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States Take Emergency Action On Remote Notarization And Signers’ ID

5-26-20 map of state emergency RON laws

Developing story. Updated 5-29-20 with new information on Pennsylvania Notary exam extensions.
 
In response to the coronavirus emergency, numerous states have put in place emergency measures to help Notaries to carry out their duties. The NNA is receiving heavy call volume from Notaries asking about Remote Online Notarization (RON). Please refer to this frequently updated article for guidance, or our RON overview article, before calling.

Additional State Guidelines And Map Updates

Because this is a rapidly developing situation, we are still in the process of updating information for several states on the accompanying map. We will be adding these updates to the map as soon as possible.

For more details about state emergency actions, or if you do not see your state listed in this article, visit the NNA’s State Notary Laws Updates page and select your state. Here is a current list of states where remote notarizations (including both RON and RIN) can be performed. Also, please note that you must follow any guidelines set by your state to perform RON.Services such as Skype or Facetime may not be used as a replacement for RON technology guidelines mandated by state emergency orders.

Alabama Allows Video Notarizations For Notaries

On April 2, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has issued an amended proclamation permitting all Alabama Notaries to notarize using videoconferencing in lieu of personal appearance, using the following guidelines:

  • The Notary must maintain a record of the audiovisual communication for a period of five years following the date the recording is noted in the Notary’s journal.
  • Any persons who witnesses a document through videoconference technology may be considered an “in-person” witness, provided that the presence and identity of such witnesses are validated by the Notary at the time of the signing by the same identifications required under current law.
  • The official date and time of the notarization shall be the date and time when the Notary witnesses the signature via the videoconference technology. All documents must be returned to the Notary for certification and execution.
  • Any notarizations performed under section III of the previous March 26, 2020 governor’s proclamation remain valid.

The order assumes the document will be executed on paper and sent to the Notary for a remote inked-sign notarization (RIN), who will then complete the required certificate wording with the date the Notary, signatory and any witnesses appeared before each other using videoconferencing technology. The order is in full force and effect until the public health emergency brought on by COVID-19 is rescinded or extended by another proclamation by the Governor.

Alaska Permits Video Witnessing Of Wills Before Notaries

Alaska has added a provision to the recently enacted Senate Bill 241 which temporarily allows a testator who signs a last will, witnesses to the will and a Notary to appear before each other using videoconference technology. Usually, a Notary will notarize the affidavits of a last will, making the last will self-proving. Senate Bill 241 requires the witnesses to sign a prescribed statement under penalty of perjury that is then added to the will. Then up to 60 days thereafter another prescribed statement must be signed by the witnesses under penalty of perjury and added to the original will or an exact facsimile of the original will. The new law is effective until March 11, 2021.

Arizona Authorizes RON, ‘Defers’ Driver’s License Expiration Dates

As part of an executive order issued by Governor Doug Ducey, Arizona Notaries are authorized to perform remote online notarizations as of April 10 instead of on July 1 when the new RON statutes and RON rules were to take effect. Noteworthy among the rules to perform RONs:

  • Arizona Notaries must register to perform remote online notarizations and must comply with all requirements for electronic notarizations in the state and must re-register each time they renew their commission.
  • Notaries must submit information about the technology vendor they plan to use for performing RONs when registering with the Secretary of State’s office. If the Notary intends to use a different technology vendor than the one originally submitted with the Notary’s registration, an amendment to the Notary’s application must be submitted to the Secretary of State’s office.
  • The Notary must identify a signer for a RON through one of the following options: (a) personal knowledge; (b) multi-factor authentication that must include remote presentation of an ID to the Notary, credential analysis by a reputable third party and knowledge-based authentication or (c) the oath or affirmation of a credible witness who personally  knows the signer and can be identified by the Notary through personal knowledge or the multi-factor authentication process described above.
  • The communication technology used for RON must provide synchronous audiovisual feeds and sufficient video resolution and audio clarity for the Notary and signer to see and speak with each other. It also must provide reasonable security to prevent unauthorized access to the live transmission of the audiovisual feed, the methods used to verify the signer’s identity or the electronic record being notarized.
  • The notarial certificate used for the RON must state “This remote online notarization involved the use of communication technology.”
  • The Notary must keep one or more electronic journals and an audiovisual recording of each RON in a computer or other electronic storage device and protect the electronic journal and recording from unauthorized access with a password or cryptographic process. The journal must be retained for at least 5 years after the last remote online notarization recorded in the journal.
  • The audiovisual recording of the RON may not include images of the electronic document that was the subject of the notarization and must be retained by the Notary for at least 5 years after being made.
  • The Notary must take reasonable steps to ensure that a backup of the electronic journal and audiovisual recordings exists and is secured from unauthorized use

The Arizona Governor issued Executive Order 2020-08 ordering the state Department of Transportation to defer for 6 months the renewal requirement for people with driver’s licenses and driving permits set to expire between March 1 and September 1 of this year. Law enforcement, state agencies and county and local governments must accept these IDs for the 6-month period.

The Arizona Secretary of State’s office confirmed to the NNA that Arizona Notaries may accept as identification for a notarial act a driver’s license covered under the Governor’s Executive Order.

Arkansas Permits Limited Use Of Audiovisual Technology For Notarizations

Arkansas has issued an executive order effective March 30 allowing certain limited Notaries to perform notarizations using real-time audiovisual means. The order permits audio and visual conference technology to replace the physical presence requirement in Arkansas when signing and notarizing paper documents. The signer and Notary must both be in the state at the time of notarization. However, only Arkansas Notaries who meet the following qualifications are allowed use audio and visual technology in place of personal appearance:

  • Notaries who are attorneys licensed to practice law in Arkansas
  • Notaries who are licensed Arkansas title agents
  • Notaries who are supervised by a licensed Arkansas attorney or licensed Arkansas title agent
  • Notaries employed by a financial institution registered with the Arkansas State Bank Department

California Extends Expiration Dates For Driver’s Licenses, Notary Commissions During COVID-19

UPDATE 5-11-20: On May 8, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-63-20 which impacts California Notaries during the COVID-19 emergency in the following ways:

1. The commission term for any California Notary whose commission has expired since March 1, 2020 or whose commission is scheduled to expire in the next 60 days (or until July 6, 2020), is extended for an additional 60 days.

2. A Notary whose commission is extended under the Governor’s order as described above must add the following information when completing a notarization during the extension period: “The notary commission extended pursuant to Executive Order N-63-20.”

3. A Notary whose commission is extended under the Governor’s Order must maintain a valid surety bond during the extension. Notary bonds purchased through the NNA will be automatically extended to coincide with the extended dates of their commissions at no cost for those Notaries affected by the Governor’s Order.

4. Civil Code 1185(b)(3)(A) requiring that an identification card or driver’s license issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles be current or issued within the last 5 years in order to serve as satisfactory evidence of identity for a notarial act, is suspended for 60 days with respect to any California identification card or driver’s license showing an expiration date of March 1, 2020, or later.

***

UPDATE 5-7-20: The California Department of Motor Vehicles announced in press releases on April 1 and April 14 that driver’s license expirations dates would be extended in California for the following individuals:

  • Seniors 70 years of age and older whose noncommercial driver’s licenses expire between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020, are given a 120-day extension to their driver’s licenses expiration date. The DMV will mail affected seniors a paper extension.
  • Californians under 70 who driver’s licenses expire between March 2020 and May 2020 will have their license expiration date extended to May 31, 2020. These drivers also have the option to request a free temporary paper extension online through the DMV’s Virtual Field Office to document extension.

After receiving messages from California Notaries who were unsure if they can accept an ID with an extended expiration date as proof of signer identity under these conditions, the NNA reached out to the California Secretary of State's office for confirmation. The Secretary of State's Notary Public Section responded to the NNA saying that the Department of Motor Vehicles extension of California driver's licenses during this pandemic qualifies these licenses to be considered "current" pursuant to Civil Code section 1185(b)(3)(A), and can be used by California Notaries to establish identity of an individual executing a document. — The Editors

If a Notary is presented with a California driver’s license bearing an expiration date from March 1, 2020, through May 31, 2020, the Notary should check for the correct date on the ID, understanding that the extension applies to the expiration date only. 

 Second, Notaries must know if the individual requesting the notarial act and presenting a driver’s license as satisfactory evidence of identity is under 70 years of age. These individuals may or may not have a paper extension documenting that their license is extended through May 31, 2020. If the individual has an extension, the Notary should ask to see both the driver’s license itself and the paper extension. If the individual does not have a paper extension, the Notary may accept the license through May 31, 2020.

Third, for persons requesting notarial services who are 70 years of age and older, the Notary should request to see both the driver’s license itself and the extension mailed to the bearer by the DMV. The extension will show the actual license extension date.

Fourth, the NNA recommends that Notaries note in their journals that the ID presented was extended by the Department of Motor Vehicle’s April 1, 2020, press release (for persons 70 and older) or April 14, 2020, press release (for persons under 70).

While Notaries of all U.S. states could technically accept an expired California driver’s license under the DMV’s press releases, the NNA recommends that these Notaries do so only if their state laws permit it and they follow the guidance provided above.

Colorado Authorizes RON Through April 30

Under a Colorado executive order effective March 27, the physical presence requirement for notarizations in Colorado has been suspended. The executive order has been extended through  April 30, 2020. However, election-related documents such as circulator petitions and voting petitions may not be notarized using RON The Secretary of State has been authorized to issue temporary emergency rules for remote notarizations..

The Secretary of State has issued emergency notarization rules for Colorado Notaries to implement the governor’s executive order, including the following:

  • Notarizations are still performed on paper and the document being signed is transmitted to the Notary by fax, email or other electronic means.
  • The Notary prints the document out and affixes the Notary’s seal to it before faxing, emailing or transmitting it by other electronic means back to the signer.
  • The Notary must be currently commissioned and located in Colorado, and a remote notarization may only be performed for an individual located within the state of Colorado.
  • The system used for the remote notarization must (a) enable the Notary to verify the identity of the signer and any required witnesses through personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence; (b) enable the Notary to verify that the Notary and all signers and witnesses are viewing the same record and all signatures, changes and attachments are made in real time; and (c) record the interaction so that verifications may be clearly viewed at a later date. All security requirements for a Notary journal also apply to the recording, and the Notary must also enter all remote notarizations in the Notary’s journal.
  • A signer may be identified by remote presentation of a government-issued ID as required by C.R.S. 24-21-507 or by the oath or affirmation of a credible witness who personally knows the Notary or who presents government-issued ID as required by C.R.S. 24-21-507
  • The Notary must indicate on the certificate that the notarization was performed using audiovisual technology.
  • If the record being notarized is a will as defined under C.R.S. 15-10-201(59), the original signed record must be presented to the Notary within 15 calendar days of the date of the remote notarization. Within 3 days of receiving the singed record, the Notary must confirm the will is identical to the one remotely notarized and affix the Notary’s signature seal on the original signed record, reflecting the date of the remote notarization.

Connecticut Temporarily Allows Remote Notarization

The Connecticut Governor has issued an executive order permitting any notarization to be completed “using an electronic device or process that allows a notary public and a remotely located individual to communicate with each other simultaneously by sight and sound.” The measure is “effective through June 23, 2020, unless modified, extended or terminated by” the Governor.

