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COVID-19: Remote Notarization is Permitted in Pennsylvania, For Now. What You Need to Know to Get Your Documents Notarized from Home

By: Matthew H. Fry, Esquire

            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania has enacted a law allowing for remote notarization of documents during this crisis. Now, with the use of video conferencing and a remote notary, you can have a will prepared and executed, create a power of attorney, go to closing on a new home, or get other documents notarized when the law requires it.

            For those interested in preparing an estate plan, or are in the process of buying real estate, this law allows critical documents requiring notarization to be done remotely, with the notary on videoconference, rather than in person as previously required under the law.  Now people can adhere to the state’s stay at home order and comply with social distancing and continue to conduct critical business.

            Under the new law, a person may now “appear” before a notary using video communication technology, so long as

1) the notary has personal knowledge of the identity of the individual; or

2) the notary has satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual by oath or affirmation of a credible witness appearing before the notary; or

3) the notary is able to identify the individual by at least two forms of identification. 

            In addition, the notary must be able to reasonably identify the document being signed or notarized as being the same document that is in front of the individual who is making the statement or signing the document.

            Lastly, the video communications of the signing and notarization must be recorded, including all interactions that take place before the notary. Different rules apply if the individual is located outside of the United States.

            This law is temporary and is set to expire sixty days after Pennsylvania’s state of emergency is lifted.  

The Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP is a full-service law firm in Media, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We strive to help people, businesses and institutions throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania solve legal problems – and even prevent legal problems before they occur.  To learn more about the full range of our specific practice areas, please visit www.dioriosereni.com or contact Matthew H. Fry, Esquire at 610-565-5700 or at [email protected].

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The Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP, is located in Media, PA and serves clients in and around Media, Glen Riddle Lima, Brookhaven, Wallingford, Newtown Square, Lenni, Springfield, Swarthmore, Chester, Aston, Bryn Mawr, Morton, Woodlyn, Broomall, Gradyville, Folsom, Chester Heights, Crum Lynne, Glen Mills, Marcus Hook, Ridley Park, Drexel Hill, Marple, Bethel, Garnet Valley, Chadds Ford Concord, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County.


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