Governor Roy Cooper has signed a bill that allows notaries to use internet technologies to identify people and notarize their signatures remotely.
This legislation means homebuyers in North Carolina will soon be able to close loans, buy houses and complete other transactions without having to leave their home or office.
Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall calls it a “major advancement” in a “twenty-five year effort to lead the digital transformation of North Carolina’s business environment.”
Because of the extensive work required to implement permanent Remote Online Notarization (RON), the portion of House Bill 776 addressing RON becomes effective July 1, 2023.
Emergency video notarizations have resumed, as a stop-gap measure to allow video notarizations while permanent RON procedures are being put in place.
“Everyone in North Carolina needs to be able to sign contracts safely and conveniently, without sacrificing the certainty of knowing that people signing important documents like wills and loans are exactly who they say they are,” Marshall said.
“Emergency Video Notarizations were crucial tools during the height of the COVID pandemic,” Marshall said. “The next step, establishing a permanent RON solution that matches intuitive technology with transactional security, is central to maintaining a vibrant and sustainable e-commerce culture across the state that’s accessible for everyone.”
The new Remote Online Notary fee will be $25 per principal signature when RON becomes effective in July of 2023.
The new law also immediately updates other fees that notaries public across the state can charge. The maximum fee that can be charged per principal signature has increased from $5 to $10 for acknowledgments, jurats, and verifications or proofs.
For oaths or affirmations without a signature, the maximum fee has increased from $5 to $10 per person, except for the identity of a principal or subscribing witness.
The fee for electronic notarizations under G.S. 10B-188 will be $15.
For any notarial act performed under the State Notary Public Act, actual mileage at the federal mileage rate (62.5 cents per mile) can be charged if the travel reimbursement is agreed to by the principal in writing prior to travel.
The Secretary of State’s Office will next begin the administrative rulemaking process to create the requirements and procedures needed to implement the permanent RON law.