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Executive Order

AL Governor Fourth Supplemental Proclamation (2020)

Notary Law Update: AL Governor Fourth Supplemental Proclamation (2020)

State: Alabama

Summary:

Alabama Governo Kay Ivey has signed a proclamation allowing attorneys who are Notaries and Notaries working under the supervision of an attorney to use videoconferencing technologies to perform notarial acts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Signed:  March 26, 2020

Effective:  March 26, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

Alabama attorneys who are Notaries and Notaries who work under the supervision of an Alabama attorney.

Changes:
  1. Authorizes Alabama attorneys who are Notaries and Notaries who work under the supervision of Alabama attorneys to notarize signatures through videoconferencing programs and confirm the signatures of witnesses who participate virtually through videoconferencing as though they were physically present at the signing.
  2. Provides that any person who witnesses a document through videoconference technology may be considered an "in person" witness, provided that the presence and identity of such witnesses are validated by the Notary at the time of the signing by the same identifications required under current law.
  3. Clarifies that the official date and time of the notarization shall be the date and time when the Notary witnesses the signature via the videoconference technology.
  4. Requires all documents to be returned to the Notary for certification and execution.
Analysis:

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed an executive order allowing the use of videoconferencing technology to perform notarial acts during the COVID-19 crisis. This particular order applies only to Alabama attorneys who are Notaries or Notaries who work under the supervision of an Alabama attorney. The order assumes the document will be executed on paper and "returned" to the Notary, who then will presumably complete the required notarial certificate on the document with the actual date the Notary and signatory or witness appeared before each other using videoconferencing technology. As we have said in analyzing other similar executive orders issued during the past month, the NNA does not endorse these methods and prefers the use of remote online notarization platforms to perform notarial acts remotely. At least this Alabama order requires the Notary to be an attorney or to work under the supervision of an attorney, placing these notarizations under the oversight of the courts.

This order is the fourth supplemental executive order issued by the Governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will remain in full force and effect for the duration of the public health emergency unless rescinded or extended by proclamation.

Read the proclamation.

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