Bulletin: NJ2021003

Date:
August 04, 2021
To:
All New Jersey Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Remote Online Notarization

Dear Associates:

Governor Murphy has signed NJ Bill A4250/S2508 into law on July 22, 2021. This bill revises the law concerning notaries and notarial acts; and authorizes electronic signatures. The new law states that it will be effective ninety (90) days after enactment.

The law gives the State Treasurer the power to adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) regarding the performance of a notarial act within those ninety (90) days. Specifically, the State Treasurer will develop the standards necessary for a notary to conduct a remote online notarization. Therefore, until a registration system and list of communication technologies are approved by the State Treasurer and the law goes into effect, a New Jersey notary public will not be able to perform remote online notarization.

We have included some of the definitions and requirements from the bill below: 

  • A “Remotely located individual" is defined as an individual who is not in the physical presence of a notarial officer performing a notarial act.
  • "Communication technology" is defined in the bill as an electronic device or process that:

(a) allows a notarial officer and a remotely located individual to communicate with each other simultaneously by sight and sound; and

(b) when necessary and consistent with other applicable law, facilitates communication with a remotely located individual who has a vision, hearing, or speech impairment. 

Requirements for Remote Online Notarizations (RON) in New Jersey 

  • A remotely located individual may comply by using communication technology to appear before a notarial officer.
  • The law specifically provides that the notarial officer located in this State may perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located individual by any of the following methods:

(a) Personal knowledge of the identity of the individual;

(b) Satisfactory evidence of credential analysis and identity proofing services to be used with communication technology required for remote online notarization; and

(c) Satisfactory evidence of identity can be established by at least two different types of identification (e.g. State Driver’s License, U.S. Passport).

  • The notary public verifies that the document being executed by the principal is the same document before the notary.
  • The notary public creates an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act to maintain in an electronic record.
  • Attachment of an electronic notarial certificate that includes a notation confirming that the notarization is an online notarization. Said electronic record is to include details of the notarization).
  • A notarial officer may select one or more tamper-evident technologies (to be approved by the State Treasurer) to perform notarial acts with respect to electronic records.
  • A notary public must notify the State Treasurer and identify the technologies the notary public intends to use before they may begin facilitating remote online notarizations. 

This bulletin will be updated once the State Treasurer has created the necessary standards for remote online notarization in New Jersey. As a reminder, until that occurs and the laws goes into effect, Stewart Agents may not accept documents where remote online notarization has been utilized.

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None