There are a number of conditions that must be met to perform a remote notarization. They include:

  • The signer must be personally known to the Notary or musts present satisfactory evidence of identity at the time of the notarization.
  • The Notary must record the complete notarial act and keep the recording for at least 10 years.
  • The signer must affirm that they are physically located within Connecticut.
  • The signer must transmit by fax or electronic means a legible copy of the signed document directly to the Notary on the date it was executed.
  • The Notary Public may notarize the transmitted copy of the document and transmit the same back to the signer by fax or electronic means.

For a complete list of conditions and requirements, please review the executive order.

District Of Columbia Enacts Temporary Remote Notarization Rules

A new District of Columbia law effective May 13, 2020, temporarily authorizes Washington, D.C. Notaries, upon being explicitly authorized by the Mayor, to perform remote notarizations during a declared public health emergency under the following conditions:

  • The Notary must use a real-time communications technology platform specifically designed to facilitate remote online notarizations.
  • The Notary and signer must be able to communicate with each other simultaneously by both sight and sound.
  • The Notary must have satisfactory evidence of the signer’s identity through personal knowledge or a government-issued ID containing the signature and photograph of the signer during the notarization.
  • The Notary must be electronically sent a legible copy of the signed document immediately after it is signed. Upon receiving the signed document, the Notary must immediately complete the notarization on it and transmit it electronically back to the signer.
  • The Notary must create, or direct another person to create, and retain an audiovisual recording of the performance of the notarial act for 3 years from the date of the notarial act.
  • The Notary must indicate on a certificate of the notarial act and in a journal that the individual was not in the physical presence of the Notary and that the notarial act was performed using audio-visual communication.

District Notaries must wait for the Mayor to issue an authorization allowing them to perform remote acts before they may take the steps to do so.

This temporary authorization expires on August 11, 2020.

Florida Supreme Court Expands Remote Notarization

Florida last year enacted a law authorizing remote online notarization, which went into effect on January 1 this year. Under the law, Notaries must complete a training course and register to perform online notarizations.

However, in response to the state of emergency declared by the Florida governor, the state Supreme Court issued an administrative order allowing any Florida Notary to administer oaths for court proceedings remotely using audio-video technology. Specifically:

  • Notaries in the State of Florida may swear a witness remotely by audio-video communication technology from a location within the State of Florida, provided they can positively identify the witness.
  • If a witness is not located within the State of Florida, a witness may consent to being put on oath via audio-video communication technology.
  • All rules of procedure, court orders, and opinions applicable to remote testimony, depositions, and other legal testimony — including the attestation of family law forms — that can be read to limit or prohibit the use of audio-video communications equipment to administer oaths remotely or to witness the attestation of family law forms, are hereby suspended, and will remain suspended until March 27, unless extended.

Georgia Allows RON For Real Estate Documents, Extends Driver’s License Expiration Dates 

Effective March 31, an executive order issued by Governor Kemp temporarily permits Georgia Notaries to use real-time audiovisual communication technology or video conferencing in place of personal appearance when notarizing recordable instruments and documents related to real estate transactions.

Since Georgia is an “attorney-only” state (only attorneys may conduct real estate closings), the Governor’s Order should not be construed to permit all Georgia Notaries to perform loan signings for real estate transactions.

The Governor of Georgia announced an emergency measure extending the expiration dates of driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by the state Department of Driver Services (DDS) for 60 days. The measure covers such IDs that expire between March 23 and June 30.

According to the state’s announcement, “Notices will be mailed, and new cards will be printed and mailed directly to customers.” Last week, an extension was provided for approximately 36,000 customers age 60 and older with a valid license or ID with an expiration date from March through June 30, 2020.

Eligible types include ID cards, commercial (CDL) and non-commercial driver’s licenses, limited permits, driving permits, Medical Certifications and CDL endorsements.

Hawaii Issues Temporary Order Permitting Remote Ink-Signed Notarizations

Hawaii Governor David Ige issued an executive order and emergency rules ordering Notaries to take reasonable precautions to comply with social distancing orders when notarizing, and allowing Hawaii Notaries to perform remote ink-signed notarizations (RIN). Hawaii Notaries are not required to perform notarizations if they believe social distancing guidelines to ensure health and safety cannot be followed. Notaries are not required to perform RINs but if they choose to do so, they must follow all rules approved by the Governor, including the following:

  • The Notary must identify the signer during the RON through personal knowledge or through remote presentation of a current, government-issued ID that includes the signer’s photograph and signature. The signer may not present ID before or after the notarization takes place.
  • The Notary must confirm through observation that the signer appears to be aware of the significance of, and is willing to perform, the transaction.
  • The Notary and signer must communicate through direct interaction and the video conference may not be pre-recorded.
  • The Notary must use reasonable means to confirm the signer is physically located in Hawaii.
  • The Notary must create an audiovisual recording of the notarization, which shall be kept as part of the Notary's record and stored as an unsecured audio-visual recording or on a secured external digital storage such as a flash drive, DVD, or external hard drive. The external storage medium must be deposited with the attorney general’s office within 90 days after the Notary resigns the commission.
  • The signer must fax or electronically send the Notary the signed document that required RIN on the same day it was signed. The Notary may notarize the transmitted copy and then send it back to the signer.
  • The Notary must add a statement to the notarized document as follows: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology enabled by emergency order.”
  • The Notary must enter in the journal that the notarization was performed pursuant to Executive Order 20-02.
  • Notaries are authorized to repeat notarization of the original signed document as of the date of execution, provided the Notary receives such original signed document together with the electronically notarized copy within 60 days after the date of execution. 

Illinois Temporarily Approves RON

The Illinois Governor issued an executive order permitting remote online notarization as long as the Notary and signer are both physically located in the state at the time if the notarization, and the notarization “follows the guidance posted by the Illinois Secretary of State.” The executive order is in force as long as the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation is in force.

Here are key provisions of the executive order and guidance:

  • The remote notarial act must be done by two-way, real time audio-video communication that allows for direct interaction between the notary and the signer.
  • Signer must attest that they are physically in Illinois and state what they are signing.
  • The resolution of the audio-video connection must be of sufficient quality for the notary to properly examine the signer’s identification credentials.
  • A recording of the remote notarization must be retained by the notary for at least 3 years.
  • The signer must show the Notary each and every page of the document being signed. The signer also should initial each page to ensure that the document is complete.
  • The signer must fax or send by electronic means the signed document requiring notarization to the Notary no later than the day, and the Notary must send the completed notarized document back to the signer by fax or electronic means within 24 hours.

Notaries may use an electronic or remote notarization platform that meets industry standards and each of the requirements provided by the Governor’s Executive Order.

Iowa Temporarily Allows Remote Notarization

The Iowa Governor signed a proclamation that includes a provision temporarily suspending the requirement for signers to physically appear before the Notary as long as the signer is present in way that permits them see, hear and interact with the Notary by electronic means and that complies with section 6 of 2019 Iowa Acts chapter 44 (Senate File 475). This new law, which takes effect on July 1, allows Iowa Notaries to permanently perform remote online notarizations. The proclamation's expiration date has been extended to May 27, 2020. 

Kansas Issues Emergency Rules For Remote Notarization 

An executive order has been issued by Governor Kelly permitting Kansas Notaries and document witnesses to use remote audiovisual communication in place of physical appearance when notarizing, provided the following requirements are met:

  • The Notary and signer must be physically located within the borders of Kansas when performing the notarization.
  • The Notary must be able to identify the signer through personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of identity.
  • The remote notarization must follow any guidelines posted on the Kansas Secretary of State’s website.

This emergency rule has been extended until May 31, 2020 or until the State of Disaster Emergency expires in Kansas, whichever is earlier.

Kentucky Authorizes Temporary Video Notarization Rules

A new Kentucky law effective March 30 allows Notaries and signers to use video conferencing tools to perform a notarization outside each other’s physical presence. The Notary and signer may sign separate but identical copies of the same document during the notarization. When taken together, these separately signed documents will comprise one single document. This provision is effective until the Governor declares that Executive Order 2020-15 has ceased. In the event no such declaration is made by the Governor on or before the first day of the next regular session of the General Assembly, the General Assembly may make the determination.

Louisiana Temporarily Authorizes Remote Notarizations

Under a proclamation issued by Louisiana’s Governor, Notaries may perform notarizations for individuals outside the Notary’s presence using the following rules:

  • The individual, any witnesses and the Notary must be able to communicate simultaneously by sight and sound through an electronic device or process at the time of notarization.
  • The Notary must reasonably identify the individual.
  • The Notary or an agent of the Notary must create an audiovisual recording of the notarization, which must be retained for at least 10 years from the date of execution unless Louisiana law states otherwise.
  • The individual, any witnesses and the Notary must affix digital signatures to the act in a manner that renders any subsequent changes or modifications evident.
  • The waiver for physical presence may not be used when notarizing testaments, trust instruments, donations inter vivos, matrimonial agreements or acts modifying, waiving or extinguishing an obligation of final spousal support and authentic acts.  

Maine Emergency Order Permits RIN

Under a April 8 Executive Order, Maine Notaries may perform remote inked-sign notarizations (RIN) under the following rules:

  • The Notary must be physically located within Maine when performing the RIN and must follow any additional RIN guidelines issued by the Secretary of State.
  • The two-way communication method used must allow direct audiovisual communication between the signer and Notary in real time.
  • The signer must be identified through (a) personal knowledge; (b) remote presentation of a valid photo ID during the video conference; (c) the oath or affirmation of a witness physically present before either the Notary or signer who is able to communicate in real time with the Notary by sight and sound during the notarization. The witness must be personal known to the signer and identified to the Notary using either methods (a) or (b) listed previously.
  • The signer must attest to the Notary to being physically located in Maine and state what county the signer is located in during the notarization.
  • The Notary and any witnesses must attest to being physically located in Maine during the notarization.
  • For wills and powers of attorney, the Notary or at least one witness must be an attorney licensed to practice law in Maine.
  • Before any documents are signed, the Notary must be able to view by camera the entire space in which the signer and any witnesses are located. Any person present must state their name on video in clear view of the Notary.
  • The signer must affirmatively state what document is being signed, and the Notary must be provided with a copy of the document prior to the signing.
  • Each page of the document being witnessed must be shown to the Notary and any witnesses in a way that is clearly legible to the Notary. The signer must initial each page in the presence of the Notary and any witnesses. The act of signing and initialing the document must be captured sufficiently close for the Notary to observe.
  • The signer must fax or use other electronic methods to send a legible copy of the entire signed document to the Notary and any witnesses immediately after signing. If this is not possible, the document must be sent no later than 24 hours after signing.
  • Within 48 hours of receiving the document, a witness must sign the document and send it to the Notary and any other witnesses involved in the notarization. The official date and time of the signature is the date and time the witness saw the document signed via video.
  • Upon review and satisfactory comparison with the faxed or electronic copy provided on the date of signing, the Notary must notarize the original document within 48 hours of receipt. The official date and time of the notarization is the date and time the Notary witnessed the signature via video. The following language must be added below the signatures of the Notary and any witnesses: "Notarized (and/or Witnessed) remotely, in accordance with Executive Order 37 FY 19/20"
  • A recording of the notarization must be made by the Notary and preserved for at least 4 years from the date of notarization. The Notary shall provide a copy of the recording to the signer or the Secretary of State upon request.

