During the COVID-19 Pandemic Notaries Can Perform Their Duties Remotely in New Jersey
Written by Chris Ann Wright, Esq.
In New Jersey, the Legislature passed an act allowing oaths, affirmations and affidavits to be taken without endangering people’s health on a temporary basis. Using technology, a notary public can perform his or her duties using communication technology. However, not all oaths and signatures can be taken or notarized electronically. For example, in family law matters such as adoption and divorce, certain oaths, signatures and notarization of those signatures must be done in person.
The new law gives a step by step procedure for notarizing a signature electronically.
- The notary must connect with the affiant through both sight and sound technology.
- The notary must confirm the identity of the person who he or she is remotely verifying. This can be done by:
- Personal knowledge;
- Credible witness;
- Identity proofing.
- The notary must confirm that the record before the notary is the same as the record the affiant executed by signature.
- The notary or someone acting on his or her behalf must create an audio-visual recording of the notarial act. This includes the signing of the document, taking proof of the affiant’s identity and signing as the notary.
- When the notary affixes his or her name to the document, he or she must make note of the fact that technology was used to notarize and the type of technology.
- The notary must save the audio-visual recording of the notarization for at least ten (10) years.
Once Governor Murphy rescinds the Public Health Emergency Order of March 9, 2020, the above law regarding electronic notarization will expire and notaries will go back to following the original law where their duties were conducted in person. At Lyons & Associates, P.C., we understand these are difficult times and things are changing quickly. If you need assistance regarding family law or estate planning matters, please contact us online or call us at 908-575-9777 to schedule a free consultation.