New York Makes Electronic Notarization Permanent

New York Makes Electronic Notarization Permanent

February 1, 2023

During the COVID-19 pandemic New York, like many states, authorized the temporary use of remote ink notarization to allow documents to be notarized at a time when in-person meetings were not feasible. As of January 31, 2023, that practice is no longer allowed.

In its place, New York has enacted a new law, NY Executive Law Section 135-c, which authorizes notaries to perform electronic notarial acts. Current notaries commissioned by New York State will not automatically be allowed to perform electronic notarial acts. They are required to register with the Department of State beginning February 1 if they wish to perform electronic notarial acts.

Within the new law is a provision which requires all notaries, both traditional and those approved to perform electronic notarial acts, to keep a journal of all notarial acts performed. The records must be maintained for a period of ten years and must include verification of the type of identification provided for the transaction. Additionally, notaries will be required to maintain an audio and video record of all electronic notarial acts.

The rules governing electronic notarial services require that the notary must be physically present in in New York State at the time the documents are signed, but no such requirement exists for the individual(s) signing the documents.

In order to maintain the integrity of the notary process, given that the two parties may not be in the same room for the signing, other security measures have been included in the new rules. The notary must be able to see and hear the person signing the documents and be able to interact with them live during the process. The technology used to connect the notary and the signer must also have security measures in place to block unauthorized access. Additionally, the notary must meet one of the following requirements to be able to electronically notarize any document:

  1. Know the signer personally, or;
  2. Base the identification on the oath of a witness who personally knows the signer, or;
  3. Use technology to identify the signer through credential analysis via a third-party  service which validates a government-issued identification presented by an individual, or;
  4. Use identity proofing whereby a third party confirms the identity of the signer by reviewing personal information from public and/or proprietary sources.

Gross Shuman has attorneys, paralegals and support staff who are active notaries commissioned by New York State, capable of meeting the needs of our clients.

To learn more:

Sarah Rera is a litigation attorney with Gross Shuman P.C. who focuses her practice in the areas of personal injury and business litigation. She has served as trial counsel in multiple complex business disputes and personal injury claims in New York State Supreme Court, receiving numerous successful verdicts for her clients. She is also an experienced appellate practitioner and has appeared before the Appellate Division and the New York Court of Appeals, the highest Court in New York. She can be reached at 716-854-4300 ext. 289 or [email protected]