Governor Tate Reeves issued Executive Order 1467 on April 7, 2020, authorizing remote notarization and remote online notarization in Mississippi. The Executive Order effectively waives the in-person requirement for notarizing documents in Mississippi for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.
The requirements for remote notarization and remote online notarization are as followed:
- You must be a currently commissioned notary in Mississippi, in good standing.
- Before utilizing remote notarization, you must give notice to the Secretary of State by emailing the Remote Notary Notification to email@example.com using their fillable Remote Notary Notification form.
- Using the Remote Notary Notification form, you must identify the communications technology vendor you will use and confirm that the vendor allows you to:
- view and hear the remotely-located principal in real-time;
- verify the principal’s identity through one or more of the methods set forth in the Order;
- record the entire notary transaction.
- For each notarial act conducted remotely, you must create and retain an audio-video recording of the entire notarial act. You must keep this electronic record just as you would your notary journal or logbook.
- For each notarial act conducted remotely, you must note in your notary journal or logbook details about the notarial act, including that the notarial act was conducted for a remotely-located principal using communications technology.
- You may charge your standard $5 fee, plus the cost of using the communications technology, not to exceed $25.
There is a very important difference between remote notarization and remote online notarization.
Remote notarization involves paper documents signed in wet ink. The notary and principal are in different locations, but the documents will be exchanged by mail. The principal will physically sign an original, witnessed by the notary through a real-time communication technology platform, and then mail the original to the notary for the notary to physically affix his or her seal. The date of notarization will be the date that the transaction is witnessed online, not the date the notary’s stamp is affixed to the document. However, the original will be the document with the principal’s physical signature and the notary’s physical stamp.
Remote online notarization involves electronic documents signed and notarized electronically. The notary and principal are in different locations, but the principal signs electronically, the notary affixes his or her stamp electronically, and the original document is an electronic document. The electronic document can be electronically filed in courthouses that accept online filing. For courthouses that do not accept online filings, the Order provides a “paper-out procedure” for the notary to certify the electronic document into an original that can be filed by paper.
Be sure to contact your underwriter for further guidance!