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Emergency Video Notarization (EVN) is Back and REN is on the Way: NC Secretary of State Seeks Public Comments

The NC Secretary of State’s Office is currently seeking comments on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) #1 untilNovember 30, 2022. To review and submit comments, please visit www.sosnc.gov/rulemaking.

With the signing of House Bill 776 into law, Emergency Video Notarization (EVN) is restored until the end of next June when a new Remote Electronic Notarization (REN) program is scheduled to be implemented. In the meantime, here is what you need to know now:

  • 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 expires on June 30, 2023, at 12:01 a.m.
  • Once REN becomes effective in 2023, you must be a commissioned e-notary to perform remote notarizations under REN (unless you are a court reporter).
  • There are new or increased fees that notaries public across the state can charge now. The maximum fee that can be charged per principal signature is now $10 for acknowledgments, jurats, and verifications or proofs. For oaths or affirmations without a signature, the maximum fee is now $10 per person, except for the identity of a principal or subscribing witness. The fee for electronic notarizations under G.S. 10B-188 is $15.
  • For any notarial act under 10B, actual mileage at the federal mileage rate can be charged if the travel reimbursement is agreed to by the principal in writing before travel. (The State of NC uses the federal mileage rate of 62.5 cents per mile.)
  • The new Remote Electronic Notarization fee will be $25 per principal signature when REN becomes effective in July of 2023.

There are a lot of things that the Secretary of State's Office will have to work out over the next year to get ready for REN. We ask for your patience as we navigate this new law, and we are excited about the opportunities REN will open up for our notaries and our state.

Here is a link to EVN resources available on our website: North Carolina Secretary of State Notary Emergency Video Notarization (sosnc.gov).

RENA Overview

N.C. Session Law 2022-54. The Remote Electronic Notarization Act, or RENA, requires the Secretary of State’s Office to adopt permanent rules on a large number of topics that affect how a remotely located principal will be able to have their identity confirmed by notaries located in North Carolina. Adoption of RENA was a direct outcome of the global pandemic, which increased economic activity being conducted remotely, and established the necessity to conduct crucial business, legal, health care, and other transactions safely, securely, and efficiently in the rapidly changing remote environment.

There is widespread interest in this new law and the implementation of RENA. It will likely serve as a national model for other states. The Agency’s goal is to establish a system that will continue to promote public confidence in the reliability of signatures and the identification of remotely located principals and help assure that transactions are not rejected for a variety of reasons, including fraud.

Although the Secretary of State’s Office is not required to request public comment at this stage of the rulemaking process, we want to collaborate with stakeholders as we create these rules and make this process transparent. The official public comment period will come when the Agency publishes proposed rules in the North Carolina Register. However, RENA was adopted with robust stakeholder feedback and, to continue that practice, the agency is now seeking public input with an ANPR. 

The first of two ANPRs is available here for review and comment. A second ANPR - specifically seeking input regarding the technical features, specifications, and standards applicable to the communication required as part of the REN process - is forthcoming.

Please take the time to review ANPR #1 and submit your comments to our office to help make sure we have the most successful remote electronic notarization program in the country.

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