Maryland Extends Driver’s Licenses, Notary Commission Expiration Dates, Issues Emergency RON Guidelines

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has issued an executive order extending the expiration date of driver’s licenses and active Notary commissions to 30 days after the state of emergency is rescinded.

Under this executive order, Notaries may accept a driver’s license that expired during the emergency period as proof of a signer’s identity until the 30th day after the emergency is lifted. Maryland Notaries must track the duration of the coronavirus emergency orders in their state, because they will not be able to accept expired licenses as proof of identity after this grace period ends.

Because many state offices are currently closed due to the pandemic, the commission expiration date of all active Maryland Notaries has been extended until 30 days after the date the state of emergency is officially lifted to ensure Notaries will still be able to perform their duties for the duration of the current crisis.

Governor Hogan has also issued an emergency order temporarily waiving the in-person requirement for notarizing documents in Maryland and permitting remote online notarizations. In order to perform a remote notarization, Maryland Notaries must meet the following requirements:

  • The Notary must have a current Maryland commission in good standing.
     
  • The Notary must notify the Office of the Secretary of State of the Notary’s intent to use remote notarizations.
  • The Notary must identify the communications technology vendor they will use and confirm that the vendor allows you to, in real time, (1) view the remotely located individual and (2) compare for consistency the information and photos presented as identification credentials.
  • For each notarial act conducted remotely, the Notary must create and retain an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act.
  • For each notarial act conducted remotely, the Notary must note on the notarial certificate and in the Notary log or journal that the notarial act was performed for a remotely located individual using communications technology.
  • Maryland Notaries may not charge more than $4 for each remote online notarial act using communication technology, which is the same fee that may be charged when performing an in person notarial act.

Updated 5-19-20. On May 11, the Maryland Secretary of State's office issued an update that  recommends Maryland Notaries use a technology platform specifically designed to facilitate RON, but also allows use of some technology providers designed primarily for video conferencing. Zoom may NOT be used due to security concerns. Video conferencing platforms Maryland Notaries may consider using include the following:

A list of sample RON vendors can be found below, but please note this list is not all-inclusive and does not indicate an endorsement of any vendor by Maryland officials. Any RON technology provide chosen by the Notary must meet the requirements listed above:

Massachusetts Authorizes Temporary Remote Ink-Signed Notarizations

Effective as of April 23, a new Massachusetts law temporarily authorizes Notaries to perform remote ink-signed notarizations (RIN)  using the following guidelines:

  • The signer and Notary must both be physically located in Massachusetts during the RIN.
  • The RIN must use real-time electronic videoconferencing.
  • Only a Notary who is a Massachusetts attorney or paralegal under the direct supervision of a Massachusetts Notary may perform a RIN related to the closing a transaction involving a mortgage or conveyance of real estate, any will, nomination of guardian or conservator, caregiver authorization affidavit, trust, durable power of attorney, health care proxy or authorization under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
  • The signer must provide satisfactory evidence of identity to the Notary. If the signer is not a U.S. citizen, the Notary may accept a valid passport or other government-issued ID that evidences the principal’s nationality or residence and includes a photo and signature as satisfactory proof of identity.
  • If the ID is a government-issued credential, the principal must display it to the Notary during the video conference and transmit a copy of the front and back of it to the Notary, either with the signed document or separately by electronic means. If the ID is a U.S. or foreign passport book, a copy of the front cover and page displaying the principal’s photo, name, and signature is sufficient for transmission to the Notary.
  • The Notary must retain a copy of the ID and keep it secure and confidential in accordance with state and federal law for 10 years.
  • If the document involves a mortgage or other conveyance of title to real estate, and if the ID is a government-issued credential and the principal is not personally known to the Notary, the principal must display during the initial videoconference a secondary form of ID containing a photo or signature or that is issued by a government entity, including, but not limited to, a credit or debit card, a social security card, a municipal tax bill or utility bill dated within 60 days of the first video conference.
  • The signer must make the acknowledgment, affirmation, or other act to the Notary.
  • The signer must send the signed document to the Notary by delivery service, courier or other means in accordance with the Notary’s instructions.
  • If the document involves a mortgage or conveyance of title to real estate, the Notary and each principal must hold a second videoconference during which each principal verifies to the Notary that the document received by the Notary is the same document executed during the first conference. 
  • The signer must swear or affirm that the signer is located within Massachusetts, disclose any person present in the room with the signer during the notarization and make that person viewable to the Notary.
  • The notarial certificate for a videoconference notarization must include that the document was notarized remotely, the county where the Notary was located, and the time of notarization.
  • If the document relates to a mortgage finance transaction, the notarial certificate may use the date stated within the body of the document, even if it precedes the date of completion of the notarial act.
  • The Notary must execute an affidavit under penalties of perjury that the Notary has: (a) received a copy of the signer’s current ID and visually inspected it during the first video conference; (b) obtained each signer’s verbal assent to any recording of the video conferences; (c) taken each signer’s affirmations as to their location in Massachusetts; and (d) been informed and noted on the affidavit any person present in the room with the signer, including a  statement of the person’s relationship to the signer. The Notary must retain this affidavit for 10 years.
  • If the Notary is a paralegal, the copy of a signer’s identification and the required Notary affidavit must be retained by the Notary’s supervising attorney if the notarization relates to the closing a transaction involving a mortgage or conveyance of real estate, any will, nomination of guardian or conservator, caregiver authorization affidavit, trust, durable power of attorney, health care proxy or authorization under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

This authorization is in effect until 3 business days after termination of the governor’s March 10, 2020, declaration of a state of emergency in Massachusetts.

Minnesota Extends Driver’s License, ID Card Expiration Dates

To help people unable to renew their driver’s licenses or state-issued IDs during the COVID-19 emergency, Minnesota House File 4531 extends the expiration dates of any Minnesota driver’s licenses or identification cards to the second month after the Governor terminates the current public health emergency. Thus, Minnesota Notaries may accept an expired driver's license or identification card during this time. Notaries must keep informed of the future date when the Governor lifts the emergency to ensure that any ID they accept after that time is currently valid.

Mississippi Issues Temporary RON Authorization Order

On April 6, Governor Tate Reeves signed an executive order temporarily authorizing Mississippi Notaries to perform notarizations for remotely located individuals. The executive order permits Notaries to use a RON platform to perform remote online notarizations or for paper documents to be mailed between the signer and Notary using a videoconference app.

Notaries must follow these steps when notarizing for a remotely located signer:

  • The signer must be identified through one or more of the following: (a) personal knowledge of the signer; (b) at least two different processes provided by a third party that identify the signer through a review of public or private data sources; (c) A government ID presented remotely through communication technology that includes the signer’s photograph and signature; (d) the oath or affirmation of a credible witness in the physical presence of the Notary or signer and who can communicate simultaneously with both by sight and sound electronically at the time of notarization. The credible witness must personally know the principal and be identified to the Notary using options (a) or (b) above.
  • The Notary must create an audiovisual recording of the notarization and retain the recording during the term of the Notary’s commission and renewals, unless state law requires otherwise or use an agent to create and store the recording.
  • The Notary must not have knowledge that the notarization requested by a signer located outside Mississippi is prohibited by the laws of the jurisdiction where the signer is located and the document itself must meet certain requirements, as specified.
  • For paper documents signed outside the Notary’s presence, the signing must be witnessed by the Notary using audiovisual communications technology, then physically mailed to the Notary for the Notary’s stamp and seal to be affixed. The official date of notarization is the date and time the Notary witnessed the signature being made via audiovisual communication.
  • When using a RON platform, the official date of notarization is the date and time the RON is performed.
  • In addition to the $5 per signature fee for each signature notarized, Mississippi Notaries my also charge an additional fee of $25 for any notarial act conducted when witnessing the signing of a document by a remotely located individual for the purpose of covering the cost of the remote online notarization platform.
  •  A Notary who has witnessed the signing of an electronic document by a remotely located signer may certify that a tangible copy of the electronic document is a true and correct copy in order to facilitate recording. The Notary must confirm that the signature on the eDocument must (a) be capable of independent verification and protected against later changes or tampering; (b) the Notary must personally print or supervise the printing of the eDocument; and (c) the Notary must not make any changes to the eDocument other than adding the required “certificate of electronic document” form.

Missouri Allows RON For Signers Located Within State Only

Missouri has issued an executive order temporarily allowing notarizations to be performed using audiovisual technology, but only for signers located within the state, and under the following conditions:

  • The Notary must be physically located within the borders of Missouri, and state which county the Notary is located in on the Notary certificate.
  • The Notary must be registered as an Electronic Notary Public if video conferencing is used with electronic documents. If paper documents are used, the Notary does not need to register as an Electronic Notary.
  • Any document notarized using audiovisual communication must include a Notary certificate that states the signer appeared remotely pursuant to Executive Order 20-08.
  • The signer must display a valid photo ID to the Notary during the video conference if the person is not personally known to the Notary.
  • The signer must affirm that he or she is physically located in Missouri to the Notary during the video conference.
  • The audiovisual conference must be live, interactive audiovisual interaction that allows for observation and direct communication at the time of signing.
  • The Notary must record in the journal the exact time and software used to perform the notarization, along with any other required journal information, except the signature of the principal.
  • The document must be signed electronically with software approved by the Secretary of State.
  • When notarizing eDocuments, the Electronic Notary must affix an electronic Notary seal to the electronic document.
  • When notarizing paper documents, a paper or electronic copy of the signed document must be mailed or otherwise sent to the Notary within five business days.
  • For purposes of notarizing via video conference, physical presence requirements for testators, settlors, principals, witnesses, Notaries or other persons required for the execution of estate planning documents such as wills, trusts or powers of attorney are temporarily waived and satisfied if the necessary parties are present through a video conference.
  • If the document presented for notarization through video conference must 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 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.

Update 5-19-20: Missouri Executive Order 20-08 has been extended through June 15, 2020.

Montana Emergency Order Allows Different Notary Seal Format For RON

An emergency rule issued by the Montana Secretary of State clarifies that for the duration of the state of emergency in Montana, official Montana Notary seal images used for remote and remote online notarizations may be different in size, format, content or border design, as long as the seal is reasonably consistent with the requirements of Administrative Rules of Montana Section 44.15.107. From the Secretary of State’s notice: "The Secretary of State is adopting the following emergency rule because of the sudden and unexpected need for remote online notarizations (RON) due to the COVID-19 crisis. Unprecedented demand has been placed on the approved providers of RON platforms to onboard qualified Montana notary applicants for technology-based notarial services as quickly as possible. Montana has unique requirements for the electronic notary seal/stamp that impose significant developmental time on the part of the platform providers. This will significantly delay the ability of the RON notary applicants to begin offering remote notary services to the people of Montana."

