Feb 16th, 2023

District Clerk Alert: New Rules for Notaries Public

Many District Clerks also hold a Notary Public license, and are often called upon to provide notary services in the course of their duties. The notarial acts performed by a District Clerk are typically administering an oath or affirmation, or taking an affidavit. Effective January 25, 2023, new rules are in effect for all services provided by a Notary Public in New York State.

The law now requires each Notary Public to retain a log detailing the services provided. This log must be maintained for ten years. It must contain the name of the Principal (individual for whom the notary services are provided); the approximate time the notarial act was performed; the number and type of notarial services provided; the type of credential used to identify the principal; and the verification procedure for any personal appearance before the notary. This latter is likely to apply when the principal does not possess photographic identification issued by a governmental agency.

The law also provides detailed procedures for the provision of electronic notarial acts. If a Notary Public wishes to perform electronic notarial acts, they must first register as an Electronic Notary with the New York State Department of State. Once registered, the Notary Public may notarize a principal remotely, so long as the Notary Public is within New York State and the applicable rules are followed. The requirements for electronic notarization are rigorous and involve the use of software to create an electronically generated and saved record. The Notary Public and the principal must be able to communicate simultaneously by sight and sound via methods approved by regulation. The software used to create the electronically generated and saved record must also comply with regulatory requirements. Notaries Public providing electronic notarial services must also maintain additional information in their log when an electronic notarial act is performed.

Effective January 25, 2023, School District and BOCES employees who are also licensed Notaries Public must ensure they are maintaining a log consistent with the new requirement. Those interested in providing services via electronic means should speak with a supervisor about the value this licensure would bring to the organization, and what the requirements entail (i.e., obtaining software compliant with the applicable regulations). We are also available to discuss the requirements.


Heather M. Cole

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