COVID-19 UPDATE -- Temporary Emergency Video Notarizations Authorized by new North Carolina COVID-19 Relief Package - Be Careful Before You Certify!
On May 4, 2020, the General Assembly passed, and the Governor signed, SB #704 “To Provide Aid To North Carolinians In Response To The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Crisis.” Included in the package is the temporary authorization of emergency video notarizations in North Carolina until August 1, 2020. Lawyers Mutual urges all our insureds and their employees who act as notaries public to thoroughly review the multitude of specific requirements in the statute before performing an emergency video notarization. A good place to start is the very helpful guidance provided in the memo from the Secretary of State’s Office found at this link. https://www.sosnc.gov/imaging/dime/webportal/55573846.pdf
While Lawyers Mutual provides coverage for notary public claims only if the insured requires “the physical appearance before the notary public of the person who purportedly signed the document,” your full compliance with SB #704 for emergency video notarizations, including the use of “video conference technology” as defined in the act, will satisfy the “physical appearance” requirement in the policy and protect you and your employees from potential claims.
As a reminder, Lawyers Mutual employees are working remotely at this time. While we have procedures in place to distribute mail, we are unable to receive mail or parcels that require a signature.