Advice for Notaries During COVID-19



Advice for Notaries During COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, several states have suspended court functions. Yet, many people still need notaries to verify documents and sign affidavits for legal cases. Unfortunately, the California state law does not permit notaries to perform remote notarizations. This presents a challenge for notaries during these difficult times.

The Challenges for Notaries

Notary laws require public notaries to witness the signing of documents and verify the identity of the principal signer. For this purpose, notaries usually need to be physically present to perform notarization. Being in close proximity to the person signing the document may expose them to infection-causing pathogens.

However, with some planning and communication, notaries can reduce the risk of exposure in such close physical settings. Let’s look at how public notaries can perform notarizations in the times of the Corona Virus.

Mobile Notaries

While California state laws do not allow for remote online notarizations, they do provide for mobile notaries. This allows individual notaries to travel to a client’s place for notarization. Think of it as making a house-call. So if a California citizen wishes to have their documents notarized, you can direct them to a mobile California notary public.

The mobile notary can communicate beforehand to reduce the amount of time spent at the agreed location. They can discuss who will be present and ensure no one has any symptoms of Corona.

Precautions to Reduce Exposure During COVID-19

Notaries should take extra precautions while performing their duties. Failure to do so could be harmful to the safety and health of both the signers and the notaries during COVID-19. Below are some of the precautions that notaries can take:

  • Avoid shaking hands to eliminate any form of skin on skin contact with the signer.
  • Wear a face mask or cloth head covering and request the signers to do the same.
  • Carry gloves and sanitizer with you.
  • Ask all everyone to carry their pens so that no one has to share a pen.
  • Maintain a safe distance of at least six feet from the signer at all times.
  • Avoid touching any identification documents. You can ask the signer to place it on a table and view it from a distance.
  • Arrange and group documents for notarization to reduce the time spent with the signer.
  • Identify and mark all pages that need notarization beforehand to allow for bulk notarization.
  • Practice social distancing. This allows notaries to comply with the notary laws for in-person notarization without risking the safety for any of the parties.
  • Call and ask the signer about anyone with high risks like elderly parents or young kids. Request them to limit exposure to such people while making the house-call.
  • If the signer is feeling unwell or has any symptoms, decline the meeting. Assure them you can always reschedule once they’re feeling better and have completed the prescribed quarantine period.
  • In case you develop any symptoms, immediately inform the relevant authorities and decline the assignment.
  • Comply with the local health and safety orders while performing notarizations.

We understand notarization presents several challenges for notaries during COVID-19. But always remember to follow proper protocols when performing notarizations. Identify the signers and verify the signatures. For more information, contact the Notary Council.

Advice for Notaries During COVID-19 | Notary Council – Bakersfield, CA


Back To News & Updates