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Executive Order

IL Governor Executive Order 2020-14

Notary Law Update: IL Governor Executive Order 2020-14

State: Illinois

Summary:

Illinois Governor Pritzker issues an executive order amidst the COVID-19 crisis to allow Notaries to perform remote notarial acts.

Signed:  March 26, 2020

Effective:  March 26, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

All Illinois Notaries Public.

Changes:
  1. Provides that the requirement that a person must "appear before" a Notary Public commissioned under the Illinois Notary Public Act is satisfied if: (a) the Notary performs a remote notarization via two-way audio-video communication technology; and (b) the Notary is physically within the State while performing the notarial act, and the transaction follows the guidance posted by the Illinois Secretary of State on its website.
  2. Provides that any act of witnessing (including notarization) required by Illinois law may be completed remotely by via two-way audio-video communication technology if specified requirements are met: (a) The two-way audio-video communication technology must allow for direct, contemporaneous interaction between the individual signing the document ("the signatory") and the witness by sight and sound; (b) The two-way audio-video communication technology must be recorded and preserved by the signatory or the signatory's designee for a period of at least three years; (c) The signatory must attest to being physically located in Illinois during the two-way audio-video communication; (d) The witness (Notary) must attest to being physically located in Illinois during the two-way audio-video communication; (e) The signatory must affirmatively state on the two-way audio-video communication what document the signatory is signing; (f) Each page of the document being witnessed must be shown to the witness on the two-way audio-video communication technology in a means clearly legible to the witness and initialed by the signatory in the presence of the witness; (g) The act of signing must be captured sufficiently up close on the two-way audio-video communication for the witness to observe; (h) The signatory must transmit by fax or electronic means a legible copy of the entire signed document directly to the witness no later than the day after the document is signed; (i) The witness must sign the transmitted copy of the document as a witness and transmit the signed copy of the document back via fax or electronic means to the signatory within 24 hours of receipt; and (j) If necessary, the witness may sign the original signed document as of the date of the original execution by the signatory provided that the witness receives the original signed document together with the electronically witnessed copy within thirty days from the date of the remote witnessing.
  3. Provides that specified provisions of the Electronic Commerce Security Act that prohibit electronic signatures on certain documents remain in full effect.
  4. Provides that notwithstanding any law or rule of the State to the contrary, absent an express prohibition in a document against signing in counterparts, all legal documents, including deeds, last wills and testaments, trusts, durable powers of attorney for property, and powers of attorney for health care, may be signed in counterparts by the witnesses and the signatory.
  5. Provides that a Notary must be presented with a fax or electronic copy of the document signature pages showing the witness signatures on the same date the document is signed by the signatory if the notary public is being asked to certify to the appearance of the witnesses to a document.
Analysis:

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker becomes the latest governor to issue an executive order temporarily allowing Illinois Notaries to perform remote online notarial acts. The order outlines specific rules which must be followed. Both the signatory and Notary must be located in Illinois during the signing. The audio-video technology must allow for contemporaneous interaction between the parties by sight and sound. The individual and Notary must attest to being physically located in Illinois at the time. Each page of the document must be shown to the Notary and initialed by the signatory on camera. The signatory must fax or electronically transmit the signed document to the Notary the same day and once the Notary has completed the notarization, the Notary must transmit the notarized document back to the signatory within 24 hours. The Notary may also repeat the notarization on the actual original document if it is mailed to the Notary within 30 days. The Notary would complete the notarization on the original using the date that the parties appeared before each other for the first notarization.

Read the executive order.

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