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Executive Order

MO Governor Executive Orders (2020)

Notary Law Update: MO Governor Executive Orders (2020)

State: Missouri

Summary:

Governor Michael Parson signed executive orders temporarily allowing notarial acts to be performed through audio-visual conference technology.

Signed:  April 08, 2020

Effective:  April 08, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

All Missouri Notaries Public.

Changes:
  1. Provides that any notarial act performed through video conference in compliance with the executive order has the same force, effect, and validity as any other notarial act performed in compliance with Missouri law, and may be relied upon to the same extent as any other notarial act under Missouri law.
  2. Requires a document presented for notarization through video conference to contain a notarial certificate — a jurat or acknowledgment — which states the principal appeared remotely pursuant to Executive Order 20-08.
  3. Requires any person whose signature is to be notarized through video conference to display a valid photo ID to the Notary during the video conference if the person is not personally or otherwise known to the Notary.
  4. Requires the person seeking a notarial act through video conference to affirmatively represent that he or she is physically situated in the State of Missouri.
  5. Requires the video conference to be a live, interactive audio-visual communication between the principal, Notary, and other necessary persons, which allows for observation, direct interaction, and communication at the time of signing.
  6. Requires the Notary to record in the Notary’s journal the exact time and software used to perform the notarial act through video conference along with all other required information, except for the signature of the principal.
  7. Requires the Notary performing a notarial act through video conference to be physically located in the State of Missouri and state which county they are physically in for the jurisdiction on the notarial certificate.
  8. Requires that for performing notarial acts through video conference on electronic documents, the Notary Public must be registered as an Electronic Notary Public.
  9. Requires that for performing notarial acts through video conference on electronic documents, the document must be signed electronically with software approved by the Secretary of State as an acceptable medium to conduct the transaction; which may include software requiring third-party multifactor authentication.
  10. Requires that for performing notarial acts through video conference on electronic documents, the Notary must affix their electronic Notary seal to the electronic document.
  11. Requires that for performing notarial acts through video conference on paper documents, the tangible or electronic copy of the signed document must be mailed or otherwise transmitted to the Notary within five business days.
  12. Provides that for performing notarial acts through video conference on paper documents, and to the extent that any Missouri law requires the physical presence of any testator, settlor, principal, witness, Notary, or other person, for the effective execution of any estate planning document, such as a will, trust or power of attorney, or a self-proving affidavit of the execution of such document, such provisions are temporarily suspended or waived, and satisfied if the necessary parties are present through a video conference.
  13. Provides that if the document presented for notarization through video conference needs to be presented in a paper medium, the document satisfies the requirements of being an original document, and prima facie evidence, if the Notary prints the document and affixes an attestation stating that it is a true and correct copy of the electronic document, states it was performed pursuant to Executive Order 20-08 and signs and affixes the Notary’s rubber stamp Notary seal.
  14. Clarifies that the fees allowed for notarization under the executive order are the same as those allowed for other notarial acts, except a fee charged for the use of a remote online Notary platform or service are not be considered a fee for a notarial act pursuant to RSMo 486.350.
  15. Provides that the Secretary of State shall retain the powers provided to him under the law to investigate and adjudicate any Notary complaint related to the methods of notarization under the executive order.
Analysis:

Missouri becomes the latest state to temporarily allow video conference-based notarial acts during the COVID-19 crisis. Governor Parson's Executive Order 20-08, which expires May 15, 2020, unless extended, contains a number of standards Notaries must adhere to when performing these notarizations. The document may be paper or electronic. If electronic, the Notary must first be registered as a Missouri Electronic Notary Public. These notarizations may be performed through a dedicated remote online notarization platform, for which an additional fee may be charged that is separate from the regular Notary fee. If such a platform is not used, the document may be transmitted or mailed, as applicable, to the Notary. The certificate of notarial act for these notarizations must reference Executive Order 20-08 and the Notary must complete a journal entry for the notarial act, absent the signer's signature.

On May 4, 2020, Governor Parson extended Executive Order 20-08 by signing Executive Order 20-10, making it effective through June 15, 2020.

On June 11, 2020, Governor Parson extended Executive Order 20-08 by signing Executive Order 20-12, making it effective through August 28, 2020.

Read Executive Order 20-08.

Read Executive Order 20-10.

Read Executive Order 20-12.

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