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Today, Representative Garlick voted for legislation to authorize notary publics to perform notary actions using video conferencing during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The legislation applies requirements for authorized notary publics to use electronic video conferencing for documents requiring notarization including those related to a mortgage or other conveyance of title to real estate, will, nomination of guardian or conservator, caregiver authorization affidavit, trust, durable power of attorney, or health care proxy.

The legislation includes the following provisions, which will be in place until three business days after termination of the March 10, 2020 declaration of a State of Emergency:

  • Authorizes a notary public appointed under the laws of the Commonwealth to perform an acknowledgement, affirmation or other notarial act using video conferencing in real time;
  • Makes valid notarial acts using video conferencing when the notary public and each principal are physically located within the Commonwealth as well as other provisions;
  • Requires notaries to record the video conference and retain a copy of the conference; and related documentation for 10 years.

The bill, which is the latest action by the Legislature to address the COVID-19 public health crisis and its effects on Massachusetts, has advanced to the Governor desk.