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Tips For Notarizing After COVID-19 Restrictions Lift

Everyone is looking forward to the day that it becomes safe to lift COVID-19 restrictions and return to normal daily activities. When this happens, Notaries need to keep the following important points in mind when performing notarizations post-coronavirus:

1. Check The Deadline For Any Emergency Rules Regarding Expired Signer ID 

During COVID-19, many state agencies were closed, making it difficult or impossible for many people to renew expiring state-issued IDs such as driver’s licenses. Some states, such as California, Georgia and Maryland, issued emergency orders temporarily allowing Notaries to accept signer driver’s licenses that expired during the shutdown. If your state has issued such an order, stay aware of the date the order expires — you will not be able to accept expired signer IDs as proof of identity for notarizations once the emergency order ends. And, if you are a Notary of another state, you’ll also need to know this so you won’t inadvertently accept an expired license presented to you by a document signer of one of these states.

2. Some Signers May Still Ask For PPE And Additional Safety Precautions 

Even after lockdown restrictions are lifted — and until everyone is vaccinated — remember that there are still risks of transmitting coronavirus between signers and Notaries, and some signers may be especially susceptible to contracting it. Notaries should still expect and honor requests to use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves — and use hand sanitizer and cleansing wipes — when meeting signers. Have an ample supply of these items on hand so that you can use them on demand.

3. Be Prepared For Appointment Challenges

While some states are starting to lift COVID-19 restrictions, public meeting places for mobile Notary appointments such as coffee shops, restaurants and libraries may still be closed or have limited accessibility. Also, customers still may be uneasy about having strangers in their homes. Resorting to porch or window separated signings may be a necessary and viable way to meet people and conduct notarizations at their homes even after your area opens up.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

 

10 Comments

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betty

22 Jun 2020

I have up'd my fees bc I cannot see well with fogged up glasses bc of having to wear a stupid mask. The only mask that will really protect you and the signers is one that prevents a virus from passing through, and nobody can breathe with one of Those on. I have to take the extra step of telling signers I will need to check documents in my car withOUT the mask on. I am 62yo, much more susceptible than most of my signers, and tired of this exercise. Don't mind the hand sanitizer and Chlorox wipes at the table, though.

Donna LaBelle

22 Jun 2020

Not every one willk get vaccinated. We don't know what they are putting in the vaccines or what the side affects are or the long term affects so they need to back off.

Marlen Garcia

22 Jun 2020

QUESTION: Would our journal be at risk of contamination? We have the single use ink strips, which definitely will decrease the possibility of spread, but what about our journal?

Josslyn Christmas

23 Jun 2020

I’m only accepting Hybrid Closing since they are much faster and less paperwork. Therefore minimal time spending with customers.

Ivette Colon

29 Jun 2020

What us Hybrid closings?

National Notary Association

30 Jun 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.

Monica Voloshin

14 Jul 2020

Until further notice I will wear the mask and use hand sanitizer and wipes. I live in PA and will use this until they find a vaccine. I travel to different counties, setting expectations when I confirm the appointment has led to smooth closings. Just because a state opens does not mean that it is safe.

Gwendolyn Z. Green

14 Jul 2020

I appreciate this post. I would not for one moment hesitate to honor a signer's request for extra safety precautions. I would highly recommend following such.

Stephanie

21 Jul 2020

Is it acceptable to ask clients to wear a mask or to meet some where outside of their house?

National Notary Association

22 Jul 2020

Hello. You can find safety recommendations for notarizations during COVID-19 in this article: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/notaries-precautions-coronavirus

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