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Steps to Getting Something Notarized During COVID-19

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COVID-19 has disrupted the way of life around the globe. Every aspect of working has had to change, or completely stop, despite there being necessary services that must continue. In America, states have been scrambling to put new guidelines into place to keep these services running.

Getting something notarized has always been an in-person task. This challenge has increased exponentially with COVID-19. 

However, because it is a necessary service, there are new regulations in place to continue this service safely. It doesn’t have to be a difficult task, even today. Read through the following steps to find out how to get something notarized during COVID-19. 

Getting Something Notarized In-Person

Traditional notary requirements state that the notary must have in-person contact. With COVID-19, social distancing measures have been taken into consideration, however. 

Depending on what state you live in, in-person notarizing is allowed, if social distancing measures are taken. This could also change if coronavirus cases increase or decrease, changing the state to a green, yellow, or red phase. 

These measures include: wearing masks and gloves at all times, bringing your own pen, and maintaining a distance of at least six feet between each person.

Some notaries are using conference tables as barriers. One person will stand at one end and slide the paper(s) to the other person without touching. There have also been drive-through notarizing services. Bank windows or office windows are used as a barrier while one party stays in their car. 

When dealing with notaries and the pandemic, it is best to look up your state-specific laws and measures that are in place for COVID-19. 

Notarizing Virtually

There are options if you are uncomfortable getting a document notarized in-person. This also applies if you live in a state in which in-person isn’t allowed.

With video and live stream technology and new state guidelines, places that notarize documents can now do so virtually. This is known as remote online notarization (RON).

In order to do so, the notary will use specific audio and visual technology that is tamper-proof. This allows them to authenticate the identity of the signer, without requiring them to be in the same space as the notary.

The US Senate has drafted the SECURE act in March 2020, (Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020). If passed, this would allow all notaries in the US to notarize documents online immediately. 

Until this passes, many states have fast-tracked a remote online notarization law, but it is not permanently in effect in all of them yet. Keep a lookout for changes to these laws in your state, and you might be able to get your notarization services virtually. 

Staying Safe

The most important part of doing anything during the pandemic is being safe. If you are comfortable getting something notarized in-person, make sure you take all the safety measures beforehand. 

If your state allows virtual notarization, consider that alternative. They allow single or multiple documents, and it could potentially be the safest option.

Knowing all your options can allow you to continue to work successfully despite the pandemic. Keep on the lookout for changes and check out our other posts for more informative lifestyle articles.