On April 13, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Bill A-3903 which permits remote notarial acts during the pendency of the New Jersey COVID-19 State of Emergency. A notary public, or an authorized official, may now communicate with a remote individual using audio-visual technology which allows them to witness oaths, affirmations, affidavits and acknowledgements. The notary/official must be able to verify the remote individual’s identity by personal knowledge, credible witness, or two forms of identification. The record or document is then sent to the notary/official for the notarial act, and the performance of the notarial act must be audio-visually recorded. The recording must then be preserved for at least ten years.
The bill goes into effect immediately; however, additional restrictions apply to remote individuals located outside the United States. Furthermore, the Act does not apply to certain portions of the Uniform Commercial Code or a record pertaining to an adoption, divorce, or other family law matter.
The bill addresses an immediate area of concern and uncertainty in current litigation caused by the pandemic, particularly as it relates to the execution of Releases and Settlement Agreements. The bill provides added assurances as to the validity of a Release or Settlement Agreement without unnecessarily delaying the timely resolution of a matter or putting any individual at risk.
Click here for a full copy of Bill A-3903, signed by Governor Murphy on April 14, 2020
Should you have any questions or concerns, please click here to contact a member of the Firm’s Litigation Department