In a prior blog post, we identified the recent trend to adoption of e-notarization in several states in response to the COVID crisis. As of that time, Oregon had not authorized e-notarization on either a permanent or temporary basis.
On June 30, 2020, the Oregon Legislature adopted and the Governor signed HB 4212A, which authorizes e-notarization in Oregon on a temporary basis through June 30, 2021. Under the law, a notary in Oregon can notarize a document by a person located anywhere in the United States using online communication technology. E-notarization is also possible for persons outside the United States by meeting additional requirements. Notaries who wish to use e-notarization must first register and complete required training with the Oregon Secretary of State.
All e-notarization must be completed through online platforms hosted by approved vendors that have the necessary encryption technology to satisfy the requirements of the law. The technology must provide that the notary and person executing the document can communicate simultaneously by sight and sound, must accommodate visual, hearing, and speech impairments, and must provide a means for the notary to verify the signer’s identity. All documents notarized using e-notarization must state in the notarial certificate that the act involved the use of communication technology. The notarial act must be recorded audio-visually and the recording retained for 10 years.
Implementation of e-notarization will depend in large part on the willingness of notaries to complete the training, and the technological savvy of both notaries and the persons executing documents. Still, e-notarization provides a promising opportunity to mitigate some of the challenges that have occurred over the last four months in having documents notarized personally.