The purpose of the Bulletin is to modify and clarify Bulletin 641 issued as a result of New York Governor Cuomo Executive Order Number 202.7. A copy of the order is attached below. Please NOTE, that the requirements set forth below will be subject to change based upon additional New York Executive Orders or legislation. In the order, the Governor modified certain parts of New York’s Notary Law by allowing the assistance of audio-visual technology to facilitate the social distancing necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Stewart is committed to our partners and providing solutions to allow agents and Stewart Issuing Offices to continue closing and insuring transactions. Given the uncertainty of how COVID-19 may impact real estate transactions, and in the interest of providing our Issuing Offices the tools necessary to provide service to their customers, we are implementing the following Outlined below and EFFECTIVE until April 18, 2020 (unless extended or otherwise modified). Stewart agents may use assistive audio-video technologies to facilitate the Notarial act.
During this time if you use the audio-visual assistive technology, the requirements are as follows:
· The technology platform must provide for the audio/video preservation of the entire notarial transaction.
· Technology must provide for secure storage and transmission of the Non-public personal information.
· Technology must provide for verification of location (Principal and Notary must be in NY).
Conditions for Notarial process if using audio-visual assistance:
· Only New York licensed notaries may use this feature.
· Notary and signer via technology platform have face to face interactive (live) exchange of communication to exchange oath.
· The notary must verify ID via a video comparison of ID to signer’s face.
· Signer and the notary make the verbal representation that they are located within the State of New York.
· Signer then signed on camera for Notary to witness.
· The signer then sends (contemporaneously with execution via email or fax the signed document and signature page and copy of ID) to Notary .
· Notary applies notarial seal to the received execution page.
· The signer then sends the signed document and wet-signature page to Notary to re-apply notarial seal to maintain wet signature in the file or for counties requiring a wet signature for recording.
· Notary sends both non-wet signature with notarial stamp and wet with a notarial seal to title company within 24 hours.
· ID is sent to the title company with a video of the notarial transaction.
· Title company receives the original document and ID and attaches signature page with a notarial seal to the original document.
· Notary may notarize the transmitted copy of the document and transmit the same back to the signer.
Additional underwriting requirements:
· Parties, including lenders, must authorize in writing the use of the video notary process.
· The title company must verify County clerk will accept the Notary performed in this process.
· No change is allowed to the acknowledgment forms outlined in NY law under 309 of the RPL.
· The attached certification should be completed by the Notary and maintained in the file.
· Please note this change: The approval of the Audio-Visual assisted notarization is limited to policies issued in connection with transactions up to $1,000,000. Issuing offices must obtain Underwriter approval for real estate transactions in excess of $1,000,000.
Please note we have a dedicated site on VU for all things COVID-19 related available: https://www.vuwriter.com/en/coronavirus-resources.html.
In the event you have any questions regarding the above, please contact Stewart Title Legal Department at 212-922-0050 and speak with any Underwriting Counsel.
Forms: Certification for Audio-Visual
Attachments: Order 202.7