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Temporary Notary Procedures During COVID-19 Pandemic: ​State Emergency Orders/Guidance

ASN Office Status During Coronavirus Threat
Effective immediately, ASN staff is working remotely as much as possible in an effort to help fight the spread of coronavirus. Our operations are in full swing, but we will be on-site at our headquarters only to perform functions that cannot be performed remotely. Email is the best method of communication. Please send your message to carly@asnnotary.org and it will be forwarded to the correct staff member. We will respond as quickly as possible to your request.

Be safe and well, and know that we appreciate you.
Kathleen Butler, ASN Executive Director

The summaries provided below are general in nature. Carefully review the full terms and requirements detailed in each document of interest to you. To view each official document (order, proclamation, etc.) click on the dark blue, underlined text in each summary.

These orders establish temporary procedures or measures; please consult each for information on when its terms will expire or be lifted. There is no available tracking mechanism for these executive orders, so please be aware that there may be others in addition to those listed here.




Alabama: Notarization By Use of Videoconference Technology
Governor’s Fifth Supplemental State of Emergency Proclamation, Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Effective April 2, 2020 and for the duration of the declared public health emergency unless rescinded or extended by proclamation.
https://governor.alabama.gov/newsroom/2020/04/fifth-supplemental-state-of-emergency-coronavirus-covid-19/

Authorizes all Alabama Notaries to perform videoconference notarizations for remotely located principal signers. (The earlier Proclamation limited this authority to Alabama Attorney-Notaries and Notaries under the supervision of an Alabama attorney.)

Permits an Alabama Notary Public to use videoconferencing technology (“programs”) to notarize signatures and confirm the signatures of witnesses, provided that the Notary maintains a recording of the audio-visual communication for a period of five years following the date of the recording as noted in the Notary’s “logbook” (recordbook, journal).

Establishes that any person who witnesses a document through videoconference technology may be considered an “in person” witness, provided that the witness’ presence and identity are validated by the Notary at the time of signing. Witnesses shall be identified using the same methods of identification the Notary uses under current law to identify principal signers.

Establishes that the official date and time of notarization shall be the date and time when the Notary witnesses the signature by videoconference technology. 

Requires all documents to be returned to the Notary for certification and execution (completion of the notarial certificate).

Establishes the validity of notarizations previously performed under Section III of the Governor’s Supplemental Proclamation dated March 26, 2020.

For Your Consideration: Alabama Temporary Remote Notarization Procedures


Alabama: Governor's Proclamation on Videoconferencing
March 26, 2020 - SEE SUBSEQUENT PROCLAMATION OF APRIL 2, 2020 ABOVE
Effective for the duration of the public health emergency unless rescinded or extended by proclamation.

https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/03/4th-Supplemental-State-of-Emergency-COVID-19.pdf

Overview:

  • An AL Notary who is a licensed AL attorney or who is being supervised by a licensed AL attorney may use "videoconferencing programs" to notarize signatures and confirm the signatures of witnesses.
  • Through this process, the Notary requires presence, identifies the principal and any witnesses, observes signatures and administers an acknowledgment or oath/affirmation to the principal signer. The Notary is observing the principal and any witness(es) sign the tangible (paper) document, which must later be received by the Notary for completion of the notarial certificate.

The following procedures and recommendations are ultimately subject to the directives of the supervising attorney.
 
Procedures

  1. The Order does not specify whether a non-attorney Notary who must be supervised may be remotely located from the supervising AL attorney. Nor does it specify whether the principal signer and the witness(es) may be remotely located from each other or physically present together. Any decisions regarding these questions must be made by the supervising attorney.
  2. The order does not specify the type of real-time/live web connection. At a minimum, it must provide video (high resolution) and audio and connect all parties together in real-time.
  3. The principal's identification must be verified in the usual manner--personal knowledge or an identification document. Review identification documents by having the individual hold them up to their web cam. If the identification cannot be assessed to your (Notary's) satisfaction due to poor video quality, refuse to complete the notarization.
  4. Verify the witness' online presence and identification (personal knowledge or an identification document) as required by the Order. 
  5. Examine the document as for a physical-presence notarization. Ask that each page of the tangible document be held up to the web camera in order to verify what notarial act is required, the principal signer named in the document, whether witnesses are required, and to check for blanks or missing pages.
  6. Observe the principal’s and witness’ signing of the document. Administer a verbal acknowledgment or oath/affirmation to the principal, as applicable.
  7. Upon receiving the signed document sometime after the videoconferencing session, complete the notarial certificate. The certificate must include the date and time of the videoconferencing session in which the notarization was performed.

Additional Recommendations
Completing the certificate:

  1. Venue should be your (Notary's) location at the time of the video conference.
  2. As noted above, include the date and time of the videoconferencing session in which the notarization was performed.

Notary records:

  1. Create a recordbook (journal) entry for the videoconferencing notarization. If you do NOT usually maintain notarial records, at least do so for these special notarizations.
  2. Add to the recordbook entry that the notarization was performed using videoconferencing, pursuant to the 4th Supplemental State of Emergency COVID-19 Order by Governor Kay Ivey Dated 3-26-20.
  3. Keep a copy of the Order in your permanent records, and store a copy with every recordbook containing an entry for a notarization performed under this Order.


Alaska:  Senate Bill 241; Temporary Authorization for Execution or Witnessing of Wills by Videoconferencing (Including Notarization)
Videoconferencing provisions retroactively effective to March 11, 2020
Videoconferencing provisions are repealed March 11, 2021.
http://www.akleg.gov/PDF/31/Bills/SB0241Z.PDF

Allows wills to be signed or witnessed by use of videoconferencing, subject to specified requirements. Authorizes an Alaska Notary Public to perform a notarial act for the execution of a will by use of videoconferencing. (Generally, a self-proved will affidavit.)



Arizona:  Executive Order, Remote Online Notarization
https://insurance.az.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/eo_2020-26.pdf

and
Arizona:  Administrative Rules, Remote Online Notarization
Both effective April 10, 2020
Executive Order remains effective until Arizona’s remote online notarization statutes (A.R.S. §§41-371 through 41-380 take effect on July 1, 2020.  Administrative rule remain in effect beyond July 1, 2020.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW RULES



Arkansas:  Executive Order (EO 20-12) Re: In-Person Witness and Notarization of Legal Documents
March 30, 2020
Automatically expires when the related State of Emergency is terminated, or at such time as the Governor may direct in a subsequent Executive Order.
https://governor.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/executiveOrders/EO_20-12.__.pdf

This order suspends certain provisions of Arkansas’ Notary Public law, to enable notarizations using real-time audio-visual communication means to be performed only by Notaries Public who are:

  • Arkansas-licensed attorneys or Arkansas-licensed title agents; or
  • Supervised by either an Arkansas-licensed attorney or Arkansas-licensed title agent; or
  • Employed by a financial institution registered with the Arkansas State Bank Department.

For only the Arkansas Notaries Public authorized by the Executive Order as noted above, the order:

  1. Authorizes a Notary Public (who meets the bulleted criteria noted above) to notarize signatures including those for acknowledgments and jurats, virtually through real-time audio and visual means, provided that both the authorized Notary and remotely located principal signer are physically located in the State of Arkansas at the time of notarization (“the time of signing”) and the signing of documents is visually seen by the person that confirms it.
  2. Suspends the statutory provisions (Arkansas Code Annotated §21-14-107(f)(2)) that establish when a notarial certificate is incomplete, thereby allowing the authorized Notary to complete a notarial certificate when the principal or signer is remotely present via real-time audio and visual means; and allowing a signed and sealed notarial certificate to be completed or attached to a document outside of the physical presence of the authorized Notary.
  3. Suspends the statutory requirement (Arkansas Code Annotated §21-14-202) that a Notary Public wishing to use a facsimile signature and facsimile seal must file with the Secretary of State their manual signature; general descriptions of potential commercial documents to be notarized via facsimile signature; the names of persons signing documents via facsimile signature; and the written consent of such persons; when said authorized Notary Public determines that documents would be best notarized via facsimile signature.
  4. Suspends provisions of Arkansas Code Annotated §21-14-302 (Definitions) to permit an authorized Notary’s use and reliance on an electronic device (such as telephone, computer, video-camera or fax machine); and to allow an authorized Notary to perform electronic notarial acts without registering with the Secretary of State or obtaining a separate eNotary commission.
  5. Suspends the statutory requirement that a principal signer of an electronic document or witness must be in the electronic Notary’s physical proximity for performance of a notarial act, if the electronic document signer or witness is present via real-time audio and visual means.

