Your Cookies are Disabled! NationalNotary.org sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

Law

MS Guidance on Remote Notarizations

Notary Law Update: MS Guidance on Remote Notarizations

State: Mississippi

Summary:

The Mississippi Secretary of State has published guidance for Mississippi Notaries who perform temporary remote notarizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Signed:  April 06, 2020

Effective:  April 06, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

All Mississippi Notaries Public.

Changes:
  1. Requires a Notary to be currently commissioned and in good standing in Mississippi. 
  2. Requires Notaries to notify the Secretary of State, Business Services Division, of their intent to use remote notarization technology on the Secretary’s form (available on the Secretary’s website).
  3. Provides that using the Secretary’s form, Notaries must identify the communication technology vendor they use and confirm that the vendor allows you to (a) view and hear the remotely-located principal in real-time, (b) verify the principal’s identity through one or more of the methods set forth in the Order, and (c) record the entire Notary transaction. 
  4. Provides that for each notarial act conducted remotely, Notaries must create and retain an audio-video recording of the entire notarial act, and keep this electronic record just as they would their Notary journal or logbook. 
  5. Requires that for each notarial act conducted remotely, Notaries must note in their Notary journal or logbook details about the notarial act, including that the notarial act was conducted for a remotely located principal using communication technology.
  6. Clarifies that Notaries may charge the maximum $5 fee for the notarization, plus the cost of using the communication technology, not to exceed $25.   
  7. Emphasizes that the Governor’s Executive Order is only a temporary waiver of the in-person requirement of the Mississippi Notary Statute and Rules and that this is a significant change to Notary practices in Mississippi. 
  8. Encourages Notaries to use a communication technology vendor designed for the purpose of facilitating remote notarizations, and not services that primarily offer videoconference ability only.
  9. Emphasizes that it is up to each Notary to make sure he or she is in compliance with the Governor's Order.
  10. Directs Notaries to review the information made available by the National Notary Association or other professional membership associations regarding additional guidance on available technology.
  11. Emphasizes that it is a Notary’s legal responsibility to perform notarizations correctly pursuant to the Mississippi Notary statute and rules.
  12. Clarifies that in a “remote notarization”, the Notary and principal are in different locations, but the documents are exchanged by mail, the principal physically signs an original document witnessed by the Notary through the technology platform, and then mails the original document to the Notary for the Notary to physically affix his or her seal. 
  13. In such a case, the date of notarization will be the date that the transaction is witnessed online, not the date the Notary’s stamp is affixed to the document.  However, the original will be the document with the principal’s physical signature and the Notary’s physical stamp.  
  14. Clarifies that in a “remote online notarization” the Notary and principal are in different locations, but the principal signs electronically, the Notary affixes his or her stamp electronically, and the original document is an electronic document. 
  15. Clarifies that Notaries may still perform notarial acts in person during the state of emergency but should use their best judgment on whether the notarial act is considered essential and abide by social distancing, CDC and MDH guidance in the conduct of any essential notarial services.
  16. Clarifies that a Mississippi Notary cannot be forced to perform remote notarizations.  
  17. Provides a list of current remote notarization platform providers.
Analysis:

Coinciding with the issuance of Executive Order 1467 on April 6, 2020, the Mississippi Secretary of State has published guidance for Notaries who perform remote notarizations under the Governor’s temporary order. The guidance mirrors the provisions of the Governor’s Order, but it also cautions Notaries that the temporary remote notarization provisions are a departure from normal notarial practices in Mississippi and that Notaries must comply with the Order and all statutes, laws, and rules in Mississippi for performing notarial acts.

To read the guidance, click Download PDF below.

Download PDF

Knowledge Center