New York Greenlights Permanent Use of Remote Online Notarization

New York Greenlights Permanent Use of Remote Online Notarization

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity to modernize the way many business and real estate transactions are conducted...

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity to modernize the way many business and real estate transactions are conducted. In New York, those changes now include remote notarization. Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul recently signed legislation authorizing the permanent use of remote notarizations. In doing so, New York joined the growing list of states that have overhauled their notary laws to reflect modern technology.

Remote Notarization Authorized During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing notaries to sign documents using audio-video technology. Under Executive Order No. 202.7, any notarial act required under New York State law was authorized to be performed utilizing audio-video technology provided that certain conditions were met. The Executive Order authorizing remote notarization terminated when New York’s State of Emergency expired on June 24, 2021.

Key Provisions of New York’s Remote Online Notarization Law

The new law,  entitled the Remote Online Notarization law (S1780C/A399B), ensures that remote notary services will remain available after the pandemic ends. It expressly provides that “[t]he methods for identifying document signers for an electronic notarization shall be the same as the methods required for a paper-based notarization; provided, however, in the case of an electronic notarization, such methods may be based on video and audio conference technology.”

The new law sets forth registration requirements for electronic notaries public, as well as instructions on how electronic notarization is to be performed. It further provides that notaries public may collect fees for electronic notarial services, as authorized by the Secretary of State.

The Remote Online Notarization law directs the New York Secretary of State to develop a regulatory framework to govern remote notarization. Among other requirements, the Secretary of State’s regulations must: specify the authorized means of performing online notarial acts; provide the means for notaries to register the capability of performing online notarial acts; approve standards for the conduct of online notarizations using communication technology; prescribe the form for registration of capability to perform electronic notarial acts; set standards for the electronic signatures of notaries, which must be applied to electronic documents in the performance of electronic notarizations and render the notarized record tamper-evident; and adopt rules necessary to set standards, procedures, practices, forms and records relating to a notary public’s electronic signature.

What’s Next?

As soon as the New York Legislature passes and the Governor signs chapter amendments to the Remote Online Notarization bill, a temporary remote online notarization process for paper and electronic documents similar to the rules set forth in EO 202.7 will be established. On January 31, 2023, it will be replaced by the permanent Remote Online Notarization law, as implemented by the regulations to be adopted by the Secretary of State.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Bruce Feffer, or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work, at 201-896-4100.


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New York Greenlights Permanent Use of Remote Online Notarization

New York Greenlights Permanent Use of Remote Online Notarization
Author: Bruce Feffer

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity to modernize the way many business and real estate transactions are conducted. In New York, those changes now include remote notarization. Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul recently signed legislation authorizing the permanent use of remote notarizations. In doing so, New York joined the growing list of states that have overhauled their notary laws to reflect modern technology.

Remote Notarization Authorized During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing notaries to sign documents using audio-video technology. Under Executive Order No. 202.7, any notarial act required under New York State law was authorized to be performed utilizing audio-video technology provided that certain conditions were met. The Executive Order authorizing remote notarization terminated when New York’s State of Emergency expired on June 24, 2021.

Key Provisions of New York’s Remote Online Notarization Law

The new law,  entitled the Remote Online Notarization law (S1780C/A399B), ensures that remote notary services will remain available after the pandemic ends. It expressly provides that “[t]he methods for identifying document signers for an electronic notarization shall be the same as the methods required for a paper-based notarization; provided, however, in the case of an electronic notarization, such methods may be based on video and audio conference technology.”

The new law sets forth registration requirements for electronic notaries public, as well as instructions on how electronic notarization is to be performed. It further provides that notaries public may collect fees for electronic notarial services, as authorized by the Secretary of State.

The Remote Online Notarization law directs the New York Secretary of State to develop a regulatory framework to govern remote notarization. Among other requirements, the Secretary of State’s regulations must: specify the authorized means of performing online notarial acts; provide the means for notaries to register the capability of performing online notarial acts; approve standards for the conduct of online notarizations using communication technology; prescribe the form for registration of capability to perform electronic notarial acts; set standards for the electronic signatures of notaries, which must be applied to electronic documents in the performance of electronic notarizations and render the notarized record tamper-evident; and adopt rules necessary to set standards, procedures, practices, forms and records relating to a notary public’s electronic signature.

What’s Next?

As soon as the New York Legislature passes and the Governor signs chapter amendments to the Remote Online Notarization bill, a temporary remote online notarization process for paper and electronic documents similar to the rules set forth in EO 202.7 will be established. On January 31, 2023, it will be replaced by the permanent Remote Online Notarization law, as implemented by the regulations to be adopted by the Secretary of State.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Bruce Feffer, or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work, at 201-896-4100.