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Executive Order

CA Governor Executive Order N-63-20

Notary Law Update: CA Governor Executive Order N-63-20

State: California

Summary:

California Governor Newsom has issued Executive Order N-63-20, extending the commissions of certain Notaries and allowing Notaries to temporarily accept expired California IDs and driver's licenses, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Signed:  May 07, 2020

Effective:  May 07, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

Notaries whose commissions qualify for an extension and all Notaries who accept certain California expired driver's licenses and IDs.

Changes:
  1. Provides that the term of office specified in Government Code 8204 is extended for a period of 60 days for any Notary whose commission has expired since March 1, 2020, or whose commission is set to expire over the next 60 days.
  2. Requires a Notary whose commission has expired and been extended under the Governor’s Order to annotate on each notarial act completed during the extension as follows: “The notary commission extended pursuant to Executive Order N-63-20.”
  3. Provides that the extension of the commission of a Notary whose commission has expired and been extended under the Governor’s Order must maintain a valid surety bond pursuant to Government Code section 8212 during the extension.
  4. Suspends Civil Code 1185(b)(3)(A), requiring that an identification card or driver’s license issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles be current or issued within the last 5 years in order to serve as satisfactory evidence of identity for a notarial act, for 60 days with respect to any California identification card or driver’s license showing an expiration date of March 1, 2020, or later.
Analysis:

California Governor Newsom has issued Executive Order N-63-20 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It extends the commissions of Notaries that expired March 1, 2020 or will expire over the next 60 days (through July 7, 2020), for a period of 60 days. This is welcome relief for Notaries whose livelihoods and employers rely on the notarizations they perform. The affected Notaries have not been able to renew their commissions if they were not able to take and pass the mandatory California Notary examination prior to all testing locations and dates being shut down in March. Notaries whose commissions are extended under this Order must annotate every notarial act they perform with a prescribed statement. Their notarial acts will show an expired commission expiration date in the Notary’s seal. The statement, which the NNA recommends be written directly underneath the Notary’s seal impression, will alert all parties relying on the notarial act that the Notary’s commission has been extended by the Governor’s Order. Notaries with extended commissions also must maintain a valid surety bond. Notaries should check with their surety company for confirmation that they will be extending the bond to cover notarial acts during the extension.

The other provision of the Governor’s Order that affects Notaries is the temporary suspension of Civil Code 1185(b)(3)(A) as it relates to a California identification card and driver’s license. The DMV has extended driver’s licenses for many Californians at least through May 31, 2020. Practically speaking, the Governor’s Order will help many Californians affected by the COVID-19 crisis to obtain notarizations at a time when notarial services are as valuable as ever.

Read Executive Order N-63-20.

On June 30, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order N-71-20, with paragraph 34 clarifying that expiring commissions are extended for an additonal 120 days.

Read Executive Order N-71-20.

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