The order also establishes that for purposes of or pursuant to the order:

  1. “Real-time audio and visual means” means technology allowing all parties to see and hear the other parties simultaneously (the order provides examples);
  2. Any person who witnesses or signs a document through real-time audio and visual means may be considered to be “in the presence of” or as an “in person” witness, provided that the presence and identity of such witness are validated at the time of signing by the authorized Notary. Further clarifies that the identity of any and all witnesses and signers, as well as their physical presence (location) in the State of Arkansas, must be validated at the time of document execution.
  3. Two or more persons signing a document simultaneously in different locations must necessarily sign separate signature pages, resulting in such a document being executed “in counterpart.”


California:  Governor's Executive Order Extending Notary Commissions and Addressing Satisfactory ID Documents
Effective May 7, 2020
https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/5.7.20-EO-N-63-20.pdf

  • ​Extends the commission term of any Notary whose commission expired after March 1, 2020; or whose commission is set to expire "over the next 60 days" (the period from the order date of May 7 through July 7, 2020) subject to conditions stated in the Order. 
  • Requires every Notary who officiates under an extended commission to add to their notarial certificate the following statement: "The Notary commission extended pursuant to Executive Order N-63-20." (This statement should be written or stamped within the area of the notarial certificate, preferably underneath the Notary's seal of office.)
  • Requires Notaries under an extended commission to maintain a valid bond.

    NOTE:  The California Secretary of State advises the following in its online Notary Public FAQs:  "Reappointing Notaries Public [with extended commissions] who have received a new commission package must file their oath of office and surety bond with the county clerk's office within 30 days of the beginning of the term.  Once the oath of office and surety bond have been filed, the commission extended by Executive Order N-63-20 is no longer active."

The Secretary of Statue additionally advises:  "Many county clerk/recorder's offices are closed to the public; however, some are still accepting filings by mail. Contact your county clerk/recorder's office to see if they are accepting notary oath filings by mail. If so, the instructions are included in your commission packet.  If you are unable to file your oath and bond with the county clerk/recorder's office within the thirty-day filing period due to office closures, the Secretary of State's office will assist you once the county clerk/recorder's offices open back up. Please contact us at notaries@sos.ca.gov once your county clerk/recorder's office reopens.​"

  • Suspends for 60 days the statutory requirement that a California DMV-issued ID card or drivers license presented as satisfactory evidence must be current or issued within the last 5 years, if the card presented shows an expiration date of March 1, 2020 or later.

California:  Secretary of State Guidance on Extended Commission Terms
https://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/

Addresses the effect of the Executive Order (above) with regard to extended commission terms. Clarifies that:

  • Notary Public commission terms that expired between March 1, 2020 and May 7, 2020 are extended until July 6, 2020.
  • N​otary Public commission terms that expired after May 7, 2020 through July 7, 2020 are extended for 60 days "on a rolling basis" (i.e., the extension runs from each affected Notary's commission expiration date).


Colorado:  Extending EO D 2020 019 Concerning Temporary Suspension of the Personal Appearance Requirement for Notarization
Effective April 6, 2020
Expires on April 30, 2020 unless extended further by Executive Order.
https://www.colorado.gov/governor/sites/default/files/inline-files/D%202020%20030%20Extending%20Notaries_0.pdf

Extends Executive Order D 2020019 until April 30, 2020 (unless extended further by Executive Order).


Colorado:  Executive Order, Temporary Suspension of Personal Appearance Requirement
March 27, 2020
Expires 30 days from March 27, 2020 unless extended further by Executive Order

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1c_QxNWMuZZbv-4keXDP_CCXjzULFxK6E/view

Temporarily suspends the requirement of Colorado law (C.R.S. §24-21-506) that an individual (principal) making a statement or signing a document must appear personally (physically) before a notarial officer including a Notary Public. Clarifies that this temporary suspension does not apply to any notarial act required under Colorado’s elections laws (Title 1, Colorado Revised Statutes).

Authorizes the Secretary of State, consistent with rulemaking authority under C.R.S. §24-21-527(1)(a)-(f), to issue temporary emergency rules to: authorize notarial officers to perform notarizations for persons appearing remotely, by real-time audio-video communication; and establish standards and processes to allow remote notarizations, including rules regarding authentication, verification of identity, and audio-video recording.

Clarifies that nothing in the Executive Order affects the rights or duties of parties to existing contracts of insurance or other private contracts that may require or anticipate in-person (physical presence) notarization of documents, nor does the Order preclude the parties to any such contract from waiving or modifying any provision in it.


Colorado:  Emergency Notary Rules, Remote Notarization (Rule 5)
March 30, 2020
https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/rule_making/files/2020/20200330NotaryNoticeTempAdopt.pdf

These temporary administrative rules establish minimum standards for performance of remote notarizations, following the Executive Order’s suspension of the statutory requirement for personal appearance before a notarial officer.

  1. Establishes necessary definitions:  “audio-video communication”; “outside the United States”; “real time” or “in real time”; “remotely located individual”; “remote notarization”; “remote notarization system”; and “remote presentation.”
  2. Allows a currently commissioned, Colorado Notary Public physically located in Colorado to perform a remote notarization only for a remotely located individual who is located in the State of Colorado (at the time of notarization). 
  3. Prohibits a Notary from using a remote notarization system to notarize records (documents) relating to the electoral process; and a will as defined under C.R.S. §15-10-201, except as provided in Rule 5.2.9(c).
  4. Requires that a remote notarization system used by a Colorado Notary Public must be sufficient to:
    a. Enable the Notary Public to verify the identity of the remotely located individual and any required witness by means of personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of identification;
    b. Enable the Notary Public to verify that all required participants to the remote notarization are viewing the same record and that all signatures, changes and attachments to the record made by the remotely located individual and witness (if any) are made in real time; and
    c. Record the interaction such that the verifications may be clearly viewed at a later date.
  5. Requires a Notary Public to identify a remotely located individual by personal knowledge, or satisfactory evidence. Establishes that the Notary has satisfactory evidence of identification when using audio-video communication by using at least one of: 
    a. The oath or affirmation of a credible witness who is physically present with the Notary or the remotely located individual, and who personally knows the remotely located individual, is personally known to the Notary or presents evidence of identity with government-issued identification as required by C.R.S. §24-21-507; or
    b. Remote presentation by the remotely located individual of a government-issued identification and the data contained on the identification as required by C.R.S. §24-21-507.
  6. Affirms the Notary’s authority to refuse to perform a notarial act (C.R.S. §24-21-508) if the Notary is not satisfied that the requirements of Rule 5, Remote Notarization are met.
  7. Requires a certificate of notarial act for a remote notarization to comply with C.R.S. §24-21-515 and indicate that the notarial act was performed using audio-video technology.
  8. Requires the Notary Public to create an audio-video recording of a remote notarization and to:
    a. First disclose to the remotely located individual that a recording is being created, including where and how long the recording will be stored;
    b. Ensure that the remotely located individual explicitly consents to both the recording and its storage; and
    c. Securely store the recording for a period of ten years in compliance with C.R.S. §24-21-519.
  9. Requires the Notary to make a good faith effort to include in an audio-video recording only the information specified in Rule 5.2.8(c).
  10. Establishes that Colorado statutory provisions relating to the security, inspection, copying, retention and disposition of a Notary Public’s journal apply equally to the security, inspection, copying, retention and disposition of audio-video recordings required by the rule.
  11. Requires that after the notarial act is performed for a remotely located individual:
    a. The individual must transmit a legible copy of the record (document) by fax, email or other electronic means directly to the Notary, on the same date that the act took place;
    b. The Notary Public must notarize the transmitted copy of the record as soon as it is received, and transmit the same back to the individual;
    c. And if the record is a will as defined under C.R.S. §15-10-201(59), the original signed record must be presented to the Notary Public within 15 calendar days of the date of the remote notarization; and within three calendar days of receiving the signed record, the Notary must complete the notarial certificate on that record (“affix the Notary Public’s signature and seal on to the original signed record”) and reflect the date of the remote notarization. Further provides that the will of a remotely located testator is not acknowledged in accordance with Colorado’s statutory requirements for execution of a will (C.R.S. §15-11-502) unless it is notarized pursuant to all the requirements of Rule 5.2.9(c).
  12. Requires a Notary Public to record all remote notarizations in his or her journal.
  13. Establishes prohibitions on use, sale or offers to sell, or transferring to another person, any personal information obtained under this Rule 5 that pertains to the remotely located individual, a witness to a remote notarization, or an individual named in a document presented for remote notarization; provides exceptions.


