Limited Remote Notarization Bill Passed in New Jersey

On April 14, 2020, Governor Murphy signed into a law a bill that would allow for a limited form of Remote Notarization of certain documents by New Jersey Notaries and other authorized parties for the duration of the current Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency put in place by Executive Order No. 103 of 2020. This temporary legislation permits a form of Remote Notarization, but is not true Remote Online Notarization (RON) and will be of no effect once the emergencies have been lifted.

Basically, the difference between this legislation and true RON is that true RON would entail notarization at a distance with the use of audio/visual and other identity-checking technologies, with electronic signatures applied to a digital, non-paper, document, including the Notary’s signature. The temporary legislation provides that a paper document or documents can be mailed to, or emailed and downloaded by the signer. An audio/visual record of the signing will be made by the Notary, along with 3rd party ID verification. The paper package with wet ink signatures is mailed or otherwise physically returned to the Notary who then applies their wet signature to the document. As you can see, electronic signatures are not yet permitted on recorded documents in New Jersey, so it is not possible to have a true RON closing under this law.

With that understanding, we are working closely with our underwriters to understand their requirements with respect to accepting or performing a remote notary service under this law. We are also paying close attention to our lender clients, as well to the NJ Department of Treasury and County Clerks so that we can develop a clear understanding and plan of action.

We intend to be able to provide this service, as soon as it is needed, provided that the lenders and county clerks are on board. As of today, our management team is working earnestly to absorb as much information about the various technology platforms that lenders may require for their closings as well as focusing on preparing our plans for remote notarizations that do not involve a lender, or with a lender that does not have a preferred RON platform.

This is a very fluid development and as always, we will do everything we can to stay at the forefront of providing the best, most secure, friendly, and safe service in the industry. Foundation Title is committed to bringing you the most up to date information coupled with our expertise.

Thank you all and please stay safe.

Download our quick facts sheet here: Remote Notarization

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