Governor Lee signed Executive Order No. 52 on June 29, 2020, extending remote notarization and witnessing of documents previously suspended in Executive Order No. 26 and Executive Order No. 37 through August 29, 2020. This purpose of this expansion is to ensure that persons, particularly populations vulnerable to COVID-19, including older adults and persons with compromised immune systems or serious chronic medical conditions, can continue to engage in commerce and execute legal documents without requiring in-person contact.
Documents covered by this Order can be signed by the signatory (the person for whom the documents are prepared), the witnesses, and the notary with each person located at a separate location, provided that the signing must be a physical signing of the documents by the signatory and witnesses (not electronic signing), and must occur via real-time audio and visual communication (Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc.) where the signatory, witnesses, and notary can see and hear one another simultaneously. All of the parties must be located in Tennessee at the time of the signing.
The witnesses and notary will be required to verify the identity of the signatory, and the signatory and witnesses must identify the document(s) being signed. The signing and witnessing must be observed via the online conferencing tool by the witnesses and the notary. The documents signed in this manner must include a statement that they are being executed in compliance with Executive Order No. 26, Executive Order No. 37, and/or Executive Order No. 52. The signed documents may be executed in counterparts (separate signature pages) or the documents can be circulated to the witnesses and notary after the signatory signs the documents, provided that all signatures must be obtained within 10 days of the date the signatory signed the documents.