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Law

NJ Assembly 3903

Notary Law Update: NJ Assembly 3903

State: New Jersey

Summary:

Assembly 3903 temporarily authorizes New Jersey Notaries and notarial officers to perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals during the public health emergency and state of emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020.

Signed:  April 14, 2020

Effective:  April 14, 2020

Chapter: Public Law 2020, Chapter 26

Affects:

All New Jersey Notaries Public and Notarial Officers.

Changes:

Definitions

  1. Defines “communication technology”, “foreign state”, “identity proofing”, “outside the United States”, “remotely located individual” and “satisfactory evidence”.

Notarizations for Remotely Located Individuals

  1. Provides that during the public health emergency and state of emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020, a Notary appointed pursuant to the provisions of the Notaries Public Act of 1979, or otherwise qualified and commissioned as a New Jersey Notary, or an officer authorized to take oaths, affirmations and affidavits under NJSA 41:2-1 or to take acknowledgments under NJSA 46:14-6.1 may perform notarial acts using communication technology for a remotely located individual if certain requirements, as specified below, are met.
  2. Requires the Notary or officer to have (a) personal knowledge of the identity of the individual appearing before the Notary or officer, which is based upon dealings with the individual sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed, (b) satisfactory evidence of the identity of the remotely located individual by oath or affirmation from a credible witness appearing before the Notary or officer, or (c) obtained satisfactory evidence of the identity of the remotely located individual by using at least two different types of identity proofing.
  3. Requires the Notary or officer to reasonably confirm that a record before the Notary or officer is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the remotely located individual executed a signature.
  4. Requires the Notary or officer or a person acting on their behalf to create an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act.
  5. Requires the record for a remotely located individual who is located outside the United States (a) to be filed with or relate to a matter before a public official or court, governmental entity, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, or (b) involve property located in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States or involve a transaction substantially connected with the United States.
  6. Requires the notarial act for a remotely located individual located outside the United States to not be prohibited by the foreign state in which the remotely located individual is located.
  7. Provides that during the public health emergency and state of emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020, a remotely located individual may comply with subsections a. and b. of NJSA 46:14-2.1 by using communication technology to appear before a Notary appointed pursuant to the provisions of the Notaries Public Act of 1979, or otherwise qualified and commissioned as a New Jersey Notary, or before an officer authorized to take oaths, affirmations, and affidavits under NJSA 41:2-1 or to take acknowledgments under R.S.46:14-6.1.
  8. Clarifies that the temporary authorization to perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals does not apply to (a) the “Uniform Commercial Code,” NJSA 12A:1-101 et seq., other than NJSA 12A:1-107, NJSA 12A:1-206, the provisions of the “Uniform Commercial Code – Sales,” chapter 2 of Title 12A, and the provisions of the “Uniform Commercial Code – Leases,” chapter 2A of Title 12A; or (b) a statute, regulation or other rule of law governing adoption, divorce or other matters of family law.
  9. Requires a certificate of a notarial act required by subsection c. of NJSA 46:14-2.1 and name affixation required by NJSA 52:7-19 to indicate that the notarial act was performed using communication technology.
  10. Requires a Notary appointed pursuant to the provisions of the Notaries Public Act of 1979, or otherwise qualified and commissioned as a New Jersey Notary, or an officer authorized to take oaths, affirmations and affidavits under NJSA 41:2-1 or to take acknowledgments under NJSA 46:14-6.1, a guardian, conservator, or agent of such person or, if such person is deceased, a personal representative of the deceased person, to retain the audio-visual recording required to be created or cause the recording to be retained by a repository designated by or on behalf of the person required to retain the recording.
  11. Provides that unless a different period is required by rule, the recording must be retained for a period of at least 10 years after the recording is made.
  12. Authorizes the State Treasurer, in her discretion, to adopt rules or append provisions to the manual distributed pursuant to NJSA 52:7-17 as necessary to implement the provisions of the temporary authorization, which rules or appended provisions may include the means of performing a notarial act involving a remotely located individual using communication technology, standards for communication technology and identity proofing, and standards for the retention of an audio-visual recording.
  13. Provides that before adopting, amending, or repealing any such rule or appended provision, the State Treasurer must consider the most recent standards regarding the performance of a notarial act with respect to a remotely located individual promulgated by national standard-setting organizations such as the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization and the recommendations of the National Association of Secretaries of State.
  14. Provides that any rule adopted or provisions appended to the Notary manual shall be effective for a period not to exceed the duration of the public health emergency and state of emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020.
  15. Provides that A 3909 takes effect immediately and expires upon the rescission of Executive Order No. 103 of 2020 by the Governor.
Analysis:

The New Jersey Legislature has passed, and the Governor has signed, A 3903 which temporarily authorizes New Jersey Notaries and notarial officers with notarial powers to perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals. A 3903 is based on the Uniform Law Commission’s 2018 Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) provisions for remotely located individuals. The bill authorizes the State Treasurer to add rules or append information in the State’s Notary Public Manual to address the temporary authorization.

Read the bill text.

Note: The Notary Public Manual has been updated with an appendix on procedures to implement the temporary authorization under Assembly 3903. To read the appropriate provisions, see pages 14-16 in the PDF you can download below.

Download PDF

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