HARRISBURG – Legislation by State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) that would allow notaries to perform duties utilizing audio-visual technology was unanimously approved today by the Senate.
The measure – Senate Bill 1097 – builds on recent legislative efforts that authorized remote notarization, as part of Act 15 of 2020. However, those provisions expire 60 days after the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration is lifted. Mastriano’s measure addresses the long-term future of remote notarization.
“My bill makes the notarization process much easier and straight-forward, and saves everyone valuable time,” said Mastriano. “This proposal does not replace notaries or the services they provide. Rather, the bill authorizes the use of secure and reliable technology to assist notaries in performing their duties. The legislation is user-friendly, and provides notaries with an additional tool to authenticate documents.”
The legislation advances to the House for consideration.
Senate Bill 1097 would bring Pennsylvania in line with other states, and modernize the notarization process by permitting audio-visual communications. More than 20 states have already enacted this type of legislation.
A notary public would still be required to confirm an individual’s identity and reasonably identify records, and an audio-visual recording of the notarial act and all related interactions would be required.
The bill will help business travelers, family members working out of state, or veterans on deployment.
“Sadly, our state is behind the times with remote notarization,” said Mastriano. “The legislation is a win-win for all parties involved in the notarization process.”
A similar version of the legislation, Senate Bill 595 of 2017-2018, passed the Senate unanimously last session but did not advance in the House.
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