Governor Hogan Authorizes Remote Notarizations
Marylanders Encouraged to Only Conduct Essential Notary Services
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today issued an emergency order that temporarily waives the in-person requirement for notarizing documents in Maryland for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, subject to guidance provided by Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith.
Notaries Public commissioned in Maryland who are in good standing may perform a notarial act using communication technology for a remotely located (remote online notarizations) after affirming they are complying with the requirements and submit the attached Remote Notary Notification Form and emailing it to the Office of the Secretary of State at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notaries Public who use remote notarizations must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Must be a current notary in good standing
- Must notify the Office of the Secretary of State of intent to use remote notarizations
- Must identify the communications technology vendor that will be used and confirm that the vendor will allow notary to, in real time, (1) view the remotely located individual and (2) compare for consistency the information and photos presented as identification credentials
- For each notarial act conducted remotely, must create and retain an audio-visual recording of the performance of the notarial act
- For each notarial act conducted remotely, must note on the notarial certification and in notary log or journal that the notarial act was performed for a remotely located individual using communications technology
- May not charge more than $4 for each remote online notarial act using communication technology, which is the same fee that may be charged when performing an in person notarial act
Notaries public can still perform notarial acts in person during the state of emergency but should use their best judgement on whether the notarial act is considered essential and abide by social distancing, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Maryland Department of Health (MDH) guidance in the conduct of any essential notarial services. Additional guidance for performing in-person notarization amid this current public health crisis can be found here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/03/notaries-precautions-coronavirus.
|UPDATE APRIL 10, 2020: Remote Notary technology that provides security for Maryland citizens during the Governor’s Emergency Order No. 20-03-30-04 which authorizes remote notarizations, is a priority for the Office of the Secretary of State. You should know that remote notary security is a national issue that every state is grappling with. The Office of the Secretary of State has been working hard on behalf of Maryland citizens. We have been consulting with other Secretaries of State, industry associations and Federal Agencies. After exhaustive discussions, our temporary guidelines that apply during the emergency waiver of the in-person requirement have been updated.
Regarding Zoom: The Maryland Department of Information Technology and Federal authorities informed the Office of the Secretary of State that they have determined that Zoom is not secure at this time and therefore, Zoom is not an allowable platform at this time.