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.


00399 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)

An act to amend the executive law, in relation to providing for elec-
tronic notarization
Allows for notarization to be done electronically with the use of video
conference technology.
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
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.
The amended version of the bill establishes new consumer protection
requirements related to electronic notarizations.
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.
2020: A4076B (Rozic) - Governmental Operations
2019: A4076A (Rozic) - Governmental Operations
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.

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A00399 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     January 6, 2021
        Introduced  by M. of A. ROZIC, DE LA ROSA, FAHY, SEAWRIGHT, OTIS, SIMON,
          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.
        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.