Connecticut:  Governor’s Executive Order, Remote Notarization Authorization
Updated March 30, 2020
Effective for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency, unless earlier modified or terminated by the Governor.

https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Office-of-the-Governor/Executive-Orders/Lamont-Executive-Orders/Executive-Order-No-7Q.pdf

Effective immediately and through June 23, 2020, a Connecticut Notary Public or Commissioner of the Superior Court may perform any notarial act required under Connecticut law using an electronic device or process allowing the Notary and a remotely located individual to communicate with each other simultaneously by sight and sound (“communication technology”). These temporary remote notarizations are subject to conditions specified in the Order:

  1. The person seeking the notarial act must be personally known to the Notary Public or Commissioner, or use the communication technology to present satisfactory evidence of identification as defined in Connecticut General Statutes, §3-94a, Subsection 10 (transmitting the identification before or after the transaction is prohibited).
  2. The communication technology must be capable of recording the complete notarial act. The recording must be made and retained by the Notary Public or Commissioner for no less than 10 years (following performance of the act).
  3. The principal signer (“signatory”) must, via the communication technology, affirmatively state that he or she is physically located in the State of Connecticut (at the time of notarization).
  4. The principal signer must transmit to the Notary Public or Commissioner, by fax or electronic means, a legible copy of the signed document on the same date it was executed. 
  5. The Notary Public or Commissioner may notarize the transmitted document copy, and transmit the same back to the principal signer by fax or electronic means.
  6. The Notary Public or Commissioner may “repeat” the notarization on the original signed document as of the date of execution using communication technology, if the Notary or Commissioner received the original, signed document together with the electronically notarized copy, within 30 days after the date of execution.
  7. All witness requirements on any document, other than a last will and testament, are suspended for the duration of the Executive Order.
  8. Only an attorney admitted to practice law in the State of Connecticut and in good standing may remotely administer a self-proving affidavit to a last will and testament pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §45a-285; or conduct a real estate closing as required by Public Act 19-88.  Any witnessing requirement for a last will and testament may be satisfied remotely through use of communication technology if it supervised by a Commissioner who must certify that he or she supervised the remote witnessing.
  9. All documents pertaining to real property that are remotely notarized under the Executive Order shall be accepted by all Connecticut Town or City Clerks, for recording into land records.  Each remotely notarized document submitted for recording must include an attached, one-page certification confirming use of remote notarization procedures.


Delaware:  Temporary Authorization of Remote Notarization (Delaware Attorney-Notaries Only)
Effective April 15, 2020, 8:00 pm EDT
Remains in effect until renewed State of Emergency is terminated.
https://governor.delaware.gov/health-soe/eleventh-state-of-emergency/

This order is the Eleventh Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency for the State of Delaware Due to a Public Health Threat.  It temporarily authorizes Delaware Attorney-Notaries (only) to perform remote notarizations.



District of Columbia:  Temporary Authorization of Remote Notarization, Electronic Witnessing (see Sections 23 and 24, and Page 22)
Effective May 13, 2020; expires on August 11, 2020
http://lims.dccouncil.us/downloads/LIMS/44622/Signed_Act/B23-0750-SignedAct.pdf



Florida:  Supreme Court Order, Court Reporters and Remote Oaths
March 18, 2020
https://www.floridasupremecourt.org/content/download/632105/7182680/AOSC20-16.pdf

Authorizes Notaries and other persons qualified to administer an oath in Florida to swear-in a witness, who is remotely located within Florida, by use of audio-video communication technology. The Notary (and other qualified persons) must be able to positively identify the witness. 

For a witness not located within the State of Florida, the witness may consent to being put under oath via audio-video communication technology, by a person qualified to administer an oath in Florida.

The Order suspends 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 (and provides when this suspension would end).



Georgia:  Supreme Court Order, Video-Conference Closings of Real Estate Documents (Attorneys)
Effective March 27, 2020
Unless otherwise modified by the Court, remains effective until the declaration of the Chief Justice is rescinded or expires by its own terms.

http://sbog.informz.net/sbog/data/images/State_Bar_COVID-19_RealEstateClosing_Order_entered.pdf


Georgia:  Executive Order 04.09.20.01, Temporarily Allowing Remote Notarization and Attestations
Effective April 9, 2020. Effective for duration of declared Public Health State of Emergency (extended through July 12, 2020 by EO 5.28.20.01).
https://gov.georgia.gov/executive-action/executive-orders/2020-executive-orders  (Scroll to locate order.)


Georgia:  State Bar of Georgia's Suggested Practices and FAQs, Remote Notarizations and Attestations Performed Under Executive Order
Applicable during effective period of the Executive Order.
https://www.gabar.org/COVID-19_remote_notarization.cfm


Georgia:  Governor's Executive Order, Expiration Dates Extended for Driver's Licenses & ID Cards
March 25, 2020

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on March 25 issued an Executive Order that includes extending the expiration date of credentials that are customarily presented to Notaries Public as satisfactory evidence of identification. The order states that the expiration dates for all valid Georgia driver's licenses and identification cards, for citizens and non-citizens alike, that are due to expire between the date of the order (March 25, 2020) through June 30, 2020 are extended by 120 days.



Hawaii:  Executive Order, Temporary Suspension of Physical Presence Requirement and Adopting Rules Relating to Notaries Public
Effective March 29, 2020
Remains in effect for the duration of the declared emergency period unless terminated by separate proclamation, whichever occurs first.
View the Executive Order


Hawaii:  Administrative Rules, Notaries Public Utilizing Audio-Visual Technology During Declared Emergency Period
Effective March 29, 2020
Remains in effect for the duration of the declared emergency period unless terminated by separate proclamation, whichever occurs first.

https://ag.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Emergency-Rules-Relating-to-Notaries-final.pdf (See page 4)



Illinois:  Executive Order 2020-14, Remote Notarization by Audio-Video Communication Technology (Amended and Extended)
Effective March 26, 2020
Extended, by subsequent Executive Order, through May 29, 2020
https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/notary/executiveorder2020-14.pdf

The following provisions of extended Executive Order 2020-14 are amended, as follows:
In Section 2 of the Order:
  h.  The signatory must transmit by overnight mail, fax or electronic means.....[pick up with the remainder of the sentence...]
  i.  The witness must sign the transmitted copy of the document as a witness and transmit the signed copy of the document back via overnight mail, fax or electronic... [pick up with the remainder of the sentence...]


Illinois:  Secretary of State’s Guidance for Remote Notaries and Consumers
Effective March 26, 2020
Expires when the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation of March 9, 2020 is rescinded.

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/notary/electronicnotary0320.pdf


Illinois:  Continuation and Extension of EO 2020-14 (Amends/Revises Sec. 2, Paragraphs (h) and (i))
Effective April 1, 2020
Continues and extends EO 2020-14 for the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamations, which currently extends through April 30, 2020.
https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/Executive-Orders/ExecutiveOrder2020-18.aspx

  1. Clarifies that the signatory must transmit by overnight mail, fax or electronic means a legible copy of the entire signed document directly to the witness no later than the day after the document is signed.
  2. Clarifies that after signing the transmitted copy of the document the witness must transmit the signed copy of the document back via overnight mail, fax or electronic means to the signatory within 24 hours of receipt.

 



Indiana:  Executive Order 20-05, Extended Deadlines for Driver’s License or ID Card Renewals
March 19, 2020
https://www.in.gov/gov/files/EO_20-05.pdf

Directs the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to extend deadlines for renewal of Indiana driver’s license or identification cards and other BMV documents by suspending the imposition of renewal late fees.  (See summary of Indiana Executive Order 20-09, below.)


