In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many firms find themselves subject to social distancing, stay-at-home, and other safety measures that make it difficult to meet the in-person needs of various notary and authentication methods. Some governments, in response, have altered certain requirements to allow parties to obtain notarization and authentication of documents even in these difficult times.
In the United States, for example, many states have responded by passing statutes or executive orders that allow for “Remote Online Notarization” (RON) which obviates the need to meet in person with a notary public. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 23 states had had such laws in place (Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin). However, in light of the circumstances, many states, such as New York and Illinois, have passed temporary actions which allows for RON during the pandemic.
Further, given the international nature of many transactions in the modern world, many businesses still find themselves in need of cross-border authorization of documents. While the Hague Apostille Convention (https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/specialised-sections/apostille), created in 1961, provided a means for such international verification, many states and countries have had to alter their processing of these Apostilles requests in response to COVID-19 and parties must keep such changes in mind while conducting their business.
In order to ensure that our clients are able to stay up-to-date on current state/national practices in light of COVID-19, we have prepared a chart which shows the current status as well as altered procedures of various notary and Apostille offices throughout the world.
To view the chart, click here.To view the Global Overview of IP Entity Responses to COVID-19 Crisis, click here.