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Remote notarization legislation moves forward in New York

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The New York Senate has advanced a bill that would allow permanent use of remote electronic notarization at banks and credit unions.

The legislation has the support of the New York Credit Union Association. A companion bill is being considered in the state Assembly but has not yet moved out of committee.

An executive order earlier this year from Gov. Andrew Cuomo authorized financial institutions to use remote notarization technology during the pandemic, but that order is set to expire Aug. 20. If the order is not extended, NYCUA said in a press release, many processes that require notarization, including mortgage closings, “will become significantly more difficult and burdensome.”

“New York credit unions have had great success using remote notarization services allowed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order and have been able to conduct transactions seamlessly during this time while so many individuals have been working from home or under very restrictive guidelines,” NYCUA President and CEO William J. Mellin said in the release. “The passing of this permanent legislation will ensure business can continue efficiently and also bring our credit unions onto the same technological playing field as other states, most of which already permit electronic notarization of documents.”

The financial services industry has embraced remote notarization amid the pandemic, but many states don’t yet have laws on the books permitting it, though some vendor groups with credit union connections have pushed state legislatures to change those laws.

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