Take Judicial Notice: Remote Notarization Approved in NY

Take Judicial Notice: Remote Notarization Approved in NY

Remote Notarization Approved in NY

Effective February 25, 2022, remote notarization is authorized in the State of New York pursuant to section 135-c of the executive law.

“Remote notarization” is a form of notarization where the notary officiates the document remotely through audio-visual technology and other security protocols. Remote notarization can be performed by a notary public by traditional ink (e.g., pen) or electronic signature.

To provide a remote notarization, the notary public must be physically located within the State of New York at the time of the notarization.  The notary must identify the remote signor of the document through any of the following three methods:

  1. the notary’s personal knowledge of the signor;
  2. by means of communication technology that facilitates remote presentation by the signor of an official, acceptable form of ID, credential analysis, and identity proofing; or
  3. through oath or affirmation of a credible witness who personally knows the signor, and who is either personally known to the notary or identified by the previously referenced means of communication technology.

Commercial software is available to notaries public to perform identify proofing and credential analysis.

After the remote signor has executed the document, it must be transmitted to the notary public for officiating.  The notary must confirm that the document is the same as the one signed remotely in the notary public’s presence before applying the notary stamp and signature to the document.  The following statement must be added to the jurat “This remote notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”

Regardless of the method used to confirm the identity of the signor, the notary must be able to see and interact, in real-time, with the remote signor of the document through audio-visual communication technology.  This technology must have security protocols in place to prevent unauthorized access.  The notary must make and keep an audio-visual recording of the remote notarization, and ensure that there is a back-up of the recording. The recording must be retained by the notary for at least ten (10) years. The notary may authorize a third party to retain the recordings on behalf of the notary, provided that all recordings retained by a third party be made available to the Secretary of State upon request.

In addition to the audio-visual recording, the notary public must keep a journal of all remote notarizations performed. Each journal entry must be made contemporaneously with the performance of the notarial act, and each entry must include the date and approximate time of the notarization, the name of the remote signor, the audio-visual technology used to perform the notarization, the number and type of documents officiated and notarial services provided, and the type of identification/credential presented by the remote signor of the document or documents.  The journal must be kept by the notary public for as long as they remain a notary and for an additional five years thereafter.

Any notary public commissioned by the NYS Department of State can act as a traditional or remote notary. No separate application or license is required, and the notary is not required to pay any additional fee to the Department of State or the County Clerk where the notary is currently commissioned.  On January 31, 2023 the rules for remote notarization will change.  One significant change is that as of January 31, 2023, any notary wishing to provide remote notarization, must register the capability to perform electronic notarizations with the NYS Department of State, Division of Licensing Services, and pay the requisite fee (which is to be determined and established in regulation) to act as an electronic notary.

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