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New developments from the Secretary of State Elaine Marshall
No, REN will not begin on July 1st, and there's nothing automatic about it. Although you may have heard July 1, 2023, as a "Go-Live" date, that is NOT what the statute says. July 1st is the date by which the Secretary of State "shall begin rulemaking to implement" REN, and "no temporary or permanent rule shall become effective prior to July 1, 2023."
So, one might wonder when will North Carolina notaries be able to conduct remote electronic notarizations?
Drafting rules are labor intensive and time consuming. Besides creating new rules focused on REN, some existing Notary and E-Notary rules also must be revised so they are consistent with the upcoming REN rules. All rules must be adopted in accordance with the very deliberative notice-and-comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act and must meet the standards established by an independent body, the North Carolina Rules Review Commission.
The Secretary of State started work last Summer. Comments to inform rulemaking are being collected now. Click here for further information.
Once rules are finally adopted, REN launch preparation begins. Platforms and third-party vendors must apply, be screened and licensed, and then contract with North Carolina notaries. The Notary Manual must be revised to incorporate all the changes to the law and rules. Forms must be prepared to make it easier for applicants to provide essential information. All notary training must be updated, and community colleges engaged so North Carolina notaries may learn how the changes apply to them, and be trained, tested, and authorized to conduct remote electronic notarizations. We will also have to coordinate with the Registers of Deeds so that notaries receive the proper commission. All these tasks must be completed before the first REN can be conducted.
So, when will North Carolina notaries be able to use REN?
The short answer is we don’t yet know. But, just given the mandatory timelines that have to be met before we can adopt rules to even start the program, we expect it will be a year or more before the REN is up and running.
There is little need for those planning to implement REN to wait for REN to be fully effective when the tools of IPEN and EVN can be utilized today to perform notarial acts.
It is highly likely that those who implement REN will also incorporate IPEN and that both will be employed to service remote as well as in person customers.
REN is signed to LAW and new guidelines are effective immediately in NC!
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and her team joined Governor Roy Cooper on 7/8/2022 at the Executive Mansion as he signed Remote Electronic Notarization (REN) into law. Emergency Video Notarizations will resume, effective immediately, as a stop-gap measure to allow video notarizations while permanent REN procedures are being put in place. EVN expires on June 30, 2024, at 12:01 a.m.
“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. Emergency Video Notarizations were crucial tools during the height of the COVID pandemic. 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,” said Secretary Elaine Marshall.
Here is what customers need to know now:
1. Notary Public can resume Emergency Video Notarizations under the same procedure that was established during the pandemic. This is a necessary stop-gap solution while the REN program is established.
2. The fees notary public charge increased. For acknowledgments, jurats, verifications, or proofs the new fee will be $10 per principal signature. For oaths or affirmations without a signature, the fee will be $10 per person, except for the identity of a principal or subscribing witness. The fee for electronic notarization under G.S. 10B-188 will be $15 (e-Notarizations).
3. In effect now, for any notarial act under 10B, the actual mileage at the federal mileage rate will be charged (The state of NC uses a federal mileage rate of 65.5 cents per mile.)
Want to read more about House Bill 776 , click the link below.
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Dove InnerCity Notary charge $10.00 per principal signature notarized. Loan signing fee(s) are different. Travel fees are assessed at 67¢ per mile (round-trip).
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