Governor Cuomo announced yesterday that New York’s COVID state of emergency, in place since March 7, 2020, has expired as of today, June 24, 2021. What this means in terms of remote notarization of documents is unclear as the Governor had issued Executive Order 202.7 providing for remote notarization of documents, which had been extended through and including July 5, 2021. In essence, we have conflicting guidelines as to how to treat this issue. Our advice to our clients is to err on the side of caution and cease all remote notarization of documents effective today. We will provide further guidance if clarification is provided by the Governor’s office.
The good news is that this all may be temporary as the New York State Assembly has passed legislation which will permanently authorize the use of video and audio conference technology in identifying individuals for electronic notarization. We will provide further updates when this bill is sent to the Governor for approval.