that title to perform a notarial act.

(d) A document notarized by a notary public or other person referenced in this section above, which appears on its face to be properly notarized, shall be presumed to have been notarized properly in accordance with the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction in which the document was notarized.

63 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 4; 64 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 1.;

(a) A notarial act has the same effect under the law of this State, as if performed by a notarial officer of this State, if performed within the jurisdiction of and under authority of a foreign nation or its constituent units or a multinational or international organization by any of the following persons:

(1) A notary public or notary;

(2) A judge, clerk or deputy clerk of a court of record; or

(3) Any other person authorized by the law of that jurisdiction to perform notarial acts.

(b) An "apostille" in the form prescribed by the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, conclusively establishes that the signature of the notarial officer is genuine and that the officer holds the designated office.

(c) A certificate by a foreign service or consular officer of the United States stationed in the nation under the jurisdiction of which the notarial act was performed, or a certificate by a foreign service or consular officer of that nation stationed in the United States, conclusively establishes any matter relating to the authenticity or validity of the notarial act set forth in the certificate.

(d) An official stamp or seal of the person performing the notarial act is prima facie evidence that the signature is genuine and that the person holds the designated title.

(e) An official stamp or seal of an officer listed in paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section is prima facie evidence that a person with that title has authority to perform notarial acts.

(f) If the title of office and indication of authority to perform notarial acts appears either in a digest of foreign law or in a list customarily used as a source for that information, it conclusively establishes the authority of an officer with that title to perform notarial acts.

63 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 4; 64 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 1.;

(a) A notarial act must be evidenced by a certificate physically or electronically signed and dated by a notarial officer. The certificate must include identification of the jurisdiction in which the notarial act is performed and the title of the office that the notarial officer holds and may include the official stamp or seal of office, or the electronic notary's electronic seal. If the officer is a notary public, the certificate must also indicate the date of expiration, if any, of the commission of office, but omission of that information may subsequently be corrected. If the officer is a commissioned officer on active duty with the military services of the United States, it must also include the officer's rank.

(b) A certificate of a notarial act is sufficient if it meets the requirements of subsection (a) of this section and it:

(1) Is in the short form set forth in § 4328 of this title;

(2) Is in a form otherwise prescribed by the law of this State;

(3) Is in a form prescribed by the laws or regulations applicable in the place in which the notarial act was performed; or

(4) Sets forth the actions of the notarial officer, and those are sufficient to meet the requirements of the designated notarial act.

(5) Near the notary's official signature on the notarial certificate of a paper document, the notary shall affix a sharp, legible, permanent, and photographically reproducible image of the official seal, or, to an electronic document, the notary shall attach an official electronic seal.

(c) By executing a certificate of a notarial act, the notarial officer certifies that the officer has made the determinations required by § 4322 of this title.

63 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 4; 64 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 1.;

The following short form certificates of notarial acts are sufficient for the purposes indicated, if completed with the information required by § 4327(a) of this title:

(1) For an acknowledgment in an individual capacity:

State of.................

County of.................

This instrument was acknowledged before me on (date) by (name(s) of person(s)).

                                

                                (signature of notarial officer)

(Seal)

                                

                                (title and rank)

                                (my commission expires:.........)

(2) For an acknowledgment in a representative capacity:

State of.................

County of...............

This instrument was acknowledged before me on (date) by (name(s) of person(s)) as (type of authority, e.g., officer, trustee, etc.) of (name of party on behalf of whom instrument was executed).

                                

                                (signature of notarial officer)

(Seal)

                                

                                (title and rank)

                                (my commission expires:.........)

(3) For a verification upon oath or affirmation:

State of.................

County of...............

Signed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me on (date) by (name(s) of person(s) making statement).

                                

                                (signature of notarial officer)

(Seal)

                                

                                (title and rank)

                                (my commission expires:.........)

(4) For witnessing or attesting a signature:

State of.................

County of...............

Signed and attested before me on (date) by (name(s) of person(s)).

                                

                                (signature of notarial officer)

(Seal)

                                

                                (title and rank)

                                (my commission expires:.........)

(5) For attestation of a copy of a document:

State of.................

County of...............

I certify that this is a true and correct copy of a document in the possession of (name(s) of person(s).

                                

                                (signature of notarial officer)

(Seal)

                                

                                (title and rank)

                                (my commission expires:.........)

63 Del. Laws, c. 61, § 4; 64 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 1.;

(a) Form of evidence of authority of electronic notarial act. — On a notarized electronic document transmitted to another state or country outside of the United States, electronic evidence of the authenticity of the official signature and seal of an electronic notary of the State of Delaware, shall be attached to or logically associated with the document and shall be in the form of an electronic certificate of authority signed by the Secretary that is independently verifiable and will be invalidated if the underlying document is modified.

(b) Certificate of authority for electronic notarial act. — An electronic certificate of authority evidencing the authenticity of the official signature and seal of an electronic notary of the State of Delaware shall contain substantially the following words:

Certificate of Authority for an Electronic Notarial Act

I, (name and title), certify that (name of electronic notary), the person named as Electronic Notary Public in the attached or associated electronic document, was commissioned as an Electronic Notary Public for the State of Delaware and authorized to act as such at the time of the document's electronic notarization.

To verify this Certificate of Authority for an Electronic Notarial Act, I have included herewith my electronic signature this ____ day of ____, 20__ .

(Electronic signature and seal of commissioning official)

76 Del. Laws, c. 253, § 1.;