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Governor Signs Legislation Permanently Authorizing Remote Online Notarization

By: Crawford, Wayne on in

Gov. Wolf signed House Bill 2370, which makes permanent the temporary authorization for remote online notarization put into place under the Governor’s COVID-19 emergency declaration, into law as Act 97 of 2020 on Oct. 29. The provisions of Act 97 are identical to those in the emergency declaration, so there should be no disruption from current practice.

Act 97 amends Title 57 (Notaries Public) to allow a notary to certify a copy of an electronic record is a true and correct copy of the electronic record. A remotely located individual may comply by appearing before a notary by means of communication technology if the notary public has personal knowledge of the identity of the individual, satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual from a witness or is able to identify the individual by two different forms of identity proofing.

The notary public must create an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act, which includes all interactions between the notary and the individual, and this recording must be retained for at least 10 years. If an act is subject to remote notarization, the certificate of the act and the short form certificate must indicate it was performed with communication technology.

Before a notary performs a notarial act with communication technology, the notary must notify the Department of State.

More information is available on the department’s notaries webpage.

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