On April 27, Governor Baker signed the remote notarization bill, S.2645 into law, codified as Chapter 71 of the Acts of 2020. MAR has worked on this issue since the start of the state of emergency and specifically advocated for the passage of this bill.
The bill authorizes notarizations to occur through the use of real time electronic video conferencing during the current state of emergency. It lays out a specific process through which these notarizations must occur:
All parties and the notary must be located in Massachusetts.
All principal parties must provide proof of identity either during the video conference or by sending a copy of identification materials to the notary.
The notary must observe execution of the document by all parties through real time electronic video conferencing.
All executed documents must be sent to the notary for their stamp and signature following the video conference. Mortgage closings require a second video conference to confirm that the documents received by the notary are the same ones that were executed.
We believe the bill balances protection from the COVID-19 pandemic with maintaining the rigorous procedural safeguards essential to Massachusetts transactions. We are proud to have played a role in helping to protect the health and safety of Realtors® and their clients while providing an effective means to continue the practice of real estate during this state of emergency.