Senate Bill 552 was signed in to law by Gov. Roy Cooper on June 23. This new law allows Emergency Video Notarization (EVN) to remain in place until the end of June 2024 while work on Remote Electronic Notarization (REN) rules continues. There are some other highlights of the new law. They include the following:
- Emergency Video Notarizations (EVN) have resumed as a stop-gap measure to allow video notarizations while permanent REN procedures are being put in place. EVN now expires on June 30, 2024 at 12:01am.
- SB552 also requires notaries to maintain a journal of all public acts pursuant to rules adopted by the Secretary. We do not expect to have rules ready and in effect until next year and will keep you posted. You may find a downloadable notary journal template on our website: Notary_Journal.pdf (sosnc.gov)
- SB552 now makes it clear that no journal entry made in the course of performing a notarial act is subject to public record laws. This is unlike many other states, where the notary journal is subject to public record laws on the theory that that the journals are the work of a public official.
- Vendors and manufacturers of seals are now prohibited from providing a notary seal to a purchaser claiming to be a notary, unless the purchaser presents a notary commission issued by the Secretary and, in the case of a purchaser appearing in person, the vendor identifies the individual as the person named in the commission. In the case of a purchaser ordering a seal by mail or delivery service, the vendor/manufacturer is to confirm the notary's standing as a commissioned notary using rules to be established by the Secretary. Like the journaling rules, we do not expect rules to be ready and effective before next year.
The Department is busy working on RENA (Remote Electronic Notary Act) rules, which it will issue in three phases, all with a delayed effective date of next year. The first set of rules is due to be published in the NC Register later this summer.
Here is a link to EVN resources available on our website: North Carolina Secretary of State Notary Emergency Video Notarization (sosnc.gov)
If you have any questions for us, please reach out to the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to help.
Published by the NC Department of the Secretary of State, July 2023 Notary News newsletter.