Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has issued an Executive Order
permitting remote notarization and witnessing of all documents.
The Executive Order provides a basic framework that must be followed for notarization and witnessing using real time audio-visual technology. Notably, a notary public performing a notarial act using real time audio-visual technology pursuant to the Executive Order must be a licensed Georgia attorney or a notary public supervised by a licensed Georgia attorney. The signer must also present proof of his or her identity to the notary via real-time audio-visual technology. Additionally, a document notarized or witnessed using real-time audio visual technology must be signed, certified, and executed by the notary and/or witness(es) on the same calendar day that the signer signs the document.
Darrell Sutton, president of the State Bar of Georgia, said: “The State Bar is grateful for the work of Gov. Kemp and his staff who recognized the critical need for remote notarization and witnessing in Georgia during this unprecedented time and the importance of maintaining access to legal services through this crisis. Additionally, we appreciate the counsel of the State Bar’s Fiduciary Section and Family Law Section who gave critical input in the process.”
Under the terms of the Executive Order:
►The notary public must be an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia or is operating under the supervision of an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Georgia.
►The notary public must be an employee, independent contractor, agent, or other representative of an attorney or an attorney observes the execution of documents either inperson or via the real-time audio-video communication technology.
►The signer requiring the notarial act from the notary public presents satisfactory evidence of identity as required in Code Section 45-17-8, while connected to the real-time audio-video communication technology.
►The notary public must be physically located in the state of Georgia.
►The signer must transmit a copy of the signed document to the notary public on the same date it was executed for execution by the notary.
“The Bar appreciates the patience of so many Georgia lawyers who have eagerly awaited this order,” said Sutton. “We encourage those who plan to notarize and witness legal documents through these means to closely follow the instruction of the Executive Order.”