States Allowing Online Remote Notarization in Response to COVID-19

What Is An Online Notary?

Due to recent developments regarding COVID-19, many states have allowed notaries to transition to performing remote, online notarizations in the interest of protecting the health of both notaries and their customers. With online notarizations, the notary can perform their duties using telecommunication technology rather than being physically present with the customer. Electronic, traditional, and online notaries are all required to keep journals of their notarial acts.

Which States Already Have Online Notarization Laws?

Many states have already passed legislation pertaining to remote notarization without resorting to an executive order, while other states currently have pending legislation to address the issue. Below is a list of those states with additional information on becoming a notary in that state:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona (effective June 2020)
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana (effective July 2020)
  • Iowa (effective July 2020)
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland (effective October 2020)
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska (effective July 2020)
  • New Jersey

  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Vermont
  • Washington (effective October 2020)
  • Wisconsin (effective May 2020)

Which States Have Remote Notarization Executive Orders?

Many states which did not previously have legislation allowing for remote notarizations have since suspended the in-person requirement using an executive order. Below is a list of all the states temporarily allowing remote notarizations, the steps notaries must take to perform remote notarizations and any telecommunication technology specifications the state has provided.

Alabama

On March 26th, the Governor of Alabama suspended the in-person requirement for notarizing documents, so long as the notary verifies the presence and identity of any witnesses at the time of the signing using telecommunication technology. The notaries must be either trained as an attorney or work under the supervision of an attorney.

Visit our Alabama notary page for more details on becoming a commissioned notary.

Arizona

On April 8th, the Governor of Arizona issued an Executive Order allowing for remote notarizations effective April 10th, 2020. The Executive Order will last through July 1st when their recently-passed remote notarization legislation takes effect. Commissioned notaries in Arizona must meet the following requirements before performing remote notarizations:

Visit our Arizona Notary Bond page for more information on becoming a commissioned Arizona notary.

Arkansas

On March 30th, the Governor of Arkansas released an Executive Order, suspending the in-person requirement for notarizations and allowed notaries to perform notarial acts using videoconferencing technologies so long as both parties are located in Arkansas.

Visit our Arkansas notary bond page for more information on becoming a commissioned notary.

Colorado

Remote notarizations are now authorized because of an emergency order from the Governor of Colorado instituted on March 27th. The order suspends the requirement that an individual must personally appear before a notarial officer for the duration of the order, which is currently 30 days.

Notary publics may perform a remote notarization only if both individuals are located in Colorado and the notary is currently commissioned. The telecommunication device the notary uses must allow for the notary to verify the identity of the customer. The notary and customer must view the documents in question in real-time. The notary must record the interaction so it can be viewed at a later time. The Secretary of State outlined additional rules and procedures all notary publics must meet when performing remote notarial acts in the Notary Program Rules.

The Governor of Colorado recently extended the Executive Order through June 28th.

Connecticut

The Governor of Connecticut issued an Executive Order on March 23rd, effective through June 23rd, allowing notaries to perform notarial acts with the help of telecommunication technology. The technology the notary chooses must allow for recorded interactions and identification verification. The signatory must also send a copy of the signed document to the notary on the same day it was signed, which the notary then notarizes and sends back to the signatory.

Delaware

On April 15th, the Governor of Delaware issued an Executive Order allowing currently commissioned notaries to perform remote notarizations using audio-visual technology. All remote notarial acts during the Executive Order will be considered valid so long as the following requirements are met:

  • The notarization is performed by a licensed Delaware attorney in good standing with the Supreme Court of Delaware.
  • All individuals involved in the signing, including the notary, must be physically located in Delaware and vocally verify so during the video call.
  • The notary must verify the signatory’s identity be either personally knowing them or examining an identification document.
  • For documents related to a real estate transaction, the attorney overseeing the notarization must verify the signatory’s identity by personally knowing them, examining two identification documents or examining one identification document and one dated document within 60 days of the notarization.
  • The notary must be able to see and communicate with the signatory and any witnesses in real-time.

