The Governor of New York recently signed into law the Senate bill S7780 (the bill), which significantly amends New York’s earlier Remote Online Notarization (RON) law, the Senate bill S1780Cwhich was signed in December 2021.
The bill makes the following key changes to New York’s RON law:
- Effective February 24, 2022, the bill temporarily authorizes notaries to perform notarial acts using a videoconference notarization process, known as Remote Signed Notarization (RIN), until the RON law complete comes into effect.
- The bill changes the effective date of the full RON law from June 20, 2022 to January 31, 2023. This will give the state more time to fully implement a regulatory system to support RON.
- The bill requires signers (i.e. principals) to undergo a multi-step identity verification process before completing a RON.
- The bill clarifies that signers can execute documents using RON if they are outside New York State but in the United States, or outside the United States, provided the executing notary is physically located in New York State at the time of notarization;
- The bill requires that a recording, containing both audio and video, of the RON be retained for at least 10 years. The notary must also take reasonable steps to ensure that a backup record of the RON exists and is protected from unauthorized use.
- The bill provides language that must be included in notary blocks for RON to help identify that the document was notarized remotely: “This remote notarization involved the use of communications technology.”
- The bill requires registration officers (eg county clerks) to accept RON documents for registration when a certification of authenticity is included in the document.
- The bill allows any New York commissioned notary to act as a traditional notary or RON. However, from January 31, 2023, any notary wishing to provide the RON, will have to complete an additional registration process to perform the RON.
As a background, RON is a form of notarization where the notary officiates the document remotely through a dedicated audio-visual technology platform using security protocols that apply specifically to RON. In contrast, RIN typically involves using existing online video conferencing platforms to satisfy the notarization requirement that a signer personally appear before the notary.
Additionally, the office of the New York Secretary of State released FAQs to help notaries perform the RON under the new law.