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Executive Order

HI Governor Executive Order 20-02

Notary Law Update: HI Governor Executive Order 20-02

State: Hawaii

Summary:

Hawaii Governor David Ige temporarily suspends the requirement that would require close physical contact to accomplish Notary functions.

Signed:  March 29, 2020

Effective:  March 29, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

All Hawaii Notaries Public.

Changes:
  1. Suspends Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 456 and any related administrative rules to the extent necessary to suspend any requirement that would require close physical contact to perform Notary functions.
  2. Adopts Rules Related to Notaries as described in the sections which follow.
  3. Clarifies that these rules are adopted pursuant to the emergency declared by the Governor, specifically to enable Hawaii Notaries to perform notarial acts while complying with social distancing guidelines.
  4. Clarifies that the rules have the force and effect of law.
  5. Requires the Notary to take every reasonable precaution to perform notarial acts in compliance with all orders and social distancing guidelines relating to the COVID-19 emergency.
  6. Clarifies that Notaries will not be required to perform notarial acts if they believe social distancing guidelines to ensure health and safety cannot be followed.
  7. Authorizes notarial acts to be performed by utilizing audio-visual technology provided there is compliance with the several conditions outlined below.
  8. Requires the Notary to have personal knowledge of the signer or obtain satisfactory evidence of the identity of the signer by requiring presentation of a current government-issued identification card or document that contains the signer’s photograph and signature to the Notary during the video conference.
  9. Clarifies that the transmittal of the signer’s identification for purposes of verification to the Notary prior to or after the video conference does not satisfy the identification requirement.
  10. Requires a Notary to confirm via observation during the video conference that the signer appears to be aware of the significance of the transaction requiring a notarial act and is willing to perform the transaction.
  11. Requires the video conferencing solution to allow for direct interaction between the person and the Notary and does not allow it to be pre-recorded.
  12. Requires the Notary to confirm as is reasonably possible that the signer is physically situated in Hawaii.
  13. Requires the Notary to create an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act, which shall be kept as part of the Notary's record and stored as an unsecured audio-visual recording or on a secured external digital storage such as a flash drive, DVD, or external hard drive.
  14. Requires the Notary to deposit with the attorney general the external digital storage and the notarial record books within ninety days of the Notary’s date of the resignation, expiration of any term of office as a Notary, or removal from or abandonment of office as a Notary.
  15. Requires the Notary’s representative to deposit the Notary’s external digital storage and notarial record books upon the Notary’s death.
  16. Requires the Notary to obtain the signed document that requires notarization by fax or electronic format on the same date it was signed.
  17. Authorizes the Notary to notarize the transmitted copy of the document and transmit the same back to the signer.
  18. Requires the Notary to add a statement to the notarized document as follows: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology enabled by emergency order”.
  19. Requires the Notary to enter in the record book that the notarial act was performed pursuant to Executive Order 20-02.
  20. Authorizes the Notary to repeat notarization of the original signed document as of the date of execution provided the Notary receives such original signed document together with the electronically notarized copy within 60 days after the date of execution. 
Analysis:

On March 29, 2020, Hawaii Governor Ige signed an executive order temporarily suspending any statutes and rules which would require notarizations to be performed in close proximity. The Order also by reference approved temporary rules to implement the Governor's Order. One rule requires Notaries to take every reasonable precaution to perform notarial acts in compliance with all orders and social distancing guidelines relating to COVID-19, but the remaining rules outline standards for performing remote notarial acts using communication technology instead. The authorization is permissive; Notaries are not required to perform remote notarizations, but if they do they must follow all of the rules approved by the Governor in his Order. The Order and rules remain in effect for the emergency period unless terminated by separate proclamation, whichever comes first.

Read the Executive Order and Rules.

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