Indiana:  Executive Order 20-09, Extension of Expiration Dates (State Agency-Issued Licenses, Certifications or Permits)
https://www.in.gov/gov/files/Executive_Order_20-09_Continuity_of_Government_Operations.pdf

Automatically extends to May 22, 2020 the expiration of any state agency-issued license, certification or permit which has expired—or is set to expire—during the state’s declared public health emergency. (ASN has asked whether this expiration date extension applies to Indiana Notary Public commissions; check here for updates.) This order also clarifies that state-issued credentials including identification cards and driver’s licenses will continue to be extended under the terms of Executive Order 20-05.



Iowa:  Extensions of Proclamation Temporarily Suspending Statutory Requirement for Personal (Physical) Appearance
Issued April 2, 2020; extends original Proclamation through April 30, 2020
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PROCLAMATION
Issued April 27, 2020; extends original Proclamation through May 27, 2020
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PROCLAMATION


Iowa:  Proclamation Temporarily Suspending Statutory Requirement for Personal (Physical) Appearance
Effective March 22, 2020
Effective until April 16, 2020 expiration of Iowa’s state of public health disaster emergency, unless sooner terminated or extended in writing by the Governor.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PROCLAMATION


Iowa:  Secretary of State’s In-Person Notarization Requirement Waiver Guidance
Effective March 22, 2020
Applicable during the effective period of the Governor’s Proclamation; new laws authorizing remote notarizations will take effect on July 1, 2020.
https://sos.iowa.gov/covid19/remotenotarization/pdf/Remote%20Notary%20Guidance.pdf

 


Kansas:  Executive Order, Temporary Remote Notarization Using Audio-Video Communication Technology
Effective April 9, 2020
Provisions of this order are extended by subsequent Executive Order until rescinded, until June 13, 2020, or until the statewide State of Disaster Emergency proclaimed on May 26, 2020 expires, whichever is earlier.

https://governor.kansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/EO-20-20-Executed.pdf

Temporarily suspends Kansas’ requirement (K.S.A. 53-503 and any related statutes) that a person must physically appear before a Notary Public. Establishes that the requirement of appearance before a Notary Public is satisfied through use of two-way audio-video communication technology, provided that:

  1. The Kansas Notary Public and the individual signing the document are both physically located within Kansas while the notarial act is performed;
  2. The Notary Public is able to identify the individual signing the document by personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of the individual’s identity; and
  3. The transaction follows any guidance provided by the Kansas Secretary of State (still pending at publication of this summary). 

The Order also establishes that any act of witnessing required by Kansas law may be completed remotely by use of two-way audio-video communication technology; provides detailed conditions for such witnessing; and addresses the possible participation of a Notary Public to “certify to the appearance of the witness(es).”

For a remote witnessing the signatory (individual signing the document) and the witness must attest to being physically located in Kansas during the two-way audio-video communication. 

If a Notary Public is asked to certify to the appearance of the witness(es) to a document, multiple-way audio-video communication technology must allow for direct, contemporaneous communication between the Notary Public, the signatory and the witness by sight and sound. The Notary must be presented with a fax or electronic copy of the document signature pages showing the witness signatures, on the same date the document is signed by the signatory. 

(Please review the Order for the full list of conditions related to remote witnessing by use of two-way audio-video communication technology.)

This Order also explicitly states that all provisions of Article 16 of Chapter 16 of Kansas Statutes Annotated, concerning electronic transactions and electronic notarization, remain in full effect. (ASN is attempting to clarify whether this means that electronic notarial acts performed by a Kansas eNotary must continue to be performed with the principal physically present.)

At this time, the Secretary of State has not issued additional guidance for the notarial procedures authorized by the Executive Order. We will update this posting if such guidance is issued.



Kentucky:  Senate Bill 150 - Emergency COVID-19 Relief Measures
Effective March 30, 2020
Effective until the Governor declares the existing State of Emergency has ceased.  If no such declaration is made on or before the first of the next regular session of Kentucky's General Assembly, the General Assembly may make the determination
.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW BILL

  1. Specifies when individuals not in the same physical location, whether acting for themselves or in a representative capacity, are considered in each other's presence through use of communication via a video conference in real time.
  2. Establishes that any document resulting from a video teleconference conducted in accordance with provisions of the bill may be executed, acknowledged or notarized "in counterparts," which together shall be considered a single document.


Louisiana:  Proclamation, Temporary Remote Notarization (March 26, 2020)
Effective retroactively to March 11, 2020
Extended by Proclamation No. 41 JBE 2020.

https://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/Proclamations/2020/37-JBE-2020-Provision-for-First-Responder-Rulemaking.pdf

https://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/Proclamations/2020/modified/41-JBE-2020-Public-Health-Emergency.pdf




Maine:  Executive Order Temporarily Modifying In-Person and Acknowledgment Requirements
Effective April 8, 2020
Expires 30 days after the termination of Maine’s COVID-19 State of Emergency.

https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/sites/maine.gov.governor.mills/files/inline-files/EO37.pdf




Maryland:  Executive Order Authorizing Remote Notarizations
Effective March 30, 2020
Effective until termination of the State of Emergency and the proclamation of the catastrophic health emergency has been rescinded, except as may be rescinded, superseded, amended or revised by additional orders.

https://sos.maryland.gov/Documents/EOAuthorizingRemoteNotarization.pdf


Maryland:  Updated Secretary of State Guidance, In-Person Notarization Requirement Waiver
Updated May 11, 2020
Effective for duration of Executive Order temporarily authorizing remote notarizations (see above, Executive Order of March 30, 2020).

https://sos.maryland.gov/Documents/RemoteNotaryWaiver.pdf



Massachusetts:  Senate Bill 2645, Emergency/Temporary Authorization of Remote Notarization
Effective April 23, 2020
Expires three business days after termination of the Governor’s declared State of Emergency (issued March 10, 2020).
https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S2645



Michigan:  Executive Order 2020-131 Encouraging Use of Electronic Signatures and Remote Notarization, Witnessing and Visitation
(Rescinds EO 2020-74)
Effective June 24, 2020 through July 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-532893--,00.html

Retains the provisions of EO 2020-74, but extends until July 31, 2020 the validity (active status) of Michigan Notary Public commissions that expired or were set to expire between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020.
  


Michigan:  Executive Order 2020-74 Encouraging Use of Electronic Signatures and Remote Notarization, Witnessing and Visitation
(Rescinds EO 2020-41)
Effective May 5, 2020 through June 30, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-528192--,00.html

Retains the provisions of EO 2020-41, but extends the timeframe within which a witness to the document must sign (after receiving the transmitted document copy) and return the document to the signatory or the signatory's designee. Adds a provision extending until June 30, 2020 the validity (active status) of Michigan Notary Public commissions that expired or were set to expire between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020.


Michigan:  Executive Order Encouraging Use of Electronic Signatures and Remote Notarization, Witnessing and Visitation
Effective April 8, 2020
Effective through May 6, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ORDER


Michigan:  Secretary of State's Guidance on Temporary Changes to In-Person Notarization
Expires May 6, 2020
Relates to temporary remote notarizations performed under Executive Order effective April 8, 2020.

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/Notary_Order_v2_687327_7.pdf




Mississippi:  Executive Order Temporarily Authorizing Remote Notarizations
Effective April 6, 2020
Effective for duration of the declared State of Emergency and for fourteen days thereafter.
https://www.sos.ms.gov/content/executiveorders/ExecutiveOrders/1467.pdf

Mississippi:  Secretary of State's Remote Notarization Executive Order Guidance
Effective April 6, 2020
Effective for duration of Executive Order No. 1467 (above)
CLICK HERE TO VIEW



Missouri:  Executive Order 20-08, Notarizations Using Audio-Video Technology
April 6, 2020
Extended in whole by Executive Order 20-12; terminates on August 28, 2020 unless extended in whole or in part.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ORDER

The Order temporarily suspends the requirement that an individual (principal) must personally (physically) appear before a Notary Public for performance of a notarial act. It authorizes notarial acts to be performed utilizing audio-video technology, provided the following conditions are met (whether the notarization is performed on an electronic or paper document):

  1. Any notarial act performed through audio-video conference technology shall have the same force, effect and validity as any other notarial act performed in compliance with Missouri law, and may be relied upon to the same extent as any other notarial act under Missouri law.
  2. The Notary must be physically located in the State of Missouri.
  3. The video conference must be a live, interactive audio-visual communication between the principal, Notary and other necessary persons, and must allow for observation, direct interaction and communication at the time of signing.
  4. The person must affirmatively represent that he or she is physically situated in the State of Missouri.
  5. If the person whose signature is to be notarized is not personally or otherwise known to the Notary, the person must display a valid photo ID to the Notary during the audio-video conference.
  6. The document must contain a notarial certificate (a jurat or acknowledgment) which states the principal appeared remotely pursuant to Executive Order 20.08.
  7. The Notary must state the Missouri county that the Notary is physically in at the time of notarization, for the jurisdiction (venue) on the notarial certificate.
  8. The Notary must record in his or her journal the exact time and software used to perform the notarial act, along with all other required information (the Order indicates that the journal record will be “absent the signature of the principal”).