The commissioned notary may notarize a copy of the document transmitted by mail, fax, or electronic means. Additionally, the notary may notarize the original document with the date of the first execution.

Georgia

An executive order from the Governor of Georgia on March 31st suspended the in-person requirement for notarial acts, allowing for notaries to communicate with a signatory by using telecommunication technology where the two parties can communicate in real-time. Both the notary and signatory must be in Georgia at the time of the signing.

The executive order was updated on April 9th, providing further clarification on remote notarization procedures. The notary public must be a licensed attorney in Georgia or operating under the supervision of a licensed attorney. The attorney may witness the remote notarization in the presence of the notary or through telecommunication technology. During the audio-video conference, the signatory must present satisfactory evidence of identity. The signatory must send a copy of the signed document to the notary on the same day the signing occurred.

Hawaii

On March 29th, the Governor of Hawaii issued an Executive Order immediately suspending any requirements where notaries would work in close proximity or physical touch with someone to accomplish notarial acts. Notarial acts may now be performed using audio-visual technology and are seen as valid, so long as the following requirements are met:

  1. If the notary public does not personally know the signer, they must verify their identity during the video conference.
  2. The notary must confirm that the signer appears aware of the significance of the transaction which requires a notarial act.
  3. The video conference must allow for direct communication between the person and the notary public.
  4. The notary public must confirm the signer is physically located within the state.
  5. The notary public must create an audio-visual recording of the notarial act on an external storage device.
  6. The notary public must deposit the external storage device and record books within 90 days of their retirement.
  7. The notary must receive the signed document on the same day it was signed.
  8. The notary may then notarize the copy of the document and send it back to the signer.
  9. The notary public must add the following statement to the document: “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology enabled by emergency order”
  10. The notary must indicate in their record book that the notarial act was performed in compliance with Executive Order 20-02.
  11. The notary may then repeat the notarization of the original document as of the date of the execution on the copy document, provided the notary receives the original signed document with the copy document within 60 days of the execution date.

Visit our Hawaii notary bond page for more information on becoming a commissioned notary.

Iowa

Iowa recently passed legislation allowing commissioned notaries to perform remote notarizations as of July 1st, 2020. Following a proclamation of disaster emergency from the Governor of Iowa, notaries can now perform notarial acts through telecommunication devices, services, and software until the law is enacted. Such devices must include the necessary identity-verifying, e-signing, and recording/storage capabilities. Additionally, all notaries are required to register by filling out an application on the Secretary of State website before performing remote notarizations. Further requirements and specifications on performing remote notarizations in Iowa can be found in ARC 4997C.

Illinois

The Illinois Secretary of State and the Governor of Illinois jointly allowed Illinois notaries to perform remote notarizations starting March 26th through the duration of emergency proclamation. The following requirements must be met for the remote electronic notarial act to be valid:

  • Both the notary and the customer must be in Illinois at the time the remote notarization is performed.
  • The notarial act must be done via telecommunication technology where the notary and the customer can directly interact with each other and can be maintained by the notary for at least 3 years.
  • The customer must show the notary every page of the document they are showing with an initial on each page.
  • The notary must use an electronic or remote notarization platform that meets the requirements provided by the Governor’s executive order.
  • The notary may refuse any remote notarial transactions if they feel the identification credentials of the customer are not sufficient or if they believe any fraud or duress has occurred.
  • All documents remotely notarized during the Executive Order will be seen as valid by the state as if they had occurred in-person.
  • A paper copy of an electronic document a notary has certified satisfies the requirements of the state.
  • The Secretary of State retains investigative authority on any allegations of notarial misconduct.

For more information on becoming a commissioned notary public in Illinois, visit our Illinois notary bond page.

Kansas

The Governor of Kansas issued an Executive Order on April 9th, temporarily allowing for remote notarizations through May 1st if the state of disaster emergency is not extended. Notaries may perform remote notarizations so long as both parties are located within the state, can identify the signatory and the transaction follows the Secretary of State guidance.