Nebraska Authorizes Early Start To RON

Originally Nebraska law authorizing remote online notarizations was scheduled to take effect July 1, 2020. However, Governor Ricketts issued an executive order allowing the Secretary of State to immediately implement RON in Nebraska.

New Hampshire Okays Emergency Remote Notarization

The New Hampshire Governor has issued Executive Order 2020-04 #11 permitting the state’s Notaries and all notarial officers to perform remote notarizations for the duration of the State of Emergency.

To perform a remote notarization:

  • The Notary and signer must be able to see and communicate with each other simultaneously.
  • The signer must be identified through either personal knowledge; 2 types of third-party identity verification systems; or a credible identifying witness.
  • An audio-visual record of the notarization is kept for as long as the Notary is commissioned.

For a complete list of provisions and requirements, review the Executive Order.

New Jersey Notaries, Notarial Officers Temporarily Allowed To Perform Remote Notarizations

Assembly 3903 temporarily authorizes New Jersey Notaries and notarial officers to perform remote notarizations during the public health emergency declared by the Governor effective as of April 14 using the following rules:

  • The Notary or officer must identify the signer through one of the following methods: (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.
  • The Notary or officer must reasonably confirm that the record presented to the Notary is the same one in which the remotely located individual made a statement or executed a signature.
  • The Notary or officer must create an audiovisual recording of the notarization, which must be retained for a period of at least 10 years after the recording is made.
  • If the signer is located outside the United States, the document may only be notarized by the New Jersey Notary or officer if the document (a) is to be filed with or relates to a matter before a public official, court, government entity or other entity under U.S. jurisdiction; or (b) involve property located in the United States’ territorial jurisdiction or involve a transactions substantially connected to the United States.
  • If the signer is located outside the United States, the notarization requested must not be prohibited by the foreign state where the signer is located.
  • The notarial certificate must indicate the notarization was performed using communication technology.
  • The state Treasurer is authorized to implement additional rules or provisions necessary to perform remote notarizations.

New Mexico Executive Order Allows Video Conferencing For Notarizations 

New Mexico Governor Michelle Grisham issues an executive order allowing Notaries to temporarily provide notarizations on paper documents using video conference technology through June 20, 2020.

The signer must transmit a legible copy of the signed document to the Notary and any required witnesses by fax or electronic means, and if not personally known to the Notary, the signer must present satisfactory evidence of identity during the video conference.

Once the Notary has received a legible copy of the document, the Notary may notarize the document and transmit the notarized document back to the signer.

The Notary and signer must be in New Mexico during the notarization, and both must affirmatively state this during the video conference. 

Governor Grisham expressly directs the Notary Commission Enforcement Unit not to bring any cases against Notaries who perform notarial acts in compliance with this order.

New York Remote Notarization Executive Order

Updated 5-19-20. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing notarizations using audio-video technology in place of physical appearance under certain conditions. This option allows New York Notaries and signers to practice the necessary “social distancing” required to reduce risk of contracting COVID-19. The order is in effect through May 28, 2020.

To use audiovisual technology to communicate during the notarization, the Notary and signer must comply with the following requirements:

  • The person seeking the Notary's services, if not personally known to the Notary, must present valid photo ID to the Notary during the video conference. The signer may not present ID prior to or after the notarization.
  • The video conference must allow for direct interaction between the person and the Notary (e.g. no pre-recorded videos of the person signing).
  • The person must affirmatively represent that he or she is physically located in the State of New York.
  • The person must transmit by fax or electronic means a legible copy of the signed document directly to the Notary on the same date it was signed. 
  • The Notary may notarize the transmitted copy of the document and transmit the same back to the person.
  • The Notary may repeat the notarization of the original signed document as of the date of execution provided the Notary receives such original signed document together with the electronically notarized copy within thirty days after the date of execution.

On March 31, the New York Department of State issued additional official guidelines for implementing Governor Cuomo’s remote notarization order, including the following:

  • Notaries must place the Notary’s commission expiration date and county where the Notary is commissioned on the document. 
  • If the Notary and signer are in different counties, the Notary should indicate on the document the county where each person is located.
  • An electronic document sent to the Notary can be sent in any electronic format (e.g. PDF, JPEG, TIFF) provided it is a legible copy.
  • The Notary must print and sign the document in ink and may not use an electronic signature to notarize the document. However, the signer may 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). 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.
  • If the Notary receives the original document within 30 days following a remote notarization, the Notary may perform a physical notarization again for the document using the original date of the remote notarization.
  • The Department of State recommends keeping a Notary log of each remote notarization.

North Carolina Publishes Notary Social Distancing Guidelines, Enacts Emergency Video Notarization Law

Senate Bill 704, which was signed and took effect May 4, 2020, enacts a temporary authorization for Notaries to perform emergency video notarizations until August 1, 2020, following North Carolina video notarization requirements set by the Secretary of State. The Notary and the principal must use real-time, direct audiovisual communication for the notarization. Both must verify that they are present in North Carolina at the time of the notarization and identify the county or counties where they are located at the time of the notarial act.

Secretary of State Elaine Marshall has also published Notary social distancing recommendations in order to reduce physical contact and risk of contagion during an in-person notarization, including the following:

  • Keep a safe distance from the principal at all times (minimum of 6 feet) – Standing at the opposite ends of a 6’ conference table or passing documents through a bank teller’s glass window satisfies the personal appearance requirement. No handshaking is required.
  • Do not share pens – have them bring their own, sanitize after usage or gift them.
  • Wear gloves and a mask – provide them for the principal signers also. 
  • Do not touch the identification card or document – view it from the desk/tabletop.
  • Arrange the documents such that each document needing to be notarized is grouped together, the amount of time being spent with the signer can be dramatically reduced.
  • Have the signer sign all signatures that require an acknowledgment prior to the meeting (acknowledged signatures do not need to be signed in front of the Notary; they simply must be acknowledged)
  • Identify each page requiring a signature to be notarized prior to the notarial act so you can have the signer acknowledge each signature simultaneously i.e. “Do you acknowledge that you willingly signed page 2, 4, 6, 8 & 12?”
  • In the case where an oath is required on any of the documents, the signature must be made in the presence of the Notary who would also must administer an oath or an affirmation. When multiple oaths are required the notary may administer one single oath for all of the documents i.e. “Do you swear that the information on pages 1, 3, 5, and 9 is true so help you God?”
  • After positively identifying the principal and administering the oath/affirmation or taking their acknowledgment the Notary may relocate to another room to complete the notarial certificate(s) as the law does not require the certificates to be completed in the presence of the principal signer N.C.G.S.10B-20(C)(1).
  • Use sticky tabs to indicate where the principal needs to sign your journal.

North Dakota Issues Guidance For Remote Notarization

North Dakota law allows Notaries commissioned in the state to perform Remote Online Notarization (RON). The Secretary of State’s office issued guidance this week regarding what Notaries must do to begin performing RONs.

The Notary must provide the following information to the Secretary of State’s office:

  1. Notice that the Notary will be performing notarial acts for remotely located individuals.
  2. The name of the remote notarization service provider they will use for RON. 

This information may be provided by e-mail to sosaccnot@nd.gov, by fax to (701) 328-0107, or by letter to North Dakota Secretary of State, 600 E Boulevard Avenue, Dept 108, Bismarck ND 58505-0500.

Here are some of the companies that provide RON solutions. (NOTE: This is not a complete list of providers, and the Secretary of State’s office does not endorse any provider. Nor does it require one be selected from the list.)

When selecting a RON solution provider, Notaries must make sure that the provider can and will comply with all North Dakota legal requirements because not all solutions do. For example, a provider may have technology that satisfies the personal appearance requirement using communication technology, but it may not record and retain the audiovisual recording for ten years as required by state law.

Any questions regarding RON may be emailed to sosaccnot@nd.gov.

Oregon Releases Safety Recommendations For Notaries During COVID-19

Oregon’s Secretary of State has released recommended safety practices for Notaries to follow during the COVID-19 crisis, including the following: 

  • Have hand sanitizer with you at all times.
  • Wash your hands after notarizing.
  • Don’t reuse pens that are being used for signing.
  • Laminate two pieces of paper to use in your journal so that the only exposed are is the section that needs to be signed. Clean the laminated paper after each use.
  • Notarize with a plastic or glass shield between you and the customer.
  • Always keep safety first.

Pennsylvania Permits Temporary RON For All Notaries, Announces Notary Appointments Resume May 15, 2020

Update 5-29-20: The Pennsylvania Department of State has received confirmation from Pearson VUE, the Department’s Notary testing vendor, that it has extended Notary exam authorizations to December 31, 2020 for any Notary candidate whose exam-authorized status expired or will expire from March 1, 2020 - June 30, 2020. Any applicant whose exam authorization expired during this period (March 1 – June 30) is now able to schedule an examination at any of the available Pearson VUE test centers until the end of the year.

As noted in the Department’s COVID-19 Notary Public FAQs, the best way for a candidate to find an open exam center is to log into their Pearson VUE account and search for a location/date/time. When candidates log into their Pearson VUE account, they will be able to search for an exam date/time and the exam centers that are open will populate in the search. New applicants who are not yet exam-authorized but submit applications before June 30 will also receive this extension.

***

The Pennsylvania Department of State has not appointed or reappointed Notaries since March 11, 2020 due to the COVID-19 emergency. The Department of State has announced they will resume Notary appointments on May 15, 2020, and the Governor has extended the 45-day deadline for qualifying appointed Notaries to be sworn and record their bonds, oaths and commissions in the counties, up to an additional 30 days. The extension applies to Notaries whose commissions expired March 1 through the end of the disaster declaration. The actual number of days of the extension depends on each Notary, since they have different commission expiration dates, and whether the county recorder of deeds and prothonotary offices are open.

Senate Bill 841, effective as of April 20, temporarily authorizes all Pennsylvania Notaries to notarize any record for a remotely located individual using communications technology. This law supersedes the previous emergency Notary orders announced by the Department of State. Previously, only certain real estate and estate-planning documents could be notarized using remote online notarization.

All Notaries who want to use audio-visual technology as an alternative to personal appearance must:

  1. Become an approved Pennsylvania electronic notary by submitting a free application.
  2. Use an e-notary solution already approved by the Department that offers remote notarization technology.
  3. Indicate in the notarial certificate that the notarial act was performed by means of communication technology. The following statement will satisfy that requirement: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”

RON providers approved by the Department:

Notaries must execute all notarial acts in accordance with all other requirements of state law.

