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Executive Order

CT Executive Order No. 7K (2020)

Notary Law Update: CT Executive Order No. 7K (2020)

State: Connecticut

Summary:

Connecticut Governor Lamont issues a temporary executive order related to the performance of remote online notarial acts in Connecticut.

Signed:  March 23, 2020

Effective:  March 23, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

All Connecticut Notaries and Commissioners of the Superior Court.

Changes:
  1. Temporarily allows notarial acts to be performed for remotely located individuals for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency unless earlier modified or terminated by the Governor.
  2. Modifies all relevant Connecticut laws and regulations to permit any notarial act that is required under Connecticut law to be performed using an electronic device or process that allows a Notary Public commissioned by the Connecticut Secretary of the State pursuant to section 3-94b of the Connecticut General Statutes or a  Commissioner of the Superior Court as defined by section 51-85 of the Connecticut General Statutes and a remotely located individual to communicate with each other simultaneously by sight and sound ("Communication Technology") if all rules as specified as follows are met.
  3. Requires the person seeking the notarial act ("Signatory") from a Notary Public or Commissioner, if not personally known to the Notary Public or Commissioner, to present satisfactory evidence of identity, as defined by subsection 10 of section 3-94a of the General Statutes, while connected to the Communication Technology, not merely transmit it prior to or after the transaction.
  4. Requires the Communication Technology to be capable of recording the complete notarial act and the recording to be made and retained by the Notary Public or Commissioner for a period of not less than 10 years.
  5. Requires the Signatory to affirmatively represent via the Communication Technology that he or she is physically situated in the State of Connecticut.
  6. Requires the Signatory to transmit by fax or electronic means a legible copy of the signed document directly to the Notary Public or Commissioner on the same date it was executed.
  7. Requires the Notary Public or Commissioner to notarize the transmitted copy of the document and transmit the same back to the Signatory by fax or electronic means;
  8. Authorizes the Notary Public or Commissioner to repeat the notarization of the original signed document as of the date of execution provided the Notary Public or Commissioner receives such original signed document, together with the electronically notarized copy, within thirty days after the date of execution.
  9. Clarifies that only an attorney admitted to practice law in the State of Connecticut and in good standing may remotely administer a self-proving affidavit to a Last Will and Testament pursuant to section 45a-285 of the General Statutes or conduct a real estate closing as required by Public Act 19-88.
Analysis:

In this executive order, the Governor of Connecticut essentially borrows the identical provisions of New York Governor Cuomo's executive order on notarizations performed for remotely located individuals. It is an approach that does not require the use of a remote online notarization platform or electronic documents and signatures. Instead, the paper document is signed, faxed or electronically transmitted to the Notary or Commissioner, who signs and notarizes it on paper and either faxes or sends it back using electronic means. If that version of the document is accepted by the receiving agency, no further steps are necessary. If it is not, the order allows the original signed document to be mailed to the Notary and for the Notary to "repeat" the notarization on the paper document using the date the original notarization using communication technology was performed. While the approach adopted temporarily in New York and Connecticut is a creative means for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the NNA cannot endorse these notarizations because they will lack the robust, two-factor identification protocols almost universally required for remote online notarizations and the documents are not required to be signed and notarized in a remote online notarization platform. These platforms ensure that the documents are signed electronically, are "tamper-evident," and provide an audit trail of all actions taken with respect to the electronic document.

Read the executive order.

Knowledge Center