For the duration of the Executive Order, remote notarizations are considered valid so long as the following requirements are met:

  • The two-way technology must allow for direct communication between the notary and the signatory by sight and sound.
  • The signatory must state what document is being signed.
  • The signatory must show each page of the document during the audio-video conference.
  • The signatory must transmit a legible copy of the entire signed document to any witnesses the same day the document is signed.
  • The witnesses must sign the document and send it back to the signatory within 24 hours.

The Governor of Kansas later extended the Executive Order through May 31st, 2020.

For more information on becoming a commissioned notary public in Kansas, visit our Kansas notary bond page.

Kentucky

On March 27th, the Kentucky Secretary of State sent out a press release outlining that notaries may use video conferencing technology, capable of recording and storing sessions for up to 10 years, to perform remote notarizations. Notaries who wish to perform remote notarizations must first contact the Secretary of State’s notary public coordinator at [email protected] The email must include the notary’s full name as it appears on their commission certificate, their current notary ID# with the corresponding expiration date, and their chosen communication technology.

For more information on becoming a commissioned notary public in Illinois, visit our Kentucky notary bond page.

Louisiana

On March 26th, the Governor of Louisiana gave permission for commissioned notary publics to perform remote notarizations through telecommunication means so long as the notary public can reasonably identify the signatory and can create and store a recording of the transaction for a minimum of 10 years.

Additional information on becoming a commissioned notary in Louisiana can be found on our Louisiana Notary Bond page.

Maine

The Governor of Maine issued an Executive Order on April 8th, suspending the in-person requirement for notarial acts and allowing notaries to perform remote notarizations using two-way audio-video communication technology. Commissioned notaries Maine may perform remote notarizations so long as the following requirements are met:

  • The notary must be physically located within Maine
  • If the notary does not personally know the signatory, they must identify the signatory with a valid photo identification during the video conference or by a witness who is in the physical presence of the notary or signatory or cam communicate electronically at the time of the notarization.
  • The signatory must attest they are physically located in Maine by stating the name of the county they are in at the time of the video conference.
  • The signatory must state what document they are signing and the notary must have a copy prior to the signing.
  • Each page of the document must be shown to the notary and any witnesses.
  • The signatory must electronically send a copy of the signed document to the notary and any witnesses within 24 hours of the original signing.
  • The signatory must send the original signed document to the witness within 2 days after the original signing, or to the notary if no witness is present.
  • The notary shall notarize the document within 48 of receiving it, with the official date and time being the date and time when the original signing was witnessed. The notary must add the following language below the signatures: “Notarized (and/or Witnessed) remotely, in accordance with Executive Order 37 FY 19/20”
  • A recording of the video conference must be kept by the Notary for at least 5 years. The signatory or the Secretary of State can receive a copy upon request.

Maryland

Legislation allowing commissioned notary publics to perform remote online notarizations was passed in Maryland and effective on October 10, 2020. However, the Governor of Maryland implemented an Executive Order on March 30th, suspending the in-person requirement for commissioned notaries and allows them to perform remote online notarizations. The communication technology the notary uses must allow for communication with the individual in real-time and verify their identity. The notary must record and store each recording of the notarial act and note on the certificate and in their journal that the act was done remotely using telecommunication technology.

On April 10th, the Secretary of State provided further clarification on performing remote notarizations. Notaries must meet the following qualifications to perform a remote notarization in Maryland:

  • The notary must be currently commissioned.
  • The notary must notify the Office of the Secretary of State they intend to perform remote notarizations by sending a Remote Notary Notification Form and a copy of their current notary commission to [email protected]
  • The notary must identify a communication technology that allows them to view the remotely located individual and verify identification.
  • The notary must create a recording of each notarial act.
  • The notary must note on the notarial certification and the notary log that the notarization was performed remotely.

