Governor Cuomo has signed an executive order that enables any notarial act to be performed utilizing audio-video technology[i]. Executed on March 19, 2020, Executive Order 202.7 implements the foundation for contracts requiring notarization to be executed during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine.
202.7 allows any notarial act that is required under New York law to be performed via audio-video technology as long as the parties meet the following conditions:
- The person seeking the Notary’s services, if not personally known to the Notary, must present valid photo ID to the Notary during the video conference, not merely transmit it prior to or after;
- The video conference must allow for direct interaction between the person and the Notary (e.g. no pre-recorded videos of the person signing);
- The person must affirmatively represent that he or she is physically situated in the State of New York;
- The person must transmit by fax or electronic means a legible copy of the signed document directly to the Notary on the same date it was signed;
- The Notary may notarize the transmitted copy of the document and transmit the same back to the person; and
- The Notary may repeat the notarization of the original signed document as of the date of execution provided the Notary receives such original signed document together with the electronically notarized copy within thirty days after the date of execution[ii].
202.7’s Federal Counterpart
The Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 is the federal government’s version of 202.7. The Act, which has not been passed, is a bipartisan bill that would authorize every notary in the United States to perform remote online notarizations. Twenty-three states in the United States allow notaries to use audio-visual technology to execute electronic documents. Without the bill, each state must pass their own remote online notarization laws.
The bill, which is supported by the American Land Title Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors, requires tamper-evident technology and multifactor authentication in electronic notarizations to prevent fraudulent activity. If passed, the bill would allow signers outside of the United States (i.e. military) to electronically sign documents reducing the inconvenience and complexity of many transactions. It will be interesting to see if the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 will pass while the COVID-19 pandemic is changing how we communicate and complete transactions.
In light of
recent guidance issued by the State of New York, our attorneys who provide
representation to clients that are deemed essential will be permitted to
conduct some of their work in the office. This will alleviate some of the
practical challenges that arise with an entirely remote practice and enable us
to continue to give our clients the excellence they’ve always relied upon.
Additionally, we will be checking our mail and addressing limited other
administrative functions on a regular basis. COVID-19 is quickly changing how we conduct
transactions. If you have questions concerning how Executive Order 202.7 may
impact you, let us assist you. Contact Jennifer Granzow at (315) 445-1700 or by
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[i] State of New York Executive Order Number 202.7
[ii] Executive Order Number 202.7
Jennifer B. Granzow
Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.