The Business Council supports S.4352-B (Skoufis) / A.4076-B (Rozic), which would allow for electronic notarization in New York, easing some burden from transactions for both businesses and individuals alike.
The Business Council has long been a proponent of taking advantage of technology to help New Yorkers conduct business in efficient and cost-saving ways. In cases where law changes are necessary to facilitate the use of newer technology, we are always thankful when the Legislature takes the opportunity to act for the benefit of all New Yorkers. The allowance of the use of electronic notarization is one of those opportunities.
One of the few silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the chance to test a host of new ways of doing business on a grand scale. We are experiencing the advantages of technology as so many New Yorkers have telecommuted and participated in on-line meetings, business transactions, conferences and other activities over the last several months.
During the initial stages of the pandemic, the Governor allowed and later extended, by Executive Order, the use of electronic video conference technology in notarization. The Executive Order allowed for business and personal legal matters to continue through months when many New Yorkers couldn’t leave their homes. The allowance was necessary, convenient and without any negative impacts. This unplanned experiment has proved that electronic notarization works in New York.
As the language of the bill states, “The methods for identifying document signers for an electronic notarization shall be the same as the methods required for a paper-based notarization; provided, however, in the case of an electronic notarization, such methods may be based on video and audio conference technology…” The bill further enumerates a number of safeguards and ensures that electronic notarization will accomplish the exact same protections as traditional notarizations.
With twenty-five other states passing laws to allow for electronic notarization, the time is now for New York. The Legislature should take this opportunity to help New York move into the future and pass this bill. For these reasons, The Business Council supports the passage of S.4352-B (Skoufis) / A.4076-B (Rozic).