Rhode Island Permits Remote Notarization During COVID-19 Emergency

Rhode Island has published temporary remote notarization standards during the COVID-19 emergency in its Standards of Conduct for Notaries Public in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The standards permit Rhode Island Notaries to perform remote notarizations under the following conditions:

  • The Notary must register with the Rhode Island Department of State, providing information about the RON technology provider that will be used and an example of the Notary’s electronic signature and stamp.
  • The Notary and signer must communicate simultaneously via sight and sound through an electronic process at the time of notarization.
  • The Notary must identify the remotely located signer by one or more of the following methods: (a) Two types of identity proofing; (b) oath or affirmation of a credible witness either in the physical presence of the Notary or signer, or who is able to communicate with the Notary and signer remotely by sight or sound electronically at the time of notarization; or (c) personal knowledge.
  • Any credible witness who identifies a signer must be personally known to the signer and either personally known to the Notary or identified by two forms of identity proofing.
  • The Notary must create an audiovisual recording of the notarization and retain the recording personally or through a designated repository for at least 10 years unless state law requires otherwise.
  • The documents for remote notarizations for signers outside the borders of Rhode Island must either (a) relate to a document for a court, government entity, public official or other U.S. entity or (b) involve property located in the United States or a transaction substantially connected to the United States. In addition the Notary must not have knowledge that the act of signing or making the statement notarized is prohibited in the jurisdiction where the signer is located.
  • After a remote notarization, the signer must mail the signed copy of the document to the Notary for the Notary to complete a notarial certificate with the Notary’s signature and official seal. The official date and time of the remote notarization is the date and time the Notary witnessed the signature via electronic communication.

Texas ‘Revises’ Signer ID Requirements, Temporarily Permits Remote Ink-Signed Notarizations

On April 8, Governor Greg Abbott issued an order temporarily allowing signers to appear before a Notary via video conference.  The Governor suspended several statutes requiring certain estate-related document to be executed in the physical presence of the Notary. Full information can be found at the state’s website announcement.

Texas Department of Public Safety announced that it is extending the expiration date of Texas identification cards, driver’s licenses, commercial driver’s licenses, commercial license permits or election identification certificates for the duration of the Governor’s declaration of State Disaster plus 60 days after the Department issues public notice that the extension period for this disaster declaration has been lifted. This applies to the above identification documents set to expire on or after March 13, 2020.

In other words, any of these ID documents with expiration dates of March 13, 2020, or later are still considered valid and current for 60 days after the State of Disaster is lifted.

For example, if the disaster declaration is lifted on April 20, a driver’s license with a March 25, 2020, expiration date would still be considered valid until June 19. Because Texas Notaries may only a current, state or federal government-issued identification document as proof of identity, this card would be acceptable until June 19.

Here are some steps to follow when accepting an ID covered under the Department of Public Safety’s order:

  • Confirm the expiration and not the issuance date on the ID. A Texas driver license and identification card shows both. The issuance date appears in black and the expiration date opposite it in red.
  • Keep apprised of the status of the disaster declaration of State Disaster and watch for the Department’s further public notice that normal operations have resumed.
  • Do not apply the Department’s extension to any other ID not mentioned in the public notice.
  • Note in the journal entry that the ID presented was extended by the Department of Public Safety’s March 18, 2020 public notification.

Tennessee Temporarily Authorizes Remote Ink-Signed Notarizations (RIN)

Tennessee’s Governor has signed two executive orders — Executive Order 26 and Executive Order 37 — temporarily authorizing documents to be signed, and notarized using videoconference technology, using the following rules:

  • The signer and Notary must communicate directly using real-time audio and visual communication. Tennessee’s emergency rules allow Tennessee Notaries to use videoconference technology such as Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, WebEx and other similar communication technologies for RIN (though Notaries are not limited to using only these technologies).
  • The signer, Notary and any witnesses must all be physically located in Tennessee during the real-time audiovisual communication.
  • The Notary must verify the identity of the signer using personal knowledge or government-issued ID at the time the document is signed.
  • The signer must identify the document being signed and witnessed during audiovisual communication with the Notary.
  • The Notary must be able to capture the signing and witnessing of the document on video. The document must also include a provision stating it was executed in compliance executed in compliance with, as applicable, Executive Order No. 26 by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, dated April 9, 2020, and/or Executive Order No. 37 by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, dated May 12, 2020.
  • The original document must be physically notarized by the Notary no later than 10 calendar days after the execution of the document.
  • This emergency order does not prevent Notaries from perform remote online notarization (RON) according to the permanent laws already established in Tennessee, but the executive order does not require a Tennessee Notary to be commissioned as an Online Notary or follow Tennessee’s RON laws in order to perform RINs under the temporary order.

These executive orders permit RIN through June 30, 2020.

Vermont Permits Remote Notarization Of Paper Documents 

Vermont enacted a law in 2018 authorizing remote online notarization. However, the law did not allow remote online notarizations to be performed until the Secretary of State published rules to implement the new law.

The Vermont Secretary of State issued an emergency administrative rules permitting signers and Notaries to satisfy the personal appearance requirement via a secure communication link. However, the emergency rules only apply to paper documents and “do not permit electronic notarization or remote online notarization of electronic documents.”

In order to perform a notarization in this manner:

  • The signer must be in Vermont.
  • The Notary must verify the signer’s identity either through personal knowledge, a credible witness or 2 different types if identification presented by the signer.
  • The notarization must be “performed on a tangible (paper) record” either sent to the Notary in its original paper form or transmitted electronically and printed out by the Notary.
  • The notarial certificate must be hand-written, imprinted by a stamp or embosser, or both on the document.
  • The Notary — or a person acting on their behalf — a must create an audio-visual recording of the notarization and retain it for at least 7 years.

For a complete set of requirements, review the rules on the Secretary’s website, which also includes COVID-19 guidance. On April 28, Senate Bill 316 took effect in Vermont, temporarily allowing witnesses to a last will to personally appear by remote means to sign self-proving affidavits.

Washington State Temporarily Makes RON Law Effective

The Washington Governor issued a Proclamation regarding the delayed effective date of Senate Bill 5641, which authorized notarial acts to be performed for remotely located individuals. The new law was supposed to take effect on October 1, 2020, but the emergency Proclamation makes the new law effective temporarily through May 31, 2020 or the end of the COVID-19 emergency, whichever comes first. Notaries must follow the state's remote notarization emergency rules

West Virginia Suspends Personal Appearance Requirements, Allows Remote Notary Communication

West Virginia has issued an executive order suspending the personal appearance requirement for notarizations during the COVID-19 emergency and any future similar emergency, and the state has published guidelines for Notaries to communicate with signers using remote communication.

Under emergency rules issued by the Secretary of State, West Virginia Notaries must follow these guidelines when notarizing without personal appearance:

  • The Notary and signer must be able to communicate simultaneously by sight and sound through an electronic device, technology or process at the time of notarization.
  • The Notary must identify the signer through one or more of the following: (a) personal knowledge of the signer; (b) at least one current document or record including the signer’s photograph, name and signature, such as a driver’s license or passport; (c) at least 2 different processes or services provided by a third party to verify the signer’s identity through a review of public or private data sources; (d) the oath or affirmation of a credible witness in the physical presence of either the Notary or signer who can communicate with both simultaneously through an electronic device or process at the time of notarization. The credible witness must have personal knowledge of the signer and the witness must be reasonably identified by the Notary using options (a) or (b) above.
  • The Notary or an agent directed by a Notary, must create and maintain an audio and visual recording of the signing and notarization for the duration of the Notary’s commission and any renewals, unless a new West Virginia law changes this requirement.
  • If the signer is located outside the borders of West Virginia, the following additional requirements must be met: (a) The Notary must be commissioned as an Out-of-State Commissioner under W. Va. Code § 39-4A-1; (b) The Notary must not have knowledge that the act of making the statement or signing the record is prohibited by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the signer is physically located; (c) The record must be intended for filing with or relate to a matter before a court, governmental entity, public official, or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of West Virginia; or involve property located in the territorial jurisdiction of West Virginia or a transaction substantially connected to the State of West Virginia; or must be otherwise permitted by West Virginian law to be notarized outside the state of West Virginia.
  • After being identified by the Notary, the signer must mail the signed copy of the documents to the Notary for certification and execution with the Notary’s signature and official stamp or seal. The official date and time of the notarization is the date and time when the Notary witnessed the signature using the technology or process used to communicate with the signer.

Wisconsin Designates Remote Notarization Providers

Wisconsin enacted Assembly Bill 293 on March 5 authorizing Notaries in the state to perform remote online notarizations. The law is set, which goes into effect on May 1, also gives the state Department of Financial Institutions authority to make emergency regulations to implement its provisions.

The Department of Financial Institutions last week issued emergency guidance immediately authorizing remote notarization in the state.

The Department has approved 5 remote notarization service providers: Notarize.com and NotaryCam, which provide remote notary services to the general public; and Pavaso, DocVerify or Nexsys, which provide them for title companies and other real-estate transactions.

Notaries who wish to perform remote notarizations need to go one of these providers and take their training to use their platforms. Once the Notary completes the training with one of the approved providers, the provider will inform the Department, and the Notary can begin performing remote online notarizations using the provider’s platform.

Wyoming Issues Emergency RON Guidelines

The Wyoming Secretary of State’s office has issued temporary RON guidelines allowing Notaries to perform remote online notarizations until July 1, 2020 or the Governor lifts the current state of emergency, whichever comes first.

Wyoming Notaries must complete training from an approved RON provider from the list provided in the guidelines and submit a RON Notice of Intent form to the Secretary of State’s office in order to perform remote online notarizations.

This article will be updated as other states issue guidance.

Congress Considering Remote Notarization Bill

U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) have introduced the “Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020” that would authorize remote online notarizations nationwide.

The Notary Bulletin is following the bill and will update our community with any important developments.

 

 

209 Comments

Add your comment

Tabatha Ledford

25 Mar 2020

Any updates regarding Alabama?

National Notary Association

25 Mar 2020

Hello. We do not have any new Alabama information at this time. However, if we receive any, we will update our information in the Bulletin as soon as possible.

Lisa

25 Mar 2020

Lets GO MO!!! (Missouri)

Derek Jensen

25 Mar 2020

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee has immediately allowed for the use of electronic/remote notarization, with specific conditions authorized in Senate Bill 5641 (originally slated to go into effect Oct. 1, 2020). see: http://wsba2.informz.net/z/cjUucD9taT0yOTEzNzY4JnA9MSZ1PTM3Mjk4OTA5OCZsaT0yMzExMzYxNw/index.html

National Notary Association

26 Mar 2020

Hello Derek. Thank you for sharing this. We've added the new information for Washington to this article (https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization) and will update with more information as state officials release it.

Brenda L Valdez

25 Mar 2020

Any info in Massachusetts

National Notary Association

26 Mar 2020

Hello. We do not have information on special rules issued for Massachusetts at this time. However, the situation is very fluid and if we receive word about any changes, we will update our coverage in the Bulletin to let you know as soon as possible.

Ernesto Leandro

26 Mar 2020

Any updates regarding California. Are they approving California to do (RON)?

National Notary Association

26 Mar 2020

Hello. Not at this time, however, the situation is very fluid and if we receive information about any changes, we will update our coverage in the Bulletin to let you know as soon as possible.

Louise Wilkeson

26 Mar 2020

Checking on the state of Virginia

National Notary Association

26 Mar 2020

Hello. Virginia has existing rules in place authorizing Notaries to apply to perform remote online notarizations. You can find more information here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2018/06/remote-notarization-what-you-need-to-know. Also Virginia has extended the pickup date for some Notary commissions between January and February 2020-announcement is here: https://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/official-documents/notary-commissions/

Lisa

26 Mar 2020

Lets GO MO!!! (Missouri)

Latricia Glass

26 Mar 2020

Any information about Alabama

National Notary Association

26 Mar 2020

Hello. We have no new Alabama information at this time, but please continue to watch the Bulletin for updates as this has been a rapidly developing situation and we will continue to update our articles with new details as we receive them.

