Apr 15, 2020

Remote Notarial Services Permitted During the Health Crisis

By Meredith L. Grocott, Esq. and Valerie A. Vladyka, Esq.

The law requires certain documents to be notarized to be effective and the current necessity of social distancing has made notarizing documents problematic. Back in March, New York began permitting remote notarization pursuant to Executive Order 202.7, which was recently extended. New Jersey has now joined New York in likewise allowing a procedure for remote notarization. On April 14, 2020, Governor Murphy signed into law legislation that permits documents to be notarized remotely for the duration of the state of emergency declared through the Governor’s Executive Order 103. The law allows the following to be done through videoconferencing technology:

• Taking acknowledgments;
• Administering oaths and affirmations;
• Executing jurats or other verification;
• Taking proofs of deed; and
• Executing protests for non-payment

Importantly, the law applies not only to notaries public, but also to officers authorized to take oaths or acknowledgments, including attorneys-at-law in the State of New Jersey.

The law sets forth specific requirements in order to perform notarial acts remotely, including proper identification and that the interaction must be recorded and that recording maintained for 10 years. Also, if the notarial act is performed remotely pursuant to the law, then the certificate and name affixed on the document shall indicate that the notarial act was performed using communication technology.

It should be noted that the recent New Jersey law expressly does not apply to matters pertaining to adoption, divorce or family law or the Uniform Commercial Code, except the chapters pertaining to Sales and Leases.

The procedures for remote notarization in New Jersey and New York will assist Schenck Price in continuing to serve its clients during the health crisis by facilitating transactions that require notarized signatures, such as real estate deals, loan closings, and estate planning.

DISCLAIMER: This Alert is designed to keep you aware of recent developments in the law. It is not intended to be legal advice, which can only be given after the attorney understands the facts of a particular matter and the goals of the client.

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