Before you go to your county Recorder of Deeds office to be sworn in, please call the recorders’ and prothonotaries’ offices first to see if they are open and their hours of operation. There’s no need to make an unnecessary trip. Call first.
Driver licenses, camera cards, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through May 31, 2020, were extended through June 30, 2020.
Vehicle registrations, safety inspections and emissions inspections scheduled to expire from March 16 through April 30, 2020 are now extended through May 31, 2020.
Persons with Disabilities Parking Placards scheduled to expire from March 16 through April 30, 2020 are now extended through May 31, 2020.
If you need to find your notary commission number and expiration date because you are applying to be an electronic notary, there’s a fast way to find what you’re looking for and it’s available 24-7.
You can find it on the Department of State’s website.
Go to: https://www.notaries.pa.gov/Pages/EServices.aspx and click on Search Notaries.
What would you do?
If you received your new notary stamp, but you were unable to get sworn into office because your county recorder of deeds office is closed, could you continue to notarize using your old or new stamp?
The answer is no you cannot notarize at all. The COVID-19 emergency did not change the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) which requires a notary to get sworn into office and register their signature. This section of the law spells out the final portion of the commissioning process.
Since the recorder of deeds office is closed in this situation, an extension may be granted to get sworn in. However, this may differ from county to county. Once county offices are permitted to reopen, a phone call to ask about an extension is warranted. Then ask if you need to make an appointment to get sworn into office.
Until the county recorder of deeds’ office reopens and you get sworn in, do not notarize.
When the governor signed Senate Bill 841 into law yesterday, one of its provisions is for the remote notarization of all documents. Effective immediately, remote notarization will be permitted during the COVID-19 emergency and for 60 days following expiration of the disaster emergency.
Under the bill, notaries wishing to perform remote notarizations must use a Department of State-approved communication and identity proofing technology.
This bill supersedes the March 25 and April Department of State orders allowing for remote notarization of some documents during the COVID-19 emergency.
Senate Bill 1097, pending in the General Assembly, would adopt remote notarization on a permanent basis. PAN will keep our members updated on any further changes in the law regarding remote notarization of documents in Pennsylvania.
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