Electronic Video Notarization

20
May 2020
Electronic Video Notarization

For Principal Signer(s) needing document notarization

During this COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our clients is most important. To protect the health of all Notaries and signers, Session Law 2020-3 is allowing all North Carolina Notaries Public to temporarily perform emergency video notarizations through July 31, 2020. Our Notaries Public at Allen Stahl + Kilbourne are able to safely handle your notarization needs during this time. 

 

To complete a video notarization, as the principal signer, you will need the following: 

  • Video conferencing software such as Zoom, Webex, GotoMeeting, etc. with a working webcam and microphone. Any live video feed will work.
  • Your photo ID which will be presented to the Notary during video conferencing
    • Current or not expired prior to March 1, 2020 (SL 2020-3, Section 4.7(a), (b))
    • Issued by State, Federal, or Tribal government agency
    • Picture of the persons face
    • Physical description AND signature (This is new for EVN)
  • The document needing notarization MUST be unsigned. You will need to sign the document live in front of the Notary over video. 
  • If the document requires a wet signature, you will have to send an electronic copy of the document the same day as the video conference AND mail the signed document to the Notary. The document will be notarized and returned via mail. 
  • If the document does not require a wet signature, you will need to scan/fax/email the document to the Notary the same day as the video conference. The Notary will print and notarize the document and return a digital copy to the principal signer(s) the same day. 

 

Requirements for the Notary’s Certificate

The following language MUST be on each EVN certificate completed:

  • I signed this notarial certificate on _____________ (date) according to the emergency video notarization requirements contained in G.S. 10B-25. (This is the date the Notary actually received the hard copy document, if a wet signature is required.)
  • The North Carolina county in which the Notary Public was located during the emergency video notarization.
  • The North Carolina county in which the principal signer(s) stated they were physically located during the emergency video notarization.
  • If this wording is not on the notary certificate, the notary MUST write it by hand or use one of the newly created certificates from the SOS NC website. https://www.sosnc.gov/divisions/notary/Emergency_Video_Notarization

Please read on for a more in depth look at how to complete Emergency Video Notarizations.

 

North Carolina Emergency Video Notarizations

To protect the health of all Notaries and signers, Session Law 2020-3 is allowing all North Carolina Notaries Public to temporarily perform emergency video notarizations through July 31, 2020. 

Effective Date: May 4, 2020-August 1, 2020. As of August 1, 2020, you shall revert back to in-person notarization unless there is a legislative change. 

Please note: Notaries are NOT required to perform video notarizations and can refuse if they are not satisfied with the identification presented. 

 

Performing the Video notarization:

  • Both parties must be logged into the video conference call (Real-time video with clear audio and video. No recorded videos)
  • The notary positively identifies the signer(s) with one of the below:
  • Personal knowledge of the signer (No ID needed)
  • Credible Witness who personally knows both the Notary and the Signer (No ID needed) 
  • Can be in the presence of the Notary or the Signer, or individually on the same video conference call.
  • Satisfactory evidence (Identification Cards) 
    • Current or not expired prior to March 1, 2020 (SL 2020-3, Section 4.7(a), (b))
    • Issued by State, Federal, or Tribal government agency
    • Picture of the persons face
    • Physical description AND signature (This is new for EVN)
  • Each principle signer(s) must indicate what N.C. county they are in during the notarization simply by asking them what county they are in.
  • The notary must watch the principal identify and sign each document. The document CANNOT be signed prior to the video notarization.
  • In the case of an oath or affirmation, the notary must administer the oath or affirmation to the affiant in real time over the live video feed.
  • Fees for notarization have not changed. How you receive those payments, is up to the Notary and the principal signer. 

 

Step by Step:

A. Steps for the video portion of the notarization 

  1. Ask signer to hold I.D. up to the camera so that you can see a full view of the ID card and long enough to make out the information on it. 
  2. Ask the signer to hold up just the picture portion of the ID, side by side with their face to compare. 
  3. Signer will hold the document up to the camera and identify what type of document it is. The Notary will then record what type of document it is. 
  4. The signer will have to sign the document on screen so that the Notary can observe the signing. 
  5. Then, the signed document should be shown on camera to show that it is now signed.

