COVID-19 and Notaries: Executive Order temporarily suspends in-person requirements for notaries in Michigan

MICHIGAN – April 14, 2020 — Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order temporarily suspending the in-person requirement for notaries and the signing of documents.  

     The order, which went into effect April 9, 2020, allows notaries to conduct notarizations using two-way, real-time audiovisual technology to conduct a notarization so long as certain conditions are met.

     In order for a document notarization to be valid by using a videoconference technology, all of the following conditions must be met:

  • The audiovisual technology must allow direct interaction between the signer and the notary by sight and sound.
  • You must create an audio and visual recording of the notarization which must be maintained for 10 years.
  • You must keep a journal of each transaction you conduct using the video conference technology. The journal should state the name and address of individual, the date of the notarization, the type of document being notarized, the identification documentation provided, and the program you are using to conduct the video conference (e.g. skype, zoom, etc.).
  • Satisfactory evidence of identity must be presented during the video conference. The evidence used to verify identity is the same as it is currently, but it must be shown during the live video feed.
  • The individual seeking notarial services must state whether he or she is physically located in this state. If the person is located in another state, the document must relate to a matter going before a court, governmental entity, public official or an entity in this state, or the document must involve property located in this state.
  • Signatures must be affixed in a manner that renders the any future changes or modification to be evident.
  • You must place the phrase: “Notarized using electronic/remote technology” under the notary bloc.

     Additionally, the individual seeking the notarial service must immediately transmit (fax, mail, email) a legible copy of the entire signed document on the same date that it was signed. This applies regardless of how the document itself is signed. Upon receipt of the document, the notary shall notarize the document and send it back to the individual. The date and time of the notarization is the date and time the notary witnessed the person sign during the video conference.

     Currently, this method of notarization is only allowed through May 6, 2020.

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