I am not sure exactly when this will become law. I wanted to share this news with you so that you are aware that at some point in the future we should be allowed to resume remote notarizations.
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A399B SPONSOR: Rozic (MS) TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to providing for elec- tronic notarization PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Allows for notarization to be done electronically with the use of video conference technology. SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends the executive law by adding new section 137-a. The bill establishes definitions and sets forth registration requirements for electronic notaries public. It establishes that notarial acts can be performed electronically, subject to certain requirements. The bill also sets forth instructions on how electronic notarization is to be performed. Section 2 provides that notaries public may collect fees for electronic notarial services, as authorized by the Secretary of State. Section 3 sets forth the effective date. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE): The amended version of the bill establishes new consumer protection requirements related to electronic notarizations. JUSTIFICATION: Every year, hundreds of millions of documents are notarized in the United States: wills, mortgages, citizenship forms. Yet, despite the increasing number of notarizations that occur annually, the industry has not adapted to societal changes and technologic advance Notarization still requires people to be physically present in front of a notary public, despite new technology that would allow for the same security over video and audio conference calls. This legislation is not merely for convenience; Electronic Notarization would allow homebound citizens to access notarial services and would allow working people to have their documents notarized without losing wages for lost working hours spent at an in-person notary public. There are environmental benefits of Electronic Notarization as well as it cuts down on paper usage. PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2020: A4076B (Rozic) - Governmental Operations 2019: A4076A (Rozic) - Governmental Operations FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Minimal EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect 180 days after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effec- tive date are authorized to be made on or before such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 399--B 2021-2022 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY (Prefiled) January 6, 2021 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. ROZIC, DE LA ROSA, FAHY, SEAWRIGHT, OTIS, SIMON, HUNTER, BUTTENSCHON, STECK, MONTESANO, McDONALD, BICHOTTE HERMELYN, ABINANTI, GRIFFIN, THIELE, JONES, ASHBY -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. ENGLEBRIGHT -- read once and referred to the Committee on Govern- mental Operations -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- again reported from said committee with amendments, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to providing for elec- tronic notarization The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 137-a 2 to read as follows: 3 § 137-a. Electronic notarization. 1. Definitions. (a) "Communication 4 technology" means an electronic device or process that: (i) allows a 5 notary public and a remotely located individual to communicate with each 6 other simultaneously by sight and sound; and (ii) when necessary and 7 consistent with other applicable law, facilitates communication with a 8 remotely located individual who has a vision, hearing, or speech impair- 9 ment. 10 (b) "Electronic" shall have the same meaning as set forth in subdivi- 11 sion one of section three hundred two of the state technology law. 12 (c) "Electronic document" means information that is created, gener- 13 ated, sent, communicated, received or stored by electronic means. 14 (d) "Electronic notarial act" means an official act by a notary 15 public, physically present in the state of New York, on or involving an 16 electronic document and using means authorized by the secretary of 17 state. 18 (e) "Electronic notary public" or "electronic notary" means a notary 19 public who has registered with the secretary of state the capability of 20 performing electronic notarial acts. EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [
] is old law to be omitted. LBD03271-10-1
A. 399--B 2 1 (f) "Electronic signature" shall have the same meaning as set forth in 2 subdivision three of section three hundred two of the state technology 3 law. 4 2. Identifying document signers. (a) The methods for identifying 5 document signers for an electronic notarization shall be the same as the 6 methods required for a paper-based notarization; provided, however, an 7 electronic notarization conducted utilizing communication technology 8 shall meet the standards which have been approved through regulation by 9 the secretary of state as acceptable. Such regulations shall include, 10 but not be limited to: 11 (i) that the signal transmission shall be secure from interception 12 through lawful means by anyone other than the persons communicating; 13 (ii) that the signal transmission shall be live, in real time; and 14 (iii) that the technology shall permit the notary to communicate with 15 and identify the remotely located individual at the time of the notarial 16 act. 17 (b) If video and audio conference technology has been used to ascer- 18 tain a document signer's identity, the electronic notary shall keep a 19 copy of the recording of the video and audio conference and a notation 20 of the type of any other identification used. The recording shall be 21 maintained for a period of at least ten years from the date of trans- 22 action. 