Christina

26 Mar 2020

Hoping that Delaware makes an announcement soon!

Rose Lilliette Benefield

26 Mar 2020

What about the state of South Carolina?

National Notary Association

27 Mar 2020

Hello. We have not received word of any new special Notary guidelines for South Carolina at this time. If we receive any new information, we will update our coverage here in the Bulletin as soon as possible.

Randy Lazarus

26 Mar 2020

What is the update for CA?

National Notary Association

27 Mar 2020

Hello. For the most recent information received for California, please see this article: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/ca-sos-notaries-work-special-order. If we receive any new California information, we will update our coverage here as soon as possible.

Linda

27 Mar 2020

Anything on NJ? Also any guidance on whether this would be acceptable for a Will sigining?

National Notary Association

27 Mar 2020

Hello, Linda. We should have more information available later today. Please check this article for updates: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization. We apologize for any inconvenience-we are working to get updates published as fast as we can, but there have been a tremendous number of emergency orders issued in the past 48 hours by different states, and we are working through getting them confirmed and published as soon as possible.

National Notary Association

27 Mar 2020

Hello, Linda. Regarding your question about New Jersey, we understand that there is new legislation moving forward but it has not yet been enacted. As soon as any new laws or orders are enacted, we will update our New Jersey readers with more information.

Mitzi Juarez

27 Mar 2020

What about Indiana?

National Notary Association

27 Mar 2020

Hello. We have no new information on Indiana at this time, but will update our coverage here in the Bulletin if we receive any changes in your state's situation.

Nancy Mosher

27 Mar 2020

Michigan remote yet?

National Notary Association

27 Mar 2020

Hello. Not at present. However, we are monitoring the progress of the proposed federal bill and other state emergency guidelines for Notaries and will update our readers as the situation develops.

Randall C. Chafin

27 Mar 2020

Anything new from the Great State of Ohio, a state which recently changed and increased cost of notarial public certificates and renewals?

National Notary Association

27 Mar 2020

Hello. Not at present, but should that change we will update our articles to let you know.

Golden Gate Mobile Notary & Apostille

27 Mar 2020

We haven't heard anything yet in California. While people are certainly asking on the daily, we cannot yet legally perform RON in our State. Cheers, Golden Gate Mobile Notary & Apostille Ph: 415-318-0163 W: https://www.goldengatenotary.net E: kyle@goldengatenotary.net

Craig

29 Mar 2020

You’ve left out OnlineNotary.net also available for general use.

Jose

30 Mar 2020

You forgot New Jersey!!

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. We are monitoring the situation in New Jersey and will update our coverage with more information as it becomes available.

Maya Joseph

30 Mar 2020

Are there any updates on New Jersey?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. Not yet, however we are monitoring the situation in New Jersey and will update our coverage with more information as it becomes available.

Davida Benson

30 Mar 2020

Are there any updates for Delaware?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. We have not received any new information for Delaware at this time, but should that change, we will update our coverage as soon as possible.

Reagan

30 Mar 2020

After the Texas Governor extended ID's Expiration dates; I call the Texas Secretary of State's office for clarification. They explained that while they would not reprimand a notary for accepting the expired ID; they did have concerns at to weather it was in fact a valid notary. Notary rules are established by our legislation not the governor's office; therefore, a Judge could rule that the notary service was not valid.

Mitzi Juarez

30 Mar 2020

Any updates for Indiana?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. Not at this time, but if we receive any we will update our coverage in the Bulletin as soon as possible.

Thomas

30 Mar 2020

Any information about Tennessee?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. No new information at present; however should we receive any Tennessee updates we will add them to our Notary coverage as soon as possible.

Jeanette

30 Mar 2020

Is RON legal in Missouri? If so, is there any special documentation to submit?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. No, RON is not legal in Missouri at this time. However, if we receive any news about new emergency rules changes in the state, we will update our coverage to let our readers know as soon as we can.

Judy

30 Mar 2020

What is the status on this for Arizona?

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Please see the information for Arizona in the article above.

Patsy Latin

30 Mar 2020

Any update for RON in Louisiana? SOS is not responding. Thanks!

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hello. We're sorry, we've received no new information about Louisiana at this time, but if that changes we will let our readers know as soon as possible.

Brittany Cacciottoli

30 Mar 2020

Can a notary who is licensed in IL and MO, but resides in IL notarize a MO deed remotely with the new law? We are closing on a house in MO but currently live in IL and would like a way to sign the MO documents remotely.

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. The Illinois executive order requires the IL Notary and any signers to be physically located in the state of Illinois at the time of notarization and follow all other guidelines in the order.

Lori

30 Mar 2020

Have you heard anything on Colorado? I thought it was supposed to come out today.

National Notary Association

30 Mar 2020

Hello. We have just updated this article with new information from Colorado.

Rhonda Shrum

31 Mar 2020

Anything for Oklahoma?

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hello. Oklahoma has authorized Notaries to perform remote notarizations. Please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/answers-urgent-questions-notaries-ron

Luis Borunda

31 Mar 2020

For updates in the State of Maryland please contact Assistant Secretary of State Kathy Smith at kathleen.smith1@maryland.gov

Mark L. Volz

31 Mar 2020

So, in New York State, how does a Notary make sure "...person must affirmatively represent that he or she is physically located in the State of New York." ?

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hello. For example, during the notarization, the signer can say to you, "Yes, I am physically located within the state of New York."

Audrey

31 Mar 2020

Any word on whether the District of Columbia will provide for RON?

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hello. Not at present, but if this changes we will notify our readers as soon as possible.

Carol King

31 Mar 2020

We need RON in California for a Power of Attorney for hospitalized patient. Can out of State notary do this, since California doesn't allow?

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hello. Please see information from the CA Secretary of State's office on this topic here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/ca-sos-notaries-work-special-order

Hollie Barker

31 Mar 2020

Any updates for California? We have heard some counties are allowing.

National Notary Association

31 Mar 2020

Hello. The most recent information for CA can be found here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/ca-sos-notaries-work-special-order

Mark L. Volz

01 Apr 2020

I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but does the charge rate of $2 in New York Ste remain the same?

National Notary Association

01 Apr 2020

Hello Mark. There have been no changes to New York's Notary fee schedule at this time.

Jacqueline C Leiva

01 Apr 2020

hello, is there any on line notary to know about and get certified in for NJ?

National Notary Association

01 Apr 2020

Hello. We are currently in the process of processing and updating new information for a large number of states, and will be posting more updates here over the next few days. Please keep checking this article for new information.

Mark L. Volz

01 Apr 2020

Concerning a New York State Notary: when the client presents his/her ID to the NYS Notary's web camera, is it ok to record the entire notary act?

National Notary Association

01 Apr 2020

Hello Mark. The NY executive order and Department of State guidelines do not address making a audiovisual recording of the notarization. The Department of State recommends, but does not require, keeping a Notary journal log of each remote notarization you perform.

Ashley J

01 Apr 2020

Any update on Massachusetts?

National Notary Association

01 Apr 2020

Hello. We are currently in the process of processing and updating new information for a large number of states, and will be posting more updates here over the next few days. Please keep checking this article for new information.

Robin A Holstein

01 Apr 2020

West Virginia just adopted emergency RON today.

Meghan

02 Apr 2020

Hello - Illinois question. Are we required to have a printer to print out a document, stamp it with the seal, then scan it back in? Or can we hand-write the necessary details for notarization, stamp and sign that, and scan it to the signer? Additionally - what if the notarization requests witnesses?

National Notary Association

03 Apr 2020

Hello. As stated in the guidelines issued by the state, Notaries also have the option of using a RON platform that meets industry standards and the requirements of the governor's executive order. Please see section 2 (d) and (i) for information about witnesses in the governor's executive order: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/notary/executiveorder2020-14.pdf

Misty

02 Apr 2020

Do you have an update on the expiration dated for Florida? It show March 27

National Notary Association

03 Apr 2020

Hello. We apologize, but we are not finding the March 27 expiration date you are referring to in our information. Can you please tell us where you found this reference?

Sherry

03 Apr 2020

New update with Georgia?

National Notary Association

03 Apr 2020

Hello. Due to the unusually large number of new orders issued by different states in the past few days, we in an ongoing process of updating our state emergency Notary rules information. As we reviewed and confirm any new instructions we receive from state officials, we will update our articles here in the Bulletin as soon as we can. Please keep checking back here for new updates.

Nancy

03 Apr 2020

Any update for Rhode Island?

National Notary Association

06 Apr 2020

Hello. Not at this time, however, if that changes we will update this article as soon as we can.

Linda Chong

04 Apr 2020

Do you know if California will become a RON state?

National Notary Association

06 Apr 2020

Hello. We have not received any information about new rules for RON in California at this time. However, the situation has been rapidly changing in many states and if we receive any new updates for California, we will let our readers know as soon as possible.

Lauralee Beck

04 Apr 2020

Any updates on Oregon?

National Notary Association

06 Apr 2020

Hello. Not at this time.

Mark J J Farrell

05 Apr 2020

My client lives in Saudi Arabia and wants a document issued in California notarised. Can he use the remote notarisation process and if so how

National Notary Association

06 Apr 2020

Hello. Different states have different laws and guidelines regarding RON. Notaries must always comply with state law regarding RON requirements. If you can tell us what state you are commissioned in, we can provide you with more specific information, but you can also find information on various state guidelines here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization and here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/answers-urgent-questions-notaries-ron

Kimberly

06 Apr 2020

Are there any updates for South Carolina?

National Notary Association

06 Apr 2020

Hello. Not at this time.

Evelyn L Bennett

06 Apr 2020

Any word if or when California may follow suit?

National Notary Association

06 Apr 2020

Hello. Not at this time. Current guidance for California can be found here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/ca-sos-notaries-work-special-order

Donna Mastrantonio

06 Apr 2020

I have not seen anything about New Jersey. I wondered if there are any changes being made for NJ but I assume not at this time. Thanks.

National Notary Association

06 Apr 2020

Hello. As soon as we have any new confirmed information, we will update this article.

Henry

06 Apr 2020

Hi, Looking to be a RON for the state of Utah, any information would help. I’m already certified with NNA as NSA.

National Notary Association

06 Apr 2020

Hello. Please see here: https://notary.utah.gov/2020/03/19/the-process-to-become-a-remote-notary/

Maralee Stottlemyer

06 Apr 2020

I live in Wyoming and we got a letter from the secretary of the state stating Wyoming can perform RON until July 1st or other updates are given. Is there a way to add this so we can have RON in Wyoming?

National Notary Association

06 Apr 2020

Hello. Information for Wyoming can be found here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/law-updates/wy-emergency-guidance-on-remote-online-notarization-2020 and we will be updating this article with WY information as soon as possible.

Caroline Wong

06 Apr 2020

What is going on with State of California??

Tara

06 Apr 2020

Why is CA doing nothing?! This is so frustrating as an estate planner.