B. For documents that need to have the original wet signature notarized:

  • Principal must sign document(s) while being observed over video conference technology.
  • Principal must send a copy of the signed document by electronic means on the same day (this can be a scanned copy or a clear and legible photo of the document).
  • The principal must send the originalsigned paper copy to the notary by mail or other delivery method.
  • Upon receiving the originally signed paper copy, the notary will compare it to the electronic copy that was previously sent and complete the notarial certificate and send the document back to the principal or their designee. 
  • The date on the certificate will reflect the date the notary observed the signing on the video conference technology.

C. For documents that do NOT need to have original wet signature notarized:

The law formally stated that the notary must notarize an original signature, not copies, but with the new emergency video notarization law you can now notarize documents that have been either faxed or emailed to you (or other electronic methods). 

  • Principal must sign document(s) while being observed over video conference technology.
  • Principal must fax or email the signed document to the notary on the same day.
  • Notary must print the document and complete the notary certificate and send it back to the signed on the same day.

 

Journal Requirements

  • The notary is requiredto keep a journal of each emergency video notarization in a secure location for at least 10 years. The notary is required to include the following information in the journal:
  1. Time of day
  2. Date of the completion of the emergency video notarization notarial certificate
  3. Name of the principal signer
  4. Type of notarial act performed
  5. Type of document notarized or proceeding performed
  6. Type of identification presented including, if applicable, issuing agency and identification number on the identification presented
  7. Type of video conference technology used during the emergency video notarization (Zoom, Webex, etc.)
  8. Statement that the notary and each principal signed could see and hear each other
  9. Name of any other people who were in the room (For minors who won’t have identification, you can just record how many minors were in the room.)
  • A Driver’s license number can be recorded in your journal normally, but with this new law is it required. According to the NC Dept. of the Secretary of State, if you turn to page 34 of your required Notary Public Manual published in 2016, the last sentence makes reference to the fact that the driver’s license number should not be recorded in the journal. The SOS advises to cross out this line because it can berecorded in the journal.

The Secretary of State created a special Covid-19 EVN Journal:

https://www.sosnc.gov/imaging/dime/webportal/55574300.pdf

(The new EVN journal form is mostly self-explanatory, except it is not clear that the signature line is not a requirement. Although the signature is not required, if the signer is able to digitally sign the journal record, they may do so on that line.)

 

Requirements for the Notary Certificate

The following language MUST be on each EVN certificate completed:

  • I signed this notarial certificate on _____________ (date) according to the emergency video notarization requirements contained in G.S. 10B-25. (This is the date that you actually received the hard copy document, if a wet signature is required.)
  • The North Carolina county in which the Notary Public was located during the emergency video notarization.
  • The North Carolina county in which the principal signer(s) stated they were physically located during the emergency video notarization.
  • If this wording is not on the notary certificate, the notary MUST write it by hand or use one of the newly created certificates from the SOS NC website. https://www.sosnc.gov/divisions/notary/Emergency_Video_Notarization

 

Electronic Video Emergency Notarizations

  • The electronic notary must use one of the SOS approved electronic notary solutions in addition to a video conference technology platform like Zoom, Webex, GotoMeeting, etc.
  • Only eNotaries are able to perform electronic notarizations. You must already be registered as an eNotary. 

Authorized Solution Providers:

  • World Wide Notary
  • Simplifile
  • Settleware
  • DocVerify
  • Docusign
  • CSC, Inc.
  • Pavaso

 

Register of Deeds

  • Register of Deeds still require original signatures on recorded documents.
  • For documents that will be recorded. The original document will need to e sent to the notary for notarization
  • Registers may administer notary oaths by video conference technology. 

 

If you have a questions about video notarization or issues affecting your business in this crisis, contact Allen Stahl + Kilbourne

By James Kilbourne

 

Updated: May 20, 2020

Any statements contained herein do not constitute a formal legal opinion and should not be relied upon as such. These articles are intended for general informational purposes only.  Nothing expressed shall be grounds for the creation of an attorney-client relationship.  Our attorneys can give legal advice only in the context of an attorney-client relationship after a conflict check, the execution of a representation agreement and a discussion of the specific information and unique issues of your particular circumstances.

The situation surrounding COVID-19/coronavirus is changing constantly; as a result, any discussions that might take place may not necessarily reflect the latest information regarding recently enacted, or pending or proposed legislation or guidance that could override, alter or otherwise affect existing legal analysis.