The Governor of New York recently signed into law Senate Bill S7780 (the Bill), which significantly amends New York’s prior remote online notarization (RON) law, Senate Bill S1780C, which was signed in December 2021.
The Bill makes the following key changes to New York’s RON Law:
- Starting on February 24, 2022, the Bill temporarily authorizes notaries to perform notarial acts using a video conference notarization process, known as remote ink-signed notarization (RIN), until the full RON law becomes effective.
- The Bill changes the effective date of the full RON law from June 20, 2022, to January 31, 2023. This will provide the state additional time to fully implement a regulatory scheme to support RONs.
- 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 of New York state, but inside the U.S., or outside the U.S., provided that the executing notary be physically located in New York state at the time of the notarization;
- The Bill requires a recording, containing both audio and video, of the RON to be retained for at least 10 years. The notary must also take reasonable steps to ensure a backup recording of the RON exists and is secured from unauthorized use.
- The Bill provides the language that must be included in the notary blocks for RON to help identify that the document was remotely notarized: “This remote notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”
- The Bill requires recording officers (e.g., county clerks) to accept RON documents for recording when a Certification of Authenticity is included in the document.
- The Bill allows any New York commissioned notary to act as a traditional or RON notary. However, starting on January 31, 2023, any notary wishing to provide RON, must complete an additional registration process to perform RON.
By way of background, RON is a form of notarization where the notary officiates the document remotely through a dedicated audio-visual technology platform utilizing security protocols that apply specifically to RON. In contrast, RIN generally consists of using existing online videoconference platforms to satisfy the notarization requirement that a signer personally appear before the notary.
Additionally, the New York Secretary of State’s office published FAQs to assist notaries perform RON under the new law.