Governor Murphy has signed a bill into law that now allows for remote notarial acts during the coronavirus pandemic emergency. This new law is effective immediately and will continue to be valid until the rescission of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 103. On March 9, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 103 declaring a State of Emergency for New Jersey due to the coronavirus crisis.
According to this new law, a notary public can remotely notarize a document if the following conditions are satisfied. First, the notary public must use “communication technology”, which means that it is an electronic device that allows the notary public to communicate with another person “simultaneously by sight and sound”. The notary public must either have personal knowledge of the identity of the individual who is signing the document or have satisfactory evidence of the identity of the person. The term “satisfactory evidence” means a passport, driver’s license or other government issued identification. The identification must be current or if it is expired then it must not have been issued more than three years prior to the execution of the document.
In order for the remote notary to be valid in the State of New Jersey, the notary public must create an audio-visual recording of the signing of the document. Therefore, unless the signing of the document is not recorded it will not be valid. Also, the recording must be preserved for a period of 10 years.
This new law does not apply to the signing of a Will or a Codicil to a Will. Also, this new law will expire as soon as Governor Murphy rescinds Executive Order 103 that declared a State of Emergency.