On December 22, New York Governor, Kathy Hochul, signed Senate Bill 1780C (S1780C), which allows the state’s notaries to conduct remote online notarizations (RON). The law is to be effective on June 20, 2022. Among other things, the bill: (i) establishes definitions and sets forth registration requirements for electronic notaries public; (ii) establishes that notarial acts can be performed electronically, subject to certain requirements; (iii) sets forth instructions on how electronic notarization is to be performed; and (iv) provides that notaries public may collect fees for electronic notarial services, as authorized by the Secretary of State.
Putting it Into Practice: New York joins thirty-four other states that have some permanent form of RON. Illinois, Kansas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New Mexico have passed legislation adopting RON, with the effective date for implementation beginning this year or later. In Georgia, a bill to adopt RON has been introduced and is currently pending decision.
Seven states enacted temporary RON measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that remain in place but will sunset in the near future – they include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. Each state will determine whether to allow the temporary measures to sunset, replace them with permanent RON procedures, or take other action. California and South Carolina have not temporarily or permanently adopted RON.