If the document notarized by audio-video technology is electronic:

  • The Missouri Notary must be registered with the Secretary of State as an electronic Notary Public.
  • The electronic document must be signed electronically with software (an electronic notarization technology) approved by the Secretary of State as an acceptable medium to conduct the transaction.
  • The transaction may include use of software requiring third party multifactor authentication.
  • The Notary Public must affix his or her electronic Notary seal to the electronic document.

If the document notarized by audio-video technology is paper:

  • A tangible or electronic copy of the signed document must be mailed or otherwise transmitted to the Notary within five business days.
  • To the extent that any Missouri state law requires the physical presence of any testator, settlor, principal, witness, Notary or other person for the effective execution of any estate planning document (such as a will, trust or power of attorney, or a self-providing affidavit of the execution of such documents), the requirement is temporarily suspended or waived and satisfied if the necessary parties are present through a video conference as specified in the Order.

The Order also establishes:

  • That if the document must be presented in a paper medium, it satisfies the requirements of being an original document and prima facie evidence if the Notary prints out the electronic document, affixes his or her attestation that the printed-out copy is a true and correct copy of the electronic document and that it was performed pursuant to Executive Order 20-08, and signs the attestation and affixes his or her ink-stamp seal;
  • That the fees a Notary may charge for notarizing pursuant to the Executive Order shall be the same as those allowed by law (Section 486.350 RSMo) for other notarial acts, except that a fee charged for use of a Remote Online Notary platform or service shall not be considered a fee for a notarial act as provided in Section 486.350 RSMo.

Finally, the Order provides that the Secretary of State shall retain powers provided by law to investigate and adjudicate any Notary complaint related to the methods of notarization performed under the Executive Order.

Missouri:  Secretary of State's Executive Order 20-08 Guidance
Effective April 6, 2020 and in force for duration of Executive Order (June 15, 2020).
https://www.sos.mo.gov/ElectronicNotary



Montana:  Temporary Emergency Rule Revising Official Stamp Requirements for a Notary Public Authorized to Perform Remote or Remote Online Notarizations
Effective April 8, 2020
In effect for duration of Governor’s Executive Order 3-2020, which runs concurrently with President Trump’s national State of Emergency declaration
.
https://sosmt.gov/notary/mt-laws-rules-ethics/  
(Click link for “Read the new rule regarding electronic notary stamps.”)



Nebraska:  Governor’s Executive Order to Implement the Online Notary Public Act
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ORDER
April 1, 2020

Governor Pete Ricketts waived the delayed (July 1, 2020) effective date provision of Nebraska’s Online Notary Public Act, and ordered the Secretary of State to “immediately commence implementation of the Act.” 


Nebraska: Emergency Rule, Early Implementation of Online Notary Public Act
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE EMERGENCY RULE
April 2, 2020
In effect through June 30, 2020, at which time the Online Notary Public Act becomes operative by its own terms.These emergency regulations will be replaced with codified regulations. 

The Nebraska Secretary of State has adopted emergency rules effective April 2, 2020 to immediately implement Nebraska’s Online Notary Public Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. §§64-401 through 64-418. The emergency rules temporarily lift some requirements of law (for example, under the rule an Online Notary Public applicant need not take an approved course as a condition of registration, but still must take the course within 30 days of being notified by the Secretary of State that the course is available).

Definitions
The rule defines these key terms:  “applicant,” “Approved Online Notary Solution Provider,” “biometric authentication,” “independently verifiable,” “Notary Public,” “online notarization system,” “password authentication,” “secretary,” “token authentication,” “under his or her exclusive control,” “under the Online Notary Public’s sole control.”

Online Notary Qualifications, Registration
To register as a Nebraska Online Notary Public, an applicant must:

  1. Hold a valid Nebraska Notary Public commission;
  2. Declare that he or she continues to meet the qualifications of a Notary Public;
  3. Take the required course of instruction* and pass the required examination;
  4. Pay the required registration fee ($50, new and renewing registrations); and
  5. Provide all information required for registration, including any other information requested by the Secretary of State to prove the applicant’s qualifications.
    ----------
    * Online Notary Public applicants who qualify for registration prior to July 1, 2020 must take the required training course within 30 days after it is made available by the Secretary of State. 

Online Notary Training, Exam
The Secretary of State administers the required training course and testing for Online Notary Public applicants.  The Secretary may designate a third-party training course for applicants or appoint certified Notary Public instructors to administer the training course and testing. 

A minimum 85% score is required to pass the exam. If an applicant fails the exam, his or her Online Notary registration will be denied and the applicant must wait 30 days to reapply for registration, including submitting a new Online Notary Public registration application, paying the registration fee, taking the training course again and passing the exam. An applicant who fails the examination three times will be considered incompetent to be registered as an Online Notary Public and ineligible to take the exam again.

Online Notary Registration Renewal
Registered Online Notaries Public wishing to renew their registration must indicate this intent on their Notary Public commission renewal application, and pay (submit) the fee for registration as an Online Notary Public in addition to (at the same time as) the fee for renewing his or her Notary Public commission.  Failure to renew an Online Notary Public registration at the same time the individual is renewing his or her Notary Public commission will require the individual to submit a new Online Notary Public application and meet all requirements as if registering as an Online Notary Public for the first time.

Required Actions, End of Online Notary’s Registration
The administrative rule clarifies that the notification requirement specified in Neb. Rev. Stat. §64-413(1) (that the Online Notary or duly authorized representative has erased, deleted or destroyed the coding, disk, certificate, card, software, file, password or program that enables electronic affixation of the Online Notary’s electronic signature and seal)  must be given in writing within three months after the triggering circumstance  (the Online Notary’s registration expiration, resignation, cancellation or revocation or upon the Online Notary’s death, unless Neb. Rev. Stat. §64-413(2) applies).

Removal of Registration
Any violation by an Online Notary Public of Nebraska’s Online Notary Public Act or the Secretary’s administrative rules can result in removal of the Notary’s Online Notary Public registration, under procedures established in Nebraska’s statutes and administrative code (433 NAC 6 007.)

Location of Online Notary Public
A Nebraska Online Notary Public must be physically located in Nebraska when performing an online notarial act. The principal (document signer) need not be located in Nebraska.

Online Notary’s Electronic Signature, Seal
An Online Notary Public’s electronic signature and electronic seal must be:

  • independently verifiable* and unique to the Online Notary;
  • retained under the Online Notary’s sole control;**
  • accessible by and attributable solely to the Online Notary Public to the exclusion of all other persons and entities for the entire time necessary to perform the notarial act
    ----------
    *”Independently verifiable” means capable of government or third-party authentication of a notarial act, a Notary Public’s identity, and the Notary’s relevant authority.
    **”Under the Online Notary Public’s sole control” means accessible by and attributable solely to the Online Notary Public to the exclusion of all other persons and entities, either through being in the direct physical custody of the Online Notary or through being secured with one or more biometric, password, or token authentication technologies, or other authentication technologies in an Online Notarization System provided by an Online Notary Solution Provider approved in accordance with the Online Notary Public Act and the Secretary’s administrative rules.

Additionally, an Online Notary Public’s electronic signature must be attached to or logically associated with the document, linking the data such that any alterations to the document or Online Notary’s notarial certificate made after the Online Notary has signed the certificate are visually observable.

An image of the Online Notary’s handwritten signature and seal must appear on any visual or printed representation of the online notarial certificate regardless of the technology used to affix the Online Notary’s electronic signature and seal. The appearance of the Online Notary’s seal on the electronic document must replicate the appearance of the Notary’s inked seal on paper.

