For Immediate Release: May 24, 2023
DFI Announces Remote Online Notarization Rules
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today announced the publication in the Wisconsin Administrative Code of chapter DFI-CCS 25, relating to notaries public and notarial acts. These administrative rules help the state implement 2019 Wisconsin Act 125, which revised state law governing notaries and notarial acts and authorized notaries public to perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals using approved technologies.
“These rules provide additional clarity to notaries public regarding remote online notarization, while ensuring the integrity of the notarial process and flexibility to adjust to technological developments,” said DFI Secretary-designee Cheryll Olson-Collins. “These rules also take advantage of the expertise of the state’s Remote Notary Council, a new body created by Act 125, to evaluate remote online notarization platforms and providers and to help ensure that Wisconsin notaries are using providers that implement proper safeguards to minimize the risk of fraud or mistake.”
The rules codify the Remote Notary Council’s role in reviewing and approving technology providers. By statute, Wisconsin notaries may only perform remote online notarial acts using technologies that have been approved by the DFI. Since Act 125 became effective, the DFI has developed applications by which providers of technology used for remote online notarial acts can seek state approval, and it has worked with the Remote Notary Council to review application materials, meet with providers, establish conditions, and ultimately approve 24 providers (and counting) that seek to offer their technologies to notaries in this state.
The rules set forth the procedures jointly developed and implemented to date by the DFI and the Remote Notary Council. Remote online notarization technology providers seeking to make their technologies available for use by Wisconsin notaries need to apply for approval with the DFI. The application requires the provider to explain how it will help ensure compliance with the law and safeguard the integrity of the notarial process. The application is then reviewed at a meeting of the Remote Notary Council, where a representative of the applicant must appear and answer questions from the Council. The Council may deny an application or approve it, subject to such conditions as may be appropriate to protect the public and Wisconsin notaries public, and may rescind an approval for violating those conditions, violating Wisconsin law, or taking other specified actions described in the rules.
The rules also specify certain processes relating to notary commissions. The rules authorize the agency to use email as the primary means of providing notices to notaries and notary applicants. They also describe the grounds for restricting or revoking a notary commission.
For more information, visit the DFI’s remote online notary webpage, call (608) 266-8915, or email DFINotary@dfi.wisconsin.gov.
Media Contact Email: DFICommunications@dfi.wisconsin.gov