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New York introduces new remote-notarization rules

At the start of the pandemic, when people were fearful of leaving their homes, then Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order, (dated March 19, 2020), authorizing, among other things, notaries to remotely officiate documents.

That process—known as Remote Ink Authorization (“RIN”)—allows a person seeking notarial services to ink-sign a document at a location different from the notary, who "views” the document being signed via audiovisual technology. The signed document is then scanned and emailed or faxed to the notary who completes the notarial certificate and transmits the executed document back to the person whose signature has been acknowledged.

In December of last year, Governor Hochul modified the State’s Executive Law to authorize another form of remote notarization (which took effect on February 25, 2022). That process, called Remote Online Authorization (“RON”), permits notaries registered with New York’s Department of State (“DOS”), to acknowledge a digital signature and notarize a document, electronically, without the need for an ink-signed paper document.

Currently, any notary registered with the DOS can perform remote notarization (both RIN and RON). No separate application or license is required, and the notary is not required to pay any additional fee. After January 31, 2023, however, RON will be the only way to perform remote notarizations in the state, and anyone wishing to provide such service will have to register with the DOS and pay the requisite fee (which has yet to be determined).

To use either RIN and RON, the notary must be physically present in the state, although the person requesting the service need not be.

Below you’ll find the state’s other notable requirements concerning the process:

  • The notary must be able to see and interact, in real-time, with the remote signor of the document through audiovisual communication technology with security protocols to prevent unauthorized access.
  • The notary must identify the remote signor of the document through any of the following methods:
    • the notary's personal knowledge of the signor;
    • 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
    • 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.
  • The following statement must be added to the jurat “This remote notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”
  • A recording (containing both audio and video) of the remote notarization, and backup of such recording, must be retained by the notary for at least ten (10) years.
  • The notary is required to maintain a journal of all remote notarizations. Among other things, each journal entry must include the type of audiovisual technology used, and the type of identification/credential presented by the remote signor. These records must be kept by the notary public for as long as they remain a notary and for an additional five (5) years thereafter.
  • A recording officer is required to “accept for recording a tangible copy of an electronic record” otherwise recordable “if the record has been certified by a notary public or other individual authorized to perform a notarial act.” The “tangible copy” is a paper print-out of the signed document together with a completed “Certificate of Authenticity” in substantially similar form as set forth below:

Certificate of Authenticity

State of New York )

) ss:

County of New York )

On this….day of….in the year…….I certify that the signature pages of the attached record (entitled……) (dated……..) is a true and complete copy of the signatures affixed to an electronic record printed by me or under my supervision. I further certify that at the time of printing, no security features present on the electronic record indicated any changes or error in an electronic signature in the electronic record after its creation or execution.

(Signature and title of notary public)

(official stamp or registration number, with the expiration date of the notary public’s commission)

The DOS has indicated that it will soon be issuing additional details about the registration and authorization processes for electronic notarizations, and related regulations.

Stay tuned for more!

SOURCE - https://dos.ny.gov/notary-public