The Online Notary seal image must contain a border, inside of which must appear the Online Notary Public’s name exactly as commissioned, identifying number and commission expiration date, as well as the words, “Online Notary Public” and “Nebraska.”

An Online Notary cannot obtain an Online Notary seal or electronic signature from an Online Notary solution provider unless the provider has already been approved by the Secretary of State.

Security of Online Notary’s Electronic Signature, Seal
Access to an Online Notary Public’s electronic signature and seal must be protected by use of an authentication method (password, token, biometric or other form of authentication), approved by the Secretary of State.

Neither an Online Notary Public’s employer nor any of the employer’s employees or agents may use or permit use of an Online Notary seal or electronic signature by anyone other than the Online Notary Public to whom they are registered.

An Online Notary Public must, pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. §64-410 and provisions of this Emergency Rule, immediately (upon discovery) report in writing to the Secretary of State the theft or vandalism of the Online Notary’s electronic signature, Online Notary seal, or electronic record (journal), including the backup record. [The administrative rule provides a 10-day period for notification, but the statute requires immediate notification.]  Failure to comply with this requirement may result in removal of the Notary’s registration to act as an Online Notary Public.

Records of Online Notarizations (Secure Electronic Recordkeeping Required by Neb. Rev. Stat. §64-409)
In addition to meeting the requirements established by statute, an Online Notary must maintain secure electronic records of his or her online notarizations, including backup records, for at least 10 years after the date of the online notarial act. These records and any portion of them must be made available to the Secretary of State upon the Secretary’s request. Failure of the Online Notary Public to maintain the secure electronic record or the backup record for the required 10 years or to timely provide a record upon the Secretary’s request can result in removal of the Notary’s Online Notary Public registration.

Additional Online Notarization Procedures
For each acknowledgment online notarization performed, every principal’s signature requiring notarization/attestation in the form of an acknowledgment must be individually affixed to the electronic document by the principal, and must be separately acknowledged by the principal, except when the notarized electronic document is executed on behalf of certain specified parties (see “Separate Attestations”).

Online Notary Solution Providers, Online Notarization Systems
The rule contains extensive provisions for the Secretary of State’s approval of Online Notary solution providers, who offer the online notarization systems that enable an Online Notary Public to perform online notarizations. The rule also establishes that the Secretary may request any other information not detailed in the rule, but related to a provider’s online notarization system. Only Online Notary solution providers that have been approved by the Secretary of State may provide services to Nebraska Online Notaries.  On the Secretary of State’s Electronic Notary Public Registration form, the applicant will report his or her chosen online notarization solution (technology), offered by an approved solution provider.

The rule establishes minimum performance standards for the communication technology, credential analysis and identity proofing functions provided by an Online Notary solution provider. 

Online Notaries must notify the Secretary of State within 45 days after any change relative to Online Notary Systems or approved Online Notary solution providers. The rule specifies that an Online Notary’s new approved Online Notary solution provider—not the Online Notary—must submit an exemplary of the Online Notary’s new electronic signature and Online Notary seal to the Secretary

Approved Online Notary solution providers must notify the Secretary of any updates or subsequent versions of the provider’s online notarization system, within 45 days before making such updates or subsequent versions available to Nebraska Online Notaries. The updates to or subsequent versions of an approved provider’s online notarization system must meet all approval requirements, or the Secretary may remove the provider’s Approved Online Notary Solution Provider designation.



New Hampshire:  Emergency Order, Temporary Authority to Perform Remote Online Notarization
Effective March 23, 2020
Effective for duration of the State of Emergency declared in Executive Order 2020-04.

https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/emergency-orders/documents/emergency-order-11.pdf



New Jersey:  Assembly Bill 3903, Emergency/Temporary Authorization of Remote Notarization
Effective April 14, 2020
Expires upon rescission (revocation, repeal) of Governor’s Executive Order No. 103 of 2020.
https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2020/Bills/AL20/26_.HTM

New Jersey:  Division of Revenue's Guidance, Remote Notarial Acts Under AB 3903
Published April 20, 2020.  Effective until rescission (revocation, repeal) of Governor's Executive Order No. 103 of 2020.
See Page 14, "Appendix, Remote Notarial Acts" :
https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/pdf/NotaryPublicManual.pdf#page=14



New Mexico:  Executive Order Temporarily Permitting Notarial Acts Through Audio-Visual Technology
Effective March 30, 2020
Remains in effect until June 20, 2020
https://www.newmexico.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Executive-Order-2020-015.pdf

New Mexico:  Secretary of State's Executive Order 2020-015 Guidance
Effective for duration of the Executive Order.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW GUIDANCE



New York:  Executive Order, Continuing Temporary Suspension/Modification of Notary Law Requiring Physical Presence (EO 202.7)
Effective March 19, 2020. Extended by subsequent Executive Order to June 6, 2020.
https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2027-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency#top


New York:  Department of State Guidance on Executive Order 202.7
Revised March 31, 2020
https://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/notary/DOS_COVID19_RemoteNotaryGuidance.pdf



North Carolina:  Temporary, Emergency Video Notarization Authorization (see Part IV, Continuity of State Government/Regulatory Relief - Emergency Video Notarization)
Effective May 4, 2020.  Effective until August 1, 2020
https://www3.ncleg.gov/Sessions/2019/Bills/Senate/HTML/S704v6.HTML


North Carolina:  Secretary of State's Requirements & Resources, Emergency Video Notarization
Extensive information and resources provided by the Secretary of State.
https://www.sosnc.gov/divisions/notary/Emergency_Video_Notarization



North Dakota:  Secretary of State Guidance on Remote Online Notarization
Authorized Pursuant to N.D.C.C. §44-06.1-13.1
http://sos.nd.gov/notaries-public/remote-online-notarization



Pennsylvania:  Senate Bill 841, COVID-19 Disaster Emergency Bill -- Temporary Remote Notarization
Effective April 20, 2020
Expires 60 days after termination or expiration of the Governor's emergency COVID-19 disaster declaration.

Authorizes Pennsylvania Notaries Public to perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals, subject to requirements specified in the bill.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW BILL
 


Pennsylvania:  Secretary of State's Guidance on Senate Bill 841, "Temporary Remote Notarization"
Effective April 20, 2020
CLICK HERE TO VIEW STATE'S GUIDANCE 


Pennsylvania:  Temporary Suspension of the In-Person Requirement for Court Reporters
Effective March 21, 2020.  Effective for the duration of the declared disaster emergency or Governor issues an order that suspension is no longer necessary.
https://www.dos.pa.gov/Documents/2020-03-21-Court-Reporters-Notaries-in-person.pdf


Pennsylvania:  Limited Suspension of the In-Person Regulatory Requirement for Notaries--Personal and Commercial Real Estate Transactions (See Conditions)
Effective March 25, 2020; superseded by Senate Bill 316 (see above).
https://www.dos.pa.gov/Documents/2020-03-25-Notaries-Inperson-limited-suspension.pdf


Pennsylvania:  Temporary Suspension of the In-Person Requirement; Remote Notarization of Estate Planning Documents
Effective April 2, 2020; superseded by Senate Bill 316 (see above).
https://www.dos.pa.gov/Documents/2020-04-02-Remote-Notarization.pdf



Rhode Island:  Updated Standards of Notary Conduct; Authority to Perform Secure Remote Online Notarization
Effective April 3, 2020
Effective until termination of the State of Emergency declared by Executive Order 20-02
https://www.sos.ri.gov/assets/downloads/documents/2020-Updated-Notary-Public-Standards.pdf


Rhode Island:  Secretary of State’s Remote Online Notarization Temporary Performance Guide
Effective April 3, 2020
Effective until termination of the State of Emergency declared by Executive Order 20-02

https://www.sos.ri.gov/assets/downloads/documents/RI-RON-guidance-document.pdf



Tennessee:  Executive Order No. 26 Facilitating Temporary Remote Notarization and Witnessing of Documents*
Effective at 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time on April 9, 2020; effective until 12:01 a.m. Central Daylight Time, May 18, 2020.
Revised by Executive Order No. 28 (see underlined text below) dated April 17, 2020.
Revised by subsequent Executive Order No. 37, effective 12:01 a.m. CDT on May 18, 2020 until 12:01 a.m. CDT, June 30, 2020.
Revised by subsequent Executive Order No. 52, effective 12:01 am CDT on June 30, 2020 until 12:01 a.m. CDT, August 29, 2020.
https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/pub/execorders/exec-orders-lee26.pdf
https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/pub/execorders/exec-orders-lee28.pdf
https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/pub/execorders/exec-orders-lee37.pdf
https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/pub/execorders/exec-orders-lee52.pdf

*NOTE:  Current Tennessee law authorizes duly commissioned Online Notaries Public to perform remote notarizations involving electronically signed, electronic documents.  Under Executive Order 26 and subsequent revisions, any Tennessee Notary Public, including Online Notaries Public, may perform remote notarizations and witnessing of documents involving tangible (paper) documents, subject to conditions of the Order. 

