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Unsworn declarations act enacted

Published (5/13/2010)
By Mike Cook
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The Uniform Unsworn Foreign Declarations Act allows a person physically outside the United States who needs something notarized to do an unsworn foreign declaration. Such a declaration is subject to perjury penalties and would be useful in cases where a person cannot get access to a notary.

Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park), who sponsors the law with Sen. Mee Moua (DFL-St. Paul), said the act exists because of increased security following Sept. 11, making it harder to get to United States consulates abroad.

Proposed for adoption by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, a new law provides that if Minnesota law requires a sworn declaration for something, an unsworn foreign declaration would have the same effect. A similar federal law already exists.

Unsworn declarations cannot be used for depositions, oaths of office, an oath required to be given before a specified official other that a notary public, declarations recorded under certain real estate laws, oaths related to self-proved wills and power of attorney.

Signed May 10 by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the law takes effect Aug. 1, 2010.

HF3318*/ SF2984/CH295

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