Massachusetts

On April 27th, the Governor of Massachusetts signed into law An Act Providing For Virtual Notarization To Address Challenges Related To COVID-19, which gives commissioned notaries permission to perform remote notarizations during the state of emergency using video conference technology. Each remote notarial act conducted must meet the following requirements:

  • The notary public can observe the principal signing the document in question
  • Both the notary public and the principal are physically located in Massachusetts
  • The principal provides the notary with a satisfactory photo I.D.
  • After signing the document, the principal sends the document to the notary public
  • If the document involves a mortgage or real estate, the notary public and principal must do a second video conference where both parties can verify they have the correct documents

Michigan

An executive order from the Governor of Michigan, signed on April 9th, allows notaries to perform remote notarizations through May 6th, 2020 with the use of two-way audiovisual technology. Notaries may also use electronic signatures during their transactions unless a physical signature is mandated by law. Michigan notaries must meet the following requirements to perform remote notarizations:

  • The signatory, if not personally known by the notary, must present a state-issued photo identification during the video conference.
  • The notary may perform the notarization if the signatory is physically located in Michigan. If the signatory is located outside of Michigan, the document subject to the notarization must be intended for a government entity or property located in Michigan.
  • All parties must be able to affix their signatures to the document without tampering or modification.
  • The signatory must send a legible copy of the entire document to the notary on the same day it was signed. The notary then notarizes the copy and sends it back to the signatory.

The Michigan Governor released a new executive order, extending the use of remote notarizations through June 30.

For more information on becoming a commissioned notary public in Illinois, visit our Michigan notary bond page.

Mississippi

On April 7th, the Governor of Mississippi issued an executive order allowing commissioned notaries to perform remote notarizations for the duration of the State of Emergency and then for 14 days afterward. Before a notary can perform remote notarizations, they must meet the following requirements:

  • The notary must be a currently commissioned notary in good standing.
  • The notary must fill out a Remote Notary Notification and email it to the Secretary of State at [email protected].
    • Identify the communications technology you will be using on the Remote Notary Notification. The technology must allow for simultaneous communication between the notary and principal in real-time, verify the principal’s identity and record the entire transaction.
  • The notary must create an audio-video recording of the entire notarial act.
  • The notary must keep an electronic record as a notary journal and indicate the act was conducted remotely.

On the same day, the Secretary of State sent out a press release that summarized the executive order and provided a list of suggested remote notarization providers.

Visit our Mississippi notary bond page for more detailed information on registering as a commissioned notary in Missouri.

Missouri

On April 6th, the Governor of Missouri signed an Executive Order, effective until June 15th, suspending the in-person requirement for notary publics. Under the Executive Order, notarial acts performed using audio-video technology are considered valid by the state if the following conditions are met:

  1. The document must contain a notarial certificate, jurat or acknowledgment indicating the document was signed remotely.
  2. Any person whose signature appears on the document must present a valid photo ID if they are not personally known by the notary.
  3. The notary and principal must indicate they are physically located in Missouri.
  4. The video conference is live and interactive, allowing for direct communication at the time of the signing.
  5. The notary must record the exact time and software used to perform the notarial act within their journal, absent of the principal’s signature.
  6. For electronic documents, the notary must be registered as an electronic notary public, the document must be signed with software approved by the secretary of state and the notary shall affix their electronic notary seal afterward.
  7. For paper documents, a copy of the signed document must be sent to the notary within five business days.
  8. The document is seen as an original if the notary prints the document and affixes an attestation stating this a true and correct copy of the electronic document.

Currently-registered notaries must register as electronic notaries. To do so, commissioned notary publics must email [email protected] and notify the Secretary of State’s Business Services Division that you wish to register as an electronic notary public with specified approved software.

Visit our Missouri notary bond page for more detailed information on registering as a commissioned notary in Missouri.

Nebraska

The Nebraska Senate recently passed the Online Notary Public Act, allowing commissioned notaries to act as an online notary from within Nebraska. The bill is effective as of July 1, 2020.

On April 1st, an Executive Order from the Governor of Nebraska was released, allowing for the early implementation of the act. The Secretary of State also implemented emergency regulations, which will be replaced by the Online Notary Public Act on June 30th.

