Missouri Adopts E-Notary

Missouri Allows Video Notarization

Missouri has temporarily suspended the “in-person” requirement for notarization.  Until May 15, 2020, notarization can be completed by videoconference.

 

On April 6, Governor Parson signed an executive order exercising his emergency powers to suspend the personal appearance requirement for notarization.  Executive Order 20-08.  The Order requires certain steps/requirements to be a valid notarization.  The Order has different requirements for paper documents (the person is putting pen to paper while the notary watches by video) and electronic documents (the person is e-signing on a tablet or by computer while the notary watches).

Requirements for Video Notarization:

The requirements for notarizing paper documents are as follows:

1.    The person signing the document must affirmatively state he or she is physically located in the State of Missouri.

 

2.    The video conference must allow for interactive audio-visual communication between the person signing and the notary. For example, if using the Firm’s Zoom account both parties would need the video camera turned on – you have to physically see the person sign the document, and the person signing must be able to see you.

 

3.    If the person signing the document is not personally known to you, he or she must show a valid photo ID.

 

4.    Once the person signs, you sign and stamp the notary acknowledgment. The notary acknowledgement must state the person signing appeared remotely pursuant to Executive Order 20-08.  The Missouri Secretary of State has provided an example acknowledgement that satisfies the requirements of the Order, shown below.

 

5.    The notary must be physically located in the State of Missouri, and the notarial certificate must state the county where the notary is physically located. Identifying the county in the acknowledgement is sufficient (shown below).  Remember this needs to be the county where the notary is located (which may be different than the county where the person signing is located).

STATE OF MISSOURI    )

                                         )  SS

COUNTY OF _______      )

6.    Once the person signs the document, the document must be sent to the notary within five (5) business days. The person signing the document can either send the original by regular mail (post-marked within 5 business days), or the person can send an “electronic copy” (i.e., a scanned pdf or by fax).

 

Unless the person signing is required to keep the original, I recommend having the person mail the original to you in case you ever need it (even if they also e-mail you a pdf).  If necessary, you can have them e-mail the pdf version within the five business days, and then have them mail/deliver the original to you when possible.

 

7.    When you receive the original signed document, attach your signed and stamped acknowledgement to the document. If you receive a pdf, scan your notary acknowledgement (you will have a pdf of the signed document, and a pdf of the notary acknowledgement).  Then create a combined pdf that has both the signature and the notary acknowledgement.  You have now notarized the signature as if you had been sitting next to the person.

 

8.    If the person e-mails you a pdf of the signed document, a paper copy of the pdf can qualify as an original document. To do this, you need to add an attestation saying it is a true and accurate copy of the pdf.  The steps for this are as follows:

 

  1. Print off the signed pdf and attach the signed and stamped notary acknowledgement to the printed off pdf.
  1. Sign and stamp an attestation stating the printed off copy is a true and accurate copy of the electronic document pursuant to Executive Order 20-08.

 

9.    In your notary journal, record the exact time and software used to perform the notarization (for example, 4/9/2020; 2:30 p.m.; Zoom Videoconference).  Complete the rest of the journal entry as normal, with the exception that no signature is required in the journal by the person who signed the document.

 

Sample Acknowledgement

 

State of Missouri              )
                                             ) SS
County of Cole                  )

 

On this 19th day of April 2020, before me, the undersigned notary, appeared remotely pursuant to Executive Order 20-08 John Q Public JR proved to me through identification documents, and acknowledged to me that he signed the forgoing instrument voluntarily for its stated purpose and acknowledged that he executed the same for the purposes therein contained.

 

In witness whereof, I hereunto set my signature and official seal.

 

_________________

Notary Public

Sample Attestation

State of Missouri              )
                                             ) SS
County of ____________     )

 

I, notary public name  a Notary Public in and for said state, do certify and attest that on insert date , I carefully compared the foregoing document with its original electronic document and found it to be a full, true and complete representation of the electronic version. This notarial act was performed pursuant to Executive Order 20-08.

 

 Official signature and official seal of notary

REMEMBER:  These are the steps for notarizing a paper document.  Notarization of an electronic document requires registration as an e-notary.

About Guardianship Lawyer Tim McCurdy

Tim McCurdy practices estate planning, guardianships, and probate at Lashly & Baer, P.C. 

 

Meet Tim McCurdy

Questions about Missouri’s video notary rules?

LASHLY & BAER, P.C., is a mid-size Missouri law firm with deep roots in both Missouri and Illinois. As a full-service firm, we have developed a very diverse and extremely loyal base of local, regional and national clients.

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