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Executive Order

KS Governor Executive Orders (2020)

Notary Law Update: KS Governor Executive Orders (2020)

State: Kansas

Summary:

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued executive orders temporarily allowing Notaries to perform remote notarizations and remote witnessing.

Signed:  April 10, 2020

Effective:  April 10, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

All Kansas Notaries Public.

Changes:
  1. Suspends the requirements that a person must appear before a Notary commissioned under the laws of Kansas pursuant to K.S.A. 53-503 and any related statutes, are suspended and such requirements are satisfied if the Notary Public performs a remote notarization via two-way audio-video communication technology during the duration of the State of Disaster Emergency related to the outbreak of COVID-19 provided all requirements, as specified below, are met.
  2. Requires the Notary commissioned in Kansas and the individual signing the document to both be physically within the State while performing the notarial act.
  3. Requires the Notary to be able to identify the individual signing the document, from personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual.
  4. Requires the transaction for a remote notarization to follow any guidance posted by the Kansas Secretary of State on its website.
  5. Provides that during the duration of the State of Disaster Emergency related to the outbreak of COVID-19, any act of witnessing required by Kansas law may be completed remotely by two-way audio-video communication technology, provided that all of the requirements below are met.
  6. Requires the two-way audio-video communication technology to allow for direct, contemporaneous communication between the individual signing the document ("the signatory") and the witness by sight and sound.
  7. Requires the signatory to attest to being physically located in Kansas during the two-way audio-video communication.
  8. Requires the witness to attest to being physically located in Kansas during the two-way audio-video communication.
  9. Requires the signatory to affirmatively state on the two-way audio-video communication what document the signatory is signing.
  10. Requires each page of the document being witnessed to 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.
  11. Requires the act of signing to be captured sufficiently up close on the two-way audio-video communication for the witness to observe.
  12. Requires the signatory to 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.
  13. Requires the witness to 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.
  14. Authorizes, if necessary, the witness to 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.
  15. Requires, if the Notary is being asked to certify to the appearance of the witnesses to a document, multiple-way audio-video communication technology to allow for direct, contemporaneous communication between the Notary, the signatory, and the witness by sight and sound.
  16. Clarifies that all provisions of Article 16 of Chapter 16 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated concerning electronic transactions (Uniform Electronic Transactions Act) remain in full effect.
  17. Clarifies that during the duration of the State of Disaster Emergency related to COVID-19, notwithstanding any law or regulation of Kansas 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 witness(es) and the signatory.
  18. Requires 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.
  19. Provides Executive Order 20-20 remains in force until May 1, 2020, or until the statewide State of Disaster Emergency proclaimed on March 12, 2020, relating to COVID-19 expires, whichever is earlier.
  20. Provides Executive Order 20-28, signed on April 30, 2020, remains in force until May 31, 2020, or until the statewide State of Disaster Emergency relating to COVID-19 expires.
Analysis:

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed an executive order on April 9 suspending the requirement that an individual must appear physically before a Notary and that the appearance by means of two-way audio-video communication technology satisfies the physical presence requirement. The order remains in effect until May 1, 2020, or until the State of Disaster Emergency expires, whichever is earlier. Like other orders, the Kansas order also contains remote witnessing procedures. Witnesses may be required for wills, powers of attorney, and other documents. The order prescribes minimum standards for how remote witnessing may be accomplished, including provisions related to the communication technology used, how the documents are signed and transmitted between the signer and witness, and for the involvement of a Notary in notarizing the signature of a witness. Notaries seeking to follow the executive order in performing remote notarizations should check the Secretary of State’s website for any additional guidance it may provide in performing these acts.

Read Executive Order 20-20.

Read Executive Order 20-28, which extended the prior order until rescinded, until May 31, or until the statewide State of Disaster Emergency proclaimed on April 30, 2020, expires, whichever is earlier.

Read Executive Order 20-40, which extended the prior orders until rescinded, until June 13, or until the statewide State of Disaster Emergency proclaimed on May 26, 2020, expires, whichever is earlier.

Read Executive Order 20-49, which extended the prior orders until rescinded, until September 15, 2020, or until the statewide State of Disaster Emergency, expires, whichever is earlier.

Read Executive Order 20-64, which extended the prior orders until rescinded, until January 26, 2021, or until the statewide State of Disaster Emergency, expires, whichever is earlier.

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