 Permits remote notarization and witnessing, by suspending “any law” requiring a signatory (principal signer) to execute a document in the physical presence of, or while physically appearing before, a Notary Public or witness(es) subject to the following conditions (below).  Also suspends “any law” requiring a witness or witnesses to witness a document’s execution in the physical presence of, or while physically appearing before, a Notary Public or another witness(es), subject to the following conditions.

 Defines “document,” “signatory” and “witness(es).”

 Requires a signatory’s (principal’s) execution of a document; witnessing by a witness or witnesses; and notarization by a Notary Public, as applicable,* to occur via real-time, audio and visual communication by which these parties can see and hear one another simultaneously. Acceptable audio and visual communication technologies include but are not limited to Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, WebEx and similar.
*The Executive Order does not require that remote document executions involve a Notary and witness, it recognizes that transactions might require a Notary, witness(es) or both.

 Requires the signatory, Notary Public and witness(es), as applicable, to each be physically located in Tennessee during the real-time audio and visual communication.

 Requires the Notary Public and any witness(es), through use of the real-time audio and visual communication at the time that document execution occurs, to verify the identity of the signatory by personal knowledge or by government-issued identification.

 Requires the signatory and any witness(es), during the real-time audio and visual communication session, to affirmatively identify (state the name/nature of) the document being executed and (if applicable) witnessed.

 Requires the document’s execution and any act of witnessing to be captured sufficiently close (well, clearly) on the real-time audio and visual communication for the Notary Public and any witness(es) to observe such.

 Requires the document to include a provision stating that it was executed in compliance with, as applicable, Executive Order No. 26 by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, dated April 9, 2020; Executive Order No. 37 by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, dated May 12, 2020; and/or Executive Order No. 52 by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, dated June 29, 2020.
*If this is not already stated in the document, the Notary may write this statements within the area of the notarial certificate.

 Requires the execution, witnessing or notarization of the document (as applicable) to be memorialized by at least one of these methods:
i. Counterparts – Parties in different locations from one another execute, witness or notarize, as applicable, separate signature pages in counterparts.*
*Under this legal concept, multiple signing parties—including the Notary—who cannot sign in each other’s presence each execute a separate signature page. Each such signed counterpart is considered an original; together they form a complete, single document. The counterparts would be executed during the audio-visual communications session. 
ii. Subsequent notarization or witnessing of the original document. The document is first executed by the signatory,* then the applicable Notary, witness(es) or any combination thereof later notarizes or witnesses that original document containing the signatory’s signature, IF such notarizing or witnessing is completed no later than 10 calendar days from the date of document execution (signing by the signatory).
*For the signatory’s execution of the document, the signatory, Notary and any witness appear together over real-time audio and visual communication. The Notary performs the customary formalities of notarization, observes the signatory’s signing of the document and administers the verbal ceremony for an acknowledgment or oath/affirmation, as appropriate. The witness, if applicable, also witnesses the signatory’s execution of the document. The signed, tangible document would then travel to the witness (if the witness’ signature is required) and then to the Notary, who must complete the notarial certificate on the document. The Notary’s certificate will show the date of notarization as the date of the audio-visual communication session in which the Notary officiated for the signatory’s signature on the document. The venue would be the Notary’s location during the audio-video communication session. The Notary would then return the document to the signatory.

 Suspends provisions and requirements of Tennessee’s Online Notary Public Act as necessary to allow a (traditional) Notary Public to remotely notarize documents in accordance with the Executive Order. Establishes that nothing in the Order prevents a commissioned Tennessee Online Notary Public from electing to notarize a document under the provisions of the Online Notary Public Act.* Clarifies that compliance with the Online Notary Public Act continues to have full force and effect under law.
*A Tennessee Online Notary Public may elect to use audio-visual communication to remotely notarize a tangible document under provisions of the Executive Order; or may use audio-visual communication to remotely/electronically notarize an electronic document under provisions of Tennessee’s Online Notary Public Act.

 Addresses suspension of laws that would limit application of the Executive Order; and establishes that the Order’s provisions are severable in the event of any finding that a provision of the Order is held invalid.

 Suspends provisions of Tennessee law (Section 8-16-103) to the extent necessary to delay expiration of the commission terms of Notaries Public and Online Notaries Public.
i. Executive Order 28 of April 17, 2020 established that Notary and Online Notary commissions expiring between March 12, 2020 and May 18, 2020 would instead expire on July 15, 2020.
ii. Executive Order 37 of May 12, 2020 established that Notary and Online Notary commissions expiring between March 12, 2020 and June 15, 2020 would instead expire on June 30, 2020.
iii. Executive Order 52 dated June 29, 2020 omitted the commission expiration date provision entirely.


Tennessee:  Executive Order Extending Notary Commissions
Effective immediately, Executive Order No. 26, dated April 9, 2020, is amended by adding the following new paragraph:
4.1 The provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 8-16-103, are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to delay the expiration of terms of office of notaries public and online notaries public set to expire between March 12, 2020, and May 18, 2020. Such terms of office shall instead expire on July 15, 2020. This paragraph shall not affect the requirement of providing a bond under Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 8-16-104. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have subscribed my signature and caused the Great Seal of the State of Tennessee to be affixed this 17th day of April, 2020.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW ORDER



Texas:  Governor’s Executive Order, Appearance Before a (Traditional) Notary Public by Videoconference Technology, Specified Document Types Only
Effective April 8, 2020
Remains in effect until terminated by the Office of the Governor or until the March 13, 2020 disaster declaration is lifted or expires.
 
https://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/notary-public.shtml

PLEASE NOTE:  The permissions granted under the Governor’s Executive Order apply only if the notarization is for a self-proved will, a durable power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, a directive to physician, or an oath of an executor, administrator or guardian.  Notaries asked to officiate as provided in the Executive Order must carefully assess whether the document to be notarized is any of those listed above.

By Executive Order, Governor Greg Abbott has suspended Texas statutes requiring physical appearance of a “signing person” (document signer) before a Traditional Notary Public, if the document requiring notarization is a self-proved will, a durable power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, a directive to physician, or an oath of an executor, administrator or guardian. 

This means that while the Executive Order is in effect, a Texas Notary who is not also commissioned as a Texas Online Notary Public may use videoconference technology to interact with a signing person who is not physically present, if the notarization is for one of the specified document types. 

Absent any clarification to the contrary, performance of notarial acts under the Governor’s Executive Order requires both the Notary Public and the signing person to be physically located in Texas at the time of notarization. (American Society of Notaries recommends that the Notary Public obtain the signing person’s affirmative statement that he or she is physically located in Texas.)

The Order specifies that for a (Traditional) Notary to officiate using videoconference technology, the following conditions must be met:

Conditions Stated in the Executive Order Comments, Recommendations
The Notary Public must verify the identity of the person signing a document at the time the signature is taken by using two-way video and audio conference technology. The videoconference technology should provide sufficient audio clarity and visual resolution to enable the Notary and signing person to see and hear each other simultaneously in real-time, with no significant interruptions, lags or blurriness.
A Notary Public may verify identity by personal knowledge of the signing person, or by analysis based on the signing person’s remote presentation of a government-issued identification credential, including a passport or driver’s license, that contains the signature and a photograph of the person. If not personally known to the Notary, the signing person will hold up his or her identification credential (the customary, acceptable forms containing a signature and photograph) to the web camera, and the Notary will visually scan the credential to verify the signing person’s identity.
  If the document is unsigned or requires an oath or affirmation, the Notary must witness the person sign the document. The Notary will take the signing person’s acknowledgment of his/her signature; or administer an oath or affirmation; as indicated by the notarial language (certificate) on the document.
The signing person shall transmit by fax or electronic means a legible copy of the signed document to the Notary Public, who may notarize the transmitted copy and then transmit the notarized copy back to the signing person by fax or electronic means, at which point the notarization is valid.
If notarizing with an electronic signature on an editable electronic document, the Traditional Notary Public will complete the notarial certificate on the electronic document, electronically sign the certificate, and then electronically send the document back to the signing person. Under Texas law, a Traditional Notary Public’s electronic signature satisfies statutory requirements for the Notary’s handwritten signature if the electronic signature, “…. together with all other information required to be included by other applicable law [i.e., the notarial certificate, required seal information, commission expiration date, etc.] is attached to or logically associated with the signature or record.”

