The Bar News

Governor Pritzker Signs Coronavirus-Related Executive Order Addressing Notarial Acts and Remote Witnessing of Document Signings

Governor Pritzker signed a new coronavirus-related Executive Order addressing notarial acts and remote witnessing of document signings.

It orders the following for the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation for COVID-19: 

  1. the requirement that a person must "appear before" a notary public commissioned under the Illinois Notary Public Act is satisfied if: the notary public performs a remote notarization via two-way audio-video communication technology; the notary public is physically within the State while performing the notarial act; and the transaction follows the guidance posted by the Illinois Secretary of State on its website;
  2. any act of witnessing required by Illinois law may be completed remotely by via two-way audio-video communication technology if specified requirements are met;  
  3. specified provisions of the Electronic Commerce Security Act that prohibit electronic signatures on certain documents remain in full effect: and  
  4. notwithstanding any law or rule of the State to the contrary, absent an express prohibition in a document against signing in counterparts, all legal documents, including deeds, last wills and testaments, trusts, durable powers of attorney for property, and powers of attorney for health care, may be signed in counterparts by the witnesses and the signatory; a notary public must be presented with a fax or electronic copy of the document signature pages showing the witness signatures on the same date the document is signed by the signatory if the notary public is being asked to certify to the appearance of the witnesses to a document.

The Secretary of State's Office has provided guidance on implementation of the Executive Order.  

 

Posted on March 27, 2020 by Rhys Saunders
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Member Comments (2)

Bravo to this Guidance for Remote Notaries and Consumers!  Remotely using real-time electronic technologies is needed during the COVID-19 situation, and also generally, expands access to those who do not otherwise have access to notaries.

C'mon; really? I am going to retain the audio-visual communication for a period of 3 years? Title companies, etc. can do this if they want, but what elderly or technologically unsophisticated people are going to do this? They would need human interaction with someone to obtain help in doing this. It also applies to people who are only both physically located in Illinois. 

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