These trying times have spurred New Jersey to venture into new ways to get things done. The lock-down has made it difficult for individuals in hospitals or nursing facilities, or people quarantined in their homes due to recent exposure to COVID-19 — as well as many others — to get documents notarized. Along with Powers of Attorney, Deeds, new investment account paperwork, insurance claim forms, numerous other legal documents require that they be signed in the presence of a notary public or person authorized to take oaths (such as an attorney). This creates obvious obstacles during the current health crisis. It’s always created an obstacle for people with disabilities who are unable to leave their homes to access a notary public.
Taking cues from neighboring New York and Pennsylvania, The Remote Notarization Act was just signed by Governor Murphy on April 13th. Here is the Act, A-3903. See more here: A 3903 Remote Notary Act signed into law April 14, 2020 .
The act takes effect immediately and can be used during the current state of emergency, and will expire when Executor Order 103 of 2020 is rescinded.
In order for the new procedure to work, first, the Notary Public or person authorized to take oaths must be satisfied that the person signing the document is who they say they are. There are three options: personal knowledge of the identity of the signer(affiant); a witness present at the signing can vouch for the identity; or two forms of acceptable identification must corroborate the identity (usually a drivers license, either current, or not expired more than 3 years). Next, the Notary Public or person authorized to take oaths must be reasonably satisfied that the document s/he is attesting to is the same document that was signed by the signer. Third, an audio-visual recording of the signing must be made. There are extra provisions pertaining to remotely-situated signers who are outside of the country.
Notarizing challenges shouldn’t stand in the way when you want to take care of legal tasks such as estate planning. Special procedures are available. Call for telephone appointment to discuss your needs …. 732-382-6070. mention FREL at Home.