If notarizing with a wet-ink signature and ink-stamp, the Notary will paper out the document sent by the signing person; complete, sign and seal the notarial certificate; and send the document back to the signing person by fax or electronic means.
  Notary Records: Every notarial act performed must be recorded in a tangible (paper) or electronic recordbook maintained by the Notary. American Society of Notaries recommends that this recordbook entry include a notation that the notarization was performed by videoconference technology under Executive Order dated April 8, 2020. (Texas does not require the signing person’s signature in the recordbook, and it cannot be obtained since the signing person is remotely located.) 

Finally, the Executive Order states, “Documents executed while this suspension is in effect, and in accordance with its terms, will remain valid after the termination of this suspension.”


Texas:  Governor's Temporary Suspension of Appearance Before a Notary Public for Acknowledgment of Real-Estate Instruments; Authorization to Use Audio-Video Communication
Effective April 27, 2020
Remains in effect until the earlier of June 30, 2020 or termination of the March 13, 2020 disaster declaration.
https://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/notary-public.shtml

As permitted by Texas law (Tex. Gov't Code §418.016) and only for purposes of acknowledging real-estate instruments, the Office of the Governor has temporarily suspended Tex. Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 121.006(c)(1) to enable a signatory (principal signer) to appear before a Texas Notary Public by use of videoconferencing.

Under this suspension, any Texas Notary Public may use videoconferencing technology to perform an acknowledgment notarial act for a remotely located signatory who is executing a tangible (paper) real-estate document. Were it not for this suspension, remote notarization could only be performed by a commissioned Online Notary Public, involving execution of an electronic document.*  The suspension does not prevent a traditional (physical-presence) notarization; or an online notarization performed by a commissioned Online Notary Public.
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*NOTE:  As with any notarial act, a Notary Public officiating under this suspension must perform the customary formalities of notarization.  He/she should examine the document (ask the signatory to hold it up to the web camera for inspection); review the notarial certificate to learn which notarial act is required; identify the signatory (discussed below); observe the signatory’s act of signing and administer the verbal ceremony; and complete the notarial certificate (discussed below). The customary recordbook entry must be created.  Notarizations performed under this suspension are subject to additional requirements, discussed below.

Notarizations performed under this suspension are subject to the following conditions.

 

Texas:  Notary Coronavirus Response Advisory, Extended Texas Driver License Expiration Dates
 (March 26, 2020)

American Society of Notaries advises all Texas Notaries that by order of Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has temporarily waived expiration dates for certain Texas identification cards, including Driver Licenses, Commercial Driver Licenses and other identification forms. This measure suspends the need to venture into a public setting in order to renew an expiring or expired license.

Under terms of the order (and subject to conditions noted below) a Texas Notary Public may accept an expired, Texas-issued identification card (ID), driver license (DL), commercial driver license (CDL) and election identification certificate (EIC) as satisfactory evidence of identification. Remember that Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code Sec. 121.005(a)(2) requires identification cards or documents accepted by a Notary Public to include the holder’s photograph and signature.

For a Texas Notary to accept an expired Texas ID type noted above as satisfactory evidence of identification, BOTH of these conditions must be met:

  1. The expiration date on the driver license or ID card is on or after March 13, 2020; AND
  2. The date of the notarial transaction/act is no more than 60 days after the Governor’s State of Disaster declaration is officially lifted (when that will occur is presently unknown).

This order pertains only to Texas-issued identification documents. A Texas Notary cannot accept expired forms of identification issued by any other states.

Texas Online Notaries Public: Verify that your Online Notary system/technology provider is aware of these developments, as they may affect aspects of the provider’s identity proofing procedures.

Recommended Notary procedures if presented with an expired Texas ID:

  1. Verify that the card’s expiration date and the day/date that notarization is performed meet conditions 1 and 2 noted above. Also verify that the card includes a photograph and signature.
  2. Advise the signer/cardholder that the expired ID card is being accepted under state emergency measures.
  3. Write a note in the journal record that an expired ID card was accepted in accordance with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s March 2020 extension of expired ID cards.
  4. Print and retain a copy of the DPS’s public announcement. Keep a copy of the announcement with every recordbook/journal containing entries involving your acceptance of an expired ID under the DPS’s expiration date waiver.

NOTE: This ID card expiration date extension does not return driving privileges to a person not eligible to drive due to an active enforcement action (suspension, revocation or denial).



Vermont:  Senate Bill 316, Execution of Wills During an Emergency
Effective April 28, 2020
Remains effective for the period that the Secretary of State's Emergency Administrative Rules for Notaries Public and Remote Notarization are in effect.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW BILL

Establishes that the witnesses to a will signed in conformity with the Emergency Rules, and pursuant to the self-proving will provisions of Vermont law (14 V.S.A. Sec. 108), shall be considered to be in the presence of the testator and each other whether or not the witnesses are physically present with the testator or the Notary.
 


Vermont:  Secretary of State’s Emergency Rules for Notaries Public and Remote Notarization
Effective March 24, 2020 and remain in effective for 180 days thereafter.
https://sos.vermont.gov/media/byvjsc2a/emergency-rules-remote-notary-final-2020-0324.pdf


Vermont:  Secretary of State’s Guidance on Remote Notarization Emergency Rules
Effective March 24, 2020
Effective for duration of related Emergency Rules.
https://sos.vermont.gov/media/mixppvcq/emergency-rules-remote-notary-final-2020-0324.pdf



Washington:  Governor’s Proclamation Amending Effective Date of Remote Notarization Statutes
Effective March 27, 2020; extended by subsequent proclamation until the termination of the COVID-19 State of Emergency or 11:59 p.m. on July 1, 2020, which occurs first.
https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20-27%20-%20COVID-19%20Notary%20%28tmp%29.pdf


Washington:  Dept. of Licensing's Emergency Administrative Rules, Remote Notarization Under Gubernatorial Proclamation
Effective March 27, 2020
Remains effective for the duration of the emergency directive issued by the Governor.
http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/law/wsr/2020/08/20-08-071.htm



West Virginia:  Executive Order Temporarily Suspending Statutory Requirement of Physical Appearance
Effective March 25, 2020
Effective for duration of the declared State of Emergency.

https://apps.sos.wv.gov/adlaw/executivejournal/readpdf.aspx?DocID=89564


West Virginia:  Secretary of State’s Emergency Rule, Guidelines and Standards for Electronic Notarization
Effective March 31, 2020 and only during a declared State of Emergency when [physical presence] is impractical, illegal or otherwise inadvisable due to a public health emergency or other natural disaster. 
http://apps.sos.wv.gov/adlaw/csr/readfile.aspx?DocId=53115&Format=PDF



Wisconsin:  WDFI Secretary’s Emergency Guidance on Remote Notarization
Issued March 18, 2020; Updated March 20, 2020
http://wdfi.org/Apostilles_Notary_Public_and_Trademarks/pdf/Emergency%20Guidance%20-%20Remote%20Notarization.pdf


Wisconsin:  WDFI Guidance, “Remote Online Notarization Now Available” Memorandum
Updated March 19, 2020
https://wdfi.org/Apostilles_Notary_Public_and_Trademarks/defaultNotary.htm; see headline “Remote Notarization Now Available…” select “click here.”



Wyoming:  Secretary of State’s Guidance on Temporary Remote Online Notarization
Effective March 24, 2020
Effective until re-evaluation on or before July 1, 2020 or until present State of Emergency is lifted, whichever occurs first.

http://soswy.state.wy.us/Services/Docs/Guidance-on-Temporary-Remote-Online-Notarization.pdf



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