Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently suspended certain statutes that normally require an individual to appear before a notary public in person to election documents such as a self-proved will, a durable power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, a directive to physician, or an oath of an executor, administrator, or guardian. The suspension allows, temporarily, appearances to take place via videoconferencing solutions such as zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc…
Governor Abbott justified the change as necessary “to enforce social distancing and reduce the need for in-person contact” throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notarizations under the temporarily revised rules must follow the below rules:
- The notary public must verify the identity of a person signing a document by using two-way video and audio conference technology at the time the signature is taken at the time the signature is taken.
- The notary public may (as with an in person notarization) verify identity by (1) personal knowledge of the signing person, or (2) by reviewing the signing person’s remote presentation of a government-issued identification credential, including a passport or driver’s license, that contains the individual’s signature and a photograph of the person.
- The signing person shall transmit by fax or electronic means such as email a legible copy of the signed document to the notary public, who may notarize the transmitted copy and then transmit the notarized copy back to the signing person by fax or electronic means, at which point the notarization is valid.
This suspension of these notarization rules will remain in effect until the Texas disaster declaration is lifted/expires, or until terminated by Governor Abbott.
Virtus Law, PLLC continues to monitor developments in this (and other COVID-19 areas) and will continue to post relevant updates to this website.