Sharad sharma

06 Apr 2020

When is California going to allow RON

Lucia Acosta

06 Apr 2020

Hello I'm a loan signing agent in Calif and we are loosing clients to RON even though we are NOT a RON state. The SOS has not approved RON for Calif. Can you please tell us whats going on? Is this even legal?

National Notary Association

07 Apr 2020

Hello. Please see this article for recent information and guidance from the CA Secretary of State's office for Notaries during this emergency: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/ca-sos-notaries-work-special-order

Margaret Tate

07 Apr 2020

Any new updates for Georgia and South Carolina? I appreciate NNA for all updates.

National Notary Association

07 Apr 2020

Hello. Not at this time, but if that changes we will update our Bulletin articles with COVID-19 information.

Hellen Zamora

07 Apr 2020

Any updates in California? By when should we know if it will be nationwide?

National Notary Association

07 Apr 2020

Hello. Not at this time.

Stephan

07 Apr 2020

In this article "https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/ca-sos-notaries-work-special-order" it appears CA residents are allowed to use RON from other states. Is this also permitted in AZ?

National Notary Association

08 Apr 2020

Hello. A signer in Arizona could request RON services from a Notary commissioned in a different state that authorizes remote notarizations for out-of-state signers, provided the notarization requested is not prohibited in Arizona. The remote notarization would also have to meet all requirements of the state where the remote Notary is commissioned. However, please note that a receiving agency is not required to accept this notarization. The signer should contact the receiving agency first to confirm they will accept a remotely notarized document.

Stephanie Hodge

07 Apr 2020

I see Texas and driver’s license extension, what about RON in Texas?

National Notary Association

08 Apr 2020

Hello. Texas already has existing laws in place authorizing qualified Notaries to perform RON. Please see here for more information on the application process: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/about-notaries/how-to-become-a-notary-public/how-to-become-a-remote-online-notary#TexasRON

Lisa

08 Apr 2020

I am a signing agent. Do I get to choose the approved software with the various companies I work with? I can't imagine signing up and learning various companies specifications.

National Notary Association

09 Apr 2020

Hello Lisa. To help us answer your question can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Lisa

08 Apr 2020

How can a signing agent be expected to sign up and potentially pay for various RON software if title companies use different software platforms? Couldn't that potentially limit our work and/or be an added expense? Some of the software companies are asking for a ridiculous amount of $$.

Lisa

08 Apr 2020

How can a signing agent be expected to sign up and potentially pay for various RON software if title companies use different software platforms? Couldn't that potentially limit our work and/or be an added expense? Some of the software companies are asking for a ridiculous amount of $$.

Stephan

08 Apr 2020

In this article "https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/ca-sos-notaries-work-special-order" it appears CA residents are allowed to use RON from other states. Is this also permitted in AZ?

National Notary Association

09 Apr 2020

Hello. Please see our answer to your previously posted question above in the comments, dated 08 April 2020.

MisterJ

08 Apr 2020

Hello, The Washington State Department of Licensing has provided additional direction on remote/electronic notarization: https://info.dol.wa.gov/remote-option-temporarily-available-for-notaries/

J. Martinez

09 Apr 2020

Someone asked about Louisiana allowing for RONs. Governor Edwards has been allowing for it for certain notarizations to be done remotely in his recent executive orders. The most recent information can be found here in Section 5, Subsection C: https://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/Proclamations/2020/41-JBE-2020-Stay-At-Home-Extended.pdf

Bobbie Suzanne Fitz

09 Apr 2020

Any updates regarding Missouri accepting RON?

National Notary Association

13 Apr 2020

Hello. Please continue to check here for updates this week.

Jeff R. Hawkins

12 Apr 2020

This is the link to the Indiana Supreme Court's emergency order authorizing remote notarization: https://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-other-2020-20S-ms-236.pdf

Kate Darst Hatfield

13 Apr 2020

MO approved RON last week

Torr Melling

13 Apr 2020

Since this information is changing almost daily, would it be possible to somehow highlight the updated information on this page?

Margaret Tate

13 Apr 2020

Henry Palmer

13 Apr 2020

Hi, I didn’t see anything or updates for the State of Utah?

National Notary Association

13 Apr 2020

Hello. Utah has enacted laws authorizing Notaries to perform RON and is accepting applications to do so, according to the Lt. Governor's website. Please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2018/06/remote-notarization-what-you-need-to-know

Lynn

13 Apr 2020

Is there any info for the state of Nevada regarding RON

National Notary Association

13 Apr 2020

Hello. Nevada has enacted laws authorizing qualified Notaries to perform RONs. For more information, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2018/06/remote-notarization-what-you-need-to-know

Teresa Gyure

13 Apr 2020

I am in PA. The Title Companies are still sending out job offers and asking us to either do in-person signings or curbside signings using Facetime, Zoom, etc,. and Notaries are still doing all of the above. They are convinced that the Title Companies would not ask them to do anything that was BARRED in our state. Will the Notaries doing these assignments be held accountable and could the transactions that they did during our STAY AT HOME order by the Governor end up being invalid?

National Notary Association

13 Apr 2020

Hello. Pennsylvania has issued emergency guidelines authorizing RON for certain Notaries and types of documents. Please see here for details: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/states-emergency-action-remote-notarization

ALAN W WALDO

13 Apr 2020

That's a lot more to this proclamation but in part Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey, April 2, 2020 proclaimed: "Notaries appointed in Alabama may notarize signatures through videoconferencing programs, and confirm the signatures of witnesses who participate virtually through videoconferencing, as though they were physically present at the signing - provided that they maintain a recording of the audio-visual communication for a period of five years following the date the recording is noted in the notary's logbook."

L.C.C. Davis

13 Apr 2020

So, just to be clear, since I am seeing so many different pieces of information regarding these emergency and temporary directives coming out of different states regarding online notarizations...Just to be clear...Texas has not issued an emergency directive allowing traditional notaries to temporarily perform online notarizations or RONs due to said emergency situation, am I right? Texas has extended the ID expiration requirements, revised the list of types of documents it will allow to be E-signed (ex. Wills, Directives to Doctors, Trusts, etc.), but still requires that a notary be state commissioned to perform RON transactions, or ANY online notary transactions, correct?

National Notary Association

13 Apr 2020

Hello. Texas already has existing RON laws in place authorizing qualified Notaries to apply to perform online notarizations. However, please be aware that many states are rapidly issuing emergency orders, including some states that have existing RON laws, and the situation in Texas could change. We will continue to update our coverage with new information as we receive it from different states. Please continue to watch this article for updates.

Monica Garcia

13 Apr 2020

How can i get information about AZ RON?

National Notary Association

13 Apr 2020

Hello. Please see here for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/law-updates/az-executive-order-2020-26. We shall also be updating our Bulletin articles as soon as possible with new information.

Steve Day

13 Apr 2020

For Kansas issued April 9, 2020: Executive Order No. 20-20, temporarily allowing notaries and witnesses to act via audio-video communication technology.

Rori Hernandez

13 Apr 2020

Hello! im looking to check on the State of Oklahoma

National Notary Association

15 Apr 2020

Hello. We do not have new information for Oklahoma at this time.

Crystal Oliver

14 Apr 2020

Any updates for Oregon?

National Notary Association

15 Apr 2020

Hello. Not at this time, but we will continue to update this article if we receive new information.

C Simmons

14 Apr 2020

Hello, I saw an online article stating that NJ passed an authorization yesterday for remote notary. Any information on that? Thanks.

National Notary Association

15 Apr 2020

Hello. Please keep watching this article for updates. We will add additional information as soon as we receive it.

Carrie Frigerio

14 Apr 2020

What about for the State of Michigan ? Is RON being used here ?

National Notary Association

15 Apr 2020

Hello. Yes, Michigan has enacted RON laws: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2018/06/remote-notarization-what-you-need-to-know

C Simmons

14 Apr 2020

Hello, I saw an online article stating that NJ passed an authorization yesterday for remote notary. Any information on that? Thanks.

National Notary Association

15 Apr 2020

Hello. Please continue to watch this article for updates, as we are continuing to add new information as we receive it from state officials.

Henry Palmer

15 Apr 2020

Hi, I didn’t see anything or updates for the State of Utah?

National Notary Association

15 Apr 2020

Hello. Utah already has existing RON laws in place. For more information, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2018/06/remote-notarization-what-you-need-to-know

NancyJ

15 Apr 2020

Any update on Massachusetts?

National Notary Association

17 Apr 2020

Hello. Not at this time, but we will update our articles if anything changes.

Mark L. Volz

16 Apr 2020

NYS Notary Question: Does the NYS Executive Order 202.7 notary guidance extend�beyond April 18, 2020? ... and if so, then when is the new expiration date?

National Notary Association

17 Apr 2020

Hello. According to the information we have currently, the expiration date for the order is still April 18, 2020. Please see here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2027-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency. If we receive any updates, we will let you know.

Andy Lopez

16 Apr 2020

Delaware has just announced two updates to their process: Notarization can be done remotely and; A DE licensed Attorney can now notarize. There are rules with this which are contained in yesterdays Executive Order.

Kathy Wolf

17 Apr 2020

I am a paralegal for a law firm in the State of Minnesota. We would like to offer RON services to our clients (especially in the area of estate planning). The statutes are vague and confusing. After receiving RON authorization, do we need to go through a third-party RON platform provider in order to offer this service to our clients (who we personally know) or can we do this through recording a FT/Zoom video mtg, saving for 10 years, having the documents mailed to us for completing the notary block and completing/attaching the notary certificate? Thank you for any help!

National Notary Association

20 Apr 2020

Hello. Any RON performed by a Minnesota Notary must comply with the requirements of Minnesota Statutes Sec. 358.645. See here: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/358.645

Norma

20 Apr 2020

As of today there is only 6 states holding back on RON. Does the NNA have any comments as to why these states, in particular CA, are holding back on RON?

David Vadillo Fuentes

20 Apr 2020

what would like to know is: why can't the Secretary of State of every state in the Union, send a letter directly to all Notaries, like when California approved the raise in Notary fees from 10.00 to 15.00 and also informed us that now we could accept the "Matricula Consular" as Identification card. ???? why is it that National Notary has to inform all the Notaries in the Nation and notaries would not know if it is a verifiable information ???? and lastly: why is it that we are not members, associates or have a registration (with a member number) with National Notary. if it in fact an Association. I've had call the Secretary of State for any Question I have had, and there is always someone to answer the question. Why rely on NNA for the Information. Also I don't trust RON because is a sure way to be involved in a lawsuit or for naughty notaries to start doing something that may be corrupt.

Michelle

20 Apr 2020

Any updates for California?

National Notary Association

21 Apr 2020

Hello. No, not at this time, but if that changes we will update our articles as soon as possible.

Ely W Sluder

22 Apr 2020

Update for NJ!

National Notary Association

23 Apr 2020

Hello. New Jersey information was just added today. Please see the article above.

George Sigut

22 Apr 2020

The first bullet in the New York part actually says: The person seeking the Notary's services, if not personally known to the Notary, must present valid photo ID to the Notary during the video conference, not merely transmit it prior to or after; (NOT "The signer may not present ID prior to or after the notarization.")

Timmy Westerlund

27 Apr 2020

Hello! Any new updates for Oregon? Thanks!

