Remote notary legislation signed into law

HARRISBURG – Legislation championed by State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33), allowing notaries to perform duties utilizing audio-visual technology, was recently signed into law as Act 97 of 2020.

The measure mirrors legislation sponsored by Mastriano – Senate Bill 1097 – that builds on recent legislative efforts authorizing remote notarization, as part of Act 15 of 2020.

However, those provisions expire 60 days after the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration is lifted.

The legislation goes into effect immediately, and Pennsylvania is now in line with more than 20 other states.

“The notarization process will be much easier and straight-forward, and save everyone valuable time,” said Mastriano. “Rest assured, the new law does not replace notaries or the services they provide. Rather, the bill authorizes the use of secure and reliable technology to assist notaries in performing their duties. The legislation is user-friendly and provides notaries with an additional tool to authenticate documents.”

As part of the law, a notary public is still required to confirm an individual’s identity and reasonably identify records, and an audio-visual recording of the notarial act and all related interactions is required. The bill helps business travelers, family members working out of state, or veterans on deployment.

“Sadly, our state has been behind the times with remote notarization,” said Mastriano. “The legislation is a win-win for all parties involved in the notarization process.”

A similar version of the legislation, Senate Bill 595 of 2017-2018, passed the Senate unanimously last session but did not advance in the House.