To become an online notary public, applicants must submit a completed Online Notary Registration Form, a completed Online Notary Public Test, and a $50 fee. The Secretary of State will then send the applicant their online notary commission certificate, which must be then sent to the applicant’s online notary solution provider. Applicants must already be a commissioned notary public.

Visit our Nebraska notary bond page for more information on becoming a commissioned notary.

New Hampshire

On March 23rd, the Governor of New Hampshire issued an Executive Order suspending the in-person requirement for any notarial act during the duration of the State of Emergency so long as the commissioned notary can see and communicate with the signatory and keep a record of the notarization for the duration of their commission. The signatory must be identified in one of three ways:

  1. The notary personally knows the individual
  2. Two different third-party identity verification systems
  3. Through a credible witness in the physical presence of the notary or signatory or is connected via a telecommunication device.

New Jersey

On April 14th, the state of New Jersey passed an emergency law, effective for the duration of the State of Emergency, allowing notaries to perform remote notarizations. Notaries may also perform remote notarizations for individuals located outside of the United States. The technology the notary uses for remote notarizations must allow for simultaneous audio-visual communication and identification verification. The notary must make a recording of the remote notarial act and must indicate the notarization was done using telecommunication technology on the certificate.

New Mexico

The Governor of New Mexico introduced an Executive Order on March 30th, allowing notaries to temporarily provide remote notarizations through telecommunication technology through at least June 20th. To satisfy the Notary Public Act, commissioned notaries must meet the following requirements:

  1. The telecommunication technology used by the notary must allow for direct interaction between the notary and all involved parties. Therefore, each party must state they are physically located within New Mexico during the conference.
  2. Each person not known personally by the party must present some form of identification during the video conference.
  3. The signatory must send the notary a copy of the signed document via fax or electronically to the notary and any witnesses present on the same day it was signed.
  4. The notary may then notarize the copy of the document and send it back to the signatory.

On June 11th, authorization to perform remote notarizations was extended for an indefinite period of time.

For additional information on becoming a commissioned notary in New Mexico, visit our New Mexico Notary Bond page.

New York

Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, issued an Executive Order on March 19th, suspending the requirement for physical appearance in notarial acts and allows for commissioned notary publics to use telecommunication technology instead. The order is currently in effect through April 18th to allow notaries and signatories to practice “social distancing”. The following requirements must be met regarding the notarial process:

  • The signatory, if not personally known by the notary, must present a valid photo ID during the video call, not before or after.
  • The notary and signatory must be able to directly interact with each other during the video call.
  • The signatory must affirm they are physically located within New York.
  • The signatory must send the notary a copy of the document in question on the same day it was signed.
  • The notary must notarize the sent copy and transmit it back to the signatory.
  • The notary may also notarize the original document as the date of execution so long as they receive the original document with the electronically notarized copy within 30 days.

On March 30th, the Department of State provided additional guidance regarding the Executive Order by giving the following clarifications:

  • If the notary and signatory are in different counties, the notary must indicate on the document in question where each party is located.
  • An electronically transmitted document can be in any format, so long as it is legible.
  • The notary must print and sign the document.
  • If the signatory uses an electronic signature, the notary must witness it being applied onto the document.
  • All notaries must continue to keep a notary log of each remote notarization and indicate on the document the notarization was done because of the Executive Order.

The Governor of New York recently extended the Executive Order through June 6th, 2020.

North Carolina

On May 4th, the North Carolina Senate signed into law a bill that allows commissioned notaries in North Carolina to perform video notarizations with the use of audio-video communication technology until August 1st, 2020.

All video notarizations conducted must meet the following requirements set forth by the North Carolina Secretary of State:

  • The notarization must be conducted using real-time video conferencing technology which allows all parties to interact with each other.
  • If the does not personally know the signatory, they must provide a government-issued photo I.D.
  • Each signatory must identify the county they are in at the time of the notarial act as well as the document being notarized.
  • The principal must send the notary a copy of the document on the same day it was signed if an original wet-signed document is not required. The notary then notarizes the copy and sends it back to the signatory on that same day.
  • The notary must record the details of the video notarization in a notary journal which must be kept for at least 10 years.

