Electronic Notary Services in WA State – Extended to Nov. 21, 2020
Governor Jay Inslee signed a proclamation in March that allowed for electronic notary services in Washington State to take place from March 27 to April 26, 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
That authorization has now been extended to November 21, 2020. So what does that mean for you?
Under this newly provisioned law, electronic notary services can now occur in a virtual format using audio and visual technologies such as Skype, Slack, Zoom, and many other similar programs.
There are some businesses that provide notary services such as banks, that were deemed “essential” services in Washington State and most have stayed open for the duration of the stay-at-home order.
Unfortunately, social-distancing regulations – as well as the need for all vulnerable members of society to isolate themselves – have made the process of notarizing documents extremely difficult as this usually necessitates being in the same physical location as your chosen notary public.
Inslee’s proclamation requires that this new remote notarization law be put into action immediately because “many professional services require the use of notary services for a variety of purposes that impact our vulnerable populations, including the need for advanced healthcare directives, wills, deeds of trust, durable powers of attorney for health care, irrevocable trusts or living trusts, real estate transfers, consents to travel documents for minors, adoptions, and affidavits of identity…”
The Window is Closing for Electronic Notary Services
You can still get electronic notary services performed until the Nov. 21st deadline if you follow these simple guidelines:
- Any individual whose signature will be notarized (signor) must be able to interact in a live format with the notary (audio / video).
- All notaries must perform identity confirmation for any signor. This can be accomplished in one of the following ways:
A notary can review two different pieces of identity documents through a process called “identity proofing” (that may include viewing a signor’s Driver’s License and then asking for personal information which can be used to confirm a signor’s identity),
- You can have a 3rd party who is personally known to the notary or whose identity can be established by the notary who attests to the identity of a signor, or
- The notary personally knows the signor from prior dealings.
- A signor must sign their documents during a live video.
- All notaries have to record their audio-visual interactions.
- The WA DOL has published additional rules providing further guidance on remote notarization.
Please note that Governor Inslee’s latest proclamation, which was enacted using the Governor’s powers during a state of emergency, moves up the original October 1, 2020, start date of the remote notarization legislation (known as SB 5641).
If you have any questions about how to execute your own legal documents during the Coronavirus outbreak, please contact our office at 509-328-2150 and we’ll provide you with guidance.