After allowing remote notarizations during the height of the pandemic by an Executive Order, New York has recently made the practice permanent under NY Executive Law Section 135-C.
Remote notarizations in New York will allow flexibility when a document needs to be notarized, especially when the person required to sign the document before a notary public (also known as the “principal”) is out of town.
Some of the important highlights of the new law include:
- The notary must be physically located in NYS when notarizing the document, but the principal can sign the document anywhere.
- The document can be signed by electronic signature or wet signature.
- The notary and the principal must be able to interact with each other by audiovisual communication technology that has sufficient security protocols.
- The notary must be able to authenticate the principal’s identity by personal knowledge, by oath or affirmation of a credible witness, or verification of an official acceptable identification pursuant to credential analysis and identity proofing.
- After the document has been signed, it must be transmitted to the notary to be acknowledged. The notary must verify the authenticity of the document and ensure it is the same document before applying his or her notary stamp and signature. Specific language is required to be added to the jurat.
- The remote notarization must be recorded by the notary and retained for ten years as back-up.
- The notary is required to keep a journal of all remote notarizations.
Under the New York statute, an electronically transmitted document that is remotely notarized is treated as an original document.
It is important to note that this New York law only applies for notarizations and not for the witnessing of documents such as wills, healthcare proxies, and powers of attorney. There has been legislation introduced in New York to codify remote witnessing in a similar manner as remote notarizations.
Until January 2023, all licensed notaries in New York State are permitted to perform notarial acts remotely if the proper procedures are followed. New York State will be creating an online registration system and will require any notary wishing to perform notarial acts after January 2023 to register and pay a fee.