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On March 23, the New Hampshire governor issued an emergency order temporarily authorizing secure remote online notarization, with certain specified conditions. If state law requires an individual to appear personally before or be in the physical presence of a notarial officer at the time of a notarization, this requirement is satisfied if the individual and the notarial officer can communicate simultaneously by sight and sound through an electronic device or process at the time of the notarization. The order provides additional guidance on the signature, mailing, official date and time, and validity and recognition of the notarization.
On March 23, the Connecticut Governor issued an order to permit any notarial act required under Connecticut law to be performed using an electronic device or process that allows a notary public commissioned in accordance with state law and a remotely located individual to communicate with each other simultaneously by sight and sound, provided that certain conditions set forth in the order are met. This change is effective immediately through June 23, 2020.
On March 18, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) issued emergency guidance authorizing remote online notarization in response to the Covid-19 crisis. Remote online notarizations must be performed using technology providers that are regulated under standards that meet or exceed the state safeguards. The DFI has approved four remote online notarization providers thus far, two each for remote notary services to the general public, and for title companies and other real-estate transactions.
Massachusetts Securities Division relaxes notarization and signature requirements for certain filings
On March 24, the Massachusetts Securities Division issued an Emergency Notice giving temporary relief from certain filing requirements for corporate finance filings and financial professional registrations during the Covid-19 outbreaks. The Division will not require manual signatures or notarizations for securities registration applications, exemption filings, securities notice filings, and consent to service of process forms and will accept e-signatures and copies of signed documents where required. The Division will also permit electronic submission of Forms U4 without physical signatures from individual agents or investment advisor representatives, provided that certain requirements are met, and will accept alternatives to a notarized Criminal Offender Record Information acknowledgment form. Finally, the Division will allow investment advisers up to 45 additional days to perform any Form ADV filing, updating, or customer delivery requirements. This guidance will remain in effect until April 30, unless extended or rescinded.
On October 1, the Oregon Secretary of State published a final rule to implement numerous changes to the state’s notaries public regulations, including providing for electronic notarizations and electronic journals. The Secretary also released a summary of the changes. Notaries may notarize documents electronically after informing the Secretary of State of the format the notary will use by submitting notice via email, using the Electronic Notarization Notice form, along with an example of an electronic notarization. Any change to the way a notary conducts electronic notarizations—e.g. new vendor, new technology, changed appearance—requires a notary to provide notice of the change to the Secretary of State. A notary also may document an electronic notarization in either a paper or electronic journal, or both. The new rules took effect on September 1, 2013.
On January 21, the Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth released the Virginia Electronic Notarization Assurance Standard. Citing challenges faced by notaries to “preserve and strengthen the role of the notary in the rapidly emerging digital economy and to ensure reliability and cross-border recognition of notarized electronic documents in a global economy,” the standards are intended to support transition of notaries in Virginia to performing electronic notarizations that have the same legal effect as traditional notarizations. They set forth registration and performance requirements, electronic signature and seal requirements, online notarization procedures, and notarized electronic document requirements. According to the Secretary, the Virginia standards (i) reflect the National Association of Secretaries of State Electronic Notarization Standard for Document Security; (ii) incorporate aspects of standards previously adopted by seven other states; and (iii) are consistent with the federal ESIGN Act, the UETA, and the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act.
- Benjamin W. Hutten to discuss "Understanding OFAC sanctions" at a NAFCU webinar
- Warren W. Traiger to discuss "Key takeaways from proposed CRA modernization" at the New York Bankers Association Technology, Compliance & Risk Management Forum
- Garylene D. Javier to discuss "Navigating workplace culture in 2020" at the DC Bar Conference