National Notary Association

27 Apr 2020

Hello. We should be posting an update for Oregon later this week. Please continue to watch this article for updates.

Darlene

27 Apr 2020

What if my notary expires this month will I get extension - Washington DC

National Notary Association

27 Apr 2020

Hello. According to the Office of the Secretary of the District of Columbia, online notarization renewals are being accepted. Please see this page for information on Notary commission expirations and renewals in Washington, D.C.: https://os.dc.gov/service/notary-commissions

Sheila Cunha

27 Apr 2020

I have taken the course, and I want the ability to notarize online, but I do not want to be an employee of a RON provider. I am finding it difficult to list a RON provider for my application. Also, I am in Florida and some of these providers are not taking on Florida notaries. I originally thought we would be able to use this as a way to notarize things we need here at work should we have to work remotely, but now I see it is a money maker for the RON providers and it is unclear how it will work for us.

Tiffany

27 Apr 2020

? Michigan ?

National Notary Association

27 Apr 2020

Hello. Michigan has permanent RON statutes in place.

Dale LeBoeuf

27 Apr 2020

On March 26, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued emergency Proclamation 37 with Section 6 relaxing restrictions on remote notaries. Assuming the legality of the proclamation, attorney-notaries and non-attorney notaries would be allowed to notarize documents remotely and without the presence of the person requesting the service. Among other requirements, is recordation of the notarization event and retention for 10 years. Also, notarizing certain documents remotely is allowed only until April 13. If you’ve read the proclamation, you will see that documents NOT authorized to be notarized under this proclamation include “authentic acts”, of which mortgage documents are. Also note that in Louisiana law with respect to the notary public, the governor only has the power of notary appointment; he has no power to change the duties or powers of the notary public. That power is held within the legislature. There are relevant bills progressing within legislative committee at this time; they are HB 122 and HB 274. Last I checked those bill had been scheduled for discussion in committee for April 13th; those meetings are now shown as canceled with no further information. In summary, per the Louisiana Secretary of State and the Louisiana Notary Association, remote notarial acts completed under Proclamation No. 37 will be under a cloud. The opportunity for fraud and the near certainty of litigation make this authorization particularly unadvisable. The improper, uninformed, and unregulated attempts to perform notarizations without the safeguards provided for in the current proposed legislation have no place in our commercial, financial, or legal transactions. The LNA board is of the opinion that no prudent notary would avail him-or-herself of this authorization but would instead take advantage of the provisions under Proclamation No. 33 and wait for the legislature to enact the Remote Online Notarization Act proposed under the bills cited above.

National Notary Association

27 Apr 2020

Hello. This article is reporting the emergency actions taken by the states in response to COVID-19 in order to keep our readers informed of the latest developments in their states. It is not providing an opinion on the orders themselves.

carlwash@suddenlink.net

27 Apr 2020

I spoke last week with the Louisiana secretary of state who sent a letter to the governor stating that he will not and cannot order RON in in the state of Louisiana. The Secretary of State says that there are no guidence in State law and RON is not legal in this State

National Notary Association

27 Apr 2020

Please see the Louisiana Governor's declaration here: https://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/Proclamations/2020/37-JBE-2020.pdf

ALAN W WALDO

27 Apr 2020

I am not an attorney... But for some reason the NNA got the earlier proclamation regarding Alabama Notaries but has not gotten the amendment dated April 2, 2020. Following is only a portion of the five page proclamation. III. Notaries and witnesses My supplemental emergency proclamation issued March 26, 2020, is hereby amended to address the remote notarization of documents by unsupervised, non-attorney notaries and to enhance record-keeping requirements. Specifically, the relevant section of that supplemental proclamation is amended to read as follows: *** Because person-to-person contact increases the risk of transmitting COVID-19, I find that it would promote the safety and protection of the civilian population to adopt measures that reduce the necessity of in-person meetings. To that end: A) Notaries appointed in Alabama may notarize signatures through videoconferencing programs, and confirm the signatures of witnesses who participate virtually through videoconferencing, as though they were physically present at the signing - provided that they maintain a recording of the audio-visual communication for a period of five years following the ate the recording is noted in the notary's logbook. B) Any person who witnesses a document through videoconference technology may be considered an "in person" witness, provided that the presence and identity of such witnesses are validated by the notary at the time of the signing by the same identifications required under current law. C) The official date and time of the notarization shall be the date and time when the notary witnesses the signature via the videoconference technology. All documents must be returned to the notary for certification and execution. D) The provisions of this section shall take effect tomorrow, April 3, 2020. Any notarizations previously performed under section III of my supplemental proclamation dated March 26, 2020, are valid.

National Notary Association

28 Apr 2020

Hello. Due to the unusually large number of emergency updates and amendments being issued over the past few weeks by state officials, we are in an ongoing process of updating this article. Thank you for contacting us about the Alabama April 2 amendment. We will be adding this information to the article shortly, in the meantime, the amendment can be found at this link: https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/04/2020-04-02-Fifth-Supplemental-SOE_COVID-19.pdf

Jennifer

27 Apr 2020

In Pa, while under the stay at home order, are we able to do in person notary or does it have to be through RON?

National Notary Association

28 Apr 2020

Hello. Before performing remote notarizations, a Pennsylvania Notary must must notify the Department of State that the Notary will be performing notarial acts facilitated by communication technology and identify the technology. Notaries are not required to perform RONs in Pennsylvania, but you should follow any state and local health safety orders and not perform any notarizations that would violate these orders. More information on PA's RON emergency guidelines can be found here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/law-updates/pa-senate-bill-841.

Tom Esker

01 May 2020

Here is a link to pending bill in North Carolina https://www.ncleg.gov/Sessions/2019/Bills/Senate/PDF/S704v3.pdf

National Notary Association

01 May 2020

Thank you for the information. Please be aware that this bill has not yet been enacted in North Carolina.

Mark L. Volz

03 May 2020

NYS Notary Question: It is well beyond April 18th end date for exec. order 207.7. So, is there any direction on how NYS Notaries proceed with basic Acknowledgments and Jurats/Afidvitts?

National Notary Association

04 May 2020

Hello. The Executive Order has been extended through May 15. Please see here for more information: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2027-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

Norma

04 May 2020

As of today there is only 6 states holding back on RON. Does the NNA have any comments as to why these states, in particular CA, are holding back on RON? I am in CA

Beth J Mau

04 May 2020

I contacted the California Secretary of State's office regarding the DMV's extension of expired licenses. I have an email from them stating that extension does not apply for notarizations. Please be careful. It's the Secretary of State that governs Notaries Public in California, not the NNA.

National Notary Association

07 May 2020

Hello. Thank you for reaching out to us on this matter. The NNA contacted the California Secretary of State's office to ask for clarification on this issue. We were told by the Secretary of State's Notary Public Section that the Department of Motor Vehicles extension of California driver's licenses during this pandemic qualifies these licenses to be considered "current" pursuant to Civil Code section 1185(b)(3)(A), and can be used by California Notaries to establish identity of an individual executing a document.

Anne

05 May 2020

I am trying to close on a home in GA to purchase. The current owner is in Nigeria. The Embassy is closed. Can my Ga attorney to a remote notary for both parties one being in Georgia and the other Nigeria?

National Notary Association

05 May 2020

Based on what you’ve described, we think it would be best if you contacted our Hotline team by phone and provided them with a more detailed description of the situation. The NNA Hotline: 1-888-876-0827 Mon – Fri: 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (PT) If you’re not an NNA Member or Hotline Subscriber, they will provide you with a one-time courtesy call.

HARASIDDHIPRASAD BHATT

06 May 2020

What about Ohio?

National Notary Association

06 May 2020

Hello. Ohio already has permanent laws authorizing remote notarization in place. Please see here for additional information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2019/08/sweeping-changes-ohio-notary-law

Margaret

08 May 2020

Has South Carolina implemented the RON yet?

National Notary Association

08 May 2020

Hello. No, not at this time. However, many states are revising or introducing new emergency rules for Notaries in response to COVID-19, and we will continue to update our articles with new developments as we receive information about them.

Ann Weinberg

08 May 2020

Is the IL Gubernatorial Disaster Period now over - asking if the emergency order for RON is still in effect there?

National Notary Association

11 May 2020

Hello. According to the Illinois Secretary of State's office, "using real-time electronic technologies that feature high-quality audiovisual communication. The temporary authority for an Illinois notary to perform remote, online notarizations shall expire when the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation of March 9, 2020, is rescinded." (https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/notary/electronicnotary0320.pdf). To the best of our knowledge, that proclamation has not been rescinded at this time.

Sandie Lamb

11 May 2020

Per Tennessee SOS they say they approved online video notarization's last year. Is this the same as RON?

National Notary Association

11 May 2020

Hello. Yes, TN has enacted permanent RON statutes.

Marcella

11 May 2020

Are California notaries still allowed to accept CA driver licenses or identification cards that are expired but issued within the past five years?

National Notary Association

11 May 2020

Hello. Please see the entry for California in the article above. We will be updating our California information shortly, so please continue to check this article for additional updates.

Tara Shaw

11 May 2020

Completely disgusted with CA right now and their inaction for emergency RON.

Donald Merry

11 May 2020

Updates for WA state please. Can we apply RON now or not??

National Notary Association

12 May 2020

Hello. We've added a link to Washington's emergency RON rules in the article above.

Diane Page

13 May 2020

My commission is due to expire at the end of June which falls withing the guidelines of the 60 day extension the problems is I can't get a class and test date until November. The class I was scheduled for on May 12th was of course canceled and I could not even get an online training until them. How will this affect my commission and will I have to pay late fees when I do take the test for renewal?

National Notary Association

13 May 2020

Hello. If you obtained your commission through the NNA, please contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-876-6827 for assistance.

Evelyn L Bennett

13 May 2020

I agree with Tara Shaw. Ca too little too late at this point!!

Hyung S. Song

13 May 2020

By CA Governor's Executive Order N-63-20, the commission term is extended for an additional 60 days. My commission was expired on March 27, 2020. Does that mean that extension is valid until May 27, 2020?

National Notary Association

13 May 2020

Hello. Your commission under the extension would expire on May 27, 2020. Please note that you must follow all other instructions in the executive order when notarizing during the extension period.

Christina Reeder

13 May 2020

I never see anything for Ohio.do they up date

Michelle L. Riley

13 May 2020

Alabama approved RIN in April via the Governor's Proclamation. I can send that to you if you'd like. Please add the State of Alabama to your list. I'm an NNA Notary Ambassador (r)

National Notary Association

14 May 2020

Hello. Alabama information is listed above.

tamara m weaver

18 May 2020

RE WASHINGTON STATE: Exception for remote notarizations expired April 26, 2020. Any extensions issued yet?

National Notary Association

20 May 2020

Hello. Thank you for your question. Washington has extended its emergency authorization through May 31, 2020, or the end of the COVID-19 emergency, whichever comes first. We have updated this information in the article above.

Michael Harris

18 May 2020

Please let us know when you have NEW information (by state), so we can get on with life.

National Notary Association

20 May 2020

Hello. Please see the beginning of the article, where we list the date of our latest updates and the states that include new information.

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