Mass Legislature Passes Virtual Notarization During Coronavirus Crisis


The following is a press release


FRAMINGHAM- Late last week members of the House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation that would allow for remote notarization through online video conferencing.

This bill, supported by Representatives Carmine Gentile, Maria Robinson, and Jack Patrick Lewis, authorizes remote notarization provided that both the appointed notary and the principal are physically located within the Commonwealth and sufficient identification evidence is verified.

The legislation now goes to the Governor for his signature.

“We are all living through uncertain and unprecedented times,” said Rep Lewis (D-Framingham). “While some aspects of our daily lives have needed to change dramatically, the need for notarized legal documents has only grown. I am happy to support this vital legislation.”

This legislation authorizes an appointed notary public in the Commonwealth to perform a notarial act for an individual utilizing electronic video conferencing in real time. It includes requirements that the principal makes the affirmation as well as a disclosure of and video
viewing of all other persons present in the room. If the document involves the closure of a transaction, mortgage, or other conveyance of title to real estate, the notary public and principal must engage in a second video conference to ensure the document is verified to be the same document executed in the first video.

“I’m thrilled this bill has passed, after hearing from single parents and older parents who havbeen worried about custody issues should they be hospitalized or worse from COVID-19 infection,” said Rep Robinson (D-Framingham). “I’m grateful to the Senate President and Speaker for prioritizing this legislation to give our families some peace of mind.”

The legislation further provides that in the case that the principal is not a United States citizen, a valid government-issued identification credential evidencing the principal’s nationality or residence and the photographic image of the principal’s face and signature shall be acceptable.

The legislation requires the notary public to record each video conference and keep a copy of the recording as well as the principal’s identification for 10 years.

“Many doctors, nurses, EMTs, grocery and pharmacy workers, and others working on the front lines are anxious to execute wills and other documents that require notarization as they place themselves at risk for our community every day,” said Rep Gentile (D-Sudbury). “This legislation will bring welcome relief.”


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