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Executive Order

LA Governor Proclamations (2020)

Notary Law Update: LA Governor Proclamations (2020)

State: Louisiana

Summary:

Louisiana Governor Edwards issued proclamations amending his emergency executive order on the COVID-19 crisis to allow remote notarizations.

Signed:  March 27, 2020

Effective:  March 12, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

All Louisiana Notaries Public.

Changes:
  1. Provides that during the state of emergency, a regularly commissioned Notary Public who holds a valid notarial commission in the state of Louisiana, including a person who is licensed to practice law and commissioned by the Secretary of State, may perform notarizations for an individual not in the physical presence of the Notary Public if certain rules, as specified below, are followed.
  2. Requires the individual, any witnesses, and the Notary Public to be able to communicate simultaneously by sight and sound through an electronic device or process at the time of the notarization.
  3. Requires the Notary Public to have reasonably identified the individual.
  4. Requires the Notary Public either directly or through an agent to create an audio and visual recording of the performance of the notarization.
  5. Requires the Notary Public either directly or through an agent to retain the audio and visual recording as a notarial record for at least 10 years from the date of execution unless a Louisiana law requires a different period of retention.
  6. Provides that the audio and visual recording are subject to any laws of Louisiana govern the content, retention, security, use, effect, and disclosure of such recording and any information contained in it.
  7. Requires the person appearing, all witnesses and the Notary to affix their digital signatures to the act in a manner that renders any subsequent change or modification of the remote online notarial act to be evident.
  8. Provides that if a Louisiana law requires an individual to appear personally before or be in the physical presence of a Notary at the time of notarization that requirement is satisfied if the individual and the Notary are not in the physical presence of each other but can communicate simultaneously by sight and sound through an electronic device or process at the time of the notarization.
  9. Excepts from the waiver of physical presence and the use of communication technology the laws pertaining to testaments, trust instruments, donations inter vivos, matrimonial agreements, acts modifying, waiving or extinguishing an obligation of final spousal support and authentic acts.
Analysis:

On March 26, 2020, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Edwards temporarily sets aside any state law that requires the parties and Notary to be in each other's physical presence and allows them to appear before each other using communication technology that allows them to simultaneously communicate with each other by sight and sound. Governor Edwards' order is similar in certain regards to the many governor executive orders of other states. The Notary must create an audio and visual recording of the notarization. That recording must be kept for 10 years. Instead of allowing paper documents to be signed and transmitted back and forth between the parties, this order requires the Notary and all parties to use digital signatures which will render the electronic document "tamper-evident." The order does not allow remote communication technology to be used if the document relates to the laws pertaining to testaments, trust instruments, donations inter vivos, matrimonial agreements, acts modifying, waiving or extinguishing an obligation of final spousal support and authentic acts.

On April 2, 2020, Governor Edwards extended Proclamation 37 through April 30, 2020, by issuing Proclamation 41.

The order is effective retroactively to March 11, 2020, and applies "during this emergency."

Read Proclamation 37.

Read Proclamation 41.

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