By: Tracy Costanzo
Throughout the pandemic, many states allowed remote online notarizations(“RON”) on a temporary basis. This allowed businesses to continue operating when in-person commerce was at a standstill. On January 15, 2021, Senate 1780 was introduced, authorizing traditional Notaries to perform electronic notarial acts using specific technology. On February 1, 2023, Senate 1780 went into effect, enabling RONs in New York State on a permanent basis.
The new law enables a notary sitting in New York to notarize documents for an individual anywhere in the world. The technology allows business to be conducted regardless of where the individual signing is located, provided that the notary complies with the requirements set forth in the new statute. In order to become a remote online notary, an individual must hold a current commission as a traditional Notary Public, contract with a technology provider that meets the state requirements, register with the Secretary of State, and purchase a required Notary journal.
In order to meet the requirements necessary to complete the RONs, the Notary Public will need a computer, webcam, microphone, and secure internet connection. As with many other states, New York requires that all RON be recorded with audiovisual technology. There are currently severa that provide the necessary technology, including DocuSign, DocVerify, and SIGNix, to name a few. In addition, Notaries are required to have an electronic stamp and digital certificate containing their electronic signature, and a journal is required.
Utilizing the current online providers, the signer and Notary meet virtually through the platform to complete the notarization. In addition, if witnesses are necessary, they will also meet through the platform throughout the singing process. The Notary is responsible for verifying the signer’s identity, as well as the witnesses, if necessary. The identity verification is done directly through the service provider. This regulation allows the remote Notary to rely upon the information received from the service provider for verifying the identity of the individual(s) signing. Further, the Notary is also responsible for confirming that the signer understands and is aware of what they are signing. Finally, Remote Notaries are required to keep an audio and video recording of the electronic notarization for ten (10) years.
Once the document has been electronically notarized, the document may be emailed, printed, faxed, or sent by other electronic means. However, in order to record an electronically signed document, the Remote Notary must provide a Certificate of Authenticity substantiating that no changes have been made to the document since the electronic signature and record were created. The new law provides more security measures than a traditional notary and will likely reduce the number of fraudulent transfers.
 How to Become a Remote Online Notary in New York, https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/remote-online-notary/how-to-become-a-remote-online-notary/new-york (last updated Feb. 14, 2023)
 Michael A. Markowitz, The Future is Here: New York Approves Remote Online Notarization, https://nysba.org/the-future-is-here-new-york-approves-remote-online-notarization (Apr. 11, 2023)
 Supra, Note 1.
 Markowitz, supra Note 3.
 Markowitz, supra Note 3.