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Law

NY Guidance on Remote Notarizations (2020)

Notary Law Update: NY Guidance on Remote Notarizations (2020)

State: New York

Summary:

The New York Department of State has issued guidance to Notaries on implementing Governor Cuomo's Executive Order 202.7 authorizing remote notarial acts.

Signed:  March 31, 2020

Effective:  March 31, 2020

Chapter: N/A

Affects:

All New York Notaries Public.

Changes:
  1. Provides that Notary using audio-video technology must continue to follow existing requirements for notarizations that were unaltered by the Executive Order, including, but not limited to, placing the Notary’s commission expiration date and county where the Notary is commissioned upon the document.
  2. Provides that if the Notary and signatory are in different counties, the Notary should indicate on the document the county where each person is located.
  3. Clarifies that an electronically transmitted document sent to the Notary can be sent in any electronic format (e.g., PDF, JPEG, TIFF), provided it is a legible copy.
  4. Requires the Notary to print and sign the document, in ink, and may not use an electronic signature to officiate the document.
  5. Allows the signatory to use an electronic signature, provided the document can be signed electronically under the Electronic Signatures and Records Act (Article 3 of the State Technology Law).
  6. Provides that if the signer uses an electronic signature, the Notary must witness the electronic signature being applied to the document, as required under Executive Order 202.7.
  7. Clarifies that the Executive Order does not authorize other officials to administer oaths or to take acknowledgments, and only applies to Notaries Public commissioned by the Secretary of State’s office
  8. Clarifies that following remote notarization, if the Notary receives the original document within 30 days, the Notary may notarize the document again (i.e., physically affixing a Notary stamp and hand signing the document) using the original date of the remote notarization.
  9. Provides that when performing remote notarization pursuant to the Executive Order, the Department recommends the following best practices (but not following them will not invalidate the act or be cause for discipline): (a) Keep a Notary log of each remote notarization, and (b) Indicate on the document that the notarization was made pursuant to Executive Order 202.7.
Analysis:

This guidance provided by the New York Department of State will assist Notaries seeking to perform remote notarial acts under Governor Cuomo's Executive Order 202.7. It clarifies that Notaries must follow all other applicable Notary laws in performing remote acts. It also clarifies that only Notaries Public may perform these acts; no other notarial officers in New York may do so. It helpfully indicates that the signer may transmit the document in any number of different file formats. The NNA is also gratified that the guidance recommends that Notaries keep a journal of all remote notarial acts.

Read the official guidance.

Knowledge Center