Pennsylvania

On March 25th, the Pennsylvania Department of State temporarily suspended the physical presence requirement for notarial acts. The Governor has allowed notaries to complete personal real estate transactions already in process prior to the emergency order and all commercial real estate transactions remotely.

Before they can use audio-visual technology as an alternative to a personal appearance, all notaries must meet the following requirements:

  • Become an electronic notary by submitting an application to the Department of State
  • Use an e-notary solution already approved by the Department of State which offers remote notarization technology
    • DocVerify (for general use)
    • Safe-Docs (for general use)
    • Pavaso (for title companies and other real-estate transactions)
  • Indicate on the notary certificate that the notarial act was performed remotely.

On April 20th, the Governor of Pennsylvania signed into law an act that temporarily authorizes remote notarizations for all Pennsylvania notaries. The act will remain in effect until 60 days after the governor expires the disaster emergency.

For more information on becoming a commissioned notary in Pennsylvania, visit our Pennsylvania Notary bond page.

Rhode Island

On April 3rd, the Secretary of State and Governor of Rhode Island jointly announced that remote online notarizations are permitted through the duration of the state of emergency. Individuals wishing to perform remote online notarizations must already be a commissioned notary in the state, notify the Notary Public Division (NPD) that they will be performing remote online notarizations, and use an approved solution provider. The NPD can be contacted at (401) 222-3040 or by e-mail at n[email protected]

On the same day, the Secretary of State released a Remote Online Notarization Performance Guide which outlines the steps to register and perform remote online notarizations. To register, commissioned notaries must do all of the following:

  1. Become a commissioned notary public registered with the Department of State
  2. Contact one of the approved solutions providers and use their services for remote online notarizations
    1. DocVerify
    2. Pavaso
  3. Complete the training provided by the solution provider
  4. Register with the Department of State as a remote online notary by completing a new notary application or information form with all required information and e-mailing it to [email protected].
  5. Upon completion, the Secretary of State will inform the applicant when they are approved to begin performing remote online notarizations.

To perform remote notarizations, the commissioned notary public must use the following procedure for the notarization to be considered valid:

  1. The signer sends the document (either physical or electronic) by email or through the mail.
  2. The notary public opens the document in the approved solution provider on their computer and reviews the document.
  3. The notary public begins recording the notarization process using the approved solution provider. The recording must be kept for at least 10 years.
  4. If the notary public does not personally know the signer, they must verify their identity using at least two forms of identification (driver’s license, ID issued by the DMV, passport, military ID, etc.) or by taking the oath of a credible witness who is with the signer or can communicate simultaneously on a video conference.
  5. The signer physically signs the document.
  6. The signer mails the signed document to the notary public within 30 days of the remote notarization.
  7. The notary public then completes the certificate and places their official stamp. The time and date of the signing is the time the remote recording of the notarization took place.

On April 3rd, the Secretary of State provided further clarification on performing remote notarizations including how to file remote notarizations, what acts are prohibited what a notary must do after their commission has ended.

Tennessee

On April 9th, the Governor of Tennessee signed an executive order which temporarily suspends any aspects of the Online Notary Public Act which require signatories and notaries to appear in-person for notarizations. For the duration of the executive order until May 18th, commissioned notaries in Tennessee can perform remote notarizations with the use of real-time audio-visual technology. The signatory, notary, and any witnesses must all be located in Tennessee at the time of the remote polarization. Before the notarization can begin, the signatory and any witnesses must present government-issued identification to the notary and declare the document that’s being signed during the video conference.

To become a notary in Tennessee, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be an existing notary public
  • Apply to become an online notary and receive an online notary commission from the Secretary of State by filling out an online notary application
  • Review the applicable statute and rules before applying
  • Contact a third-party telecommunication solution provider before applying
  • Provide the required documentation from the vendor on the application

The Governor of Tennessee later extended the Executive Order through June 30th.

