Governor Ducey Signs Executive Order Establishing Virtual Notary Services

Client Update: COVID-19

Dear Friends of the Firm:

In partnership with Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Governor Doug Ducey today issued an Executive Order allowing Arizonans to get documents notarized remotely, while ensuring secure and effective verification processes. Currently, notaries and signers must complete the notarization process in person. Allowing notarizations to be securely completed virtually will support the state’s COVID-19 “stay home, stay healthy, stay connected” guidelines while allowing the completion of deeds, loan approvals, business agreements and more.

This measure is consistent with Remote Online Notarization, a law passed that allows signers and notaries to meet virtually that takes effect July 1, 2020. The Governor’s Executive Order accelerates this timeline, giving Arizonans the opportunity to utilize virtual notarization starting April 10, 2020.

“We are taking proactive measures to protect public health while ensuring Arizona can still take care of their essential needs,” said Governor Ducey. “This order allows key components of business for bankers, real estate agents, legal companies, health care professionals and much more to carry on during the COVID-19 outbreak in a safe and secure way that protects public health. I’m grateful to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs for putting in important work behind the scenes to accelerate this process and give Arizonans access to this opportunity ahead of schedule.”

“We worked hard to ensure these services were made available months ahead of schedule — because Arizonans need it now,” said Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. “This order utilizes technology to get documents signed and notarized securely and in real time. These services are needed, especially in health care settings and rural parts of Arizona. We will continue to take the actions necessary to protect public health while meeting the needs of fellow Arizonans.”

The Secretary of State has adopted rules to ensure a secure identity verification process using online audio-video technology, allowing the notary and signer to converse in real-time as the signatures and tamper-proof seals are placed on an electronic document. All records of the notarization must be saved and backed up by the notary public.

The Secretary of State’s Office will begin accepting applications for online notarizations Friday, April 10. Visit the website HERE.

View the Announcement HERE.

View the Executive Order HERE.

Remaining Connected

Practical Guidance, Tailored Support

Having access to timely information and practical guidance is critical at this time. We are here to support you. As circumstances change quickly, our team will continue to compile and share updates in a digest format for your quick reference. We know you are busy and receiving a lot of information, so our goal is to provide targeted updates in a format that benefits you and your organizations. These resources are just a starting point to help you think through the issues you may be facing. As always, we’re here to talk through your unique circumstances and work through challenges together.      

While things may feel uncertain right now, please know that we are here to help and are always just an e-mail or phone call away. Please reach out to either of us or any of our colleagues at any time.

Wishing you and yours all the best. Be well. 

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Roger A. Wright

Managing Partner and CEO