The Mississippi Secretary of State’s office has now issued its new Remote Notarization Order Guidance following Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves’ Executive Order 1467, which modified the in-person requirement for notarization temporarily.
According to the new Remote Notarization Order Guidance, effective immediately, and continuing throughout the period of the State of Emergency Proclamation as declared by Governor Reeves on March 17, 2020, Mississippi notaries public are authorized to perform notarial acts by remote notarization and remote online notarization.
The new Remote Notarization Order Guidance provides the following requirements for remote notarization and remote online notarization:
- You must be a currently commissioned notary in Mississippi, in good standing.
- You must notify the Secretary of State, Business Services Division of your intent to use remote notarization technology on the form located here.
- Using the Secretary of State’s form, you must identify the communications technology vendor you will use and confirm that the vendor allows you to, (1) view and hear the remotely-located principal in real-time; (2) verify the principal’s identity through one or more of the methods set forth in the Order; and (3) record the entire notary transaction.
- For each notarial act conducted remotely, you must create and retain an audio-video recording of the entire notarial act. You must keep this electronic record just as you would your notary journal or log book.
- For each notarial act conducted remotely, you must note in your notary journal or logbook details about the notarial act, including that the notarial act was conducted for a remotely-located principal using communications technology.
- You may charge your normal $5 fee, plus the cost of using the communications technology, not to exceed $25.
The new Remote Notarization Order Guidance also provides that notaries should note the following before beginning the performance of remote notarizations:
- The Governor’s Executive Order is only a temporary waiver of the in-person requirement of the Mississippi Notary Statute and Rules. This is a significant change to notary practices in Mississippi.
- The Governor’s order requires you to use a communications technology vendor designed for the purpose of facilitating remote notarizations, as opposed to services that primarily offer video-conferencing ability. Such purpose-designed services include the ability to both see and hear a remotely located individual. It is your responsibility to choose the vendor.
- For additional guidance on available technology, you may wish to review the information made available by the National Notary Association www.nationalnotary.org or other professional membership associations.
- In advance of utilizing remote notarization, you must give notice to the Secretary of State by emailing the Remote Notary Notification to email@example.com.
- As a commissioned notary, it is your legal responsibility to perform notarizations correctly pursuant to the Mississippi notary statute and Rules. The statute, Rules, and Governor’s order are available on the Mississippi Secretary of State website at https://www.sos.ms.gov/BusinessServices/Pages/Notaries-Apostilles.aspx.
- You may email any questions about this new process to firstname.lastname@example.org .
The new Remote Notarization Order Guidance also provides additional Remote Notary FAQS for notaries interested in utilizing this new temporary remote notarization option.