Texas

The Governor of Texas issued an Executive Order on April 9th which suspends the in-person requirement for notarizations. Individuals needing notarizations may now do so remotely using videoconference technology. Commissioned notaries in Texas must do the following to perform remote notarizations:

  • The notary must verify the identity of the signatory at the time the signing takes place if not personally known by the notary.
  • The signatory must send a copy of the document to the notary, who then notarizes the document and sends it back to the signatory.

The Executive Order remains in effect until terminated by the Governor, with all documents executed during the order remaining valid after it’s termination.

For more information on becoming a commissioned notary in Washington, visit our Texas notary bond page.

Vermont

On March 24th, the Governor of Pennsylvania released an Executive Order, expanding the definition of “a personal appearance” to include a notary public communicating through a secure communication link. Said technology must allow for live interaction between the signer and notary and can be recorded and stored for at least 7 years. Both the notary public and the signatory must be located in Vermont at the time of the meeting.

No electronic signatures are allowed. The signatory must sign the document and transmit it by mail or electronic means at the same time it is signed. The notary public must then affix the notarial act certificate on the document for it to be considered the “original”.

The notary must produce a hand-written certificate containing the following information:

  • The notary’s signature
  • The notary’s printed name
  • The notary’s commission number
  • The expiration date of the notary’s commission
  • The notary’s title
  • The date the document is signed
  • The jurisdiction where the notarial act was performed
  • A statement declaring the notarial act was performed remotely

The Executive Order is effective for at least 180 days unless extended by the Governor.

Washington

The Governor of Washington issued an Executive Order on March 27th, temporarily activate Senate Bill 5641 which authorizes remote notarial acts through April 26th. Rules and procedures for remote notarizations have yet to be specified by the Director of Licensing.

The Governor of Washington extended the Executive Order through May 31st, 2020.

For more information on becoming a commissioned notary in Washington, visit our Washington Notary Bond page.

West Virginia

On March 25th, the Governor of West Virginia suspended the requirement that notaries must appear in-person with the signatory for the notarial act to be considered valid by the state.

On March 27th, the Secretary of State provided more clarification on performing remote notarizations using an electronic device allowing for simultaneous sight and sounds communication. Once the notary and signatory have been connected, the notary must verify the signatory’s identity by one of three ways:

  1. The notary personally knows the signatory
  2. At least two different third-party identity verification services
  3. Affirmation by a credible witness who is in the physical presence of either the signatory or the notary

On April 1st, the West Virginia Secretary of State sent out a press release, outlining the remote electronic notarization process as follows:

  1. After the signatory signs the document during the video conference, they send the signed document along with a form or approved ID to the notary. The notary then notarizes the document and place an official notary stamp seal.
  2. The notary is required to create an audio and visual recording of the performance of the individual signing and retains a copy of the recording.
  3. When the state of emergency is lifted, remote notarization is no longer authorized and the in-person requirement is reinstated.

Wisconsin

On March 18th, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions released a statement expanding the definition of “appear before” a notary public to include telecommunication technology. The DFI has approved four different online notarization providers thus far, Notarize and NotaryCam for general public remote notary services and Pavaso or Nexsys for title companies and other real estate transactions.

For more information on becoming a commissioned notary in Wisconsin, visit our Wisconsin Notary Bond page.

Wyoming

On March 24th, the Wyoming Secretary of State issued a Guidance on Temporary Remote Online Notarization, temporarily allowing notaries to perform remote notarizations until either July 1st or the Governor lifts the state of emergency. Remote notarizations must occur by using a system including both live audio and video connection. The state recommends notaries to complete the training supplied by their remote online notarization provider and become familiar with identity-proofing, credential verification, and recording safeguards used to retain the validity of the notarial act.

For more information on becoming a commissioned notary in Wyoming, visit our Wyoming Notary Bond page.

About the Author

Trevor Cleveland
Trevor is a Senior at the University of Missouri studying Strategic Communications. He is a marketing intern for SuretyBonds.com, a leading provider of online bonding for clients nationwide.