North Carolina has become the 39th state to enact a permanent remote notary law allowing lobbyists and their principals to sign their reports from the comfort of their home or office rather than visit an in-person notary.
The recently signed legislation extends North Carolina’s emergency video notarization law (which lapsed in December 2021) to June 30, 2023 when the permanent law takes effect.
Registered lobbyists and their principals in North Carolina may breathe a sigh of relief after action by the General Assembly on July 1. The North Carolina House of Representatives agreed to a conference report with the Senate to permit remote electronic notarization in the state.
Remote electronic notarization is a form of notarization that can be done with the notary and signer in separate locations and the notarization is performed online, generally via video conferencing. As of March 2022, 38 states currently have a permanent remote notarization statute permitting the practice. North Carolina now becomes the 39th.
Prior to this legislation, lobbyists and principals in the state were required to visit a notary public in person to complete their reporting obligation. While the new legislation will take time to implement, the legislation passed does extend North Carolina’s emergency video notarization law (which lapsed on December 31, 2021) to June 30, 2023 and deems emergency video notarizations performed between December 31, 2021 and the enactment date of this legislation as “valid and cured” provided it was performed to the requirements of the lapsed law.
The legislation was signed by Governor Roy Cooper (D) on July 11, 2022. The Secretary of State’s office is now accepting lobbyist and principal reports that have been remotely notarized. The Lobbying Division of the Secretary of State’s office has provided special forms for use when using remote notarization to sign quarterly reports so report preparers should be aware of the method of notarization the signer plans to use and draft the report accordingly.
Seven states or local jurisdictions, including North Carolina, currently require a notarized signature on lobbyist reports as shown in the map below.
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