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Executive Order

NJ Governor Executive Orders

Notary Law Update: NJ Governor Executive Orders

State: New Jersey

Summary:
New Jersey Governor Murphy has issued Executive Order 170 and an appendix to it that extends certain Notary commissions that expired during the COVID-19 pandemic and the time filing window for taking the oath of office for a Notary commission.

Signed:  July 31, 2020

Effective:  July 31, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:
Applicants who applied for an initial New Jersey Notary commission and New Jersey Notaries whose commissions expired during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changes:
  1. Provides that Notary commissions expiring between 7/31/20 and 30 days after the Public Health Emergency (PHE) ends are extended for 90 days after the end of the PHE.
  2. Provides that existing Notaries who renewed expired commissions, and who have a deadline between 7/31/20 and 30 days after the PHE ends to take and sign their required oath of office before the county clerk, instead have until 90 days after the end of the PHE to file the oath of office.
  3. Provides that Notaries who renewed expired commissions must file their oath of office before this extension ends or their renewed Notary commission will be voided for failure to file the oath of office.
  4. Provides that applicants who were appointed to new (initial) Notary commissions, and who have a deadline between 7/31/2020 and 30 days after the PHE ends to file their oath of office with the county clerk, also have a 90-day extension from the end of the PHE to file their oath office, but further provides that these Notaries, however, MUST take their oath of office BEFORE they can perform notarial acts.
  5. Provides that a Notary whose commission expired during the PHE, and who did not renew the commission but choose to perform notarial acts under the commission term extension, must use the commission expiration date for their most recent (expired) commission when performing notarial acts.
  6. Provides that a Notary whose commission expired during the PHE and who did renew their commission must use the expiration date for the new commission when performing notarial acts, even if they have not yet filed their oath of office.
Analysis:

Governor Murphy has issued an executive order that extends the commissions of Notaries which expired from July 31, 2020 through the 30th day after the Public Health Emergency ends for 90 days following the end of the PHE. The “Changes’ section above notes for affected Notaries which commission expiration date they must use when performing notarizations after their commissions have been extended. The Governor’s action has been taken by other states, most notably New York. The order also extends the oath of office time filing window for the same time period for first-time Notary commission applicants and Notaries who renew their commissions.

Note: The Governor monthly issues a new executive order extending the Public Health Emergency longer. Notaries should regularly check to see when the PHE has been extended and eventually when it ends. We will note below when the Governor issues these orders.

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