Fri. Jun 18th, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered daily routines and, increasingly, how business is being conducted, with state officials considering changes induced by the public health crisis over the last year. 

Lawmakers later Friday will hold a hearing on whether licensed notaries can conduct electronic notarizations. While seemingly mundane, the measure could be another step toward an economic recovery that makes life a little different on the other side of the pandemic. 

The measure, sponsored by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, has the backing of the influential Partnership for New York City, which pointed to the measure helping New York maintain a “competitive edge” as recovery is underway. 

Known as remote online notarizations, the process is already allowed in other states, including Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia. 

“As the preeminent global business hub, New York should be ahead of the curve in adopting technology for business and consumer legal processes,” the Partnership for New York City wrote in a memorandum of support. 

The group pointed to electronic notarization as a “recurring request” for businesses among the items needed during the onset of the shutdown last year to prevent the spread of the virus. Having the force of law beyond an executive order also provides a dose of certainty. 

“While the executive orders provided a helpful solution to some, other companies could not take advantage of executive orders due to conflicting internal compliance standards,” the group wrote. “This is mainly attributable to institutions concerned about the validity of signatures or recordings authorized by a temporary executive order.”