Update -- Notarization Rules in a COVID-19 World

In light of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Business Activity Restrictions and “Stay Home Orders” requiring most residents to remain in their homes, the Pennsylvania Department of State has temporarily suspended its requirement that all notaries must demand personal appearance of any customer requesting a document be notarized. The limited suspension of the personal appearance requirement will apply to: (i) personal real estate transactions where an agreement of sale was executed before the Business Activity Restrictions were put in place; and (ii) any commercial real estate transactions whether an agreement was executed before or after the Business Activity Restrictions were implemented.
A notary wishing to perform notary acts under the temporary limited restrictions must:

  • Become an approved Pennsylvania electronic notary – our office is happy to provide any interested parties with a copy of the free application to apply approval;
  • Use an e-notary solution that has been approved by the Department of State and allows for remote notarization – our office is happy to provide any interested party with a list of approved vendors; and

  • Indicate in the notary certificate that the notarial act was performed by means of communication technology - the following statement will satisfy that requirement – “This notarial act involved the use of communication technology.”

Please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our attorneys to find out how you and your business may be able to use electronic notarization to help complete any real estate transactions in your pipeline or to find out more information on electronic notarization requirements. We are in the process of having members of our staff apply for electric notary approval so we can continue to serve our clients in the most efficient and effective way possible.”

Visit our COVID-19 Legal Response Team Page here