23 3. Registration requirements. (a) Before performing any electronic 24 notarial act or acts, a notary public shall register the capability to 25 notarize electronically with the secretary of state in a form prescribed 26 by the secretary of state. 27 (b) In registering the capability to perform electronic notarial acts, 28 the notary public shall provide the following information to the secre- 29 tary of state, notary processing unit: 30 (i) the applicant's name as currently commissioned and complete mail- 31 ing address; 32 (ii) the expiration date of the notary public's commission and signa- 33 ture of the commissioned notary public; 34 (iii) the applicant's e-mail address; 35 (iv) the description of the electronic technology or technologies to 36 be used in attaching the notary public's electronic signature to the 37 electronic document; and 38 (v) an exemplar of the notary public's electronic signature, which 39 shall contain the notary public's name and any necessary instructions or 40 techniques that allow the notary public's electronic signature to be 41 read. 42 4. Types of electronic notarial acts. (a) Any notarial act authorized 43 by section one hundred thirty-five of this article may be performed 44 electronically as prescribed by this section if: (i) under applicable 45 law that document may be signed with an electronic signature; and (ii) 46 the electronic notary public is located within the state of New York at 47 the time of the performance of an electronic notarial act using communi- 48 cation technology, regardless of the location of the document signer. 49 (b) An electronic notarial act performed using communication technolo- 50 gy pursuant to this section satisfies any requirement of law of this 51 state that a document signer personally appear before, be in the pres- 52 ence of, or be in a single time and place with a notary public at the 53 time of the performance of the notarial act. 54 5. Form and manner of performing the electronic notarial act. (a) When 55 performing an electronic notarial act, a notary public shall apply an 56 electronic signature, which shall be attached to the electronic document
A. 399--B 3 1 such that removal or alteration of such electronic signature is detect- 2 able and will render evidence of alteration of the document containing 3 the notary signature which may invalidate the electronic notarial act. 4 (b) The notary public's electronic signature is deemed to be reliable 5 if the standards which have been approved through regulation by the 6 secretary of state have been met. Such regulations shall include, but 7 not be limited to, the requirements that such electronic signature be: 8 (i) unique to the notary public; 9 (ii) capable of independent verification; 10 (iii) retained under the notary public's sole control; 11 (iv) attached to the electronic document; and 12 (v) linked to the date in such a manner that any subsequent alter- 13 ations to the underlying document are detectable and may invalidate the 14 electronic notarial act. 15 (c) The notary public's electronic signature shall be used only for 16 the purpose of performing electronic notarial acts. 17 (d) The remote online notarial certificate for an electronic notarial 18 act shall state that the person making the acknowledgement or making the 19 oath appeared remotely online. 20 (e) The secretary shall adopt rules necessary to establish standards, 21 procedures, practices, forms, and records relating to a notary public's 22 electronic signature. The notary public's electronic signature shall 23 conform to any standards adopted by the secretary. 24 6. Recording of an electronic record. (a) If otherwise required by 25 law as a condition for recording that a document be an original docu- 26 ment, printed on paper or another tangible medium, or be in writing, the 27 requirement is satisfied by paper copy of an electronic record that 28 complies with the requirements of this section. 29 (b) If otherwise required by law as a condition for recording, that a 30 document be signed, the requirement may be satisfied by an electronic 31 signature. 32 (c) A requirement that a document or a signature associated with a 33 document be notarized, acknowledged, verified, witnessed, or made under 34 oath is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized 35 to perform that act, and all other information required to be included, 36 is attached to or logically associated with the document or signature. A 37 physical or electronic image of a stamp, impression, or seal need not 38 accompany an electronic signature if the notary has attached an elec- 39 tronic notarial certificate that meets the requirements of this section. 40 7. Change of e-mail address. Within five days after the change of an 41 electronic notary public's e-mail address, the notary public shall elec- 42 tronically transmit to the secretary of state a notice of the change, 43 signed with the notary public's official electronic signature. 44 8. No notary public or business employing the services of a notary 45 public operating in the state of New York shall exclusively require 46 notarial transactions to utilize electronic notarization. 47 § 2. Section 136 of the executive law is amended by adding a new 48 subdivision 3 to read as follows: 49 3. For electronic notarial services, established in section one 50 hundred thirty-seven-a of this chapter, a fee set through regulation by 51 the secretary of state. 52 § 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after 53 it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amend- 54 ment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implemen- 55 tation of this act on its effective date are authorized to be made on or 56 before such effective date.