To improve access to the courts and to facilitate the electronic filing of court documents, a new Minnesota Statute became effective not long ago, stating that, unless specifically required by a court rule, a document need not be notarized to be filed with a Minnesota state court. In other words, there is no general requirement for notarization, and any historical practice or common usage that implies a notarization requirement, such as calling a document an “affidavit,” does not actually require notarization.
Instead, a document that requires “verification upon oath or affirmation” can achieve that characteristic with the inclusion of simple “perjury language.” The text suggested by the statute is “I declare under penalty of perjury that everything I have said in this document is true and correct.” Minn. Stat. § 358.116. That text must appear immediately above the signature, and the document must, somewhere, include the date of signature and the county and state where it was signed.
I declare under penalty of perjury that everything I have said in this document is true and correct.
Signed [DATE] in [COUNTY], [STATE]. _________________
Importantly, this change only directly affects the requirements for filing a document with a Minnesota state court. It does not directly affect any documents that must be verified to satisfy a requirement other than a Minnesota state court rule, and it does not directly affect any document that must be acknowledged as opposed to verified. (For example, under Minn. Stat. § 523.23, subd. 3, a Minnesota short form power of attorney must be acknowledged, and under Minn. Stat. § 507.24, to be recordable, a real estate conveyance must be acknowledged.)
So, for documents to be filed in a Minnesota state court, many documents that had historically included notarization can avoid the involvement of a notary public and now use “perjury language” instead. However, there are numerous other requirements for notarization, such as in the acknowledgment of real estate documents, that are unaffected by the recent statutory change.
NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE LEGAL, ACCOUNTING OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH.