By: Cristina N. Hyde, JD
This past Tuesday, in an effort to alleviate some of the hardship caused by the pandemic and resultant mandates to stay home and close non-essential businesses, Governor Murphy signed Assembly Bill No. 3903. The bill authorizes the use of remote notarization for the duration of the current public health emergency and state of emergency. P.L. 2020, c.26.
With some exceptions, the bill allows notaries and other specifically defined officers to perform notarial acts for remotely located individuals within the United States if the following criteria are satisfied:
- The notary or officer must have personal knowledge of the identity of the individual appearing before them or “satisfactory evidence” of the identity of the remotely located individual (as defined within the bill);
- The notary or officer must be “reasonably able to confirm” that the record before them is the same as the record “in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the remotely located individual executed a signature;” and
- The notary or officer must create an,”audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act.”
Notably, the bill does not apply to family law matters and transactions governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, unless they fall within the purview of Sections 1-107, 1-206, Article 2 or Article 2A (Chapters 2 and 2A of Title 12A of the New Jersey Statutes). However, this legislation is good news for many who rely on notaries to conduct business, such as individuals involved in real estate or estate planning matters.
As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, Campanella Law Office recognizes the importance of social distancing and the need to prioritize health concerns while providing quality service. Therefore, please know that we are fully equipped to work remotely, make and store the necessary recordings for the statutorily required period, and are fully able to comply with the above requirements in order to provide remote notarial services, effective immediately.