Important info for Canadian buyers of a Hawaii TS
I'm posting this as a FYI for other Canadian buyers who may run into this situation; and, who may be asked to jump through unecessary hoops when buying into Hawaii.
This evening I spoke directly with the State of Hawaii's Bureau of Conveyances (BOC), regarding the need for notarized signatures by an American notary public, on the deed documents for TS purchases. I spoke with an officer named Scott Chang, of the Regular System Receiving dept., in charge of timeshares for the state of Hawaii - phone number 808-587-0147.
BUYERS don't always need a signature on the TS deed in Hawaii - the signature line remains blank. As the grantee, they DON'T always need to sign. If there is no signature, there is nothing to notarize. If there is nothing to notarize, there is no need to seek an American notary public. The State of Hawaii only requires the SELLER to always sign the deed and have the signatures properly notarized. However, once a buyer's physical signature appears -- the authorized notary requirements kick in.
We ran into this exact situation with a recent purchase in Hawaii: we were instructed to physically sign the deed when it wasn't required, as wrongfully instructed by Cheryl Mulberry of Capital Resort Transfers. She also failed to notify us regarding the proper notarization process. This caused us problems...
SELLERS' ( and some buyers') signatures are properly notarized in the State of Hawaii if signed by an American notary public. In the case of Canadians, Hawaii also accepts the notary seal of a U.S. Consular Officer or a Canadian notary's seal in combination with a red "Apostille"-like seal from another authorized Canadian source (sort of a notary's notary process).
This is why the electronic document filing for another TS week we bought (at around the same time, also at Paniolo Greens) went through so smoothly with Timeshare Closing Services - we did not have a physical signature on the actual deed. No signature = no need for a notary.
So, we should not have signed the other deed in the first place -- there was absolutely no need to. We were subjected to a "broiler template" work method that did not at all account for: a) the fact that we were not U.S.-based buyers, and b) that it was a Hawaii TS property.
So, for Canadian BUYERS, the key seems to find out first if you really need to physically sign the TS deed for the resort you are buying into. The State of Hawaii's BOC is fine with NOT signing a deed and it avoids a lot of unnecessary hassles, expense and stress. And you may need to firmly dig your heels in on this point if the purchase goes to escrow, depending on the resort.
I hope this helps for future reference.
Clarifications to the original post: It was pointed out to me on a related thread that some Hawaii resorts' deeds do require a buyer signature, if these contain certain conveyances. I would suspect that buying into a system/club, the requirement for a buyer signature would have to be different also. So you must first check to see if you are buying into a resort where you can avoid signing the deed. DO NOT trust the closing company on this!! Do the checking yourself.
For Paniolo Greens specifically (not Shell at PG), neither the State of Hawaii, nor the resort itself, require the buyers' signature for the transfer of the title deed. I have verified this point with both. So, in this case, blindly accepting an admin clerk's application of a generic template is not at all in the best interest of Canadians buying into Paniolo Greens.
Now for the transactions which DO require a notarized signature: if a Canadian notary's signature is itself officially authorized & "sealed", IT IS legally valid in the U.S. Canada is not signatory to the Hague agreement (for legalizing documents), so in fact, the "Apostille" seal does not apply to Canadians as such. But a similar process does exist; which means that, for example in Regina or Victoria, you can still get properly notarized documents for the U.S. without being limited to having to go to a Consulate or to a U.S. notary public.
The key here is that, essentially, a Canadian notary needs to have their own signature properly authenticated and legalized with an "Apostille"-equivalent seal. Which is why things got so screwy with one of the closing companies that we recently dealt with - and this is the route that has been used to get the deed registration process finally on its way.