• Posted October 24, 2023 - SB 696 (Portantino) Notaries Public - Remote Online Notarization (RON)

    Senate Bill (SB) 696 implements the Online Notarization Act which authorizes California notaries to perform notarial transactions through the use of audio-visual communication, and online notarization platforms to provide platform services, and was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 30.

    The new law is set to commence on January 1, 2030. However, it will not take effect until the Secretary of State certifies that it has completed the technology project necessary to implement the new provisions.

  • Posted January 11, 2023 - Extension of Notary Public Commissions

    On May 8, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-63-20 (see paragraphs 6 and 7), extending commissions of notaries public for a period of 60 days for any notary public whose commission term has expired since March 1, 2020 or whose commission is set to expire over the next 60 days.

    On June 30, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-71-20 extending the time frames in Executive Order N-63-20 an additional 120 days.

    Notary public commission terms that expired anytime between March 1, 2020 and May 7, 2020, have been extended until November 3, 2020.

    Notary public commission terms that expired after May 7, 2020 through November 3, 2020, are extended for 180 days on a rolling basis (i.e., someone whose commission expires on May 8, 2020, will have their commission extended until November 4, 2020, and someone whose commission expires on November 3, 2020 will have their commission extended until May 2, 2021).

    This extension is valid provided the notary public whose commission term has been extended, maintains a valid surety bond during the extension, and annotates on each notarial act the following statement: “The notary commission extended pursuant to Executive Order N-63-20.”

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  • Posted July 19, 2016 - California Notaries Public Cannot Perform Notarial Services Online ‚Äč

    Online webcam notarizations are invalid and illegal activities for California notaries public.

    California notaries public should beware of misleading information from private companies claiming to have legal online notarization websites and legal online notarization services. Web-based platforms that purport to allow a person to submit copies of identification over the Internet and to use a webcam in lieu of a personal appearance in front of a notary public (e.g., appearance via webcam) do not meet the requirements for notarization by California notaries public.

    California notaries public are authorized under current law to perform electronic notarizations as long as all the requirements for a traditional paper-based notarial act are met, including the use of a seal for all but two specific documents used in real estate transactions. California law requires a person to appear personally before a notary public to obtain notarial acts like acknowledgments or jurats. This means the party must be physically present before the notary public. A video image or other form of non-physical representation is not a personal appearance in front of a notary public under California state law. Technology solutions from private companies offering online notarial services do not meet the requirements for notarization by California notaries public.