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Health Care
New Jersey Passes Law to Temporarily Allow Remote Notarization

New Jersey Passes Law to Temporarily Allow Remote Notarization (from the New Jersey Legislature)

Governor Murphy recently signed legislation to allow notary publics and certain other authorized officials the ability to notarize documents electronically, in light of the COVID-19 epidemic. (In New Jersey, attorneys, judges, mayors, commissioners, sheriffs, clerks of the court, legislators, and certified court reporters, are authorized to administer oaths or validate affidavits and affirmations, and therefore fall in the “other authorized officials” category. See N.J.S.A. 41:2-1.) Under the new law, an individual need not be physically present before a notary to have a document notarized, as long as they can provide satisfactory evidence of their identity.

“Satisfactory evidence” means:

a passport, driver’s license, or government issued nondriver identification card, which is current or expired not more than three years before performance of the notarial act; another form of government identification issued to an individual, which is current or expired not more than three years before performance of the notarial act, contains the signature or a photograph of the individual, and is satisfactory to the notary public or officer authorized to take oaths, affirmations, and affidavits, or authorized to take acknowledgements; or a verification on oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally appearing before the notary public or officer and known to the notary public or officer or whom the notary public or officer can identify on the basis of a passport, driver’s license, or government issued nondriver identification card, which is current or expired not more than three years before performance of the notarial act.
Additional conditions must be met if the remote individual is located outside the U.S.

Notarial acts may be provided using communication technology for a remotely located individual if:
  1. the notary public or officer
    1. has personal knowledge of the identity of the individual appearing before the notary public or officer, which is based upon dealings with the individual sufficient to provide reasonable certainty that the individual has the identity claimed;
    2. has satisfactory evidence of the identity of the remotely located individual by oath or affirmation from a credible witness appearing before the notary public or officer; or
    3. has obtained satisfactory evidence of the identity of the remotely located individual by using at least two different types of identity proofing;
  2. the notary public or officer is reasonably able to confirm that a record before the notary public or officer is the same record in which the remotely located individual made a statement or on which the remotely located individual executed a signature.

The notary public or officer or a person acting on their behalf must create an audio-visual recording (for example, through Zoom or Skype) of the performance of the notarial act.

The new law does not apply to documents that must be notarized and are related to adoption, divorce or other matters of family law.

It is effective immediately and will be withdrawn when the emergency public health order is rescinded.​​​​

3/23/2020
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