Commercial Surety Legislation Roundup: January 2021

A recap of legislation that passed or went in to effect in January 2021.

With a new year come new requirements. Legislation passed in recent months is now taking effect in 2021, changing or adding to what came before. Several states have new requirements rolling out with surety bond provisions.

Alaska Notary Bond Requirements

Effective January 1, 2021, Alaska House Bill 124 sets new provisions for notary public requirements and allows for notaries to perform remote notarizations. 

Notary commission application fees are set by the Lieutenant Governor based on regulation. Alaska notaries are required to obtain and file a $2,500 notary bond.

Notaries may now perform remote notarizations, but they must obtain satisfactory evidence of identity during the process.

Sale of Vapor Products to Minors in Georgia

Georgia Senate Bill 375 amends Article 7 of Chapter 12 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia to include vape products in the penalties of the sale, distribution, and possession of cigarettes and tobacco products by minors. All tobacco, nicotine, or vapor products sold or in the possession of those under 21 are to be seized by law enforcement, along with fines and additional penalties. This affects existing tobacco and nicotine provisions, including those requiring a $1,000 tax bond. 

Georgia Probate Code Update

Georgia House Bill 865, effective January 1, 2021, amends legislation to include conservators along with guardians in the situation that the surety on a guardian’s or a conservator’s bond “dies, becomes insolvent, removes beyond the limits of this state, from other cause becomes insufficient, or desires to be relieved as surety shall be applicable to sureties on personal representatives’ bonds.”

Financial Institutions in Georgia Integrate with NMLS

Effective January 1, 2021, Georgia House Bill 781 amends existing law to eliminate the requirement of notice to the department of bond cancellation by a mortgage loan originator, broker, lender, or a corporate surety by registered mail, certified mail, or overnight delivery. Notice is now required through use of the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry. 

Proper Closure of Oil Terminal Facilities Requirements in Maine

Effective January 1, 2021, Maine House Bill 1443 outlines the requirements for proper closure of oil terminal facilities. Specifically, owners or operators of oil terminal facilities are required to have financial assurance for no less than $2,000,000, through one or a combination of the following: insurance and risk retention group coverage, guarantee, surety bond, letter of credit, or trust fund.

Virginia License Bond Requirement for Consumer Lenders

Virginia Senate Bill 421 amends provisions of the Consumer Finance Act to allow licensed lenders to establish requirements that loans be between $300 and $35,000; be repayable in installments; have a term of at least six months and no more than 10 years; charge no more than 36% annual interest and a loan processing fee; and require licensees to post a bond.

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